For a long time I was going to tell about a couple of premium bourbons I love very much. But it turned out otherwise, and now I write about one little known bourbon which is always within easy reach of my hand. It’s called Old Virginia Kentucky Straight Bourbon, and I’m used to choosing it when I make cocktails with bourbon.
I can’t find enough information concerning this whiskey. It’s known that Old Virginia brand is owned by French company Le Martiniquaise which also owns several little known whisky, vodka and gin brands. It seems like these ones as well as Old Virginia Bourbon are distributed mainly in France.
In Russia these brands are available through French retailer Auchan. And Auchan hypermarket was the place where I’ve bought a bottle of Old Virginia Kentucky Straight Bourbon aged for six years.
Old Virginia Kentucky Straight Bourbon, age – 6 years, 40%ABV, 0.7L bottle. Produced in Kentucky, USA.
Tested neat in snifter, room temperature.
Appearance: amber liquid.
Nose: prunes, raisin, a little charcoal, touch of vanilla and rubber.
Palate is a bit burning and tart but sweet in the end: prunes, wood, black pepper.
Aftertaste: charcoal, oak, cherry kernels, cloves, rubber.
Finish isn’t long, spotted vanilla, charcoal and dried fruits.
It’s not very delightful neat, this bourbon’s taste looks like too ordinary and subdued. But the smoothness is its obvious advantage.
But in cocktails Old Virginia Bourbon is goddamn good. It works well in Old-fashioned, the icon of bourbon-based drinks which is very sensitive to quality of used bourbon.
I made this drink very simply – without muddled orange slice and sugar lump.
My Old-fashioned was:
- 45 ml Old Virginia Bourbon,
- 1 teaspoon of simple syrup,
- 2 dash Angostura bitters,
- 2 big ice cubes.
Combine ingredients in old-fashioned glass and stir briefly. Add ice cubes.
This cocktail’s flavour is very similar to Old Virginia Bourbon neat. With extra sweetness added, it became more softer and deeper. Cardamom and ginger notes (thanks to bitters) added complexity and brightness to the taste.
This pleasant cocktail convince me of Old Virginia Bourbon value in my home bar.
Unfortunately, excessive dilution damages the flavour so this Old-fashioned cocktail is not for slow sipping.