I wrote my first bourbon review last week, giving you my thoughts on Buffalo Trace, a big-name brand out of Kentucky. For today's bourbon review, I'm going with a small craft distillery in Nelson County, Virginia.
Silverback Distillery is owned by U.S. Congressman Denver Riggleman and his wife Christine. According to the origins page on their website, the women in Christine's family have always made their own alcohol. After a trip to Scotland, she decided to start making her own whiskey.
She apprenticed at a distillery in Washington before becoming a master distiller and starting Silverback in the mountains of Nelson County.
My parents visited Silverback while doing a tour of the breweries and distilleries along Route 151 in Nelson County. They brought back this bottle of Blackback bourbon, which we were all excited to try.
This bourbon won the competition for Best Bourbon Under 4 Years at the 2018 New Orleans Bourbon Festival. It has also been rated a 94/100 by Cigar & Spirits in 2017, so there were some high expectations.
Now remember, my bourbon tasting skills aren't that great, but good enough to know if I like something, and this bourbon lived up to my expectations. It had a smoky aroma and an equally smoky taste. It was a stark contrast to the Buffalo Trace, which was smooth and sweet, but still very good.
Their website describes it as having notes of vanilla and oak. I definitely got the oak notes, but not much vanilla when I tasted it. I liked the smokiness that I tasted, and I would definitely recommend this bourbon to anyone looking to try smaller distilleries.