In a time when most of what passed as whiskey was rotgut, barely fit to swill, one man devoted himself to creating a new breed of Southern spirit. A train conductor by trade, Virgil Kaine scoured for choice ingredients by day and toiled over a hot still at night until he concocted a product he was proud of.

Today, Virgil’s devotion is realized in every bottle of our ginger-infused, handcrafted bootlegger bourbon.

Train Car #1

  • 3.5 oz. Virgil Kaine
  • 1 oz. Imbue
  • 1 oz. Spiced Simple Syrup
  • 4 Splashes Orange Bitters
  • Orange Peel
  • Shaken With Ice
  • Poured Over Ice

1863: A nation divided. The Civil War was in full swing.
Train conductor by day, bootlegger by night, Virgil Kaine was a man with an insatiable appetite for perfection, especially when it came to spirits.

In fact, he built a bourbon still right inside his train car to experiment with new flavors, ingredients and recipes as he traveled across the states, exchanging ideas with immigrants from around the world.

Then one day, everything changed. Uncle Sam’s boys caught ear of what Virgil had been up to and wanted a taste for themselves, at bottom-barrel price. The raid left Virgil with an empty still and a bullet for his troubles.

But that became more of a beginning than the finale. While on the mend, Virgil discovered the missing ingredient: ginger. Its mellowing effects soothed bourbon’s bite and extended a well-balanced taste like nothing else. One batch later, he knew he was onto something. That very same something that’s in every bottle of the Spirit of Rebellion.

Nothing that’s worth a damn comes easy. Just ask the farmers responsible for the perfect complement to our small-batch bourbon whiskey: locally grown Yellow Hawaiian Ginger.

On harvest day at Spade & Clover Gardens on Johns Island, S.C., a fierce Southern sun beats down on a small but dedicated team of growers. Mass production this ain’t. Over the course of a long season of cultivation, this bunch has eschewed shortcuts like pesticides and over-fertilization in favor of holistic farming techniques.

And they’re only after the choicest heirloom ginger roots. Tall stalks ornamented with long waving palms and clusters of white flower buds shoot out from the surface. But the real prize lies a couple inches below the soil.

The flesh of the Yellow Hawaiian Ginger root is aromatic, sweet and slightly peppery.

Once the ginger is unearthed, it’s harvested, cured and trucked across town to our distillery, where we add it to our perfectly aged and caramelized bourbon. As it macerates, it lends its signature smoothness to the bourbon, balancing out its bite perfectly. Finally, we introduce a hint of vanilla to round out the flavor and create a spirit perfect for sipping or mixing.