Whiskey Tasting: Dark Corner Distillery's Lewis Redmond Carolina Hand Mash Bourbon

Dark Corner Distillery in Greenville, SC is new to the whiskey world.  An Artisanal micro distillery focused on hand-spirited small batches of whiskey and other libations, Dark Corner started in 2010.  That recent start hasn't stopped them from some rapid expansion, however.  They have quite a wide range of offerings, but as of November 16th they can say something no one else in South Carolina can say: they now make bourbon.

Dark Corner had a big party to comemorate their first bottling, and I got ahold of two bottles from their first batch.  First, you need to understand that whiskey mellows the longer it is in the barrel.  Distilled the 3rd quarter of 2010 and barrelled on halloween night 2011, Lewis Redmond Carolina Hand Mash Bourbon was aged for 14 months on charred new american oak 5 gallon barrels.  This means it is going to be a bit more raw than some longer running brands, but that doesn't mean it isn't a great bourbon.  For new-make bourbon this is as smooth as it comes.  They replace a lot of the rye normally used in bourbon with red wheat, giving it a sweeter top note, quickly resolving to carmel and vanilla.  Its young age leaves a nice sour apple finish that is crisp and refreshing. 

They currently barrel 30 gallons of bourbon per month, and are now using 15 gallon barrels. This years barreling won't be tapped until late next year at the earliest.  I'm hoping to some day see how well this bourbon holds up to 6-12 years in a barrel, if their first batch is any indication it will quickly become a classic.   It will likely be a while before many of my readers get a chance to taste this whiskey, but if you run across it you owe it to yourself to give it a try.