Spirited Design: Sugarlands Distilling Company’s Roaming Man Whiskey

A spirit that shines from first glance to final drop

In the world of spirits, the contents take precedence—if whatever is inside is merely no good (or, sadly, in an abundant of cases, horrid) then stellar packaging cannot save it. Same goes for beer or wine or any other consumable good. But, when that rare moment arises, the instance that something happens to both look and taste good, we cherish it dearly—and praise it so that it pushes the bar a bit higher for competitors.

Sugarlands Distilling Company has done just that. Their newest release, Roaming Man Tennessee Straight Rye Whiskey, is a 122.8-proof, cask strength pleasure. From the reflective copper packaging—that envelops the box and highlights the bottle—to the thick wax cap that’s almost ceremonious to cut, the thought that went into each aspect of this whiskey is impressive.

It is a product that clearly resonated with avid drinkers and collectors alike—their last run of stock (only just over 800 bottles) was sold out in 24 hours. But it wouldn’t sell if it were just well packaged. The whiskey is damn good, too. With unmissable notes of pepper and rye—and, subjectively, emulsified cherries—on the nose and heavy hits of cherrywood on the tongue, the three-year-old whiskey excels in its category. It has a serious warmth to it and a potency that’ll excite even the most seasoned whiskey drinkers.

The excitement about this one isn’t limited to a novice audience, either. This particular batch won five gold medals in various exhibitions last year—including the Los Angeles International Spirits Competition and the New York World Wine and Spirits Competition to name a few. But the excitement begins at home, in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, where the whiskey is distilled—in fact, a copper map of the city and the surrounding Great Smoky Mountains adorns two sides of the box.

Though Roaming Man is currently sold out, limited stock will be available at select Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee retailers starting on 5 October.

Images by Evan Malachosky