The American Spirit: Exploring Whiskey Distilleries from Across the Nation “The South”

Join me as we embark on a journey through the heartlands of America’s rich whiskey culture where we will dive deep into the diverse and captivating world of whiskey distilleries found across the nation. From the rugged landscapes of Kentucky to the bustling cityscapes of New York, each region boasts its own unique distilling traditions and flavor profiles. In this week’s article we visit distilleries in Georgia, Virginia, Florida, and South Carolina. So, raise a glass to the spirit of discovery as we uncover some hidden gems of whiskey from coast to coast.

Georgia: Thirteenth Colony Distillery

Americus, GA

Over the last year or so, Thirteenth Colony has been making a huge splash in the bourbon world as a new go to whiskey for many enthusiasts. Last year may have been the first time many people had heard the name Thirteenth Colony; their start began over 13 years ago. In 2009 a group of friends wanted to create holiday gifts for their friends and family. What started as a few bottles here and there became something much more. They asked the question, “If we make liquor for the friends we know, should we make it for the friends we don’t know yet?”. That answer was yes! Now, years later, Thirteenth Colony is proud to be the state oldest operating distillery in the state of Georgia. That are a family-owned and operated distillery that sources local and regional materials whenever possible. The source everything from using corn from their own private farm and water from the oldest aquifer in the southeast. 

Their Whiskey: (They also make Gin and Vodka. Visit their website for more info)

Currently distributed in 8 States:  Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas & West Virginia

Double Oaked Bourbon Whiskey – $199.99
Mashbill: 70% Corn | 21% Rye | 9% Malted Barley
2023 Release: 135.3 Proof | 3216 bottles | Sold out at the Distillery
Distillery Tasting Notes: Notes of Maple smoked bacon, cream soda, orange blossom, toffee blen with maple drizzled pancakes, dry aged beef, peppercorn, and sea salt caramel.

Southern Bourbon Whiskey – $44.99
Mashbill: 70% Corn | 21% Rye | 9% Malted Barley | 95 Proof | Age: 4-6 years
Distillery Tasting Notes: Medium to long finish, sweet corn cobs, leather, cinnamon, tobacco, and cherry.

Southern Rye Whiskey – $44.99
Mashbill: 95% Rye | 5% Malted Barley | 95 Proof | Age: 4-6 years
Distillery Tasting Notes: Medium slow finish, rye grain, warm fruit, brown sugar, dried apricot

Virginia: Virginia Distillery Co

Lovingston, VA

In the 1970’s, George G. Moore moved from his home in Ireland to Virginia in search of a better life and better opportunities. With him he brought two passions. The love of business and the love of single malt whiskey. In 2011, after being successful in business in both Ireland and the United states, George finally got the chance to merge his passion of business and whiskey in one and started the Virginia Distillery Company. After George’s passing, the company is helmed by his wife Angela Moore and their son, Gareth Moore, along with his wife, Maggie Moore. Together they work to continue building George’s dream.

From their Website:
“Have the courage of your convictions,” was a saying George often repeated to friends and family. His credo became our core principle and the name of our newest American Single Malt whisky line, Courage & Conviction.

Their Whiskey: (They are multiple expression and finishes. To learn more, visit their website.)

Courage & Conviction Signature Malt – $69.99
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley | matured in former Sherry, Bourbon and Cuvée wine casks | 92 Proof | Age: 4 years
Distillery Tasting Notes: Nose: Caramel and butterscotch. Palate: Bright red fruit, raspberry, cocoa, barrel spice and vanilla. Finish: Creamy and exceptionally smooth.

