Every year, thousands of new bottles of whiskey hit the shelves. While we try our mightiest to keep up with it all all but… that’s sorta insane. No one really can. Plenty of great whiskeys sometimes slip through the cracks and we end up reviewing them a few months after they drop. That’s the case for last year’s release from Virginia Distillery Co., Courage & Conviction Cuvee Single Cask Amerian Single Malt Whisky.
Since last summer, Virginia Distillery Co. has been releasing special single cask releases of their much-lauded Cuvee cask finished American single malt. These single barrel offerings are chosen to highlight the master whisky making going on in Virginia at the distillery. Overall, this is a very unique whisky that slipped under our radar last year while we were focusing on bourbon, scotch, and rye.
Now’s the time to give this whisky a look and see what’s actually in the bottle. Let’s dive in!
Also Read: The Top 5 UPROXX Scotch Whisky Posts of The Last Six Months
Virginia Distillery Co. Courage & Conviction Cuvee Single Cask — Cask No. 1266
Average Price: $150
This whisky is made with 100 percent malted barley. That juice is then loaded into French red wine or Cuvee casks for a minimum of three years (each cask is hand-selected for its distinct flavor profile). These single casks were chosen for their beauty as a stand-alone whisky that doesn’t need any adulteration or cutting with water. The honey barrel is then bottled as-is at cask strength.
The nose is seriously buttery with a touch of brandy butter next to lightly salted caramel with a vanilla whipped cream that merges into a fruity backbone with hints of raisins, new leather, and maybe a whisper of damp straw. Malts shine through first on the palate as hefty brown spices create a serious heat (from those ABVs) before a cherry tobacco chewiness kicks in with a hint of pear candy under all that malty spice and warmth. The mid-palate really leans into the dark and stewed cherry tobacco vibe as a hint of dry hay, reeds, and umami (sweetish tomato paste maybe?) poke in very late on the finish.
The bottle is a solid and tall whiskey bottle with a hefty base. There’s a bronze magnet that signifies the cask number above an understated purple label. Overall, this is a tall and elegant bottle that’ll stick out on any bar cart. The bottle also comes in a conical box, where it fits snuggly (and safely).
This blasts your senses with warmth but draws it back with a truly subtle flavor profile. I definitely need a rock or two to calm that heat down, but it’s very worth it once you get past those big ABVs. It’s complex while still being pretty damn enjoyable, especially with a splash of water or rock.
90/100 — This is delightful but you have to get past that rush of heat on the palate to get there (and I can see that turning a lot of people off). All of that aside, there’s something about this that keeps me going back to it. I think it’s that umami tail on the finish.