In honor of Bourbon heritage month and by merit of the fact that we've been touring around different places in the Virginia (mostly Central Virginia) the last month or two it seemed like as good a time as any to layout our five favorite places to visit in that state. This list is in no particular order and is in no way exhaustive (I'm sure I'm missing some so don't get too worked up about it). If you feel like we should have mentioned something we didn't feel free to leave a comment.
We did our first write up on this one back in July (it's here if you're looking) but it's a great place to stop into if you're in Charlottesville and are looking for a place to get a dram. With more than 125 different whiskeys to choose from you should be able to find one you like. I did enjoy their personal favorites flight (which would fit the bourbon theme).
2. Jack Rose Dining Saloon, Washington DC
Okay, so it's a little bit of a cheat. Jack Rose is in DC not Virginia but it's close enough and you really can't go wrong with this one. With 2687 bottles of whiskey on the wall. You're going to find something you'll like. There are certainly many others to choose from in the DC area, you could do your own little drinking vacation and never leave DC, but you really can't go wrong with Jack Rose.
3. Distillery at Mount Vernon, Alexandria VA
If you're a history buff this is a good trip. Technically this is a rye. I know I'm cheating all over the place (hey it's my site I do what I want). However, at one point in time our first President was the largest producer of whiskey in the United States and it's definitely worth the journey out here to this working distillery. If the people that you're with aren't into the whole history thing take them up to Jack Rose after.
4. Berkeley Plantation, Charles City VA
I know I've got another one of these on here. I'm into this stuff so sue me. Berkeley Plantation was the home of the Harrison family (more former Presidents). However, this is also the site of the first thanksgiving (depending on who you ask #americanpissingcontest) and likely the site of the first distillery in America to use corn in their mash thanks to the Reverend George Thorpe before he was brutally dismembered (times were tough).
The Berkeley Plantation is a beautiful location, a little off the beaten path. It's also only a half hour from Richmond so you can pop over to our next place afterwards and get yourself a drink. See we always give you a place to get a drink after you educate yourself a little. Don't be such an uncultured Philistine.
5. McCormack's Big Whiskey Grill, Richmond VA
Don't let the location shake you. Google maps took me on the most roundabout route to get there through some neighborhood and when I saw it was located in a shopping mall (someplace I more expect to find an Applebee's than a whiskey bar) I had some hesitation. But definitely go on in. I found a very friendly and knowledgeable staff (thanks again Colin, Tori and Trevor) and with a library of over 2000 different whiskey's (no duplicates) you'll be hard pressed to find something they don't have. The EH Taylor, Four Roses and Elijah Craig I had went remarkably well with their brisket platter. But hey you get what you want.
They also do a whiskey school here every Tuesday at 7:30. Good way to brush up on your whiskey chops and get some tastings in. Tell them Whiskey Tramp told you about it. Or don't.
Honorable Mention: Virginia Distillery Company, Lovingston VA
It's hard for us to do a story on whisk(e)y in Virginia and not mention these guys. We did a write up on them last month (Whisky The New and the Old in Central Virginia). While I didn't put them on this list (Bourbon isn't really their thing) they are definitely worth checking out and this area makes a great drinking day trip (be responsible and bring a DD). You could definitely pair this with a trip into Charlottesville to visit the Whiskey Jar after.