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Virgil Kaine – Robber Baron Rye Whiskey ($40): Boutique Whiskey brands are popping up all over the world. The United States is emblematic of that with Distilleries being built in way too many states to mention. One of those brands is Virgil Kaine founded by Southern Chefs Ryan Meany and David Szlam. Their list of combined credits includes work at Husk in Charleston and Alice Waters famed Chez Panisse. They set out with a goal of creating a delicious Whiskey by following the same palates that led to their accomplishments on the culinary side.
Virgil Kaine Robber Barron Rye Whiskey was produced from a blend of 96% Rye Whiskey and 4% Bourbon. Toasted macadamia nuts, vanilla and bits of brown sugar inform the nose. Toasty oak notes, hints of yeast, and dates are evident on the palate. The long finish is spicy; white pepper notes are of particular prominence. A final dollop of heat closes it out. This is most definitely a Rye Whiskey, but mellower and more approachable than most.

I enjoyed this Rye sipped neat with just a drop of water in it. After that I tried a few of the recipes from their website. The one that I ended up making several times is this. However you enjoy it this is a tasty and fairly priced Whiskey to add to your bar.

The Blinker

1 ½ oz. Virgil Kaine Robber Baron Rye Whiskey
½ oz fresh grapefruit juice
1 Tbsp Raspberry syrup

Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker half-filled with cracked ice, shake well and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with a twist of Grapefruit rind.

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