Sid Dilawri emigrated to the United States from India with his parents and brother in 2008. Unable to find work in the I.T. industry, he ended up taking a job at a Washington, D.C. liquor store. Unexpectedly, he discovered a passion for liquor. Spending his time learning everything he could about beer, wine, and spirits, he put together a business plan to one day launch his own distillery. His passion came to fruition in 2013 with the opening of Shenandoah Valley’s Filibuster Distillery in Mauerton, Virginia.
“Things really changed for me when we went to Four Roses to pick a single barrel in 2014,” he says. “We met Jim Rutledge, he took us to lunch, and we picked a barrel from five single barrels there. That was my first experience of seeing a barrel! It was also my first chance to hold a whiskey thief, to feel that in my hands and watch the way the whiskey came out. It was then that I had a strong sense that this is what I wanted to do with my life.”
Although Filibuster Distillery has earned awards for its portfolio of whiskeys and gins, it’s the bourbon that holds a special place in Dilawri’s heart. Made with native limestone-filtered water and double distilled, Filibuster’s Bottled-in-Bond Virginia Straight Bourbon Whiskey ages 5 years before hitting the shelf at 100 proof. Boasting a heady sweet and smoky nose, the first sip reveals caramel apple and vanilla notes with a pleasant sting that hits the back of the tongue before blossoming into butterscotch and baking spice. A dash of water creates an almost creamy mouthfeel, suggesting hints of marshmallow or crème brûlée.
We’re loving a glug of this in hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick for a gorgeous seasonal toddy-ish concoction.