The extraordinary renovation of the landmark Cavalier Hotel is one of the most impressive redevelopments in Virginia Beach history. While its top-of-the-line amenities and oceanfront views are certainly worthy of applause, the hotel’s most significant addition is the Hunt Room, a rustic tavern and tasting room for spirits crafted by the new Tarnished Truth Distilling Company.
The seed for Tarnished Truth was planted in 2013 by Virginia Beach natives Josh Canada and Andrew Yancey. The duo’s dream to distill exceptional spirits in their hometown came to fruition five years later when Tarnished Truth opened on the ground floor of the Cavalier in 2018.
In addition to the tasting room, housed in the Hunt Room is handcrafted copper and brass distilling equipment, courtesy of Tarnished Truth’s Kentucky partner, Vendome. The Tarnished Truth team distills, bottles, labels and boxes all of their spirits in the Cavalier facility and ages them in a private warehouse on Birdneck Road in Virginia Beach.
Even in its infancy, Tarnished Truth offers a robust portfolio of craft spirits including bourbon, rye whiskey, vodka, moonshine and gin. While certain libations are still undergoing experimentation, Tarnished Truth recently announced Catch 31 Fish House & Bar as its first out-of-house carrier for three of its most celebrated spirits—AVA Vodka, Tarnished Truth 3-year High Rye Bourbon and the Old Cavalier 9-year Single Barrel Bourbon.
To celebrate its expansion, Tarnished Truth hosted a special release party at the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Wednesday, Aug. 15. In attendance were Yancey, Canada and two Tarnished Truth distillers, Justin Boyle and Scott Harris. The four offered tastings of the three spirits, as well as three signature cocktails including The Old Cav Old Fashioned featuring Old Cavalier, an AVA-infused Cucumber White Lie and the Tarnished Truth Manhattan mixed with the three-year high rye.
A delicious spread of small bites accompanied the tasting, as did a savory serving of bourbon braised rabbit fricassee and cheddar chive biscuits. Guests received yet another spirit-centered treat at the end of the event, chocolate bourbon balls infused with Old Cavalier, courtesy of Hunt Room Executive Chef Sam Reyes.