Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. 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 in this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
Whiskey companies started by women, even in this day and age, are still a relatively scarce consideration versus the overall total percentage of ownership across the industry. For Christi Lower, a former pediatric surgery PA, mother of four, and whiskey enthusiast, she chose to ask “why?” when starting her own spirits company, Highline Spirits, that’s based out of Michigan.
For Lower, she envisioned “a transformative spirits company untethered by tradition, history, orientation, gender, or beliefs.” Not only in her mind did this mean challenging gender norms in the spirits industry, but also going against traditional distilling taboos. For her, she’s focused Highline on “sourcing, blending, batching, and special-finishing super-premium and ultra-premium small-batch spirits completely unique unto themselves.”
“As I started learning about the industry over ten years ago,” said Lower when she launched her brand last August, “I was fascinated with the evolution of a spirit based on weather, terroir, wood, grain, and yeast. Yet I was also struck by how myopic the final distillate landing in the bottle could be. Most whiskey on the shelf is controlled by a very small group of people, marketing to an American consumer who no longer looks as it did when the industry started.
“Our culture is evolving. Our spirits should also be evolving with different personalities, perspectives and practices to reflect that growth and dimension.”
To this end, alongside hiring a diverse staff, Highline entered the market with four limited edition, flagship products. The one I’m reviewing today, Highline Bourbon, is a blend of five, six and eight year bourbons, including “two high ryes from Indiana and a heritage Kentucky bourbon with high malt barley content.”
Certified Kosher and bottled at 51% ABV, it is pricing at $64.99. Availability is currently in Michigan and also online.
Tasting Notes: Highline Bourbon
Vital Stats: blend of five, six and eight year bourbons (Indiana high rye, Kentucky high malt); bottled at 51% ABV; $64.99.
Appearance: A nice, typical orange-brown liquid in glass. Viscosity in glass holds well against inner walls.
Nose: Some muted orange, vanilla, oak, brown sugar and stone fruit here – nothing in particular stands out.
Palate: Flavors run across the palate of baking bread, black spice, brown sugar, almond paste, caramel and a bit of vanilla. The finish is ok, a little sweet and hot at the end.