The Best Whiskeys Available in Virginia
Whiskey is a spirit tied to drinking culture. For the casual drinker, it may be paired alongside a ribeye, sipped in the comfort of a cocktail lounge, or as a nightcap after an eventful evening. With distilleries across the United States, whiskey lovers can explore a variety of bottles from just about any state. But when it comes to authentic American whiskey, Virginia is one of the original whiskey states you must try a bottle from.
Distilling processes, recipes, and regional differences can all impart their own unique flavors on a bottle of whiskey. If you're selecting bottles for your liquor cabinet at home, you’ll want a variety that allows you to explore the range of flavors whiskey has to offer. Luckily, you can find an amazing selection of bottles from some of the finest distilleries in Virginia. Here’s our list of the best whiskeys you can get!
A Virginia distillery devoted to rye, Catoctin Creek’s most popular whiskey is a spirit that boasts the flavors typical of a rye whiskey. Sourced locally from 100% rye grain and produced in Purcellville, Virginia, the Catoctin Creek rye is smooth, woody, and accompanied with a full-bodied flavor of fruits and nuts. Tasters can distinguish rich notes of caramel, butter toffee, and lemon as they pour their way through a bottle. One of the best rye whiskeys available from the state, you’ll find it best enjoyed served up or crafted as an Old Fashioned.
The signature Virginia Straight Bourbon Whiskey of A. Smith Bowman Distillery. A pour of this bottle may bring a mixture of berries, vanilla, and spice to the palate. Coupled with a nice burn, this is a Virginia whiskey that should be on every connoisseurs list.
Virginia Lightning Apple Pie
Belmont Farm Distillery is one of those Virginia whiskey brands that’s producing a truly unique selection for the region. From their line of moonshines, Virginia Lightning Apple Pie gives a nod to the American South with a bottle of apple pie moonshine made with real apple juice. Bottled at 70 proof, this pour is a sweeter drink that’s perfect as a cocktail before dinner, a mixer, or to keep in hand throughout the bonfire season.
Courage & Conviction is the crown jewel of Virginia Distillery Co. Made with 100% malted barley and aged for a minimum of three years in Bourbon, Sherry, and Cuvée Casks, this pour is a delight any time of the year. Caramel and butterscotch arise to the nose, while drinkers experience raspberry, cocoa, spice, and vanilla tones across the palate followed by a creamy finish. Courage & Conviction may be from one of the newer whiskey brands in the state, but it has all the flavor of a Virginia whiskey crafted through time-honored traditions and expertise, and it easily takes on the finest single malts currently available in the market.
Copper Fox Distillery produces their signature whiskey from 100% hand malted Virginia barley, dried with apple wood and cherry wood smoke. Imbibers who crack open a bottle can expect aromas of suede, leather, and olive tapenade. This Virginia whiskey has a pleasant taste of dried fruitiness rounded off with a finish that’s spicy, smoky, and decadently sweet like a root beer float.
Ragged Branch Wheated Bourbon Whiskey
A spirit that’s a delectable experience for those seeking a Virginia whiskey, Ragged Branch Distillery’s Wheated Bourbon is one that provides the same warmth and sweetness of a Southern granny. Drinkers will open up to comfortable scents of oak on the nose, before indulging in a swig of vanilla, caramel, and honey flavors. A smooth and sweet finish makes this whiskey an excellent choice for those seeking a cocktail to end their night.
KO Distilling’s own spin on moonshine has a smoothness and complexity that most others lack. This clear whiskey, aged for one day, sets itself apart from most other corn whiskeys with a blend of wheat, rye, and malted barley. With all the flavor from the grains, whiskey lovers will be greeted with sweet notes of wheat, cherry, and pastry dough, followed with a peppery finish from the rye. While this spirit is perfectly fine served up, it really shines (pun intended) in a variety of craft cocktails like a Whiskey Smash or an Irish Mule.
Blue Sky Distillery’s 90 proof whiskey is distilled from 100% wheat and aged in American Oak for a classic taste that whiskey enthusiasts will adore. Triple Deuce’s flavor is sweet, smooth, and velvety, perfect for sipping neat, on the rocks, or as a Boulevardier. As a Virginia distillery in the coastal community of Smithfield, guests can grab a bottle on site after touring Blue Sky or visiting their tasting room.
Made by Silverback Distillery, this bourbon whiskey is its most sought after product and for good reason. You can expect scents of banana bread on the nose that transcend into a sweet nuttiness with traces of oak. Most notably, a butterscotch finish leaves a pleasant mouthfeel after you’re done. Silverback isn’t only a Virginia whiskey brand led by a mother-daughter duo, but it’s new arrival on the scene has been promising for local whiskey drinkers looking to imbibe.
Finding the Best Virginia Whiskey for You
While all of these bottles are great options to start off any aficionado’s journey through Virginia whiskey, finding the perfect blend is a quest that’s best left for your individual palate. When selecting your next purchase, make a few considerations first. Are you more likely to make a craft cocktail at home or enjoy your whiskey neat? What flavor profiles do you enjoy most? Who will you be drinking with? Finding the perfect bottle for your collection isn’t just about the best tasting whiskey, it’s about the whiskey that best suits you.