Review: Virginia Distillery Brewers Batch Virginia-Highland Whisky (Batch 1)
Virginia Distillery Co. is continuing an impressive trend of creative cask finishing with Brewers Batch Virginia-Highland Whisky. This new and limited addition to the line-up features finishing casks sourced from local breweries. With this first release, Virginia Distilling Co. kept it close to home working with Three Notch’d Brewing Company in Central Virginia. Three Notch’d originally procured the whisky casks from Virginia Distillery to age their Stage Road scotch ale. They were then re-filled with Virginia Distillery’s own blend of house-distilled whiskey and sourced Scotch. The whiskey was finished in these ex-whisky/beer casks for 12 months.
The nose on Brewers Batch is soft but unique, showcasing bready cereals, lemon peel, and a sweet, malty bakeshop note. There’s clearly some youth in this blend, but it’s nevertheless complex. On the palate, the whisky is light and oily. Flavors of lemon drop and vanilla sheet cake dominate with a subtler layer of caramel and cocoa powder underneath. The finish could be a touch longer, but it’s complemented by a perfect, back-of-the-throat heat that is gently warming. It’s a bright whisky with nice balance, but while the beer barrel clearly enhances the malty character of this youthful blend, I can’t help but feel like the two complemented each other a little too well. A scotch ale like Stage Road is a malty, caramel heavy beer, leaving little unique flavor to be imparted back into the whisky. Here’s hoping Virginia Distillery Co. gets more adventurous with future Brewers Batch releases.
92 proof. Batch 1.
B+ / $65 / vadistillery.com