Review: Big Six Straight Bourbon Whiskey

DSR – SC – 005: Big Six Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Company/Distillery: Twelve 33 Distillery

Location: Little River, South Carolina

Mash Bill: Corn, Wheat, Rye, and Malt

Age Statement: 2 Years

Proof/ABV: 90 Proof/45% ABV

Color & Viscosity: Big Six Straight Bourbon Whiskey is light in color, similar to old gold. The viscosity of the whiskey is thin with big waves of whiskey sliding down the glass before any tear drops develop.

Purchase Price: $32.49 from Total Wine & More – Myrtle Beach – April 2021

Bottle Label Information:

Front Label

“Twelve 33 Distillery”

“Big Six Straight Bourbon Whiskey”

Rear Label

“Big Six Straight Bourbon Whiskey”

“During prohibition, bootleggers would transport liquor in cars modified to drive faster, corner better, and handle the weight of the bottled spirits. Early on, the preferred engine was the 354 cu in straight 6, or ‘Big Six’. It was powerful, smooth and consistently dependable, much like our Bourbon. Big Six is the perfect balance of corn, wheat, rye and malt, then aged two years in new American Oak Barrels to create a soft, rich flavor with notes of caramel, vanilla and banana. Please enjoy responsibly.” | (843) 663-3344″

“Bottled by Twelve 33 Distillery, Little River, South Carolina”

Neck Label

“Amendment XXI Of The United States Constitution”

“The Eighteenth Article of Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is Hereby Repealed.”

“Ratified December 1933”

Distillery Background

Twelve 33 Distillery

Twelve 33 Distillery is conveniently located just north of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in the town of Little River. The distillery was founded in 2018 by husband and wife duo Kevin and Rebecca Osborn. Mr. and Mrs. Osborn met while attending college at Michigan State University and, unbeknownst to them, would eventually live in seven different states over the course of their careers. While in college, Mr. Osborn developed a passion for brewing beer at home. Eventually his career would lead him to California where he would be presented with the opportunity to become a winemaker. After 6 years, Mr. Osborn would find out that his company was being sold and his time as a Corporate Executive was drawing to a close–a new plan needed to be put in place.

It was at this time that Mr. and Mrs. Osborn would begin exploring the possibility of opening a distillery. The idea wasn’t totally foreign to them, as they had a couple of friends in Michigan that were able to successfully open a craft distillery about 5 years earlier. Mr. Osborn would use the knowledge gleaned from his friends in Michigan, along with various workshops and distillation certification courses, to ultimately take the plunge and establish Twelve 33 Distilling.

Little River, South Carolina provided a fertile environment for building their distillery as well as growing a following for a craft distillery. Little River is located just north of one of the busiest year round travel destinations in the Mid-Atlantic in Myrtle Beach. In fact, Myrtle Beach welcomes approximately 14 million visitors per a year. Having a location just off of Highway 17 allows summer beachgoers and winter golfers alike, to easily experience South Carolina Craft Spirits and grow the brand as pleased customers take their purchases back to their home states.

Current product offerings at Twelve 33 Distillery include Intemperance Vodka, Jo-Jo Gin, 3 Peppers Vodka, Big Six Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Restitution Rye Whiskey, Mullet Creek Silver Rum, Crusader Spiced Rum, Carolina Peach Vodka, Sweet Tea Vodka, and Arethusa Single Barrel Rum.

Visiting Myrtle Beach or need additional information about the distillery? Check out their website!

Big Six Straight Bourbon Whiskey

The bottle of Big Six Straight Bourbon Whiskey we tasted for this review was sourced. This allows Twelve 33 to distill new make on-site and age it to perfection. No information regarding the source or the state of distillation was available at the time of this review. The mash bill used includes corn, rye, wheat, and barley. The distillery uses two stills affectionately named “Bonnie”, a 500-gallon stripping still, and “Clyde”, a German Column Still, to distill their spirits. The straight bourbon whiskey is then aged in new American oak barrels for at least 3 years before being bottled. Kevin Osborn, Twelve 33 Distillery President, currently holds the title of Head Distiller at the distillery.

Tasting Notes

Tasting Date/Vessel: June 28, 2021 – Neat in Glencairn Glass


Christian: In the bottle, Big Six Straight Bourbon Whiskey smells sweet with notes of caramel and corn. A touch of ethanol is present but not overbearing. In my Glencairn glass, the nose of this whiskey retains the sweetness. I notice subtle aromas of store bought honey, vanilla, and graham crackers. Nothing is overly potent and remains delicate even after several swirls. An additional swirl of my glass allows a subtle punch of a floral note to jump out of the glass. A gentle but nice nose is present on Twelve 33’s bourbon offering.


Christian: Twelve 33 Distillery Big Six Straight Bourbon Whiskey has a thin but oily consistency mouth feel. On the tip of my tongue, the first thing I notice is a rush of corn. As I take a second sip, I notice a very light taste of oak accompanied by an inkling of caramel and vanilla. This whiskey is a little one dimensional on the palate. Corn dominates and little else is present. Another sip of this whiskey brings forward a bit of a cereal note that reminds me of Corn Pops Cereal–a touch of corn with a hit of sugary sweet caramel.


Christian: The finish on this whiskey is short to medium and relatively dry then transitions to a chalkiness. There is a slight bitterness in the back end from the oak barrel tannins. Again, lots of corn sticks around long after the whiskey is gone. This corn flavor is joined by a wood note. Finally, I notice a little bit of citrus climbing into the picture.

Our Rating

Final Thoughts

Christian: I was excited to hear about a new distillery beginning to operate just outside of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina – a location I visit at least once a year. The Big Six Straight Bourbon Whiskey by Twelve 33 Distilling is a solid start for this young distillery. This offering does not present with some of the offensive heat and ethanol forward profiles that young whiskey can sometime bring, a huge kudos to their distilling process. Overall, Big Six Straight Bourbon Whiskey is smooth and approachable, drinking below its advertised proof point. I feel that it is currently lacking in depth and complexity, which is characteristic of a young whiskey. The flavor profile is very corn forward–something that could likely be corrected with more time in the barrel and perhaps a little higher proof. As a result, I decided not to review this one with any water added, as it would only water down the whiskey more which didn’t seem beneficial. I like the direction that the distillery is moving and hope to try some of the in-house distilled spirits in the near future.

Rating: 2.25 Rickhouses


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