Can you really go wrong when you put beer and whisky together?
No. The answer is no. Sipped separately or served as a Boilermaker, it is one of our favorite combinations (outside of whiskey mixed with more whiskey, of course).
This is why we were excited when Virginia Distillery Company released its latest expression: Brewers Batch 1, a beer-finished whisky.
Before we go on, if anyone out there is wondering, yes, there is no ‘e’ in this whisky. Virginia Distillery Company marries Highland Scotch whisky with a single malt whiskey that they make in their distillery, which they call Virginia-Highland whisky.
Now, onto the new release.
To accomplish this beer-finished expression, the Lovingston, Virginia-based distillery worked with Three Notch’d Brewing Company (located about 35 miles away in Charlottesville) on a beer brewed specifically for the collaboration: a Wee Heavy style beer named Stage Road.
(Quick beer fact: Wee Heavys — sometimes also referred to as Scotch Ales — are typically sweet, full-bodied beers with an ABV of between 6-10 percent. Some of the Wee Heavys we love around here are Oskar Blues Old Chub, Founders Backwoods Bastard, and for both the name and the beer, Moylan’s Brewery’s Kilt Lifter.)
On the actual production side, Three Notch’d took Virginia Distillery Company whisky casks to age the beer. After a few months, the distillery took the casks back and put their whisky back in to finish it off.
The resulting whisky is rich in cocoa and caramel, with malty notes accentuated by the vanilla flavors that came from the casks.
In total, 250 cases of Brewers Batch 1 were produced. If you’re looking for this release, your best bet will be to head to a Virginia ABC store, as only a small number of bottles will be available online and in the Washington D.C. market. The bottles retail for $65 plus tax.
Virginia Distillery Company is already working on the second edition of Brewers Batch — this time with Three Stars Brewing, which is located in Washington D.C. There’s no word yet as to what style of beer Three Stars is using, but if it ends up as tasty as Brewers Batch 1, we can’t help but be excited.
Also, if Virginia Distillery Company plans to continue their Brewers Batch with breweries with the word three in them, we’ve gone and found a few they might want to think about (even though they’re not based in Virginia): Three Floyds Brewing Co, Three 3’s Brewery, or Three Four Beer Co, just to name a few. Three, in fact.