Valley Tan®High West’s recreation of the whiskey made by Utah’s pioneers
Valley Tan can be enjoyed anyway you like, on ice, with a little water, or even how Porter Rockwell preferred it, “squar” meaning neat or without water. We particularly like it in High West’s own handblown sippin’ glasses because the wide mouth allows the delicate fruity aromas to breath more.
Valley Tan is High West’s first aged whiskey distilled in Park City. The name valley tan originally meant the leather made by the Mormon pioneers - eventually it applied to anything not imported from the States, in other words “homemade.” The local homemade whiskey was also called Valley Tan, of which Mark Twain wrote (“Roughing It” 1871): “the exclusive Mormon refresher… valley tan… is a kind of whisky, or first cousin to it; is of Mormon invention and manufactured only in Utah.
Back Label Story:
Valley Tan is High West’s first aged whiskey distilled in Park City. The name valley tan originally meant the leather made by the Mormon pioneers - eventually it applied to anything not imported from the States, in other words “homemade.” The local homemade whiskey was also called Valley Tan, of which Mark Twain wrote (“Roughing It” 1871): “the exclusive Mormon refresher... valley tan... is a kind of whisky, or first cousin to it; is of Mormon invention and manufactured only in Utah. Tradition says it is made of [imported] fire and brimstone. If I remember rightly, no public drinking saloons were allowed in the kingdom by Brigham Young, and no private drinking permitted among the faithful, except they confined themselves to Valley Tan.” High West’s Valley Tan is a soft, silky oat whiskey aged 2-4 years in a combination of new and used cooperage, allowing the delicate oaten flavor to develop into a delicious sipper. The mugshot on front is Porter Rockwell, an early Valley Tan fan, frontiersman, one of Utah Territory’s earliest lawmen and reputed Mormon “Destroying Angel” [Twain explains: “Destroying Angels as I understand it, are Latter-Day Saints who are set apart by the church to conduct permanent disappearances of obnoxious citizens.”]. The famous explorer Captain Richard F. Burton drank with Old Port and wrote: “Rockwell...pulled out a dollar and sent to the neighboring distillery for a bottle of Valley Tan...We were asked to join him in a ‘squar’ drink,’ which means spirits without water. Of these, we had at least four, which, however, did not shake Mr. Rockwell’s nerve, and then he sent out for more, meanwhile telling us of his last adventure.” So...please have a ‘squar’ drink and contemplate your next visit to the High West.
• 100% High West’s own distillate
• Absolutely no additional coloring or flavoring added.
• Bottled at 42% abv (84 proof)
• TTB designation: Oat Whiskey
• Filtration: not chill filtered, not carbon treated
• Age: a mixture aged 2-4 years
• Mash bill: 85% oats, 15% malted barley
• Cooperage: approximately 90% 2nd fill 10 year old 52 gallon bourbon barrels, 10% from new 30 gallon quercus alba barrels
• Distilled to: 178 Proof, this is a “light whiskey” per TTB regulations, similar to Scottish “grain” whiskey however this is distilled to a much lower proof (178 vs. 194.5) meaning…more flavor
• Barrel fill proof: 110
Whisky Advocate: 86 Points. "High West has a second version of Valley Tan. The "Utah oat whiskey" was distilled to 87.5% (about the same proof as single pot still Irish, and technically a "light whiskey"), aged 2 to 4 years in new and used cooperage. A light golden color; nose is somewhat spicy, with a licorice/peppermint tinge and some alcohol heat. It's quite smooth, almost Irish in its drinkability, with grainy notes graced with that light peppermint and biscuit sweetness. Pleasant sipper indeed. LB"