A new spirits brand and four inaugural offerings have entered the market under Highline Spirits. At its helm is CEO and founder Christi Lower, a former pediatric surgery PA, mother of four, and whiskey enthusiast who dared to ask “why?” when starting her own spirits company:
- Why was talking about blending such a taboo?
- Why did it matter if a spirit was from a single distiller and location?
- What happens when different spirits are placed in different types of barrels?
- Why did she have difficulty getting some industry reps to return her calls when her partner would get an immediate response?
- Why wasn’t there more diverse representation in the spirits industry?
Lower believes that the convergence of different cultures and crafts creates something greater than the sum of its parts. With that pillar as her foundation, she envisioned a transformative spirits company untethered by tradition, history, orientation, gender, or beliefs. Tired of the sea of sameness in the category, Lower created Highline Spirits: focused on sourcing, blending, batching, and special-finishing super-premium and ultra-premium small-batch spirits completely unique unto themselves.
“As I started learning about the industry over ten years ago, I was fascinated with the evolution of a spirit based on weather, terroir, wood, grain, and yeast. Yet I was also struck by how myopic the final distillate landing in the bottle could be. Most whiskey on the shelf is controlled by a very small group of people, marketing to an American consumer who no longer looks as it did when the industry started. Our culture is evolving. Our spirits should also evolve with different personalities, perspectives and practices to reflect that growth and dimension.”
To that end, Lower has hired Kate Keister, Highline Spirits warehouse and production manager and proud member of the LGBTQ+ community with eight years of warehouse and supply chain management experience. Kate Arbour also joins the team as the company’s director of operations, who brings over 20 years of global hospitality and project management experience. Lower has also assembled a world-class advisory board of spirits industry experts, bringing decades of experience supporting Highline’s mission, products, and ongoing operations.
Highline Spirits enter the market with four limited-edition flagship products:
- Bourbon Whiskey – A blend of five, six, and eight-year straight bourbons featuring caramel and butterscotch notes with a hint of baking spice on the nose. The full and robust palate finishes with the light oak undertones of aged Kentucky bourbon. 51% ABV/102 proof. $64.99
- Triple Rye Whiskey – Lively aromas of cocoa and dark cherry, with lingering and robust flavors of malt chocolate and stone fruit. A blend of five, 5 1/2, and 10-year-old whiskies. 48.5% ABV/97 proof. $79.99
- Straight Kentucky Whiskey – Eight years of aging brings caramel, vanilla and malted chocolate flavors with a smooth, approachable palate and a light, lingering finish. 50% ABV/100 proof. $49.99
- American Whiskey – An exquisite blend of two high rye Indiana bourbons, a Kentucky heritage bourbon and a straight wheat whiskey, all finished in new American, French and Hungarian toasted oak barrels. Bottled at cask strength, this smooth blend of five, six, seven, and eight-year-old whiskies evoke caramel richness, sweet stone fruit and baking spice. 56% ABV/112 proof. $139.99
Now available for distribution and sale in Michigan and online at highlinespirits.com, each of Highline’s flagship products features a mythical chimera created to represent each bottle’s unique blend of region and culture.
As for production, Highline is well stocked with over 4,000 barrels aged 10 years to new fill and has secured production schedules of over 3,500 barrels per year going forward.
In addition to retail distribution, Lower will open the Highline Spirits Tasting Room in Dexter, Mich. in early September of this year. The space will include a 2,400-square-foot gathering space for locals and visitors to relax and enjoy a craft cocktail, take a whiskey-tasting class or pick up a few bottles for purchase. A second tasting room in Plymouth, Mich., will open in late fall.