Continuing my foray through the recent Sarasota, Florida, Whiskey Obsession Festival tasting this afternoon with two expressions from the Virginia Distillery. (Excellent web site from which to get all the particulars.) Gabriel Urrutia, the Southeast Market Manager, generously filled my nip bottles to the brim. Thus affording me enough for several tastes.
I went into this tasting totally blind. I knew nothing of the distillery and chose it simply because I could try two different expressions. When trying whiskies new-to-me, I prefer to sample at least several expressions in order to get a feel for the product… ‘cuz ya know, not all new whiskies are yummy.
I tasted the Port Cask Finished Virginia-Highland first. Wow. This is a blended whisky at 46% alc. The web site states, “The Virginia-Highland Whisky series is made from 100% malted barley. The Virginia Distillery Company marries single malt whisky made on-site in Virginia with aged malt whisky from Scotland.” What I didn’t realize at the time of tasting is that this is the flagship whisky for the series.
Notes: The color is reflective of the port casks. It tastes like big alcohol at first, then rich with the port coming through, hints of chocolate and a deep flavor overall.
Westland Distillery has an intensive and comprehensive whisky wheel, which I used for this tasting. Gourmand is the term I think best fits this Port Cask Whisky.
Welcome to the big leagues! I rate this expression a 3 out of 4 points. Buy this whisky.
The second taste was the blended Chardonnay Cask Finished Virginia-Highland Whisky at 46% alc. It is lighter in color and flavor. I got citrus and dough. On the Westland wheel I see it as Fruity. While the Port Cask pairs well with dark chocolate, the Chardonnay not-so-much. I hesitated but still rate is a 3- out of 4 points.
Next up will be two Balcones expressions straight outta Texas.
Tasting new whiskies is indeed an adventure. I raise a glass to adventures!