DSR – SC – 011: New Southern Revival Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Company/Distillery: High Wire Distilling Company
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Mash Bill: 100% Jimmy Red Corn
Age Statement: Aged 2 Years
Proof/ABV: 113.9 Proof/56.95% ABV
Color & Viscosity: Viewing this bourbon from the bottle, a deep reddish brown, similar to old red oak, radiates through the bottle. Poured into a Glencarin glass, the whiskey reveals a rich mahogany hue.
This New Southern Revival bourbon appears oily and viscous sitting in the tasting vessel. Tilting the glass to the side produces a thin viscous line yielding tiny, pin head sized beads of whiskey remaining.
Purchase Price: $89.99 for 750 ml bottle.
Bottle Label Information:
“New Southern Revival Brand”
“Straight Bourbon Whiskey”
“Made with 100% Jimmy Red Corn”
“Distilled With Pride By High Wire Distilling Company, Charleston, S.C.”
“New Southern Revival Brand is a celebration of the diverse agricultural traditions of our region. A true revival spirit, this whiskey began as a labor of love to save Jimmy Red Corn from near extinction. Little did we know, we were preserving some of the finest whiskey corn in the country. Smooth and silky with a rich mouth feel, this straight bourbon whiskey is our pride and joy.”
“Aged 2 Years | Non-Chill Filtered”
“Batch No. SB543 | Bottle No. 135”
“Located in historic downtown Charleston, High Wire Distilling Co. is dedicated to making premium, handcrafted spirits. We seek the finest ingredients available and develop our recipes using a creative, culinary approach. All of our products are batch distilled in a hand-hammered, copper still to create the finest Southern spirits available. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do! Cheers, Ann & Scott”
High Wire Distilling Company
High Wire Distilling Company was founded in 2013 by the husband and wife team of Scott Blackwell and Ann Marshall. Blackwell and Marshall, both alumnus of Duke University, come from a robust background in culinary arts having previously held positions as a pie maker, restaurant owner, coffee roaster, and commercial baker. Prior to opening High Wire Distilling Company, Mr. Blackwell sold his bakery, formerly known as Immaculate Baking Company, to General Mills. After the sale of the bakery, the couple considered opening a Charleston Brewery before finally settling on a craft distillery. The duo used their extensive knowledge of grains, yeasts, manufacturing, and production to launch High Wire Distilling Company.
High Wire Distilling Company uses Jimmy Red corn to set its whiskey apart from other producers. As the story goes, Jimmy Red corn had practically gone extinct when a moonshiner holding the last two cobs passed away. Blackwell and Marshall reached out to local farmer, Glenn Roberts, who introduced the distillery to Jimmy Red corn; a strain of corn he had been working to bring back from the brink of extinction.
High Wire Distilling Company operates a 2,000-liter (528-gallon) Kothe Hybrid pot and column still. In 2020, the distillery moved from its 6,000 square feet facility on Upper King Street to its new 43,000 square feet facility formally known as the Sears Tire Warehouse. In addition to the Kothe Hybrid Still, High Wire added a Carl Pot Still from Germany along with a new state-of-the-art chilling system.
High Wire Distilling Company currently produces Hat Trick Extraordinarily Fine Botanical Gin, New Southern Revival Brand Jimmy Red Straight Bourbon Whiskey, New Southern Revival Brand Rye Whiskey, Southern Amaro Liqueur, and Hometown Vodka. Additional information about High Wire Distilling Company and its special release offerings can be located on their website.
New Southern Revival Brand Straight Bourbon Whiskey
New Southern Revival Brand Straight Bourbon Whiskey is distilled using a mash bill of 100% South Carolina Jimmy Red Corn. The whiskey is aged for a minimum of 2 years in new American oak barrels with a 3.5 level char. The batch we sampled was bottled at 113.9 proof and was purchased on site at the distillery in late 2022.
Tasting Date/Vessel: April 5, 2022 – Neat in a Glencairn glass; Then with a few drops of distilled water.
Christian: In the bottle, this Southern Revival Brand Straight Bourbon Whiskey exudes intense oak barrel char. After resting for a few minutes, a second pass allows subtle aromas of rich tobacco and sweet raspberries to join. My mouth is watering from the first sniff, such sweet and delicious aromas.
