Local Author Profile: Golden Elixir of the West; Whiskey and the Shaping of America

Golden Elixir of the West, Jane Perkins



Jane Perkins, co-founder of High West Distillery combined her knowledge of whiskey and love for old west history to co-author, along with Sherry Monahan, Golden Elixir of the West; Whiskey And The Shaping Of America.

Whiskey has long been a part of Jane’s family history. In 1886, her great-grandfather was the owner of Duffy’s Pure Malt Whiskey. “My family rarely talked about our heritage. They seemed to consider it a less honorable profession.” Jane noted that when writing the book, she came across a blogger’s story of Walter B Duffy outsmarting Uncle Sam, which peaked her interest. She discovered there was a lot more to the story. There were 3 generations of distillery owners but Walter had a significant role in the whiskey world.

Early trailblazing, adventurous pioneers, mining, cattle era and railroad expansion were notable movements making up the settlement of the American west. Chapter by chapter, Jane’s book reveals whiskey’s relationship and influence on all of them. “The role whiskey played in the social, economic, and political landscape of our country was almost exaggerated in the west - this fascinated me!”

Jane and husband Dave visited other mountain towns before selecting Park City as the site of High West Distillery. “The overwhelmingly positive response of the folks here, who enthusiastically supported the idea of building a distillery in Old Town, convinced us to select Park City.”  They were attracted to how vibrant, compassionate, humble and well grounded this community seemed. “We adore Park City still and cherish the opportunity to be a part of it.”

The awards and notoriety High West has accumulated show Jane and Dave are on the right track and they are grateful. “We know it took a village to get this far!  We feel so fortunate we chose the right village.”

The future plans for High West are to keep up the good work and finish the facilities at the Wanship location. Blue Sky Ranch will be a state of the art luxury wilderness destination with a variety of activities that celebrate the west and High West Distillery. “I’m excited to see Blue Sky Ranch evolve and for the High West whiskey events to get even better!”


Literary, CultureBarbara Bretz