For drinkers who prefer to pour special edition spirits at their holiday parties, High Wire Distilling Co. at 11 a.m. Friday is releasing its newest watermelon brandy and rhum agricole.
“The 2015 expressions of these spirits are incredibly different from their 2014 counterparts,” High Wire co-owner Ann Marshall says.
When High Wire first distilled watermelon brandy, it used Bradford watermelon, an heirloom fruit renowned for its sweetness and pickling-suitable rind. This time, the distillery fermented the juice of 300 Charleston Grays. Marshall describes the resulting brandy as “a bit more fruit-forward, with less of a vegetal quality.”
The rhum agricole, which was barrel-rested for 12 months, also represents a departure from High Wire’s last such release. According to Marshall, this agricole has a “complex, earthy flavor with an incredibly long, sweet finish,” owing to growing conditions in St. George, where it was farmed by Manning Bair.
“The sugar cane for this year’s agricole was grown on the same exact plot of land and juiced the exact same way,” she continues. “With agricole being a very earthy, terroir driven spirit, the changes in flavor nuance year-to-year are more attributable to the weather: Rain and drought; harvest time and temperature changes.”
Both spirits are priced at $79.99, and buyers are limited to three bottles a day. While the rhum agricole and watermelon brandy are available online, High Wire can’t ship spirits, so buyers have to arrange for in-person pick-up; the buyer doesn’t have to be present so long as the receiver presents proof-of-purchase and a valid ID. All orders not picked up by Mar. 1 will be returned to the shelf for sale.
Marshall anticipates a sell-out. “We’ve been receiving, on average, about five e-mails or phone calls a day for the last month,” she says. If everyone who’s contacted the distillery on Friday buys the share allowed by law, they’ll clean out the inventory: There are 259 bottles of brandy and 150 bottles of rhum agricole available.
For more information, or to place an order, visit highwiredistilling.squarespace.com.