Axios Salt Lake City

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1 big thing: The 19th century law guiding High West's new direction

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

High West is putting the focus on its own distilled whiskey with a limited release bottle prepared under strict guidelines of a 127-year-old law.

The intrigue: High West rose to national prominence by elevating the art of blending whiskey that was actually distilled elsewhere.

  • By contrast, its new "Bottled in Bond" rye whiskey follows a process that rigidly emphasizes provenance, giving the Summit County distillery a chance to take its own barrels out for a spin and see what they can do.

Catch up fast: Bottled-in-bond (BIB) spirits follow federal regulations drafted in 1897 after Kentucky distillers complained they were being priced out by wholesalers passing off rudimentary jungle juice as bourbon.

Details: The law has loosened over the years, but it originally granted a certification to 100-proof whiskey in its "original condition or character," distilled in a single season by one distiller and aged at least four years in an approved warehouse.

Between the lines: The process "provides such an intimate picture of what was going on in the distiller at that moment in time," said Isaac Winter, High West's director of distilling.

Why it matters: That's a big departure from the approach that made High West famous.

The bottom line: That was "a gamble at the time," Whisky Advocate noted, but it redefined the market.

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2. 🥃 Old rules for a modern palate

Photo: Erin Alberty/Axios

Although High West's latest release is all in-house, its tradition of blending is part of what enabled it.

State of play: As craft whiskey took off in recent decades, blending provided immediate revenue that gave startup producers the time they needed to perfect their own distilling, which takes years.

Zoom in: Those years gave High West a robust inventory to choose from in crafting Bottled in Bond.

  • "Whether that was a big aromatic spice profile, or deep vanilla notes from barrel impact, we really had the luxury of picking our absolute favorite lots to drive complexity in this blend," Winter said.

Flashback: High West's Bottled in Bond was distilled in 2018, "right before we shut down to totally change, and improve, our whiskey making process from grain to glass," Winter said.

How it works: BIB whiskeys tend to have a savory profile, and the high alcohol content helps their flavor hold up in cocktails — a feature that has driven their popularity in recent years.

Erin here! My family scored a bottle the day after it was released last weekend ($79.99, sold only in Park City and Wanship). I found it peppery, with a lovely Christmas-spice finish.

  • It's my favorite High West product since the early bottles of Midwinter Night's Dram. And it tells a good story.

3. ❤️ Restaurants to dine at for Valentine's Day

Courtesy: Contribution Cocktail Lounge at the Hyatt Regency

Valentine's Day is less than a week away. Treat your loved one while supporting local restaurants on this special holiday.

Be smart: Make your reservations sooner than later.

Adelaide at the Le Meridien hotel is offering a tasting menu on Feb. 15 for $90 a person. Reservations.

Avenues Proper is featuring a five-course menu for $75 each with plates like braised lamb shake and smoked eggplant ravioli. Reservations.

Table X is featuring a winter tasting menu Feb. 14-17. The 7-course meal is $130 per person. Wine pairings are included. Reservations.

Urban Hill, headed by James Beard-semifinalist chef Nick Zocco, is introducing a four-course meal for $95 per person. You can add wine pairings for an additional $45 . Reservations.

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4. Fry Sauce: A blend of headlines

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

🏀 Natalie Cline, a member of the Utah State Board of Education, posted photos of a high school girls basketball team on Facebook, questioning a player's gender. (Salt Lake Tribune)

  • The post prompted threats against the student from Cline's followers and condemnation of Cline from other elected officials and LGBTQ+ advocates.

💰 Davis County is requesting $30 million from the Utah Legislature to fund a new homeless resource center. (FOX 13)

🪖 Utah Senate President Stuart Adams said Gov. Spencer Cox should send National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border. (Utah News Dispatch)

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5. 🥱 Chart du jour: Sleep-deprived Utahns

😴 Share of adults getting fewer than seven hours of sleep per night, on average
Data: Apple Heart and Movement Study; Map: Alice Feng/Axios

Nearly 70% of residents are slumbering less than the recommended seven hours each night.

Why it matters: Experts say sleeping hitting that mark or more is crucial for your health, but efforts to get more zzz's can be focused on the wrong things, Axios' Carly Mallenbaum reports.

By the numbers: Americans get less than six-and-a-half hours a night on average, according to a study that tracked the sleep of Apple Watch users from February to June 2022.

  • Although data of Apple users might not reflect the general population, the "fact that we don't get enough sleep [is] clear across the board," says Karin Johnson, a sleep medicine specialist and professor of neurology.

Threat level: Johnson says getting fewer than the recommended seven hours a night could increase your risk for having a stroke.

Be smart: Some basic sleep hygiene tips include keeping your room cool, reducing light exposure before bed and not looking at the time when you wake up in the middle of the night, Johnson says.

Tell a friend

🍔 Kim is making this recipe for dinner tonight.

🦖 Erin is in love with this valentine.

This newsletter was edited by Ross Terrell and copy edited by Natasha Danielle Smith and Yasmeen Altaji.