Whiskey Review: Cathead Distillery Old Soul Straight Bourbon

, | February 2, 2022

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Cathead Distillery. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

Cathead Distillery is Mississippi’s oldest and first legally licensed distillery, but in terms of age, it would not be legally allowed to order any of its product. Age might be nothing but a number, but age is also associated with ability and quality especially when it comes to whiskey. This association is so strong that it’s often used when it comes to what producers call the product. The “O” section often takes up the most space on a whiskey list or a liquor store shelf because OLD is often the first word in the name on the label, often accompanied by a sepia toned photograph of a gentleman that fits that description.

Cathead’s Straight Bourbon Whiskey uses OLD in their name as well, but it is not referring to anyone’s particular history. An “old soul” is commonly used to describe someone who seems wise beyond their age. Or, as someone who appears to be from another era. Old Soul Straight Bourbon seems to be figuratively and literally representing themselves in both manners of the term. The design of the bottle throws back to when all bottles looked like wine bottles, replete with punt on the bottom. The labeling and fonts also harken to an earlier time.

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The 2021 Small Batch Old Soul Bourbon (90 proof) is a precise blend of whiskey, each with an identical high-rye mash bill of 21% rye, 75% corn, and 4% malted barley. This release is aged for even longer than its Old Soul predecessors (over four years vs. the previous 2-year-old spirit.)

As well as seeming wise, or from some other time, an “old soul” can also refer to someone who is empathic. An old soul is someone who listens and tries to understand your thoughts, feelings, and attitudes. That also sounds like a bartender to me. Well, Old Soul Straight Bourbon, I’m here. I’m listening, and am very much looking forward to understanding your story. Let’s have a taste.

Old Soul Straight Bourbon Whiskey review

Old Soul Straight Bourbon Whiskey 2021 (image via Cathead)

Tasting Notes: Cathead Distillery Old Soul Straight Bourbon

Vital Stats: 90 proof (45% A.B.V.) A blend of identical mash bills consisting of 21% rye, 75% corn, and 4% malted barley. Distilled in Indiana and Mississippi. No age statement. 88 barrels produced. Suggested price of $49.99 per 750ml bottle.

Appearance: It is very interesting how the large punt makes the whiskey appear almost transparent in the lower part of the bottle. In the glass, it has a pale straw color in the tasting glass. It catches the light well and offers a golden hue when held up.

Nose: The first approach offers a distinct buttered popcorn aroma. A closer inspection reveals fresh cut grass and tree nuts. Acetone and lactic acid are also noticeable.

Palate: Caramelized sugar and that hint of buttered popcorn from the nose are introduced right away. A surprising amount of depth shows up as it lingers on the palate, with green apple and apricot. It’s warm, with a medium finish.

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The Takeaway


I do think that this whipper snapper contains a lot more integrity than you might assume. It may be a bit lighter than some other high rye bourbons that you may be accustomed to. It would also be interesting to see how it would hold up in a cocktails. The assumption would be that it would be lost. But that’s the thing about old souls. They often surprise you.

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Jason Marshall

Jason Marshall has spent his career as a bartender advocate and mentor , providing an opportunity for the best new faces and ideas to flourish. The process has given him opportunities to stretch creatively, develop wonderful people who branched out to their own passions, and host cocktail competitions with a...