Bargain Bin Friday!!! 75 South Blended Whiskey – Review

Boldly going where everyone else probably has the good sense not to go. I saw this bottle on the bottom shelf at Safeway not too long ago with a sale sticker reading “$5.99”. Six dollars for a bottle of whiskey. One wonders if you could buy an empty glass bottle for that kind of money. Also, and maybe this is just me, but it seems a little sociopathic to sell 80 proof liquor for six bucks. But what the hell, I had to buy it, for the cost of a pint of beer, why not.  At the very least I figured I could use it as wood stripper or silver polish around the mansion.

So where does 75 South come from? The front label gave me this to go on: “This blended whisky was created from the finest ingredients. Our traditional process of compounding superior flavors is the pride of the South and promises to deliver a robust, rare and exceptional experience.” The back label gave me this vital information “aged for a minimum of 36 months.” I’ve gotten more information from greeting cards. I’m guessing the 75 in 75 South refers to the Interstate highway, though why a whiskey would reference a highway that runs from Sault Saint Marie to Fort Lauderdale is beyond me.  It does run through Kentucky, I guess. Still…”pride of the South”, that’s a bit of a stretch. No further info on those “finest ingredients”, I suppose that’s all relative. I wonder if their “traditional process” might be a different one than the usual malt-distill-age-bottle process. Though it says it’s aged for a minimum of 36 months, it doesn’t really say what it was aged in. Steel tanks? Pickle jars? Leather flagons? Ancient Greek Amphoras? At this point it’s anyone’s guess. In any case, while I can’t say the experience was robust, it was rare, hopefully, and in one sense of the word, exceptional. A little further digging revealed that the brand is owned by Safeway and this, the pride of the South, was bottled in Loma Linda, CA, the new epicenter in the nascent non-craft distilling movement.

The Nose:  Not as bad as I expected, just the perfunctory vanilla, caramel, orange thing almost as if it were infused with “real bourbon” flavor.  It’s a really pretty thin nose, though, in fact, in the time it took me to type the first sentence, the bourbon flavor thing disappeared and left me with the smell of sugar. Oh, and nail polish remover.  Strange…I wonder where that bourbon smell went?

The Palate: Sweet and harsh, tho’ less harsh than I was bracing myself for. The entry is a little syrupy. Did I mention Sweet? Faint notes of Smarties candies and vanilla, but mostly it’s just grainy.  I’m not sure what grainy, there’s probably a little rye in there, and corn, but flavor wise, it’s just hot alcohol grain. Did I mention sweet?

The Finish: It kind of made me make a face and cough.  Not horrible, just not that good.

Thoughts: Well, I can still see, if that’s any consolation. Ok, honestly, it’s easy to make fun of a whiskey called “75 South” that invokes the “pride of the South” on the label but was bottled in California and is only sold at Safeway for under $6, but I’ve had worse (the Arrow brand whiskey from the More-4 in River Falls, WI comes to mind). It was pretty simple, almost empty flavor-wise but not nearly as gag-inducing as I was expecting. That said, I wouldn’t recommend this for…well, I guess I just wouldn’t recommend this. Maybe I’ll use it for infusing or cleaning…or something.

75 South Blended Whiskey, American (of course)

40% ABV

Score: 66.6*

* scores of 66.6 simply reflect the most hellish whiskies and despite their numerical appearance, do not sequentially fall between 66 and 67 in terms of “quality”. They stand purely alone.


23 thoughts on “Bargain Bin Friday!!! 75 South Blended Whiskey – Review

  1. Great post. I hope this is a regular Friday feature. I especially like the mispelling of ‘bargain’ in the title.

    So you wouldn’t really wouldn’t recommend it for $6?

    Jason @GuidScotchDrink

  2. I was so excited to see someone had reviewed this stuff…but I was expecting an affirmation of what a deal it is.
    Before I get too far ahead of myself, I’d like to qualify as a genuine whiskey lover…especially Bourbon. Before I began to venture into the world of very small batch Bourbons, I was content with Jack Daniels for many years ( I know it’s not a Bourbon, but it kicks the sh*t out of so many “real” Bourbons).
    I love Jefferson’s reserve (not the more expensive Presidential version), Russell’s reserve and Maker’s Mark. I would follow those with Buffalo Trace and Knob Creek. Unfortunately in these dire economic times I can not afford to be buying any of the above Bourbons on a weekly basis (I entertain a lot).
    So enter 75 South…I would put this way above Jim Beam for starters…or Evan Williams, Ancient Age, Ten High (That stuff is what I call paint stripper!) and the rest of the lower eschalon of Bourbons.
    Of course this is all in my humble opinion. I just wanted to give a retort to the original review, which I felt judged 75 South way too harshly. It’s still $5.99 at Safeway on the bottom shelf, and it mixes really well with any one of a number of the usual suspects…Cola, Cherry Cola, Ginger Ale, even with just Soda water. I find it to be actually very smooth in the finish. So to all you Bourbon lovers out there, fear not the bottom shelf!! At $5.99 for 750 ml bottle, I think you might be pleasantly surprised!!

