Over a decade in as a distiller, Virginia Distillery Co. is gaining traction as a premiere American Single Malt Whisky producer. The distiller now has a line of four American Single Malt Whiskies from various casks all under the Courage & Conviction label.
Located in the Blueridge Mountains in Lovingston, Virginia, the distillery was founded by the late Dr. George G. Moore. Being a native Irishman, whisky was a drink that he had a strong appreciation for. This fondness towards whisky continued when he moved across the Atlantic Ocean to settle in American during the 1970s. Now the distillery is led by George’s wife, Angela Moore and their son, Gareth Moore, along with his wife, Maggie Moore.
The distillery has a line of American Single Malt Whisky that is sold under the Courage & Conviction label. This name comes from a famous saying that George told his friends and family, “Have the courage of your convictions”. Now this saying has become the Virginia Distillery Co.’s core principles.
In creating its American Single Malt Whisky, Virginia Distillery Co. uses only the highest quality malted barley and Blue Ridge Mountain fresh spring water. These ingredients all converge hand-hammered copper pot stills crafted in Scotland. The aging process then accentuates the commonwealth’s diverse climate that adds depth and nuances to its whisky.
The distillery’s Courage & Conviction line is its American Single Malt whisky that’s produced on-site. Using only malted barley from the U.S., this whisky is then set to rest in Sherry, Cuvée, and Bourbon casks. All four Courage & Conviction come in at 92 proof and are available in 750mL bottles.
Courage & Conviction – American Single Malt Whisky
The namesake whisky in its Courage & Conviction series also happens to be the distiller’s most award-winning whisky. Courage & Conviction – American Single Malt is a 100% malted barley whisky that is aged for a minimum of three years in former Sherry, Bourbon and Cuvée wine casks. The final blend is 50% Bourbon casks, 25% Sherry casks, and 25% Cuvée wine casks.
Courage & Conviction – American Single Malt brings forth an interesting palate that evolves with each sip. Initial notes of vanilla and caramel come forth that’s followed with a bit of caramel. Then a few sips later a bit of fruit is noticed that leaves a slightly sweet yet smooth finish.
Most recently, Courage & Conviction – American Single Malt has been awarded 91 Points – Whisky Advocate (Summer 2020); 96 Points – Wine Enthusiast (Jan/Feb 2021); and 94 Points – Ultimate Spirits Challenge (Fall 2020).
Courage & Conviction Bourbon Cask Courage & Conviction Bourbon Cask takes its name from its rest in former Bourbon casks that have been sourced from Kentucky. This American Single Malt whisky is distilled, matured for a minimum of three years, non-chill filtered, and bottled on-site at its distillery.
This one was our favorite of the four and also happens to be the most traditional whisky in the group. Being that this is distilled from a 100% malted barley mash bill, the aging in former bourbon casks brings forth nuances that’s expected in a bourbon, just without the required mash bill.
Courage & Conviction Bourbon Cask offers up notes of vanilla and a bit of cinnamon that’s followed up with a bit of honey. The mouthfeel is creamy and finishes smooth.
Courage & Conviction Sherry Cask
This 100% malted barley whisky is aged for at least three years in three different former Spanish Sherry casks. These casks consist of Fino, Oloroso, and Pedro Ximénez.
Courage & Conviction Sherry Cask is a unique whisky with its own flavors, many not normally associated with a whisky. Fans of Sherry will definitely gravitate towards this offering. This Sherry Cask offers up notes of raisins and cherries as it finishes with a bit of sweet spice.
Courage & Conviction Cuvée Cask
The lineup rounds out with its Courage & ConvictionCuvée Cask. This too is a 100% malted barley whisky that is aged for a minimum of three years, but in specialty Cuvée wine casks. These casks are also known as STR casks that stands for shaved, toasted and re-charred.
This one pours the darkest in color of all four Courage & Conviction offerings. The former wine barrels bring a flavor profile similar to other wine barrel finished whiskies from craft distillers. The nose is full of tart fruit that continues to the flavor. As this tartness continues it suddenly drops off a bit for a surprisingly smooth finish.
To locate a bottle of Virginia Distillery Co. Whisky, it can be mail ordered to over 40 states, including Oregon and Washington, by visiting https://order.vadistillery.com.
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 25 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in the archives of Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter and Instagram at @hopapalooza.