- DISTILLER: Virginia Distillery Co.
- MASH BILL: 100% Malted Barley
- Fermentation: Standard
- Cooperage: Matured in ex-Bourbon, ex-Sherry and ex-Cuvee Wine Casks
- AGE: Three years
- YEAR: 2019
- PROOF: 92 Proof (46% ABV)
- MSRP: $69.99
- BUY ONLINE: Wine-Searcher.com
NOSE: Sweet Apple | Raisin | Chocolate | Sweet Vanilla
TASTE: Raisin | Berry | Dark Chocolate | Oak
FINISH: Medium to long, with white pepper and butterscotch.
SHARE WITH: Friends who appreciate the growing American Single Malt category.
WORTH THE PRICE: This is approaching the higher end of American Single Malts, but still well within reason.
BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: I would add this to my whiskey library and be quite pleased, it is worth the investment of a Bottle.
OVERALL: The American Single Malt category continues to experience popularity and growth. While it isn't meant to mimic its Scotch or Irish counterparts, they do start with the same basic ingredient: 100% malted barley.
Billed as a limited edition release for early 2020, Virginia Distillery Co. presents Prelude: Courage & Conviction in a rich-looking, attention-grabbing package.
Virginia Distilling Co. takes an interesting route by using three different types of barrels to age their whiskey: ex-Bourbon barrels, ex-Sherry casks and ex-Cuvee casks. The latter, in particular, is not something I've experienced.
I have to admit that at first sip, I was somewhat unimpressed and disappointed. But, I came back about a week later and that bit of oxidization was enough to transform this into a delicious whisky.
The biggest kick in the butt is the butterscotch on the finish. That's not something that I find in many single malts, American or otherwise, and the white pepper is a weird but surprisingly wonderful compliment to it.
I've found Virginia Distillery Co. to be a positive player in the American Single Malt category and wholeheartedly stand behind my Bottle rating for Prelude: Courage & Conviction. Cheers!
"HAVE THE COURAGE OF YOUR CONVICTIONS."
With the courage to create our own traditions, and the conviction to remain true to ourselves and our home, Courage & Conviction sets the new standard for American whisky, rivaling the finest in the world.
Developed under the tutelage of the late Dr. Jim Swan, Courage & Conviction features three core barrel types:
- Bourbon casks: These barrels formerly held Kentucky bourbon from well-known distilleries. Aging in American oak bourbon casks add notes of vanilla, caramel, butterscotch, oak, smoke and cinnamon.
- Sherry casks: The distillery uses Sherry cask types, including Fino, Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez. These casks give the whisky notes of tart cherry, golden raisin, fig, caramelized plum, brown sugar and spice.
- Cuvée casks: This innovative barrel is sourced from premium European red wine producers. After the wine is removed, the cask is broken down, the interior shaved, re-toasted and re-charred, and then put back together again. The re-toasting and re-charring of the cask energizes the wood sugars and brings forward barrel spice, bright red fruit and toasted pecan.
The Flagship release of Courage & Conviction, due out in Spring 2020, is a combination of these three cask types. Additional products will feature individual bottlings of each cask type, with a targeted release date in the Fall 2020.
Disclaimer: Virginia Distillery Co. 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