Debut whiskey honours Wild West icon

Sep 28, 2021by Alice Brooker

Eastside Distilling's Melissa Heim has launched a new whiskey inspired by a historical female figure, called Big Nose Kate.

The whiskey pays tribute to its namesake Big Nose Kate, an American historical figure known to be a longtime companion of Wild West gunfighter Doc Holliday. Heim, who once produced spirits in collaboration with Big Bottom Distilling, crafted the whiskey in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is thought to be one of the first female head distillers west of the Mississippi River. She said: “We are excited to finally introduce a strong independent female protagonist into a brand world long associated with male figureheads." The whiskey was also produced by Altar Spirits' head distiller, Caley Shoemaker. Heim added: “But we are not aiming to be a ‘gendered’ whiskey. We’re for all people who like discovering great stories, and tipping a glass to those behind them." The whiskey was released to celebrate all adventurers ‘who deserve their due’, according to the brand. “Kate was an entrepreneur, change-maker and whiskey drinker to boot, so we believe she’s cheering us on from the saloon in the sky,” Heim said. The whiskey boasts a strong body and rich mouthfeel, and contains notes of dry sherry, cherry fruit, cereal grain and oak. The finish offers flavours of mellow baking spice, with the brand quipping that the expression ‘has a big nose’. The 750ml bottling presents an ABV of 45%, and the first limited release will be available in US states New Mexico, Arizona, and Oregon, as well as online at