In my Glencairn glass, the nose on this bourbon smells rich and robust. A trace of ethanol is present but not overbearing given the proof. Notes of brown sugar, sweet syrup, vanilla, and dark berries are present. There is a touch of unfamiliar woodiness, similar to pine or maple saw dust, present. A gentle swirl brings forth vanilla and creamed sweet corn into the picture. The sugars released from the charred wood are really fantastic in this nose. Adding a few drops of distilled water really brings out a young woody note similar to raw pine, specifically the sap’s sweetness. A touch of honey and sweet corn bread are detected.
Mike: As I nose this 100% Jimmy Red Corn whiskey from the bottle, I detect dense oak char aromas that transition to cured tobacco, then to dark berries and finally warmed brown sugar. Pleasantly aromatic.
From the glass, notes of aged oak with a trace of ethanol hit first before conceding to inviting dark brown sugar and raw honey undertones. A gentle swirl of the tasting vessel produces hints of caramelized sugar, indicative of the brittle topping on crème brulee.
Christian: This bourbon offers a silky creamy consistency feeling on my tongue. A very light oily coating can be detected. There is no doubt you are sipping on a cask strength whiskey. The corn sweetness from the 100% Jimmy Red Corn mash bill hits first then gives way to creamy caramel corn, a smidgen of smoke, and cinnamon candy disks. On the first sip, the ethanol really punches you in the face, but stick with it because a burst of rich flavors is forthcoming. The distilled water really tames the proof on this pour allowing copious amounts of brown sugar, corn, and vanilla graham crackers.
Mike: This bourbon from High Wire Distilling presents sweet, with a light and crisp mouthfeel upfront. Notes of apple give way quickly to significant flavors of sweet cinnamon. A surge of heat and spice charges front to back, giving a nice kick to the back of the throat. Hints of warmed caramel candies emerge then quickly fade to flavors of sweet cinnamon gum.
Christian: This offering from High Wire Distilling has a long finish that bursts from deep in the chest and sits there, warming your throat generously. At first I noticed a touch of caramel apples here – like those at the fair on a stick. Shortly thereafter, a rush of sweet toasted sugars and oak barrel char tingle on my tongue pleasantly. Distilled water takes some of the punch out of this finish, but boy the cinder in the chest remains. The flavors on the palate become a little more earthy, similar to dried straw, whilst the wood loses a bit of its sweetness and borders on bitter.
Mike: This spirit has a medium to long overall finish. I notice an enjoyable cinder in the lower throat that extends down into the mid-chest region then surges back up along the esophagus. Soft hints of tart green apple linger on the palate.
Christian: We have been wanting to try some products by High Wire Distilling for some time but we were rather fearful given the price point of $89.99. In fact, it still took us splitting the bottle into thirds and sharing the cost to give it a shot. But I am glad we did. This Straight Bourbon Whiskey from High Wire Distilling Company brings the rich, dark, sweet flavors I have grown to really enjoy and seek out in my whiskies. The 100% Jimmy Red corn mash bill offers just enough uniqueness to this pour to set it apart amongst its peers. At first, there is no doubt this whiskey is cask strength but if you stick with it, you find a nice high proof sipper. This pour is very versatile in my eyes; it drinks at its proof point neat, but quickly shows its true colors with deep rich sweetness. It becomes more approachable with an ice cube or a few drops of water, and would stand strong in an old fashioned or cocktail of your choice. If you get a chance, give it a go. I hope we find the Sorghum Whiskey to try soon!
Rating: 3.75 Rickhouses
Mike: This is a 100% corn whiskey done right! I’m really digging this offering from High Wire Distilling. High proof that punches its weight, flavorful without being overly complex and versatile allowing the consumer to add water or ice to make it more approachable when desired. The only knock is the price and by no fault of the distillery, its limited availability. For aged, 100% corn whiskey, this sets the bar very high. If you’re in the Charleston, SC area, this is a must buy in my opinion. Definitely not a daily drinker at the price point, but don’t hesitate to share it with good company!
Rating: 4.00 Rickhouses