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Club Tasting Notes #1 - Christine Riggleman Reserve

Christine Riggleman Reserve is a release from Silverback Distillery in Virginia where a mother-daughter team work together distilling spirits. This bottle is a Batch 01 release which won best cask strength bourbon at the 2019 New Orleans Bourbon Fest, and we like to think those folks know what they’re doing. A couple members of the Bourbon Underground Nola chapter made their way into Virginia with the purpose of visiting the distillery and thanks to some grace on behalf of the Riggleman family came home with a bottle for the club. This has been one we’ve looked forward to for some time, and figured our first, post-quarantine catch-up was as good of a time as any!

Reviewers for this bottle are all volunteers from the Nola chapter who would rather jot down notes than simply enjoy their pours. This time we have Lauren, Warren and Tyler. The bottle was open and aired for about 30 minutes before pouring.

Bottle: Christine Riggleman Reserve (Batch 01 – 179 bottles)

Age: NAS

Proof: 112

Lauren’s Notes:

Nose: Picking up Pine and Star Anise first and foremost. The proof is giving off a bit of ethanol and also finding some Herbs de Provence in there.

Palate: It’s creamy and Spicy throughout with Baking and Pumpkin Spices, but also getting a buttery element to it.

Finish: More of the same Spices and Herbs which don’t last too long.

Warren’s Notes:

Nose: Black Pepper, All Spice, and Clove are straight forward. Picking up a bit of Citrus underneath the spices.

Palate: The spices carry through with Clove and All Spice. There’s a nice oily coating.

Finish: The finish is short and not picking up a really dominant trait.

Tyler’s Notes:

Nose: Spice on the nose immediately with some Black Pepper. It’s followed by maple and toffee, but there are also nuts and a green/Christmas like smell I can’t place (I’m cheating off Lauren and going to say Pine).

Palate: It’s oily and coats the mouth. The pepper is still there along with cinnamon and other baking spices and I can feel the proof but not unpleasantly.

Finish: Citrus at first but there is a quick fade to more spice that has a short stay.

All of these notes were initial thoughts….then I washed my mouth out with water (not adding any to the glencairn) and, man, everything changed. The profile was completely different and I started picking up much sweeter brown sugar and crème brulee notes. I think we all agreed that this bottle was pretty good at first, stronger on the nose than the mouth, but after water-washing this bottle became exceptional.

Thanks to the Rigglemans for allowing us the chance to bring home one of 3 bottles left! I may have missed Batch 02 before they sold out, but I will be keeping an eye open for the third release so I can have my friend in Virginia mule for me!

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