Newcomer Reverend Spirits hit shelves earlier this year in Virginia, the passion project of Norfolk-based restaurant owner Karl Dornemann. Karl named his distillery, R.D.Wilhelm Distilling Co., and its spirits line for his own father, an Episcopal priest. The lineup for Reverend Spirits coming out of the gate is understandably limited, consisting of a vodka, gin, and bourbon, initial batches of which were contract distilled long before the distillery even opened its doors and are reportedly aged for a full four years. Beyond that, details for this Reverend Bourbon Whiskey are pretty sparse. The distillery sent us a sample for review, so let’s dig in.
The nose on this Reverend Bourbon shows generous maturity with dark brown sugar, creamy caramel, and ample woodshop notes. It’s a classic aroma and enjoyably so, evolving as it open to showcase a bit of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal and dark cocktail cherries. The palate isn’t overly sweet, coming across as a bit savory in fact, with barrel char and barbecue serving as a counter to notes of maple syrup and cinnamon sugar. It’s a flavorful bourbon, if already a bit oak-driven and drying, even at such a modest age. If you enjoy your bourbons on the beefier side, this Rev may be just your cup of tea.
B+ / $30 / rdwilhelmdistillery.com