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American

Southern Star Double Rye

$35

OVERALL
RATING

7

Whiskey Review: Southern Star Double Rye

Tasting Notes:

About:
A blend of two straight rye whiskeys finished in ex-bourbon barrels. Bottled at 44% ABV and priced at $35.
Appearance:
The look in the glass here is a decent moderate amount of golden amber, supported by okay legs and excellent viscosity.
Nose:
The rye blend is shown in the aromatics, with a subtle but noticeable spicy note playing upfront. Supporting it is some vanilla sweetness and a little oak nod, joined by some mellow pear, apricot, and a wee bit of toasted chocolate.
Palate:
This is pretty chill on the palate, offering fruity rye notes, a hint of vanilla sweetness, and some oak considerations. Playing into the dance card alongside these are a light sweet cherry, creme brulee, coriander, and a buttery popcorn nod.
Finish:
It finishes like it starts, subtle but with a noticeable spice ending on the back throat as it fades off in a moderate amount of time.
Comments:
The Southern Star Double Rye isn’t a sexy whiskey or a wallflower. It holds its own pretty well in the highly crowded rye category, though you’ll likely want to ask for a pour off the back bar before you get a bottle.
Southern Star Double Rye review
We review Southern Star Double Rye, a blend of two straight rye whiskeys finished in ex-bourbon barrels. (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 Double Rye, is a blend of two straight rye whiskeys finished in ex-bourbon barrels. It is aged at least two years in new American oak before being bottled at 44% ABV.

The pricing of this rye whiskey was around $35 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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