Here’s a curious fact: Tarnished Truth Distillery is the first and only distillery based within a hotel, the historic Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Tarnished Truth produces vodka, gin, moonshine, and this, a high rye bourbon that’s aged for 3 years. The bourbon for now is sourced from MGP — though the label is awfully cagey on this front — and is made from MGP’s high-rye mash of 60% corn, 36% rye, and 4% malted barley; bottles include a batch code and are individually numbered, for what that’s worth.
If a single bottle isn’t enough for you, $25,000 will get you into the Presidential Bourbon Barrel Club, which includes a barrel made from your own custom mash, 300 bottles of bourbon, an annual tasting while it ages for up to 8 years, and a night’s stay at the Cavalier each year when you visit. While we can’t comment on the value of that experience, we can delve into this 3 year old expression. Here we go!
On the nose, a modest barrel char aroma kicks things off, followed by a curious savory note that is reminiscent of roast beef and a touch of jalapeno. Dill notes follow soon after. The palate is quite soft and approachable, with red fruits followed by chewy grains, Bit-O-Honey, and buttered popcorn. On the finish, it’s toasty wood notes that are the most prominent, oddly making the conclusion the most youth-heavy part of the experience. It’s worthwhile on the whole, though pricey for a whiskey of this age.
86 proof. Reviewed: Batch #11.
B+ / $64 / tarnishedtruth.com