Cathead’s Old Soul bourbon makes a splash

Cathead Vodka distillery is looking confidently to 2019 after the launch of its first bourbon, Old Soul. The Jackson distillery issued 500 nine-liter cases in mid-November in Mississippi only. Next summer, Cathead will produce 4,000 cases to be distributed across the South, according to co-founder Richard Patrick. Briarwood Wine and Spirit at 4949 Old Canton Road had sold all but two cases of 25 as of Tuesday, most to individuals, said store manager Colin Thompson.

“We’ll be out by the end of the week,” Thompson said. Patrick said the release was designed “to get us through the holidays.” The name Old Soul is a twofold metaphor, Patrick said. One is the acknowledgement that bourbon making is a slow process, and the other is homage to the experienced people who make the whiskey, led by distiller Phillip Ladner, Patrick said.

“There’s a lot of art to making bourbon” to go with the science, Patrick said.

Old Soul likewise is a characteristic attributed to people who are wise beyond their years, precocious in a mature way. The whiskey is a blend – 74 percent aged at least four years and 26 percent aged a minimum of 15 months. Its mash is 21 percent rye, 75 percent corn and 4 percent malted barley The package for whiskey was not without considerable thought, Patrick said. The bottle is shaped like a French cognac bottle, has a “nice weight” and a cork top.

Cathead Distillery was founded in Gluckstadt in 2010 and moved to a larger facility in 2015. Bourbon had to wait its turn after Cathead Vodka established its market. Patrick said it takes “massive capital” along with time to produce bourbon.

So the vodka, along with gin and a liqueur, has had to pay the bill, while the bourbon was paying its dues and waiting its turn.