- DISTILLER: A blend of Du Nord distillate and undisclosed sourced whiskey
- MASH BILL: Undisclosed
- AGE: At least 2 years
- YEAR: 2022
- PROOF: 80 Proof (40% ABV)
- MSRP: $40
SHARE WITH: Newcomers to whiskey drinking who want an approachable but flavorful first experience.
BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Bottle. While enthusiasts will typically turn to something with more age or proof, this is a welcome addition to any bar shelf because of its well developed texture, reasonable price, and surprisingly rich flavor.
OVERALL: Du Nord Social Spirits has been on quite the journey since becoming the first black-owned distillery in America back in 2013. They’ve recently rebranded (changing their name from Du Nord Craft Spirits) to emphasize their position as a conduit for social change as well as their desire to shape a more inclusive spirits industry. Founder Chris Montana has been leading by example, first by filling the role as the American Craft Spirits Association’s first African-American President, and later by founding the Du Nord Foundation which he hopes will address racial inequities and build economic justice in his hometown of Minneapolis.
In his own words Chris had this to say about the reasoning behind the rebrand: “It tells the story that we want our spirits to be enjoyed with friends … we are about bringing people together. We believe that, just like our desire to bridge that urban-rural divide, if we can get people together and they can talk and realize just how close together they already are then we can build those bridges and that will happen organically. So that is a social mission that is baked into the company and we wanted that social piece to be front and center on the label.”
With Mixed Blood Whiskey the brand hopes to realize this ethos of inclusivity by crafting a rich but approachable bottle that can satisfy enthusiasts and newcomers alike. In that endeavor I’d say they’ve been fairly successful as Mixed Blood has a surprisingly viscous texture and a cavalcade of sweet flavors ranging from honeyed cornbread to butterscotch with some complimentary notes of walnut shell and white pepper spice as well. I imagine at 80 proof that it’s a bit tame as a mixer but it really does fit the bill as an easy-going introductory neat pour for beginners. Furthermore, speaking for enthusiasts, it brings some well developed flavor and impressive balance which makes it ideal to keep on hand as a mellow change of pace.
As I mentioned above, one of the standout aspects of this expression is its buttery mouthfeel which Chris Montana credits to their “cold cook” process. Also worth noting is that with no barley in the recipe, opting instead for a roughly 60-40 split of corn and rye, Du Nord uses enzymes to work the magic typically done by the traditional third grain. Between these unique methods and an easily accessible flavor profile for drinkers of all experience levels, it’s clear that Du Nord Social Spirits is going to make many new fans in the coming years.
Du Nord Social Spirits Mixed Blood Whiskey
"There is something magical in blending whiskeys. Mixed Blood started with rye grown by the neighbor of our co-founder’s family farm. To complement its spicy notes, we select whiskey barrels that deliver sweetness and depth. In the glass, it’s greater than the sum of its parts.”
NOSE: Honey, brown sugar, stone fruit, and caramel
TASTE: Oak and vanilla, peppery rye, caramel, and stone fruits.
Disclaimer: Du Nord Social Spirits provided Bourbon & Banter with a sample of their product for this review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.