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Review: Virginia Distillery Chardonnay Finished Virginia Highland Malt Whisky

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Following on its Port Cask Finished Highland Malt comes Virginia Distillery Co.’s next installment, finished in Chardonnay casks sourced from local wineries, including Grace Estate Winery, Michael Shaps, Virginia Wineworks and Paradise Springs Winery. As with the Port Cask, this is a blend of Scottish Highland single malt and Virginia-distilled whiskey (from a 100% malt barley mash). After aging in standard barrels, the whiskey is rested for an average of 12 months in the finishing casks.

On the nose, this delightfully golden blonde whiskey is instantly, boldly grainy, toasty with wood, and heavy with alcohol. Slightly green, almost musty at times, it leads unceremoniously into a young and relatively unchallenging palate. Hints of green apple provide pockets of solace, but the overwhelming top (and bottom) note is a brash granary character — dry hay, toasted wheat, and barnyardy animal feed. The finish is brief but hot with alcohol, never really changing the tenor of the discussion to date. Water tempers the heat, but only brings out the pastoral notes all the more strongly.

92 proof. Reviewed: Batch #2.

C+ / $58 / vadistillery.com

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Virginia Distillery Chardonnay Finished Virginia Highland Malt Whisky
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Christopher Null

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content company.

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