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  • Peter Miles

Hilltop Distillery Straight Bourbon. More from the Goochland Hills.


Hilltop Distillery


As mentioned in previous postings Hilltop is a recently established, family run craft distillery in Goochland, a few miles north west of Richmond. Situated on top of a sharp hill overlooking woods that run down to the James river, it is a great location to visit. This distillery controls the entire process from mashing through bottling. It uses traditional processing methods in a sparkling clean production area, utilizing new stills built in the Ozark Hills. Maturation in new charred oak barrels is carried out in an adjacent warehouse. Products include a full range of flavored ‘Gooch Houch’ moonshine, vodka, bourbon and malt whiskey.


For those living in central Virginia, this friendly place is well worth a visit. There is seating inside and out, and live music on Saturdays.


Virginia Straight Bourbon Whiskey.


The Hilltop Straight Bourbon Whiskey is produced from a mix of corn, rye and malt barley and is matured in brand new charred American oak barrels.


Mash bill: Not disclosed, but rumor has it as a high rye bourbon, but also a higher-than-normal malt barley addition.


Batch: None recorded on bottle


Matured: 24+ months in first use American oak barrels, ABV = 40%.


Cost: $43 / 750ml bottle


Color: Yellow Gold: 0.5 (Whisky Magazine scale).


Swirl: Decent rim created with short, thin, ‘legs’ dripping down the glass.


Nose: Light, clean, with the classic bourbon profile. Some cereal and caramel, some wood char notes, overlaid with hints of vanilla and perhaps even some berries. Pleasant, and undemanding.


Taste: Light to medium viscosity, flows well on the tongue. A sweet ‘hit’ on the tongue at first then quickly replaced with some cinnamon, hints of wood smoke, and some earthy/herbal notes. A cereal overlay follows along with aromatic rye spices. The heat takes a few seconds to develop, but then kicks in quite strongly. A touch of water will help tamp this down a little, if desired


Finish: Short with some heat, but otherwise uneventful.


Verdict: A good, straightforward bourbon with a pleasant and light touch. A ‘no drama’ whiskey that would make a comforting afternoon drink. Maybe over some ice on a hot ‘out on the porch’ kind of day. If you want to try Virginia made bourbons, you could do well starting here.

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