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Reservoir Distillery

It was while lifelong friends Jay Carpenter and David Cuttino were enjoying a respected brand-name bourbon when tailgating* at a Virginia Tech football game in 2008 that they first discussed the potential of starting up their own distillery. In that moment, they shared a collective vision that together they could combine their passion for fine whiskey with an appreciation for their Virginia roots and create an exceptional product. From that seemingly innocuous event, Reservoir was born. Part of the reason why Carpenter and Cuttino felt they could create a brand that stood out in such a highly competitive market was due to their insistence to distill small-batch whiskeys that could appeal to mass sensibilities, but in an attentive, quality-controlled environment. Ultimately, the product the friends envisioned would embody Southern culture, it would feature local ingredients and it would be judged according to their discerning palates. Reservoir’s concept developed into three distinct aged whiskies, each created with a 100% mash bill from different locally sourced grains. The wheat whiskey is made with 100% wheat, the rye whiskey is made with 100% rye and the bourbon is made with 100% corn. All editions are subsequently matured in small, heavily charred barrels which are no larger than 10 gallons and which all feature a barrel char level of #5. The barrels are housed in a corner sanctuary of the distillery, which was established in historic downtown Richmond, and this where Carpenter and Cuttino determine when the spirit is ready to be bottled. There is no set schedule for aging at Reservoir - the distillers indeed monitor the process themselves with constant attention and set their own deadlines for bottling. The bottling procedure, just like the distilling process, is hands-on, with each bottle personally signed by one of Reservoir’s distillers. Each of three editions of Reservoir whiskey are deliberately bottled at exactly 50% ABV, so that people have the option to have a stronger tipple if they pleasee, or they could water it down if they require a lighter serve. From unlikely beginnings, Reservoir has established itself as a respected distillery and has duly been lauded with numerous awards, including the honour of being named Virginia Bourbon Distillery of the Year 2016 at the New York International Spirits Competition. The brand has also been a regular at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition; its rye whiskey won Double Gold in 2012, while its wheat whiskey and bourbon both won Double Gold in 2013. *If you’re unfamiliar with this word’s other meaning, it refers to a social event held on and around the open tailgate of a vehicle.

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