Looking to connect? I’m on Instagram or you may reach out to me via Email or Discord if you’d like to discuss bourbon, request reviews, or anything else.
I’ll begin the product information section of this post by addressing what I discussed in my review of the Thirteenth Colony Distilleries Southern Bourbon Whiskey, as the labeling on the rye is equally confusing to the customer in that there are things missing we would expect to find on the label, as well as things on the label we likely don’t expect to see. I am–of course–referring to the lack of a designation of ‘Straight’ on the label, the lack of a state of distillation, as well as any apparent age-statement.
Whiskey enthusiasts are certainly a vocal crowd in the whiskey world, and for a number of what I deem to be good reasons. Folks who spend their time researching brands and their products want to know what they are paying for. On top of that, many of these consumers want to support brands they align with for one reason or another. Supporting producers (especially those operating on a smaller scale) is the customer’s way of voting with their wallet. Including clear and transparent information on labels is, in my opinion, the easiest way to the hearts of the enthusiasts. In the case of Thirteenth Colony Distilleries, we need to head to thee web and look through the FAQ page of their website to glean the following information:
Q: Are all 13th Colony aged spirits considered “Straight”?
A: Yes, all 13th Colony aged products are aged a minimum of 4 years and follow all guidelines to be considered a Straight Bourbon/Whiskey.
Q: Does 13th Colony use any additional additives, color or flavor?
A: No, 13th Colony does not add additives, coloring, or flavorings to our products. Yes, our Double Oak Bourbon is naturally that dark. Thank South Georgia weather for that!
This information being presented on their website is definitely appreciated; however, it does raise a point that I have been constantly hearing around the enthusiast crowd lately in that a website can say anything, as it is not regulated. This isn’t in anyway an accusation of Thirteenth Colony Distilleries (or any brand choosing what to disclose on their label) but it’s worth nothing that the TTB does not regulate website information, whereas they do enforce what is placed on the label of a bottle of liquor. Ultimately: if it’s not on the label, some consumers may view that lack of information as an intentional lack of transparency, at best, or dishonesty at worst.
Looking at the back label of the bottle, we find the following information: ‘Produced and bottled By Thirteenth Colony Distilleries’ in Americus, GA., USA’. The specific wording here is another important detail as it isn’t clear to the consumer if the whiskey in the bottle was, in fact, distilled at (and by) the distillery in Georgia.
Just as I mentioned in my review of the Southern Bourbon, I want to highlight that I reached out to Thirteenth Colony for clarification on this point, and they shared: “we have grown at a pace that requires that we also use contract distilling” in response. I leave the decision up to the reader as to how they view the statement and what it means in terms of the liquid in the bottle.
Speaking of the liquid, I feel like it’s time to move along. Hell, to be honest, there has been so much discussion about all of these points from folks in the whiskey world lately, I feel like I’m ready to just leave this information here for the reader, and move on to the reason for this post: how the whiskey tastes.