While there are many places to enjoy apres ski in Park City, Utah, High West Distillery and Saloon takes the idea to a whole different level. In fact, the establishment is the world’s first and only ski-in gastro distillery. Built in 1914, the two-story Victorian style pyramid house was originally a livery stable used to service the workhorses that pulled heavy ore carts to the mines. This is where the distillery’s logo comes from, an old horseshoe found during renovation. After being a stable, it turned into a garage business until 1942. And despite the burning down of the nearby Silver King Coalition Mines Company building in 1981, the old livery stable still stands today as a heritage-listed site, opening as a distillery and restaurant in 2007.
As soon as you walk inside the venue, you’re transported to an authentic old west saloon. Old bottles plaster the walls behind the hostess, while a General Store is located directly near the entrance selling glasses, soaps, signs and, of course, whiskey. Countrya and bluegrass music fill room while the scent of wood chips and whiskey permeates the air. This isn’t surprising, as behind the bar are not only some of Utah’s most attractive and talented bartenders, but also the state’s widest selection of whiskey.
High West uses the term “saloon” to refer to a time when these establishments were the fanciest — and sometimes only — choices for dining. Picture typical western fare done in a nouveau tapas fashion, like whiskey cheese fondue, black coffee & bourbon glazed cod and a Black Angus tri tip with a whiskey BBQ drizzle.
Even better are the drinks, an impressive menu of innovative handcrafted whiskey cocktails. While the “Dead Man’s Boots” features Double Rye Whiskey and tequila with fresh lime and ginger beer, the “Cochise” combines Silver Oat Whiskey with tart grapefruit, lime juice and fresh ginger. Then there’s the “Tripperary 703,” a classic cocktail with a High West spin featuring a herbaceous mixture of pomegranate juice, Chartreuse, Dolin Dry Vermouth and Son of Bourye Whiskey.
And the whiskey doesn’t stop there. Once it’s time for dessert, opt for three whiskies paired with six handcrafted chocolates from local chocolatier Ruth Kendrick. Key Lime & Meyer Lemon is matched with a High West Silver OMG Pure Rye, while Pomegranate & Mint pairs perfectly with a classic High West Double Rye. Next, sample beehive honey & spiced pumped with the one-of-a-kind bourbon and rye blended High West Bourye.
High West offers distillery tours daily at 12:30pm, 1:45pm and 3:00pm, allowing visitors to go behind the scenes and see exactly how the small-batch spirits are made. View the traditional 250-gallon copper pot still where the whiskey is distilled, as well as sample some of their mountain-crafted products. Reservations for tours are highly recommended and can be made by calling 435-649-8300.