Park City's Whiskey Craze

Utah's white dog teaches us new tricks

When ripples of the booze world make their way to Utah–one of the driest states in the country–we figure it's no passing trend. So now that Park City has caught on to the unaged whiskey craze, it's official: White dog is here to stay.

That, however, is hardly why bartenders are intrigued with the High West Distillery's Western Oat. As its name implies, the spirit's base grain is oat, which is something of an anomaly in the whiskey world. Since the oats' mellow nature can't stand up to time in a barrel, distillers have traditionally stuck with grains like rye, corn and wheat.

But for unaged whiskey–which has only a brief encounter with unused oak barrels–oats make perfect sense, giving up subtle nuances of vanilla and tropical fruit.

The result is an ideal cocktail canvas: Western Oat plays well with other flavors while retaining its own high-proof personality in anything from Moscow Mules to Manhattans.

Ah, to be young again!