Review: Virginia Black American Whiskey

I’d like to start by confessing some things:

  1. I listen to a lot of hip-hop. Like, a whole lot. I love it.
  2. I’ve never listened to a Drake song. In fact, the only thing I know about Drake is that he was in that fucked up Sprite commercial where his body splits apart revealing a bunch of music equipment with delicious lemon-lime soda pouring all over it (which seems like it would ruin the electronics, but I could be wrong, I’m not a doctor).sprite1
  3. I lied in confession #2 and I actually know one more thing about Drake: He did some weird dance in one of his videos and it became a big deal on the internet.
  4. Until now, I’ve never drank whiskey out of what looks like a giant cologne bottle. Hence a photoshoot in the bathroom seemed appropriate.
  5. Since I wrote confession #2 I’ve listened to approximately 3 Drake songs and, as far as I can tell, I am not going to be a fan of Drake’s music.

Phew, it feels good to get all that off my chest. Anyways, with Drake’s autotune bullshit filling the empty space that was peaceful quiet, it’s time to type some words about his whiskey.

Drake teamed up with Brent Hocking, creator of DeLeón Tequila which seems to be a big deal for some reason based off some Googling, to create Virginia Black American Whiskey. The expression is a blend of 2, 3, and 4-year MGP juice which is “mellowed to 40% alcohol-by-volume (80 Proof) to showcase the true essence of Bourbon.” Whatever the shit that means.

Nowhere on this ridiculous looking bottle or the box it came in does the word “Bourbon” appear. Only things like “Decadant American Whiskey” in gold print provide any context. I’m not sure why this isn’t Bourbon, but at this point I don’t really care since I’ve done more reading about Drake tonight that I ever planned to do in my entire life.

It’s time to drink.

Company: Virginia Black

Distillery: MGP

Location: Lawrenceburg, IN

Mash bill: ?

Age: Blend of 2, 3, and 4 year juice

ABV: 40% (80 proof)

Released: Summer 2016

Price: $31

Color: Deep Honey

Nose: Right off the bat I’m reminded of our barrel aging experiment in which we aged a random mix of white dog in a 2-liter barrel for 6 months. There are elements of incredibility young whiskey like raw grain, corn, and kind of a plastic-y thing joined by like cinnamon, black pepper, and cherry syrup. Overall it smells incredibly sweet and candy-like.

Taste: Like the nose would suggest, this stuff is sweet. Even though it’s watered down to 80 proof for essence reasons, the youth of the sauce still lets a lot of raw alcohol through but it’s quickly drowned out by cherry candy, green apple, red hots, brown sugar and butterscotch.

Finish: Sweetness lingers but is joined by grainy vibes and ethanol, leaving my mouth coated with boozy candy. I’m left trying to blow the alcohol vapors out of my mouth.

Overall: This is by far the best Drake whiskey I’ve ever had. I find it interesting that they would blend that 2 and 3-year whiskey in to the 4-year. It really throws everything off and the flavors of each fight each other throwing it way off balance.

It’s so sweet that I can only assume they have a specific target demographic in mind, and I bet it isn’t an uncoordinated 6’5″, 330 lb, ginger dude from Oklahoma that likes craft beer and barrel strength Bourbon. This bottle was clearly meant to be taken to the club by people that don’t normally drink whiskey. I can only imagine the lights from the dance floor reflecting and refracting off the shiny gold plastic cap and ribbed glass front in spectacular fashion.

Cheers to you, party people.

Rating: 2/5


26 thoughts on “Review: Virginia Black American Whiskey

    1. Aww thank you! It was a really fun one to write. I don’t really enjoy writing negative things, I wish they all tasted good, but the background on this whiskey made it fun. Thanks for reading!

    2. This is like the funniest and most authentic review of this purported American whisky.

      I have a bottle and when I opened it, it was poison, not the 80’s hair metal band, but poison from the Periodic Table. But a couple nights later it settled down into cologne that might have been left on the set of Boogie Nights.

      Cheers and keep those reviews comin!

