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Southern Star Paragon Bottled-In-Bond




Whiskey Review: Southern Star Paragon Bottled-In-Bond

Tasting Notes:

A wheated bourbon distilled from 70% corn, 16% wheat, and 14% barley that’s been aged at least four years. Bottled at 100 proof, it is priced at $60.
You’ve got that typical golden amber color in glass here, tilting in the middle range, supported by light legs and viscosity.
A velvet softness drifts out of the glass on the aromatics, reflecting that gentle wheat influence. Present here are considerations of decadent brown sugar, a subtle vanilla, caramel custard, an oak nod and gentle baked bread out of the oven.
Compared to other Southern Distilling products on the review palate lately, this one takes it home. It is smooth velvet on this offering, a real easing into the sweetness the wheat influence helps convey. What to take note of here includes some nice vanilla, a yummy caramel, baked pears, gingerbread, and a nip of oak.
The finish on this isn’t overly complex—I wish it were a bit more—but it does hold well, with a gentle easing into the back throat and a moderate amount of fade.
Wheated bourbons done right make excellent sippers or cocktail-friendly spirits. Southern Star Paragon Bottled-In-Bond plays that card quite well, presenting a classic example of what this whiskey specialty could be—nicely played.
Southern Star Paragon Bottled-In-Bond review
We review Southern Star Paragon Bottled-In-Bond, a wheated bourbon distilled from 70% corn, 16% wheat, and 14% barley that’s been aged at least four years and bottled at 100 proof. (image via Southern Distilling Company)

Editor’s Note: We received a review sample of this whiskey from the brand. However, in accordance with our editorial policies, this has not influenced the outcome of our review in any way.

North Carolina has long been known as a state with some of the strictest spirit laws. It was one of the first southern states to enter Prohibition on May 26, 1908 (more than a decade earlier than most states). When things went wrong, an entire industry was seriously impacted, particularly in Statesville, which was known pre-Prohibition as the ‘Liquor Capital of the World’ due to the numerous distilleries in the area.

Fast-forward many years to 2013, and, in Statesville, Southern Distilling Company, founded by Pete and Vienna Barger, is doing its part to highlight NC’s long—and sometimes overlooked—history in whiskey making. Vienna, in particular, takes an active role in the legislative process, impacting and innovating the laws governing the industry across the state, such as bringing liquor sales on Sundays in North Carolina and giving distillers the right to sell bottles in tasting rooms.

While these attempts have been ongoing to shake off the residuals of Prohibition in North Carolina, the distillery team at Southern Distilling Company has been busy with a wide range of whiskeys. It partners with local farms to source grains for their whiskey and, in turn, in a nod to sustainability, sends the spent grain from the distilling process back to farms to help feed livestock.

The distillery sits on 20 acres of historic agricultural farmland, framed by a 30,000-square-foot modern, two-story glass-fronted distillery.

What’s in the bottle

The whiskey being reviewed here from Southern Distilling Company, Southern Star Paragon Bottled-In-Bond, is an American wheated bourbon (mash bill: 70% corn, 16% wheat, 14% barley) that meets the requirements to be labeled bottled-in-bond and is part of the distillery’s Paragon Collection. It is aged at least four years in new American oak before being bottled at 50% ABV.

The pricing of this whiskey was around $60 when this review was published.

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Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions. He also maintains a large private collection of whiskey from which he continually educates his palate on this brown spirit type.

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