Review: Virginia Distillery Virginia Highland Malt Whisky

SONY DSCEades Whisky broke ground in 2008 with the then-bold goal of growing, malting, and distilling its own barley to make single malt whisky in Virginia. Since then, the craft distilling movement has gone wild, and the idea of making whisky styled like single malt Scotch in the U.S. is no longer a wild one.

Eades has been working along toward its goal (Virginia Single Malt is sleeping in cask) and the new company, now known as Virginia Distillery Company, has been toying with some other goodies in the meantime. First there’s the Eades Double Malt line, each a blend of two single malts that are finished in wine casks. Now, there’s this, a single malt from the Scottish Highlands that is finished in Virginia Port-style wine casks. In other words: Virginia Highland Malt Whisky is essentially a spin on an independently-bottled Scotch, a real rarity, particularly here in the U.S.

The whisky has no age statement (nor information on the original distillery, the identity of the Port used for the finishing, nor much of anything else). It is bottled at 92 proof.

On to the review. The whisky (or is it whiskey now?) has a classic structure, despite the unique finish. The nose offers sweet nougat notes, shortbread cookies, and fresh barley notes. The body pushes up the sweeter notes, offering rich fruit, applesauce, honey, some cinnamon, and lots of that nougat character. Nothing overwhelmingly Port-like, which is a bit of a disappointment, but not a letdown. This is a solid, well-balanced whisky with lots to recommend it. Well done, Virginia!


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1 Response

  1. kallaskander June 3, 2013 / 4:14 am

    Hi there,

    Virginia Highland Malt Whisky. Whisky not whiskey at that!
    The Scots will love that. They fought Glen Breton in Canada to the Canadian Supreme Court
    for using the word “Glen”.
    And that are emigrant Scots living in Nova Scotia, New Scotland of all places.

    Virginia Distillery will probably hear from the Scotch Whisky Association’s lawyers, soon.


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