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BourbonSipper
02-01-2008, 06:38
This past year I had the unfortunate experience of actually buying a bottle of Wasmund's new Virginia whiskey. Since I was born and raised in Virginia and have spent many a summer fishing on the Rappahanock river, I was intriqued by a magazine article I read about this new Virginia distillery and their "Rappahannock Pot-Stilled Single Malt Whiskey'. I knew I was gambling with my $35 at the liquor store, but figured since they were local I would give their product a try. The bottle I purchased said "Batch No. 3" on the front, and "4 Months old" on the back.

I can say, without equivocation, that this is the absolute worst whiskey I have ever tasted in my 15 years of sipping spirits, and that is saying a lot. An aroma like fruity paint thinner, so much so I was almost afraid to bring the glass to my lips, and a taste not unlike the aroma. It is atrocious. Just god-awful bad. I would not even use it for mixing. I felt like I had been ripped off, and had I been able to return the bottle to the ABC store for a refund, I would have done so immediately. At the least, next time I am there the clerk who told me "I heard some folks say it was pretty good" is going to get some very blunt feedback from me.

I really wanted this whiskey to at least be decent, so I could feel a bit of Virginian pride in their product, and I hope one day they actually learn to make and age a palatable whiskey, but for the time being, I have to try and save others from throwing their money away like I did. If you have any sense of taste whatsoever with respect to whiskey, you will be sorry if you buy this product.

mier
02-01-2008, 07:19
4 months old sounds more as spirit than whisk(e)y which has to be matured at least 2yrs in the U.S. or 3yrs in Europeto be called whisk(e)y legally.Looks like they mislead the people which is a bad thing because the genuine products can get a bad name from this but i admire any GOOD innovation regarding whisk(e)y or other distilled spirit.I hope they do something about this.
Eric.

jburlowski
02-01-2008, 15:18
ABSOLUTELY vile stuff!

TNbourbon
02-01-2008, 20:02
4 months old sounds more as spirit than whisk(e)y which has to be matured at least 2yrs in the U.S. or 3yrs in Europeto be called whisk(e)y legally...

Not so, at least regarding American whiskey. The 2-year definer is a requisite for 'straight' whiskey, but the distillate is whiskey from the time it comes off the still, if made from a proper grain mash at a proper proof.
Corn whiskey, for example, is famously unaged, with some touting the fact they spend less than 30 days in barrels.

Sijan
02-02-2008, 11:17
I've tried some as well. I remember the nose and the finish being decent, but thought it was pretty unappealing on the palate. Fortunately, was able to try from an open bottle at a store and did not purchase a bottle.

Rughi
02-02-2008, 11:36
Is this aged the same way as the Kopper Kettle? If I remember my discussion with Rick Wasmund correctly, it is.

The unfortunate thing about that product is that it's maker is a true believer in his apple chip aging, and he isn't just using this method as a stopgap while he ages product for years in barrels.

When I talked with him at the 2007 SF Independent Distillers, he boasted that he would line it up with any 12 yo Single Malt. I can't agree.

Read more in this thread (http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7967&highlight=Independent)

Roger

PAspirit1
02-02-2008, 12:52
This is on my list to try. I remember reading that they use oak smoke in the way that peat smoke is used in some scotches. That seemed interesting. I guess I'll try a mini or a drink if I find it.

Jake_Parrott
02-02-2008, 13:14
He malts all his own barley. That's bloody awesome. But he has neither the cashflow nor the desire to put up barrels without chipping. But if you cover his costs for producing a barrel (primarily the $2K or so tax bond required, plus cost of materials), he'll put one up for you, I'd imagine.

Rughi
02-02-2008, 13:45
...he has neither the cashflow nor the desire to put up barrels without chipping...

I liked his unaged spirit better than the chip-aged, and assume I'd like a barrel aged product better than the chip as well. My opinion is that it's the same as when I'm making wine - either use the barrel or keep the wine as a fresh and fruity expression in inert vessels - but the chips don't satisfy.


...if you cover his costs for producing a barrel (primarily the $2K or so tax bond required, plus cost of materials), he'll put one up for you, I'd imagine.

A promising strategy that Scott Bush of Templeton is considering is to sell the raw spirit and small barrels and let the consumer age it as they see fit. This has no bonding or tax implications for the distiller, and let's the consumer tinker to their hearts content.

If I lived in your part of the country, I'd discuss that with Wasmund. Crash might want to set up that type of program with Wasmund and/or Templeton.

Roger

Jake_Parrott
02-02-2008, 14:37
A promising strategy that Scott Bush of Templeton is considering is to sell the raw spirit and small barrels and let the consumer age it as they see fit. This has no bonding or tax implications for the distiller, and let's the consumer tinker to their hearts content. Right. Unfortunately, as Tuthilltown Spirits is showing, the really small barrels are tricky in their own right. Not to mention it's hard to get ex-bourbon casks that small. Except from Tuthilltown. And BT, I suppose :).

Rughi
02-02-2008, 14:50
...it's hard to get ex-bourbon casks that small. Except from Tuthilltown. And BT, I suppose :).

I can easily buy virgin toasted or charred barrels in 1, 2, 3, and 5 gallon sizes and so can anyone else. I obtain used casks by... using a virgin barrel and then refilling it. It's not any more difficult than that. I've done it and I think you've done it, too. Except for the expense, it's no more complicated than that. Small barrels are pricey.

Roger

Jake_Parrott
02-03-2008, 09:48
I can easily buy virgin toasted or charred barrels in 1, 2, 3, and 5 gallon sizes and so can anyone else. I obtain used casks by... using a virgin barrel and then refilling it. It's not any more difficult than that. I've done it and I think you've done it, too. Except for the expense, it's no more complicated than that. Small barrels are pricey.

Roger
I haven't done it. But clearly, wood that has been soaking in/processing bourbon for 4-16 years will work differently than wood that has held bourbon for a few months.

jburlowski
02-10-2008, 15:47
Awful... truly A-A-W-W-F-F-U-U-L-L stuff!

mitchshrader
03-06-2008, 17:19
i'm forced to love the idea and avoid the example.

i do happen to think that 'chipping' is a viable way to get there from here. i just don't agree with his recipe nor result. :) I think the chipping* needs to be with old wood, not new, partial staves of aged sherry and cognac and rum barrels, using what would otherwise be 'too old to rework'.

I think using that method you might approximate a 20 year old booze in 6 or 8 years, if you didn't distill it at a terribly high proof. say, 140 proof into the barrel and 120 proof out, cut it to 100 and call it done. Rich with flavor and old enough not to bite.. it's at least plausible..

Jake_Parrott
03-06-2008, 18:30
Rick is going to much older chips (it took new chips to get to old chips) and longer chipping times. The later batches (say, 13 on) show a little more smoothness. Some of the smokiness on the finish comes from his base spirit, which is quite strongly smoky.