Fairfax County Bourbon comes to us from the A Smith Bowman distillery which was founded right after prohibition (1934) in Fairfax County Virginia, hence the name of this whiskey. Virginia Gentleman and Fairfax County Bourbon were its two main products and until the 1950s it was the only active distillery in Virginia. In 1988 the distillery moved to Spotsylvania County where it is today. I don’t know exactly when they stopped making the Fairfax County Bourbon, but I’m guessing that the move would have made it difficult to keep the name so it would have been sometime before that.
Fairfax County Bourbon Info
Region: Virginia, USA
Distiller: A Smith Bowman
Cask: New charred oak
Age: 5 years
Distilled: Fall 1950
Bottled: Fall 1955
Price: NA – Dusty
Fairfax County Bourbon Review
Dark fruit, oak, dilly rye spice, leather, vanilla and a whole host of spices like cinnamon and clove with a touch of vanilla. It’s a rich full luscious bourbony aroma and I’m loving every second of it.
Dilly spice, oak, complex dark fruit, complex dark sweets, leather and a touch of astringency, varnish and cough syrup. I know that sounds bad, but it’s not and compliments the sweet and spicy notes very well.
Long leathery fade sprinkled with notes of oak, cinnamon, caramel and varnish.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Nicely balanced, a full body and a warm rich texture.
1950s Fairfax County Bourbon is fan-freaking-tastic whiskey. Rich aroma, deep flavors and a pleasantly lingering finish combine in a grin inducing manner. I wanted to give the Fairfax County Bourbon an A- but the harsher varnish / cough syrup notes, while not bad, were hanging a bit heavier than I like and overshadowed the darkly sweet and fruity notes a bit too much. It’s an interesting bourbon all around, but what I found most interesting is that it kept conjuring up images of Four Roses while I was enjoying it.
Something about the combo of rye spice, dark fruity notes and oaky notes hit in just the right combination and my brain kept wanting to find a connection between the Fairfax County Bourbon and a bottle of Four Roses. The next time I get to try this I’ll see if shakes anything loose in the grey matter and see If I can figure out exactly which bottle of 4R it’s reminding me of. If it does I’ll update it here. Regardless, 1950s Fairfax County Bourbon is an incredible whiskey and definitely one for the snag-it-at-an-auction-if-its-reasonablyish-priced list.
SCORE: 87-89X/100 (consumed at a tasting, not at home)