    1. Respectfully, Alex…I have to disagree, and while I’m the first the grant everyone their own tastes, this stuff is not good whisky. It’s almost way too artificial tasting to be considered whiskey. I agree that Ancient Age and Ten High are paint strippers, but at least they taste like bad bourbon, 75 South just tastes like industrial grain alcohol with a lot of caramel coloring added to it. $5.99 is $11.46 more than this stuff is worth.

      Still, thank you for the comment and for the mention of Jefferson’s Reserve…I’ve been meaning to trying that one.

  3. LOL yea i just saw it from safeway for 5.99 looked it up online… ive been drinking 7.99 admiral nelson and this stuff isnt as bad as that

  4. Nice review, People are mentioning the word Bourbon. Nowhere on the label does it state Bourbon, It’s Blended Whiskey distilled in Miraloma, ca. This what seems like a shadow of a company distilles or markets dozens of products under many names and most of them are cheap the best being in my opinion is the single malt whiskey can’t remember the name but it was at albertsons. This stuff is used in mixed drinks don’t exect it to hold up with 20.00 a bottle buffalo trace…my fav

  5. Gotta throw in my two cents, while I sit sipping my nightcap of 75. This is not bad whiskey for the price. It is amazing how many $50 dollars cigars I have smoked with my brother in law drinking this and never complaining.

  6. If value is a consideration in purchase, and you like whiskey with higher residual sugar, then this might be right. It is not bourbon however. I typically opt for Canadian, and as such, am not opposed to these malts. It initially reminded me of slightly sweeter, and less sour Seagram’s 7.

  7. This level of quality must be used as a mixer and you must have no money left or you would have splurged on the Bushmills, At least you didn’t get ripped off like me, buying a bottle of Rogue whiskey what a horrible mess that is.

    1. Yeah, Ke, I’ve heard that Rogue stuff is awful, I’m not in a hurry to try that one. As for 75 South, for $6, you’re better off buying bottled water…and I think buying bottled water is an incredibly stupid thing to do.

  8. I drink this stuff all the time; at 6 bucks a bottle it’s perfect for those who just wanna get sloshed. Some stores even sell it for 5 bucks a bottle if you buy 6 bottles.

    For those who negatively review this product as if you were some type of whisky connaisseur (or however you spell it) – shows what little you know about whisky. At bottom shelf, 6 bucks a bottle, cheap plastic cap and sticker that you can sniff the glue off of type whisky… Did you really think you’d get a conclusion other than, “this crap sucks”!?!? It’s 6 bucks man! You can’t even get a shot of Jack at the bar for that much!

    To those who wanna have a good time and get the best bang for their buck… booze up on your way down South and let them haters hate!

    1. It’s spelled connoisseur. Explain to me how this review “shows what little I know about whisky”. It’s a humorous review of a crap product, you don’t need to be a connoisseur to figure that out. Is it cheap and will it get you drunk? You barely even need a brain to figure that one out. If that’s all that you’re after, why the fuck are you bothering to read a review…or are you just trying to be an asshole?

      1. I’m trying to be an asshole, it’s what I do. And “yes”, getting drunk is all I’m after when I buy 6 dollar whisky. Booze up man! Get blinded with that shit!!! Grab some sour mash and get blitzed!

      2. I’m still waiting for you to tell me why this “shows what little I know about whisky”, any ideas yet? I’m also still waiting to find out why someone who simply wants to get drunk, blitzed, and blinded on the cheapest crap possible is interested in reading whisky reviews in the first place.

    1. John, did it smell like vomit before or after you tasted it? Because if it smelled like vomit after you tasted it, well…then that was probably actual vomit, which is not an unreasonable reaction to this one.

  9. Found this review after finding this Whiskey, literally on the bottom shelf at an Albertsons and Literally on sale for $6.66. LMAO….

  10. I just bought a big bottle of this because they were out of my usual premium Bourbon (Evan Williams). How big? It doesn’t say, but it dwarfs the empty 750 ml bottle of Bourbon on the counter, and was reduced from $19.99 to 12 bucks for members. Yes, it doesn’t say Bourbon anywhere on it, but it says things like Kentucky and Genuine and True Bluegrass Spirit. Not sure what to expect, but I have plenty of water and lemon to cover up any sweetness.

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