The planning department, Aly, plotted a course that took us through Charleston, SC, with a stop at Striped Pig
Distillery. We then continued on to Chapel Hill, NC, and visited with two of my friends from college. TOPO Distillery happens to be right in Chapel Hill, as luck would have it.
Striped Pig Distillery 4/23/2014
Apparently one of the owners, the one who owns the pig, actually stripes him, like the logo, for events. So there really is a striped pig involved.
Here are my tasting notes:
*Striped Vodka 40% ABV (corn-same mash bill as whisky) Not Filtered
-tasted corn, chalky, little burn
-with water - sweet corn
-trailed something like wood
This is the first corn vodka I have ever had. I have a history with vodka from college and have just begun to be able to taste it again.
*Striped Shine 60% ABV Unaged whisky
-smelled strong corn
-tasted corn with almost plastic - overpowering
-with water - lightened the corn smell
-tasted corn - not as sweet, not chalky
This is a light, sweet whisky that's easy to drink.
* Striped Rum 40% ABV
-smelled slightly butterscotch, tinge of rubber
-tasted sweet dessert, trailed caramel
-with water - more rubber
-tasted slightly sweet
Here is what I tasted:
*TOPO Vodka 40% ABV Wheat
-smelled sweet caramel with cereal
-tasted a grain cereal
-with water smelled licorice
-tasted sweet cereal
-trailed slightly metallic
*TOPO Piedmont Gin 46% ABV Wheat
-smelled juniper berries with a little grass
-tasted juniper with almost pine flavor
-there was a tinge of cooked meat?
-with water smelled more pine
-tasted sweet juniper/spices
This is a dangerous gin as it is waaaaay too easy to sip like mojitos. It does not have the sharp flavor of other gins.
* TOPO Carolina Whiskey (Moonshine) 42% ABV
-smelled sweet caramel wheat
-with water - sweeter grain
There was not a lot to this as it is unaged spirit. Bottling at 42% ABV makes it more than drinkable. There is less alcohol burn and more flavor than the mason jar variety. Also the wheat gives it more than just a touch of sweetness (corn-which seems to be the common "moonshine" grain). There is an actual flavor.
* TOPO Aged Whiskey Not Released Yet No Age Statement
-smelled oak with a light caramel - new char barrel
-tasted oak with cereal grain- tanins
-with water - not as sweet wheat
There was definitely more going on with this whiskey after it sat in a barrel. Being a newly charred oak cask, the bitterness came through. I am guessing this whiskey is still less than a year old, by far.