South Mountain Distillery is located in the South Mountains of North Carolina, where generations of Smiths have lived since the 1700s. The Smiths claim a long history of distilling spirits that dates back to the Gold Rush of the mid 1800s, including operation during the Prohibition era. They still distill whiskey and rum, although they are probably most recognized for their moonshine. One of the brand’s most obscure products is this: a single malt whiskey called Dignified, bottled with no age statement.
The nose is aromatic and funky, offering a bold potpourri of peppermint, thyme, musty vegetals, buttered corn, fresh sawdust, and fresh-cut grass. The palate mostly follows suit with its vegetal and grassy character prominent, along with the introduction of some cinnamon notes added to the peppermint-driven spiciness, giving it a welcome, soft sweetness akin to apple pie filling. The finish lingers warmly on the mint notes, as well as offering some subtle syrupy sweetness that is reminiscent of flat Coca-Cola. In some ways it reminds me of an outsized variation of Irish single malt.
There’s a lot going on in this whiskey. Although it may not be fit for the general audience, it’s certainly an interesting and off-the-beaten-path experience worth trying at least once. Alas, going well off the beaten path is perhaps the only route you can take to get the chance to experience it.
B / $50 / southmountaindistillery.com