K&L Exclusive: An Astounding STR Cask from a Whiskey Visionary – American Whiskey News

An Astounding Exclusive Cask from an American Visionary
Virginia Distilling Co. Courage & Conviction “Cuvée Cask #1275” K&L Exclusive Cask Strength American Single Malt Whiskey (750ml) ($99.99)
“… it’s difficult to express how special this barrel is. The closest comparisons are the truly wonderful malts from Kavalan.” — David Othenin-Girard, K&L Spirits Buyer

Virginia Distilling Company is perhaps the most important name in domestic whiskey that you’ve never heard of. Founded by the late Dr. George Moore, this uncompromising distiller is “rightfully among the pantheon of great American single malt producers,” as our own David Othenin-Girard puts it. A leading light in establishing the standards by which this burgeoning category will be defined in the years to come, VDC has nonetheless flown under the radar of most American whiskey aficionados—until now. By utilizing a premium STR cask (shaved, toasted, and re-charred), they have crafted a profile that can most accurately be compared to the iconic Taiwanese spirits of the coveted Kavalan brand. The highly active cask results in a level of complexity virtually unheard-of in American whiskey, especially after a few drops of water. As David exclaims, “this thing is an absolute dream. Few craft (or industrial) distillers can match the quality and complexity that this special cask offers.” For collectors and connoisseurs who thought they’d seen the pinnacle of American whiskey, Virginia Distilling and the Cuvée Cask #1275 are ready to open a whole new paradigm. With extremely limited quantities available, swift action is highly recommended, as we don’t expect to see these casks again any time soon.

Virginia Distilling Co. Courage & Conviction “Cuvée Cask #1275” K&L Exclusive Cask Strength American Single Malt Whiskey (750ml) ($99.99)

K&L Notes: The Virginia Distilling Co. is one of the country’s most exciting whiskey producers. Founded by the late Dr. George G. Moore in 2011, the Virginia Distilling Co. has worked within the burgeoning American Single Malt category and its best producers in the American Single Malt Whiskey Commission to define the category and create standards which will help future producers navigate the complexities of American whiskey laws. In addition to helping define the category, VDC is committed to producing exceptional single malts using the highest-quality ingredients that reflect the place in which they were distilled. Dr. George Moore liked to say, “Have the courage of your convictions.” But nothing about the malts he made lead us to believe that he was on the wrong track. Distilled on Scottish-built pots and aged in the highest quality barrels, this exceptional single cask was filled on April 30th, 2017 and dumped in July of 2021. The barrel type in question, their Cuvée Cask, is the same developed by Jim Swan for Kavalan in Taiwan, known as the STR—shave, toast, rechar. The resulting malt shows surprising depth at its age due to the excellent cask, spirit, and strong temperature fluctuations at the distillery. Robust and flavorful, few craft distillers are putting out more complex and complete products than Virginia Distilling Co.

David Othenin-Girard | K&L Spirits Buyer | Review Date: June 30, 2022

The Virginia Distilling Company sits rightfully among the pantheon of great American single malt producers, and it’s difficult to express how special this barrel is. The closest comparison is truly the wonde​rful malts from Kavalan, and indeed the barrel in question is the same style used at the famous Taiwanese distillery. There it is known as “Vinho Barrique,” but in Virginia they call it the Cuvée Cask. The two distilleries have very different climates—although both see extreme heat, Virginia has significantly more diurnal fluctuation as compared to the almost always humid and hot tropical warehouses in Taiwan. Nonetheless, a huge amount of extraction is achieved, and with the highest-quality malt and exceptional water, this whisky is sure to be considered world-class in no time. The color is auburn with flecks of polished mahogany. The nose has a purity rarely seen in American single malts or even in Scotland, with delineated apple and pear framed by sweet spices and dark cocoa. The toasted vanilla is evident as well, alongside some seriously appealing, earthy malt. On the palate, baked apple and cinnamon spice are paired with a rich, malty note that somehow powers through the dense, woodsy character created by the highly active STR cask. With a splash of water, this malt really starts to shine! Extremely pungent, dark plummy fruit now explodes from the glass. Sweet and savory espresso roast coupled with cherry compote ​emerges after the dark fruit subsides. On the palate, it’s dark chocolate and plums all day with a gorgeous baking spice that runs throughout. With a bit of water this thing is an absolute dream. Few craft (or industrial) distillers can match the quality and complexity that this special cask offers.

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