Charleston Distilling Company Projects February Opening

barrelbath

That barrel is a bathroom!

Although two Charleston distilleries beat Charleston Distilling Company to the starting gate, the King Street distillery’s owner and master distiller maintain their spirits will be worth the wait.

“We are making a much higher-end product,” owner Stephen Heilman says.

According to master distiller Brent Stephens, “other places are just trucking in alcohol,” referring to the common-but-contentious craft spirits practice of purchasing neutral grain spirits to cut with water or redistill (The American Distilling Institute neatly summarized both sides of the ongoing debate in a newsletter headline: “Bulk Neutral Spirits, Cheating, Or A Blank Canvas to Work With?”) By contrast, Stephens says, Charleston Distilling Company will handle every aspect of production, from milling the rice and corn for its vodka to barrel-aging its gin.

Earlier this week, the Post & Courier’s Abigail Darlington reported the distillery was on the brink of completing construction at 501 King Street. The distillery is aiming to finish its build-out by year’s end, but Heilman and Stephens don’t anticipate scheduling a grand opening before February. Continue reading

High Wire Launch Party Benefits Greenway Supporters

Drinking and driving may not mix, but High Wire Distilling Co. has come up with a lovely way to make cocktails compatible with biking and walking: The Charleston distillery next week is hosting a spirits launch party to benefit Friends of the Lowcountry Lowline, a greenway advocacy group.

The event at Warehouse runs from 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m. next Wednesday, Nov. 20. Attendees will be treated to cocktails featuring High Wire’s gin, vodka and silver rum in return for a suggested $5 donation.

Dissecting the Difference Between Corn Vodka and Unaged Whiskey

spvodkaCharleston’s Striped Pig Distillery, which this week released its first batch of spirits, recently dropped off a sample bottle of its Striped Vodka. If you’re wondering how the liquor tastes, imagine a rowdy Saturday night followed by a Sunday family dinner which ends with you face down in a bowl of creamed corn.

The vodka comes by its alcoholic sting and corny sweetness naturally: It’s distilled from Bowman, S.C. corn. The mash bill led an editor here to wonder about the difference between vodka and white whiskey, which is equally clear in color and also made from corn. Since I couldn’t adequately explain, I put the question to distilling expert Matthew Rowley, author of Moonshine!

“The difference between vodka and white whiskey boils down to three things: ingredients, oak, and proof,” Rowley says. Continue reading