Courage & Conviction Double Cask Reserve – $89.99
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley | first fill bourbon casks and STR European red wine Cuvée casks before being vatted together for a gradual, gentle marriage| 96 Proof | Age: 5 years
Distillery Tasting Notes: Nose: Bright citrus, apricot, and butterscotch. Palate: Tart cherry mingles with milk chocolate. Finish: Soft and lingering ginger spice finish

Courage & Conviction Bourbon Cask
Mashbill: 100% malted barley | matured in former first-fill Bourbon casks sourced from Kentucky. Aging in Bourbon casks | 92 Proof | Age: 4 Years
Distillery Tasting Notes: Nose: Caramel and butterscotch. Palate: Vanilla and toffee. Finish: Creamy, with a lingering hint of cinnamon

Florida: Saint Augustine Distillery

Saint Augustine, FL

Voted number one ‘Whiskey Distillery Tour in North America in 2018, Saint Augustine Distillery opened its doors a restored ice plant five years earlier. Saint Augustine Distillery was the first distillery to produce barreled bourbon in Florida since Prohibition and now offers tours so that visitors can experience how their bourbon is produced. 

Their Whiskey: (They also make Rum, Gin and Vodka. Visit their website for more info)

Florida Straight Bourbon – $49.99
Mashbill: 60% Florida corn | 22% barley | 18% Florida wheat | 88 Proof | Age: 3 years
Distillery Tasting Notes: Nose: Deep and warm with notes of toffee, cinnamon marshmallow, leather, stone fruit, and vanilla and dark cocoa.  Taste: Full bodied, deep and complex. Hints of tobacco, caramel, brazil nut, chocolate and baking spices. Finish: Sweet, smooth and creamy. Round and lingering.

Port Finished Bourbon – $80.00
Mashbill: 60% Florida corn | 22% barley | 18% Florida wheat | 102 Proof | Age: 3 years
Distillery Tasting Notes: Nose: Ripe plum and cherries, salted caramel, fig newton, fruit leather, cast iron skillet cornbread, unripe honeydew melon. Taste: Sweet entry, full, creamy coating, honeysuckle, black pepper, dark cherry and raisins. Caramel, vanilla, and coconut.

South Carolina: Six & Twenty Distillery

Greenville, SC

Their website says it best: “Our name is derived from a beautiful love story, and we all love a good love story…

A Choctaw woman, an English trader, an improbable affair, and a daring escape. A race against all odds for her to save him from a Cherokee attack. This is the stuff of legends, a legend born in South Carolina, like us.

Our original distillery rests on a piece of the very land that the woman, Isaqueena, raced across to save the love of her life. And like her, we’re driven by a great passion: a labor of love to create the best local spirits that are nothing short of legendary.”

Their Whiskey: (They also make Limited whiskey releases as well as bourbon cream, Rum, Gin and Vodka. Visit their website for more info)

Old Money Wheat Whiskey – $39.99
Mashbill: Soft Red Winter Wheat | Barley | 80 Proof | Age: 3 years
Distillery Tasting Notes: On the nose there is vanilla and maple. The taste is smooth with notes of caramel, vanilla and maple.

5-Grain Bourbon – $39.99
Mashbill: 60% Corn | Soft Red Winter Wheat | Barley | Black Seashore Rye | Carolina Gold Rice |  90 Proof | Age: 3 years
Distillery Tasting Notes: Nose: Smoke, spice and sugar. Taste: Cinnamon, vanilla, and black pepper.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this article. Have you had any of these whiskeys?  What states and distilleries should we visit next? Post it in the comments. You know I love conversation and will reply to you. As always, I want to thank you so much for taking the time to read this. Until the next Whiskey Wednesday, if you’re going to enjoy a little smoke & oak just remember, “Life’s too short, enjoy the good stuff…” and do it responsibly!

Charles Ruth

Charles Ruth

I am the husband of an amazing woman who shares my love for cigars and the father to 3 wonderful kids. I am the president of the Tri-Star Herf Crew. A social cigar club based in Tennessee with family all around the country. I grew up in Kentucky where I fell in love with the taste and history of Bourbon and American whiskey. I applied for the review position at CP when it first started and was reviewer number 4. I love sharing my love, thoughts, feeling, and knowledge of cigars and Bourbon with all our readers.