Frequently Asked Questions

bourbon-tasting

Q: I hear that a lot of Craft guys don’t make their own whiskey. Do you make your own?
A: Reservoir makes all of our own whiskey from start to finish. We have NEVER used someone else’s whiskey or distillate in our product. NEVER!

Q: You guys have only been around since 2009, how do you make such a well aged product?
A: We use small barrels for aging. By changing the wood surface area to volume of liquor ratio, our whiskey achieves a much higher age profile in a shorter period of time.  Having won highest awards for all three of our whiskey varieties through blind taste tests, we feel that our process has been validated.

Q: I thought Bourbon could only be made in Kentucky, how can you make Bourbon in Virginia?
A: Bourbon can be made anywhere in the United States. There are federal labeling regulations governing the use of the term Bourbon. In order to call a whiskey Bourbon it must have a mash bill of at least 51% corn, distilled at under 160 proof, barreled at 125 proof or lower in a charred new American oak barrel. There are no aging requirements unless you want to call it straight bourbon in which case the youngest whiskey needs to be aged a minimum of 2 years.  For anyone who still contests, we like to remind them that when Bourbon was first being produced, Kentucky was still a part of Virginia!

Q: What kinds of whiskey do you sell?
A: We sell 100 proof Wheat Whiskey, Bourbon Whiskey and Rye Whiskey in 375mL bottles and 750mL bottles. Currently outside of Virginia only the 750mL format is available.

Q: Where can I buy your whiskey in Virginia?
A: We are sold throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia in ABC Stores. If your local ABC store does not have it in stock can special order it.

Here are the VAABC codes:

Reservoir Bourbon Whiskey 375mL VAABC Code 016454
Reservoir Bourbon Whiskey 750mL VAABC Code 952619
Reservoir Wheat Whiskey 375mL VAABC Code 027564
Reservoir Wheat Whiskey 750mL VAABC Code 027565
Reservoir Rye Whiskey 375mL VAABC Code 027004
Reservoir Rye Whiskey 750mL VAABC Code 027006

Q: Can I just buy the whiskey from you?
A: Yes!  We have a store on site at our distillery where you can purchase our whiskey along with various other Reservoir souvenirs as well as whiskey-related glassware and accessories.

Q: Help! I don’t live in Virginia. How can I get your whiskey?
A: We distribute to many states through the Country Vintner based in Ashland VA. The Country Vintner may distribute through a surrogate in your state. We encourage you to contact your local distributor and see what arrangements can be made.

Q: Do you give tours?
A: We do not do tours for a variety of reasons. We are a functional distillery. So our facility is wet, messy and cluttered.  Our physical working space is home to many hazards, including extreme temperatures, volatile chemicals and heavy object.  As a result, we are not insured to have people walk through the space. However, our Distillery Store offers an excellent view into the distillery portion of our site so you can get a peak at the process and an explanation by one of our knowledgeable staff members.

Q: Do you do tastings on site?
A: Yes.  Stop by our Distillery Store to try a sample of our whiskey.  We are able to offer up to one 1/2 ounce tasting of each of our three whiskies per customer, per day.  In addition to a tasting, guests have the option to purchase one additional mixed drink featuring the whiskey of their choice.

Q: What do you do with your used barrels?
A: Most barrels go to local breweries and home brew clubs. We keep a waiting list as they tend to fly out our doors once they are emptied.  If you would like to be added, send an email to Barrels@reservoirdistillery.com

Q: How many people work there?
A: We are a close knit operation with a limited crew.  Currently, we have 6 employees total.

Q: What’s up with the label?
A: Every label has some key information about the journey of your particular bottle.  The Year marking is the year it was bottled, not how old it is (don’t feel bad about making this mistake; we have entered competitions where they thought the year marking was how long it had been aged…we still won!). The Batch is the bottling number for that year i.e. Batch 3 would be the third time we have bottled that type of whiskey that year. The Bottle number is your particular bottle from that batch. And the scribble at the end is the initials of whoever is writing all that information. Yes, we hand sign every bottle. Seemed like a good idea when we started, but after thousands of these our hands are starting to cramp.

Q: Really? Your small crew does all this stuff?
A: Really, we do! But there is a lot we couldn’t do without some help so special thanks to Mary Swenson at Grafish Designs LLC for graphic design and branding help, Ashleigh Hobson Photography for product shots, Karen Morgan Photography for product and distillery shots, John McNiel at JGM3 Web Design for website design, Jim Thompson because without him I would be writing like a 1st grader, The Country Vintner for believing in us at the beginning and carry our whiskey out of state and all the other friends, family and fans who have helped us along the way… Thank You!