News

Thirteen Distillers Unanimously Opposed to Virginia Spirits Tax

October 30, 2014 — Today, thirteen Virginia Distillers sent a letter to Governor Terry McAuliffe, in opposition to the Governor's proposal to raise spirits taxes in the Commonwealth of Virginia yet again. The Virginia Distillers signing the letter are:

Scott Harris
Founder
Catoctin Creek Distilling Company
Purcellville, VA

Brian Prewitt
Master Distiller
A. Smith Bowman Distillery
Fredericksburg, VA

Scott Schumaker
Founder
Appalachian Mountain Spirits LLC
Marion, VA

Charles Miller
President and Founder
Belmont Farms of Va., Inc
Culpeper, VA

Chris Richeson
Founder
Chesapeake Bay Distillery
Virgina Beach, VA

Rick Wasmund
Founder
Copper Fox Distillery
Sperryville, VA

Michael E. Bowles
Managing Member
Montdomaine Wines & Spirits
Albemarle County, VA

Dick Garofalo
Founder
Garofalo Artisan Liqueurs
Winchester, VA

Kristi Croxton
Business Manager
James River Distillery
Richmond, VA

Marc Chretien
Founder
Mount Defiance Cidery and Distillery
Middleburg, VA

Christine Riggleman
CEO
Silverback Distillery
Nellysford, VA

Gareth H. Moore
Chairman
The Virginia Distillery Company
Lovingston, VA

Alex Wotring
Founder
Belle Isle Craft Spirits
Richmond, VA

Read the entire letter that was sent to the governor by clicking the image below.

Letter to the Governor

Press Release: Catoctin Creek Receives Platinum Award in the Green Business Challenge

Green Business Challenge PLATINUMOctober 30, 2014, Purcellville, VA – Catoctin Creek has been awarded the Platinum Award, the highest level achievable, in the Loudoun Dulles Green Business Challenge.

The Loudoun Dulles Green Business Challenge is an alliance between the Loudoun County and Dulles Chambers of Commerce to promote businesses that make direct efforts to improve sustainability:

We are Sustainability@Work. The double meaning is intended! We are Loudoun Dulles Businesses saving energy, conserving water, reducing waste, combating congestion, protecting native habitat and reaching out to our employees, customers, communities and each other.  We are also Loudoun and Dulles Businesses putting environmental sustainability to work to help us save money and grow our sales.

We are a diverse bunch, ranging from businesses that are new to environmental sustainability through leaders and innovators in sustainability. We range from home-based businesses through Fortune 100 corporations. What we have in common is that we enjoy challenging ourselves and each other to become more environmentally and financially sustainable. For us, the Loudoun Dulles Green Business Challenge is a fun way to measure our accomplishments, identify new ways to save money and grow, meet one another and show customers, employees and our communities that we’re green.

Among Catoctin Creek's unique innovations for achieving this award, were the following:

  • Installation of a 41kW solar array, which offsets 80% of the company's electrical needs
  • Partial reclamation and reuse of waste water for cooling and cleaning purposes
  • Recycling of distillery by-products into cattle feed, alcohol cleansers and gasoline additives for automobiles.  Zero-waste in the production of our products!

"We are very pleased to be rewarded with the Platinum Level award from the Green Business Challenge," remarked Scott Harris, who attended the awards ceremony on behalf of the company.  "Every day we come into the office, we consider our impact on the planet, and how we can make delicious whisky in a responsible and sustainable manner.  It's very important to us!"

Learn more about Catoctin Creek's green initiatives, including a video tour of their solar plant, on their website, at www.catoctincreek.com.

About Catoctin Creek Distilling Company:  Catoctin Creek Distilling Company (120 West Main Street, Purcellville, VA 20132; Phone: 540-751-8404; Twitter: @CatoctinCreek) is the first distillery in Loudoun County Virginia since before prohibition. Certified organic and kosher, and family owned and operated, Catoctin Creek produces premium spirits: rye whisky and gin from organic sources, brandy from Virginia wines, and seasonal brandy. Catoctin Creek prides itself on offering high-quality and organic spirits. For media-related inquiries, please contact Kyle Schmitz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or for more information on Catoctin Creek Distilling Company please visit www.catoctincreek.com.

Two Gold Medals in One Week!

Roundstone Rye 92 Proof

The Fifty Best Gold Artisan Awards Gold

Last week, we learned that we received not one, but two gold medals in a single week!  Fantastic news!!

The Artisan Awards and the Fifty Best both awarded the Roundstone Rye "92 Proof" golds last week!

Read the original articles, here and here.

Press Release: Catoctin Creek Announces Commemorative Pear Brandy Bottle

Pearousia Pear Brandy with Pear in the Bottle to Commemorate Five Year Anniversary!

PearousiaOctober 14, 2014, Purcellville, VA – To commemorate the five year anniversary of Catoctin Creek Distilling Company, the Purcellville distillery is releasing twenty four hand-filled, hand-numbered bottles of seasonal "Pearousia" pear brandy with a full pear in each bottle.

"This bottling is very special," says Catoctin Creek founder, Scott Harris.  "In 2009, Becky and I established the first legal distillery in Loudoun County since Prohibition, and the first alcohol we produced was pear brandy.  The day our equipment was operational, we reached out to Doug Fabbioli, proprietor of Fabbioli Cellars, and asked him for help in obtaining something to distill.  He graciously offered us some of his pear wine, which ultimately became Catoctin Creek's Pearousia pear brandy.  Pearousia was the first distillate ever produced at Catoctin Creek. Our success was only possible through the pioneering work already done in Loudoun County by Doug Fabbioli."

Pearousia"If it weren't for Doug, we wouldn't be where we are today," said Becky Harris, chief distiller and founder of the distillery. "His generosity of spirit and can-do attitude inspired us and helped get us over the hump in starting our business!"

"Working with Becky and Scott at Catoctin Creek Distillery has been a great experience," said Doug Fabbioli, owner of Fabbioli Cellars.  "Our collaboration has helped both our businesses as well as created a model for other operations to expand the rural economy and continue using locally grown crops in more products."

PearousiaThis release of Pearousia pear brandy, each bottle containing an Asian pear, is released at 750ml.  Early in the spring, each bottle was attached to the pear trees at Patent House Farm Orchard in Lovettsville, Virginia, where the pollinated blossom inside the bottle was allowed to grow into a full-grown pear.  Fast forward to summer, when the ripened pears were cut from the trees and the bottles filled with Pearousia pear brandy.  Each bottle is individually numbered and signed by Scott and Becky Harris, and also signed by Doug Fabbioli.

Catoctin Creek Pearousia "Pear in the Bottle" will be available for $149 only at the Purcellville distillery starting October 14th.  No call in orders will be accepted.  Only customers arriving at the distillery will have the opportunity to purchase this rare release.

About Catoctin Creek Distilling Company:  Catoctin Creek Distilling Company (120 West Main Street, Purcellville, VA 20132; Phone: 540-751-8404; Twitter: @CatoctinCreek) is the first distillery in Loudoun County Virginia since before prohibition. Certified organic and kosher, and family owned and operated, