Old Virginia 6YO (40%)

At least in the Baltic countries, the Bourbons sold in stores seem to be divided into two different camps. Cheap products worth € 10-15 (70cl), slightly obscure, often bottled in Europe and mostly bulk whiskey bought from some big producers. And then there are bottles from big, well-known manufacturers that cost from € 17-18 upwards. Old Virginia is somewhere in between. It is said to have matured for 6 years and in the US it is priced in the $ 30 range. But in Latvia, that bottle was on sale for a ridiculously low price of € 11.89, which puts some doubt on the quality. Old Virginia is a brand of the French company La Martiniquaise, which has some lesser-known rums, gins and Scotch whiskeys in the catalog (Label 5, Cutty Sark). At least 51% corn has been used in Old Virginia, its column distilled and matured in new oak barrels for 6 years.

The nose is sweet and quite thin; corn, caramel, plum and oak. The taste is not as sweet as might be expected from the smell, but somehow quite sharp. The ethanol burn is surprisingly strong. The taste has caramel, prune and a slightly bitter oak aroma. The aftertaste is short and slightly spicy, with black pepper and cloves. The taste is however quite one-sided and flat. The proportion of corn in the recipe seems to be quite high, certainly more than the 51% mentioned by the manufacturer. Old Virginia feels clearly younger than the 6 years stated on the label. Based on the mouthfeel, I would bet the maturing time is somewhere around 2-3 years. Old Virginia is sharp and dull to sip neat, it is clearly made for mixing drinks. For cocktails, it fits just as well as Jim Beam and other basic bottles. Old Virginia is affordable but one-sided and not very specific bourbon.

75/100

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