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Thursday, June 30, 2016


Patriotism is of utmost importance, and this was impressed upon us at birth.

Drinking proper whiskey is just as crucial.

Over the years, our devotion to finding American brands of excellence has become stronger and stronger and as America turns 240 in four days, the perfect way to celebrate is with a new brand that has impressed us immensely:
Silverback Distillery.

A few months after graduating from Boston College, Peachy Deegan was invited by a client at the time to the Harvard Club in Boston's Back Bay for her first official whisky event by Johnnie Walker.  She has played mini golf with Glenlivet at the City Links, interviewed her pal Charlie from Macallan, and unofficially she became familiar with a lot of Irish whisky while she was a college student in Cork at UCC.  She's also lived in London and has visited Scotland, and both of those trips involved more whiskey.  We have been reviewing alcohol since we began in 2009, and a brand we featured in our inaugural year has honored us with a cocktail named after Peachy.   Of the Silverback products she's tried so far, Peachy Deegan likes this one the best!  Great things happen in 13 months: that is how long this is aged, hence the name.

When our restaurant review columns began, the alcohol review column, Champagne Wishes, was four times as populated.  We don't stop to count now...and in all the years of doing this, there are few whiskies that have wowed us as much as Silverback Blackback Rye.
The consensus on our panel is that we are impressed!  One panelist is drinking it today in tea and another in coffee, so it is also giving another brand competition in being breakfast of champions...some say:

Silverback Blackback Rye “Lucky 13” in my opinion, simply fabulous!  You should never ever mix it with anything. It's so full of robust flavor on a standalone basis: just the way I prefer my whiskey. It boasts an intense flavor profile that is pronounced, and very well-balanced for a short time being aged. The aroma with spicy notes from the rye reflects a great robust flavor, and it is not overpowering. So grab your favorite rock glass and I would recommend neat to on the rocks and enjoy…!

Virginia, new home to a new distillery: Silverback. What comes to mind? Their rye whiskey, served as an old-fashioned, or floating with fruit and stirred with rock candy for a smooth cocktail. Be it horseracing, polo, or a day on the veranda, mulled with mint, or served as an iced tea, Blackback Lucky 13 Rye will fast become a favorite. So smooth, with a gorgeous deep amber color, this whiskey works.

Served in one of Silverback's signature glasses, any cocktail becomes special. The Blackback Rye whiskey is perfect as a julep in their embossed glass. And the shot glass souvenir with "Silverback Distillery" on it, in turquoise, is a must for any connoisseur.
Welcome to Silverback, set awhile, and enjoy. 

Blackback Rye Whiskey “Lucky 13” is a Virginia Rye whiskey distilled, barreled, aged and bottled in Afton, Virginia, USA. The whiskey is named for Blackback Gorillas, young apes who haven’t yet reached the age where their backs turn silver and become “silverbacks”. The Blackback line of whiskies will all be aged under 10 years to capture the spirit of the gorillas and their maturation. “Lucky 13” in the title indicates the amount of time aged for this particular whiskey, in this case thirteen (13) months.

Blackback Rye (BBR) Whiskey “Lucky 13” is distilled on-site using a continuous column distillation process. Silverback Distillery utilizes a 27’ continuous column to create the initial, locally-sourced rye whiskey. The mash bill is 67% Rye, 22% White corn, 11% malted barley. Rye is provided from Three (3) Monkeys Farm in Loudon County, Virginia. Bolt Milling in Christiansburg, Virginia provides the food-grade white corn and malted barley is sourced from Woods Mill farm in Nelson County, Virginia. The rye clear spirit, called “White Dog”, takes about 6 days to cook, ferment and distill. When distillation is complete, the high proof rye white dog is “cut” from 145-proof to 110-proof using unfiltered water from the distillery property well. The 110-proof rye spirit is then transferred into Char #3 barrels for aging. All barrels (rye, bourbon, sour mash and wheat) are aged in barrel houses on the 50-acre distillery property. 

All whiskey barrels are tested and tasted by the lead distiller and two associate distillers on a pre-set schedule. BBR Lucky 13 was selected from barrels 18-21. Although fairly young, BBR Lucky 13’s taste profile was such that the lead distiller decided that the time was right for an initial release; spice and vanilla, leather and caramel popcorn. Silverback follows federal law to meet the highest standard of whiskey definitions. All flavors are a product of high-quality grains, perfect water and charred white oak. Barrels from this batch of BBR “Lucky 13” are provided by the Barrel Mill in Avon, Minnesota. Silverback Distillery is also currently aging rye, bourbon, sour mash corn and wheat whiskies in barrels provided by Independent Stave Company (ISC) out of Kentucky and Kelvin Cooperage. 

Nothing artificial. Whiskey at its simplest and finest. BBR Lucky 13 is bottled at 86 proof, cut with the very same well water, filtered using reverse osmosis, charcoal and particulate filtration. BBR whiskies will always follow the same, simple rules; no shortcuts, local grains, never artificial, always craft, always transparent. 

Silverback is owned by Christine and Denver Riggleman, and Denver’s nickname is “Silverback.” The Rigglemans have three daughters, and Denver claims they were the primary cause of his early gray hair. Once the name was decided upon, all of the spirit products produced by Silverback distillery will be named after simians or evoke the spirit of the Silverback name. Silverback’s Vodka, Gin, Bourbon and whiskies embody the best characteristics of a Silverback Gorilla and the troop--Strong, Persistent, Unafraid and Unstoppable. Rule Your Nest. Be An Alpha.

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