You’ll find a lot of distilleries in Virginia nowadays. But perhaps the most unusual — and, if you ask us, the best — is the Virginia Distillery Co. The brand was founded almost a decade ago by the late Irish expat, Dr. George C. Moore, who wanted to help put a uniquely American spin on single malt whisky. His vision has reached fruition with VDC’s newest single malt, Courage & Conviction.
The Virginia Distillery Company built its reputation by blending its own whisky, distilled on-site in Scottish-made copper stills using the finest malted barley and water from the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains, with actual malt whisky from the Scottish highlands. The blend would then be finished in a variety of casks ranging from port wine to apple cider and beyond. With Courage & Conviction, they’ve taken it to the next level. Distilled and aged for at least three years entirely on-site, this is a truly American single malt, but with far-ranging influences. It’s finished in three separate and distinct casks: ex-bourbon barrels from Kentucky; Spanish sherry casks including Fino, Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez; and re-toasted and re-charred cuvée red wine barrels from Europe.
The result is like no other whisky (or whiskey, for that matter) you’ve ever tasted. Each of the casks makes its presence felt. Notice those caramel and vanilla notes? That’s the ex-bourbon casks. Taste that orange zest and cocoa? You’re getting the sherry’s influence. Those raspberry and ripe red fruit notes? That’s from the European wine casks. And the gentle spice, especially on the finish, comes from all the wood. Underneath it all, there’s the cereal sweetness of the barley and the clean minerality of the water. All the components working in perfect harmony, familiar but unique. It’s a magical malt for a magical time of year — a warming, festive treat, whether you’re sipping it neat, on the rocks, or even in a hot toddy with a touch of honey and lemon.