Bourbon Review: Reservoir Bourbon

Reservoir Distillery is a Double Gold award-winning distillery located in Richmond, Virginia, created by lifelong friends Jay Carpenter and David Cuttino. While tailgating at Virginia Tech football games they decided if they combined their talents and passions for fine whiskey they could produce a highly exceptional spirit that reflected their Virginia roots.


I first saw Reservoir when we visited Taylor and Carter in Richmond. They distill three distinct whiskies, bourbon, wheat whiskey, and rye whiskey. They suggest you try their wheat first, then the bourbon, and last the rye. They age their whiskey in small (some 5 gallon) barrels. The theory is that a smaller barrel gives the whiskey more exposure to the wood and speeds aging.  One of the examples on their website says 2 years in a smaller barrel is equivalent to 15 or more years in a 53 gallon barrel. The focus is on quality not quantity. And, both Jay and David are personally involved in every barrel and bottle.

Their mashbill is 100% local corn. Most bourbons add some rye to their mashbill, some even add a little wheat.  On their website they say, “Reservoir trusts the full force of local corn and deep aging in our small barrels to produce a unique bourbon that is different from any other product available on the market.”

I received a bottle of Reservoir Bourbon from Taylor and Carter for Christmas and tried it for the first time over the weekend. Each bottle is labeled with the year, batch, and bottle number (mine is 2016 batch 15). It is a very full bodied 100 proof bourbon. They state their bourbon is “built to be bigger than the average bourbon.”   Lynn and I both tasted it and got a very strong spice. You may also taste coffee, and pecans. It is a fantastic sipping bourbon neat or with one ice cube which they recommend once you have tried it neat (at the price point it is definitely one for savoring, not mixing!).  It is very bold, and very flavorful.

If you are going to buy a bottle you are going to have to purchase it on the East Coast in Virginia or one of the surrounding states. I highly recommend you pick up a bottle. It’s a very unique, well-crafted bourbon to add to your collection. If you are not on the East Coat, pick one up on your next trip that way and bring it back with you in your suitcase. I look forward to swinging by the distillery the next time I’m in Richmond!

Aged: 2 years+
Proof: 100 proof
Color: Deep mahogany
Aroma: Vanilla, corn, toast
Taste: Spice, coffee, pecans
Price: $42.19 for 350mL


One thought on “Bourbon Review: Reservoir Bourbon

  1. I am a huge fan of Reservoir- although it is a bit pricey and I remain skeptical of “flash aging”. I’m a rye guy, but their 100 proof wheat whiskey is different and very, very good.


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