Review: Virginia Black Decadent American Whiskey / by Jason Hambrey

2-4 Yrs; Virgin Charred Oak
Distiller MGP (Lawrenceburg, Indiana)

This whiskey is sourced from MGP, which Virginia Black states (to their credit) - most whisky producers who source from there avoid this fact. Some bottles even say "Not Made in Virginia". The whiskey was created through a collaboration between Drake and Brent Hocking (who also created Deleon Tequila) – and it is a blend of 2, 3, and 4 year old bourbons with a high rye content. The liquid itself is very dark in colour (almost black) – I can’t imagine that it is natural, as, I suppose, is true of most whiskies...sadly enough.

Review (2017)

  • Batch: N/A

  • Bottling Code: L63091

  • Bottling Date: ~2016

The nose shows lots of rye, and a good bit of fresh oak. Bitter caramel, dried apricot, dried rose, cinnamon, butterscotch – sweet, woody, and fruity. Slightly sour, and slightly raw. The palate is oaky, with some tannins, vanilla, dried apricot, dried rose, and wood char. The finish is quite sweet and fruity, with spice and light tannins emerging. It’s not great, but it’s not terrible. The bottle seems a bit obnoxious at first, but it is actually pleasantly eye catching in a liquor shelf - it does stand out. As a connoisseur whisky, it isn’t much – but that isn’t the audience.

It is flavorful, slightly punchy, fruity, spicy, sweet, and at a relatively moderate price point – actually just about right for the modern younger palate. If it was a bit older it would bring in a bit better balance and it would soften, and easily increase the score. MGP does make good juice.

Drinking it with ice (as perhaps, intended), you get a lot of rye laden fruit, nuts, and maple - the finish is all oak, with some dried fruit mixed in. The rough edges are smoothed out, but I actually prefer it neat – it is more alive.

Value: Low, at $50.