At Reservoir Distillery, process is everything and our process is founded on people, age and maturity — of the process, not the people. The people are one of the reasons we chose to establish Reservoir in our hometown of Richmond, Virginia – because the people–the farmers, the craftsmen, and the stillmen—are extraordinary themselves.
When it came to the actual process of making our 100% rye and wheat whiskies and 100% corn bourbon, we tinkered with the rules of barrel size and aging. After studying the science (and magic) of how whiskey and wood interact, we were sold on aging our spirits in small, 5-gallon barrels, despite their expensive price tag. An equally important factor in our process is maturity. We use pot distillation—a more hands on approach that allows us to keenly monitor the spirit and allow the highest quality distillate to fill our barrels. It’s the only way to leverage the benefits of small barrels and achieve the demanded maturity one eventually receives from a large standard-sized barrel. This sacrifices our yield but accelerates our spirit’s maturation timeline. These techniques are not revolutionary, but our opinion on readiness is. We refuse to follow a set schedule for aging; instead, we personally taste every barrel to determine when it is ready. As in perfect. A true personal touch is required to make exceptional whiskey, and just like our distilling process, our bottling procedures are hands-on, ending with each bottle being personally signed by one of our dedicated distillers.
Some other novel facts about our process:
• We use single grain mash bills and, therefore, have the ability to recreate any whiskey recipe.
• We use only open top fermentation in our processes.
• Our distillers do not control the temperature of the fermentation process.
• In most distilleries, the fermentation process is allowed three days. At Reservoir, the average is 6-8 days but can often take up to 11.
• We do pot still distillation versus column stills for a much more hands-on approach.
• The wood for the staves in our barrels are made from trees right here in Virginia.
• We use a variety of barrel sizes for our aging process, rather than the industry standard 53 gallon, but we specialize in quarter casks.
• Our distillers utilize a custom Alligator Char in our barrels.
• There is no set time for aging and we meant it. Our ruling of readiness requires four people to test and taste each barrel. If one of our four distillers believes it needs more time, the barrel is resealed and shelved for further aging.
We can blether on about our process, but it truly boils down to asking two questions: Does it taste good? And, Would you like another?
1800 Summit Avenue A, Richmond, VA 23230
HOURS: Monday: Closed, Tuesday: Closed, Wednesday: 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM, Thursday: 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM, Friday: 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM, Saturday: 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM, Sunday: Closed
BOTTLE SALES: Every weekday beginning at 10 am until close.