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 today, are still a relatively scarce consideration compared to the overall total percentage of ownership across the industry. Christi Lower, a former pediatric surgery PA, mother of four, and whiskey enthusiast, chose to ask “why?” when starting her own spirits company, Highline Spirits, 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. 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 American Whiskey, is a little different of an animal compared to the other spirits I’ve reviewed from them to date. This is a blend of two high-rye Indiana bourbons, a Kentucky heritage bourbon, and a straight wheat whiskey, all finished in new American, French, and Hungarian toasted oak barrels.
Bottled at 56% ABV, it is priced at $139.99.