A high-rye Bourbon with good flavor, great value, and a bit of a kick.
David Szlam and Ryan Meany were (are) a couple of high-end chefs working in Charleston, South Carolina. They knew flavor and were good ‘ol Southern men. So, naturally they decided to create their own line of Whiskies. The venture was founded in 2013 and named it “Virgil Kaine” after a 19th century train conductor. You’ll find that railroad theme carried through in many of their Spirits.
Virgil Kaine Rip Track Bourbon used to be called their High-Rye Bourbon — and that will tell you all about the mash bill. There’s still plenty of corn and sweetness. But it’s designed to deliver a flavor profile that a bit more spicy than a mainline Bourbon. Surprisingly, there is a pleasant rancio-like note that makes you think of a finished cask product, but there is no indication that there is one. It’s also bottled at a near-perfect 45% ABV, so it stands up to cocktails like a champ. And the quality makes it a solid value in this price category.
A Rip-track — or RIP Track — is a railroad spur near a major station where locomotives and railcars are serviced. RIP stands for Repair, Inspect, & Paint.