Review: Virginia Distillery Journey Cask Collection Britannia
When I visited Virginia Distillery Co. last year, I got the chance to sample the inaugural bottling of their Journey Cask Collection, a series of single cask single malts from all over the world that pays homage to the many whisky-makers that inspired and influenced Virginia Distillery Co.’s founder Dr. George G. Moore. That first bottling, named Hibernia, was a fruity and slightly coastal 11-year-old Irish single malt from John Teeling’s Great Northern Distillery. For the second release in the series, Virginia Distillery Co. went a little further east, across the narrow sea, to bring home an 8-year-old English single malt from The English Whisky Company, fittingly dubbed Britannia. Like Hibernia, this one is bottled at cask proof. We reviewed some of the earlier offerings from The English Whisky Co. way back in 2013, so let’s see how this more mature single cask stacks up.
On the nose, this one is still malt-forward, like we experienced with its younger siblings, but age has clearly refined the cereal notes. It’s less grist and more semi-sweet dessert, chocolate mousse perhaps. There’s a bit of vanilla cream here, too, slivered almond, and some aromatic woods: cedar closet and sandalwood. The palate is light, not overly sweet but with a pleasant, syrupy mouthfeel. There’s some cocoa here, but things tend more towards the brighter end of the spectrum with raw honey, butterscotch candies, baking spice, and orange marmalade on toast. The sweetness builds a little into a considerable finish dominated by a childhood favorite, cream-filled sugar wafers. It’s only a single cask, but this example shows a considerable progression for the folks at the English Whisky Co. Thanks to Virginia Distillery Co. for bringing this gem stateside. Only 243 bottles are available and only at the distillery in Lovingston, Virginia, so you Virginians should act fast. Everyone else, make friends with someone from Virginia.
A- / $125 / vadistillery.com