Drake—yes, that Drake—has made a whiskey. It’s called Virginia Black, and it comes in a bottle that vaguely resembles a vessel for holding perfume. The spirit was made by blending a collection of two, three and four-year-old bourbons. The spirits were distilled in Indiana, and the words “Not From Virginia” appear on the back of the bottles, which is one of the stranger disclaimers I’ve yet seen.
The spirit pours a very faint caramel in the glass, and it has a sweet nose with notes of peach and vanilla. It’s immediately sweet on the palate, with a light body and bright, sweet flavors of peach and vanilla. The spirit’s high rye content contributes to a surge of spice at the center.
That’s where you might expect things to become more interesting, or build to a conclusion. But instead, a sweet, syrupy flavor swoops in, and the body that was developing seems to vanish. You’re left with that one-note sweetness right when you were hoping the journey would continue.
There’s nothing outright offensive about Virginia Black. And if you’re the type of drinker who shies away from whiskey because of its robust flavors, then Virginia Black’s lack of body and sweet characteristics might be its selling point. However, those same qualities make it difficult to recommend to the whiskey enthusiast, especially with so many better bottles available at a cheaper price.
— 40% ABV
CE Rating: ★★