Virginia Gentleman represents our blog’s first exploration of bottom-shelf bourbon. This post is dedicated to a friend of the blog who told us about Virginia Gentleman and accurately described it as “cheap but not that bad.” This bourbon is distilled first at the Buffalo Trace Distillery before being redistilled at the A. Smith Bowman Distillery in Virginia. (Virginia Gentleman doesn’t appear anywhere on the distiller’s website, presumably because the other bourbons are much higher quality.) This may not be the most exciting introduction to a gentleman here, but this is a bourbon with no pretense about its quality.
We’re not trying to be harsh. At $12 a bottle, we weren’t expecting much. In fact, it might have been better than expected. (At this price, it’s not so much “expecting” flavor as much as it is “fearing” what we’re putting in our mouths.) Its color is light gold. Its smell is all caramel and super sweet, and Rachel said it kind of smelled like grass, too. Its flavor is also mainly caramel sweetness, though there is a very short finish that tastes mainly of burnt wood. Overall, it just feels thin.
Virginia Gentleman isn’t a good bourbon, but it’s not bad. I’ve had much worse bourbon at higher prices. It’s also a good option to mix with some cola or ginger beer. Also, it’s worth noting that the name “Virginia Gentleman” is pretty great.