Each of the Charleston Culinary Tours is a unique combination of food (in this case, drinks) and history. It was very exciting to see the up-and-coming distillery culture downtown! Each of the three local distilleries we visited (and the only three in downtown Charleston) are less than two years old and each produce fantastic products.
Our tour was led by one of the owners of Charleston Culinary Tours, Oscar who met us at the visitors center on Meeting Steet. On the tour were three of Oscar's golfing buddies and another group of 4 guys. Yes, it was me and 9 men - haha. Luckily, it was Masters weekend, so we had a lot in common: checking the golf scores and chatting about the tournament on our rides from distillery to distillery.
We drove up King Street to the Striped Pig Distillery for our first stop, and boy, did we definitely start with a bang. Johnny, one of the owners and head distillers switched it up a little and had us do some tasting before the tour to "loosen us up." We sampled vodka, gin, rum, and spiced rum. After that, we took a tour of facility and tried some molasses mid-fermentation. At the end, he gave us each a sample of their moonshine (what a punch!) and sent us on our way.
We loaded back up in the van and took the 5 minute drive back down King Street to High Wire Distilling. It's in a great location, right next to Butcher and Bee, and would be the perfect post-brunch adventure. Nick gave us a tour of their distillery and we sampled vodka, rum, botanical gin. and 4-grain whiskey.
The last distillery of the day, back on Upper King Street, was Charleston Distilling Company. Michael led us through their distilling and bottling processes, and we even got a chance to watch some of the Masters on their projection screen while sampling vodka, two gins, and their new cinnamon and ginger liqueur, Tolerance.
All in all, my favorite vodka and rum (especially the spiced rum!) came from the Striped Pig, I really enjoyed the whiskey (4-grain) at High Wire, and at Charleston Distilling, Jasper's Gin is unbeatable! Each of the distilleries definitely has their own way of doing things to produce their small batches, whether it be with high-tech machinery or good ol' taste testing, and all of the products they turn out are top notch.
But that wasn't the end. We loaded up again at Charleston Distilling and headed to Burwell's on North Market Street for a cocktail. We were served the "Can't Touch This," and it was honestly one of the best drinks I've ever had: Striped Pig regular and spiced rums, prickly pear puree, pomegranate juice, and ginger beer - AHmazing! We stuck around for a while and enjoyed some happy hour food. We could have taken the van back to the visitor's center, but we opted to walk around the Market and back up King instead.
Mike and I absolutely love the Charleston Distillery Tour. We learned a lot and have already purchased a few new favorite spirits (Example A - lol). You can tour each distillery individually, but if you're visiting Charleston and want to enjoy a fun afternoon, or even if you're a local and looking for a safe way to visit a (drunk driving isn't cool, yo), definitely check out the Charleston Distillery Tour! They take place on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 12:30, and are well worth the price!
Mike and I received complimentary admission to this Charleston Culinary Tour in exchange for this review through Eskimo Advertising. As always, all opinions are my own.