Mississippi’s First Legal Distillery Debuts A New Bourbon

| September 16, 2019

The state of Mississippi is not a place where a lot of distilleries exist in this modern day and age. It was the first state to ratify the 18th Amendment, which prohibited alcohol sales across the country, and also the last state to abolish Prohibition in 1966. The first bourbon from an in-state whiskey maker only came to market back in 2017, so one gets a sense of how behind the national curve the local whiskey making scene is.

Those distilleries that do exist, such as Cathead Distillery (which is said to be Mississippi’s first legal distillery), are slowly trying to reverse this situation, with this outfit’s latest just now being more widely promoted.

What’s being called Old Soul Bourbon, according to those behind it, is blended from whiskeys distilled in Mississippi and Indiana (likely MGP). It has a mash bill of 75% corn, 21% rye, and 4% malted barley, and was put together by distillery co-founders Richard Patrick and Austin Evans, along with distiller Philip Ladner.

Old Soul Bourbon

Old Soul Bourbon (image via Cathead Distillery)

Interestingly, the Mississippi portion of this whiskey is said to have been “aged in traditional 53-gallon, American white oak barrels in Cathead’s barrel room in Jackson, MS. Terroir is a big factor in this bourbon’s aging process, and the strong Southern heat and humidity offer an ideal environment for maturation – and producing older flavor notes within shorter times.

“Since it’s rarely cold in Mississippi, the liquid is, for most of the year, expanding into the oak, pulling complex tannin flavors of dried fruits and notes of vanilla to the distillate. The team has found that the heat and humidity of the Jackson climate strongly advances flavors that are found in older bourbons aged in Kentucky and Indiana.”

Plans call for Old Soul to be available in Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. No price was immediately given. Official tasting notes indicate this whiskey “offers an elegant and balanced mouthfeel with notes of rose and dried cherry, followed by toffee and baking spices. Rye spice and herbaceous notes appear mid-palate and into the finish, which is rich and earthy. The bourbon’s color is a brilliant deep amber, and the nose presents sweet notes of vanilla, reminiscent of bakery goods and sugar cookies, with a hint of fresh leather.”


Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief 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...