In celebration of Virginia Craft Spirits Month, A. Smith Bowman Distillery is releasing two limited edition whiskies as a part of the Truman Cox Commemorative Series. The release honors the late Truman Cox who served as A. Smith Bowman’s master distiller from 2011 until his sudden passing in 2013. As requested by the Cox family, all proceeds will benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Included in the Truman Cox Commemorative Series are the First Whiskey Barrel and Emerson Cox Barrel. The first, a single barrel whiskey, derives from the first barrel Cox distilled at A. Smith Bowman. He filled the barrel in December 2010 alongside his mentor and former Master Distiller, Joe Dangler. The finished bottle is signed by both Cox and Dangler.
On the nose, First Whiskey Barrel smells of apples, dried cherries and cinnamon with subdued notes of caramel and toasted oak. Bowman’s current distillers describe the whiskey as sweet and smooth with hints of almond and toasted pecan. A touch of rye also lingers on the tongue, infusing the whiskey with slight heat.
The Emerson Cox Barrel not only commemorates Cox’s life, but his daughter’s as well. Cox began his distilling career in 2004 as the quality chemist for Kentucky’s Buffalo Trace Distillery. Eight years later, Buffalo Trace donated the now-Emerson Cox barrel to A. Smith Bowman Distillery on Nov. 14, 2012 to celebrate Emmy’s adoption.
The rye bourbon offers a bouquet of stone fruit, rye, corn, white pepper, vanilla and toasted graham cracker. The delicate balance of earthy and sweet aromas results in savors of sweet corn and toasty caramel undercut by the rye’s slight spice.
“[Cox’s] knowledge and charismatic personality have been missed in the industry ever since, though his influence lives on through the spirits he had a hand in creating, as well as through his commemorative release,” says the distillery.
Both bottles are sold through a lottery system which ends at noon on Friday, Sept. 21. Winners will be announced later that afternoon and are required to purchase their bottles from the Fredericksburg distillery at $99.99 per bottle. Bottles that are not retrieved by Oct. 8 will be re-entered into the lottery.
A. Smith Bowman Distillery is located at 1 Bowman Dr., Fredericksburg