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Bourbon can by US federal law be made anywhere within the USA.
A.Smith Bowman ran a family owned bourbon distillery with his sons starting in 1934 in Fairfax County, Virginia, now Reston, a suburb of Washington, DC. In 1988 the company moved its operations to Fredericksburg, Virginia, about 50 miles from Washington. In 2003 Sazerac Corporation bought A. Smith Bowman. Bowman currently bottles several small batch and single barrel bourbon whiskeys, along with the standard bourbons named Virginia Gentleman. This is a review of Virginia Gentleman, 80 proof, 4 year old. Virginia Gentleman is mashed and twice distilled at Buffalo Trace Distillery, using the Buffalo Trace low rye mashbill. The distillate is then tanker-trucked to Fredericksburg for completion. At Bowman, the whiskey is given a third distillation in a pot still, is put into barrels, and aged. There is also a 90 proof, 6 yr old version of Virginia Gentleman
Nose: moderate spice, caramel, vanilla
Taste: there is a lot of spice, which comes on very strongly, but without much nuance, and considerable wood flavour, but this has a thin body, even consumed neat.
Finish: The huge spice remains for 20-30 seconds and then just kind of disappears. All that is left then is some caramel and some hints of oak. For some reason the alcohol bite is much more noticeable for me in this 40% ABV whiskey than I would expect-- and it doesn't add anything to the total effect.
Balance: this whiskey has its cadre of local fans, but I am not one of them. The 80 proof version is too dilute for my taste, and the flavours, while quite strong, are not very complex, nuanced, or coordinated. I would like to try the 90 proof version to see how it compares. I have recently had a sample of one of the single barrel Bowman products which was excellent and on a level with other high end single barrel bourbons