Monday, July 1, 2013
High West's Barreled Boulevardier
High West is both a distiller and a bottler/blender. They've also done something fairly unique in bottling barrel aged cocktails. I'm a big fan of High West's 36th Vote Barreled Manhattan, so I was excited to hear they were releasing a second barrel aged cocktail. A Boulevardier is a bourbon Negroni, a combination of bourbon, bitter liqueur (usually Campari) and sweet vermouth. The High West version combines two parts bourbon, one part Vya sweet vermouth and one half part Gran Classico, a Swiss amaro (using more bourbon and less bitter than is typical). The bourbon is a six year old low-rye recipe bourbon from MGPI in Indiana. It is then aged in bourbon barrels for four to six months.
High West sent me a sample of the Barreled Boulevardier along with a non-aged version to compare.
High West, The Barreled Boulevardier, 36% abv ($50)
The Boulevardier has a pleasant herbal flavor. The botanicals from the vermouth mix well with the bourbon. The bitterness of the amaro is much more understated than in most Negronis I've had (which are usually made with Campari). It really doesn't hit until the finish which has just a slight bitterness mixed in with the herbs.
Unaged, this was too sweet for me, but the barrel aging seems to mute the sweetness and bring out the spice.
This is a very nice cocktail and definitely worth trying for the cocktail fans out there.