Whiskey being distilled and stored in an old prison? Yes, that’s right!
At Southern Grace Distilleries in Mount Pleasant, you can go behind bars to see a former prison that has been repurposed into a distillery. Whiskey barrels age in the old dormitories — and even in solitary confinement. It may sound like a bizarre way to repurpose an old prison, but it’s actually ingenious. The barrels are safe (!), and since there isn’t HVAC, they’re exposed to the needed temperature fluctuations to have the whiskey breathe in and out of the wood over time.
The distillery’s Conviction Bourbon is a mash bill of 88 percent corn and 12 percent malted barley. It’s distilled and aged on site, and then barreled at 100 proof. Each bottle has the proof, barrel and bottle numbers so you can see all of its details before you buy. Conviction bourbon may be a relative newcomer to the bourbon community, but it has picked up significant accolades. It was just named best Bourbon under four years at the 2019 New Orleans Bourbon Festival.
Tasting notes: On the nose, the sweet corn is upfront with the touch of oak and caramel. At first sip, the slight spice of the malted barley mixes in beautifully. The finish is a bit short revealing a younger whiskey but definitely one to seek out and enjoy. Highly recommended in the obligatory May mint juleps.
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