We made this day trip to garner Father’s Day presents. My mountain neighbor (meaning she’s only one ridge or so over) Heidi’s father loved his Scotch. Mine will put anything in his coffee so we figured we had a match and the prospects of a fun day. I found the Virginia Distillery Company because in my fair ignorance of hard liquor I was searching for a place that made Scotch and their website came up. Not that I mind my tequila, but in general I really know next to nothing about most forms of hard liquor. The fact that the distillery offered tours made it a great ‘destination’ day trip so we were definitely both in.
The distillery is a couple hours north and we chose to get there via Lynchburg. If you take this trip, you can stop for lunch In Lynchburg (we recommend trying the Depot Grill down by the river for ambiance and some pretty good food) and make it to the distillery in time for a tour and a couple tastings.
The distillery starts their tour in the downstairs museum that walks thru the history of the company and the making of bourbon… and why they are working with other companies nationally to make American Single Malt an official thing. If you’re in the know (and I’m definitely not), bourbon whisky made with rye is called Scotch to most folks. Except… that truly Scotch is only really Scotch if it comes from Scotland. SO thus, the birth of the American Single Malt movement. They even address the controversy about the spelling of whisky vs whiskey (I won’t spoil it for you) and have some honest-to-gosh moonshine equipment for you to see. [Side note – I’ve been fairly sure something is going on at times at the creek at the western edge of our property. We’ve found moonshine bottles there. Left them there for you to find, they kinda add to the regional flair. OH and if you want to get in to moonshine history and such… you need to go to Rocky Mount just south of Roanoke but that’s another story (and a much shorter day trip).] Anyway, the tour takes you thru the making of bourbon and they have some very nice displays so you can see things in progress.
At the moment, the distillery’s products are actually a blend because their first full fledged product is still a year away (2020). It’s a gorgeous facility and the back porch is definitely the place for tastings.
Now, when we arrived it occurred to me that my brother might like some bourbon whisky also. He is a connoisseur and a self-professed knowledgeable one. Figured I was getting Dad something, might as well make nice with the brother also (this was definitely before I knew how much the ‘good stuff’ cost). Texted him to ask. Then I texted him a photo of the production building’s phrase ‘GREAT WHISKY STARTS AS A JOURNEY’ just to taunt him. This started a cross country text stream that had both Heidi and I laughing (apologetically, mostly during the tour but I tipped well). I included excerpts below for you to enjoy, you might learn something about whisky making (probably not). Oh, and yes, swiping is very fast… and very inaccurate.
After all was said and done, I definitely had to buy him some whisky.
No one was injured on this day trip… and no one did any drinking while driving. All safe and legal here. Really.