  1. American whiskey is bourbon. Just like Jack Daniels is labeled ‘Tennessee Whiskey’, it is still a bourbon. Unless specified as ‘ American Rye’, it is safe to assume that it is a bourbon. This is coming from a Canadian who drinks whisky/whiskey on a regular basis. Do some homework on the basics of whisky.

    1. Bourbon is not just “American Whiskey”. To be called Bourbon it must be made in America, yes, but also the mash must be at least 51% corn, it must come off the still at no more than 160 proof, it must be barreled at no more than 125 proof, it must be aged in new charred oak barrels, and it must contain no additives. To be labeled ‘straight bourbon’ it must be at least 2 years old, and to drop its age statement it must be at least 4. Because of all these requirements it is NOT safe to assume that Virginia Black is bourbon. It could be aged in used barrels, for example. Could it be bourbon? Sure, but you can’t just assume it is because it’s from America an not labeled as “American Rye”.

      I’ve done my homework, dickbag, you haven’t. Next time give something a quick Google before you come on my site and act like an idiot. Happy Boxing Day!

  2. That… that… was beautiful! I love watching someone so cocksure and yet completely wrong get schooled. Buckle… smh ?

    1. Due to the fact that it doesn’t say “Bourbon” anywhere on the bottle, you absolutely cannot assume that it is Bourbon. It could have artificial flavoring (up to 2% before it has to say so on the label) or it could be partially aged in used barrels. I understand what you mean, and you can definitely tell it’s an american whiskey by how it tastes, but do to strict legal requirements you can’t assume it’s Bourbon. Cheers!

  3. I bought this without vetting it first. Wish I had read your review while standing in the bourbon aisle, my money could have been spent so much better. It’s just odd and unenjoyable.

  4. Over the last few years my tastes have changed and although I’ve really enjoyed many single malts, I’ve begun to enjoy bourbons and Canadian Rye whiskeys. I’ve lived in Canada my whole live and never liked Rye, but for some reason all of a sudden I’m finding some quite enjoyable. Specifically, Canadian Club Small Batch, which has an almost sherry casked taste. I bought a bottle of Virginia Black, and i’m almost ashamed to admit that after reading the reviews, I very much agree with you in that the flavours almost fight with each other. The thing is, on ice, I actually enjoy Virginia Black as a sweet whiskey when I’m in the mood for a casual sweet taste. It’s somewhat similar to drinking Jack Daniels, in my humble opinion which isn’t worth much. My take is, it’s okay to buy and okay to like it. I wouldn’t trade it for a bottle of Blantons though. (I hope I don’t get called a “dick bag”! ) I loved your comments. btw? what’s a dick bag? LOL… Great review! thanks.

    1. Haha. Thanks! Our opinion isn’t worth anything by the way, we just happen to have bought a domain and post them on a blog. Cool you are getting into rye, there are some really good ones out there. Rittenhouse and Pikesville are great ones to start with.

  5. Thanks for responding Kris. I think i was mad at the dick bag comment you gave my fellow canadian. Im having a glass of this crap right now regretting the 40 bux i spent. still new to bourbon as we drink more rye here. Really like this buffalo trace i tried the other day. Any suggestions like it? Heard van winkle is awesome i have to wait till march 9th to see if there are any left to buy at our local store here

  6. I see this for sale everywhere in the DC area for about 23 bucks. I have to admit I want to try it just to see how shitty it really is. Or maybe give it to a friend as a goof for his birthday (and then follow up 30 min later with something real). Not sure I could hold the straight face for that long though. Thanks for the review

  7. This stuff is lousy………tried it out just out of curiosity and wish I stuck with my Woodford Reserve. No comparison….if it is bourbon by definition it’s the same category as Old Crow.

  8. I only found out about this from a commercial while I was watching my pathetic Broncos this afternoon. Curious, I did some intergoogle research and came across this awesome review. Thanks for making my day. I’m a Bourbon drinker (among other things), too far out in the country and to old to do the club thing. I’ll stick with my Basil Hayden, and a good Port if I need dessert. Merry Christmas to all!

  9. The curse of the interesting bottle! It seems that when we encounter an interesting bottle…the whiskey tends to suck.

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