Virgil Kaine Electric Owl Rye Whiskey

Any spirit with a name like Virgil Kaine Electric Owl is going to have a lot to unpack. The spirit in question is an overproof bourbon made in 2017 as a collaboration between Virgil Kaine Lowcountry Whiskey Co. and Revelry Brewing, both of which are based in Charleston, South Carolina.

Electric Owl Bourbon is a nine-year old sour mash whiskey finished in barrels sourced from Revelry, which had previously been filled with a Willamette Valley pinot noir and a wild farmhouse ale. The results of this marriage prove interesting, to say the least.

The whiskey pours a medium, reddish-gold in the glass and has cherry cola, green apples, oak, and hints of caramel and fudge on the nose. It begins light and lush on the palate, with subtle notes of fudge outshined by sharp green apple. It only grows more astringent at the center, where flavors of sour cherry emerge.

That sour spell is broken by a brief note of milk chocolate towards the back, which is itself consumed by oak and a strong surge of spice. It’s a powerfully tannic finish, but remains lush and wet rather than dry. Its final notes are of astringent, wild raspberry surrounded by a live-wire of crackling spice.

Anyone seeking a bourbon in the classic sense of the word won’t find what they’re looking for in a bottle of Electric Owl. But if you’re interesting in unexplored territory, Electric Owl is a journey you can’t refuse.

★★★

Stats:
— 50.05% ABV
— $75-80


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