I was shocked to realized I had never posted about Virgin Bourbon on the blog. It’s a Heaven Hill product which is primarily sold in North Carolina and overseas. Virginia seems to get a smidge of it as well while we can snag fifths and handles off the bottom shelf regularly. The fifth is $14 and handles regularly go on sale for $22. Think about that a minute, decent Bourbon for less than 40 cents an ounce! Virgin is always 101 proof and up until recently it was 7 years old. Just this week Fred Minnick tweeted: “CONFIRMED: Heaven Hill is discontinuing age statement for Virgin 7 yr 101 bourbon, mostly distributed in North Carolina. They need aged stocks for Elijah, McKenna and barrel proof products, company said. Another regional age stated product, HH Green label, is staying, they said.” Almost immediately some of the no age statement product started hitting the shelves and appears in the photo below (used with permission). There is still plenty of age statement product to be found, but once it is gone, it will be gone forever so snag it while you can.
Since I haven’t mentioned Virgin before, this is by far the best bottom shelf Bourbon available. In fact it is the house Bourbon at The Crunkleton in Charlotte. The aroma begins with an oak presence which is slightly rough around the edges. It quickly develops pepper spice alcohol presence, brown sugar, leather, honey, and sherry. The flavor mirrors the aroma with a subdued oak and leather, restrained brown sugar, and peppery alcohol. The finish has another touch of the rough edge oak, a restrained, yet present, alcohol burn and a long lasting impression of Bourbon. I was turned on to this Bourbon by a member and founder of our local Bourbon group after he was given it in a blind tasting and it came in 2nd place out of four. Virgin is great neat, over ice, or mixed. I typically make it an early drink rather than one later in the evening. If you have something wonderful the rough edges may be perceived as jagged so start the evening with this delicious bottom shelf Bourbon and think about all the money you saved. When I see a really expensive Bourbon, above $100 per fifth, I start to think how much more will I enjoy it than Virgin. Assuming the bottle is $150 per fifth, will you enjoy it 15 times more than Virgin. If you can, go out and get a bottle of 7 year old Virgin. At worst you get a 7 year 101 proof Bourbon which is tasty to add to your bar.