Virginia Distillery Co. has spent the last two years promoting a line extension of Courage & Conviction expressions and their single cask, limited edition siblings, all of which are pulled from individual components of the flagship Courage & Conviction. For the latest addition to their portfolio, this highly regarded American single malt maker is getting back into the blending game. Double Cask Reserve is a single malt aged at least five years in a mix of ex-bourbon casks and cuvee casks, those flavorful shaved, toasted, and re-charred wine casks that have been a highlight of the distillery profile. I, at least, have really enjoyed every expression that incorporates them. Let’s see if that holds true for this latest offering.
This feels a bit more mature than previous Virginia Distillery Co. releases with less of the high tone brightness and a more rounded, deeper malt profile. Those cuvee casks contribute noticeable fruits to the aroma, but with more stone fruit this go around and not nearly the same exuberance as their single cask equivalents or even the flagship offering. Notes of warm peach cobbler and apple dumplings become less fruited as things open, evolving to orange marmalade on toast, honeycomb, and dry shortbreads. On the palate, things are a bit more bourbon-forward with toffee and caramel candies, dark vanilla bean, and a bit of chocolate-covered cherry. A flourish of peppery spice on the finish recedes quickly to brown butter and coconut cream.
While I’ve enjoyed the Bourbon Cask releases from this distillery, I’ve had a hard time recommending them over the more interesting and complex Sherry and Cuvee expressions. This Double Cask offering feels like a mostly ex-bourbon affair, but the addition of those cuvee-aged single malts, however minimal they may be, have really elevated this one. Another impressive blend from the folks in Lovingston, Virginia.
A- / $90 / vadistillery.com