Dave’s real training came when he discovered Tuthilltown Distillery, which was, at the time, only the second folks outside of Kentucky making small batch Bourbon. Tuthilltown offered him an opportunity to visit and learn about operating a distillery. To this day, Dave credits the folks at Tuthilltown with helping Reservoir grow from idea to reality.
DAVE: My favorite creation is our first accidental experimental whiskey. We were working with exceptionally small barrels at the time, and threw some excess spirit off the still into a used barrel. We lost the barrel for about 4 years, which is a long time for a 10L barrel. When we found it, it came out at 149 proof – smooth as silk and so complex. A beautiful whiskey, probably the best I’ve ever had. It’s what sprouted my personal favorite mash bill—a wheated rye.
After having read every book Jay could find on distilling, he and Dave took what Dave had learned at Tuthilltown, drank a lot of whiskey, and nailed down exactly what they wanted to do… everything their own way. Once they found their stride, Jay and Dave set the bar for what Reservoir has become: a true Virginia whiskey.
JAY: My best creations are the 2013 wheat and bourbon and 2012 rye whiskies that were each awarded a double gold in the San Francisco World Spirits competition. I’m really proud of those spirits and so glad we broke our own rule to submit those beauties in competitions.
According to Dave, Mary can be summed up in one word – reliable. She could run the whole operation at Reservoir if she wanted to. She’s the wheel that keeps the distillery in motion. She’s the go-to, Dave and Jay’s sister, and their levelheaded, responsible best friend.
MARY: The Hunter & Scott year 2018, batch 4 that Nick and I made together, start-to-finish, is my favorite creation so far. It won a Gold at the 2018 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Nick is inventive, curious, and a risk taker. Nick believes the whiskey business is a great exercise in patience. When the time comes that the whiskey is ready for bottling, he’s always amazed when he thinks back about what that barrel went through to get to this point.
NICK: Holland’s BR—a variant finished in a rum cask—is, without a doubt, my favorite creation to date. It was such a fun barrel to work with, and a very cool developmental journey for that whiskey. The first sip from the bottle was definitely a proud moment!