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Whiskey Review: Cathead Distillery Old Soul Straight Bourbon

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Cathead Distillery. This in no case, by our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the purchase link at the bottom of this review, our site receives a small sponsorship payment which helps support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

Cathead Distillery is the oldest and first legally licensed distillery in Mississippi, but age-wise would not be legally allowed to order any of its products. Age may just be a number, but age is also associated with capacity and quality, especially when it comes to whisky. This association is so strong that it is often used when it comes to what producers call the product. The “O” section often takes up the most space on a whiskey list or liquor store shelf because OLD is often the first word of the name on the label, often accompanied by a sepia photograph of a gentleman that fits this description.

Cathead’s Straight Bourbon whiskey also uses OLD in its name, but it doesn’t refer to anyone’s particular history. An “old soul” is commonly used to describe someone who seems wise beyond their years. Or, as someone who seems to belong to another era. Old Soul Straight Bourbon seems to represent itself figuratively and literally in both senses of the word. The bottle design harkens back to the days when all bottles looked like wine bottles, filled with punt on the bottom. The labeling and fonts are also reminiscent of an earlier era.

the 2021 Small Batch Old Soul Bourbon (90 proof) is a precise blend of whiskey, each with an identical high rye mash bill of 21% rye, 75% corn and 4% malted barley. This version is aged even longer than its Old Soul predecessors (more than four years compared to the previous 2 year old spirit.)

In addition to sounding wise, or from another era, an “old soul” can also refer to an empathetic person. An old soul is someone who listens and tries to understand your thoughts, feelings, and attitudes. It also sounds like a bartender to me. Well, Old Soul Straight Bourbon, here I am. I listen to you and I look forward to understanding your story. Let’s taste.

Whiskey Old Soul Straight Bourbon 2021 (image via Cathead)

Tasting Notes: Cathead Distillery Old Soul Straight Bourbon

Vital Stats: 90 proof (45% ABV) A mix of identical mash bills consisting of 21% rye, 75% corn and 4% malted barley. Distilled in Indiana and Mississippi. No age statement. 88 barrels produced. Suggested price of $49.99 per 750ml bottle.

Appearance: It is very interesting how the big punt makes the whiskey appear almost transparent in the lower part of the bottle. In the glass it has a pale straw color in the tasting glass. It catches the light well and offers a golden hue when held.

Nose: The first approach offers a distinct aroma of buttery popcorn. Closer inspection reveals fresh cut grass and nuts. Acetone and lactic acid are also noticeable.

Palace: Caramelized sugar and that hint of buttery popcorn from the nose are introduced right away. A surprising depth is revealed in the persistence on the palate, with notes of green apple and apricot. It’s warm, with a medium finish.