Image by Amanda Click / TheDigitel
Bourbon has and always will be a staple spirit of the South. There hasn't been much innovation in the bourbon field for quite some time, but local chefs Dave Szlam and Jake Johnson are about to change all that with Virgil Kaine.
After enjoying bourbon and gingers throughout the years, the idea to permanently marry the flavors came to Szlam one evening while watching television, and the rest is history. Since the late-night stroke of genius, Szlam and Johnson have paired up with the local liquor filtration geniuses at Terressentia to create the first-ever ginger flavored bourbon.
In a few short weeks when the finishing touches are put on the recipe, Charlestonians will have to option to skip out on the mixer completely and enjoy Virgil Kaine on the rocks, as a shot, or however else you may please.
After sipping on some of the product with Szlam, it seems to me that Virgil Kaine has a great shot of making an impact on the local market along the lines of the extremely popular Firefly flavored vodkas and Fireball whiskey. It will impress the most critical bourbon drinkers with it's smoothness, rich flavors, and whopping 80 proof. The novelty of not having to use a mixer will also thrill the casual bourbon drinking bar-hoppers of the college crowd.
Virgil Kaine is handcrafted in small batches using bourbon from Kentucky aged for two years in oak barrels. It is then infused with all natural ginger and a blend of exotic flavors and balanced with a sweet finish. Having only spent two years (instead of the usual four) in oak barrels, the oakiness isn't overpowering and allows the bite of the ginger and hint of vanilla to really shine through.
Bottles won't hit liquor store and bar shelves for a few more weeks, but Virgil Kaine is launching at the Bartenders Bash at Music Farm on January 10th. You can get your first ice cold shot on the ice luge if you're feeling frisky.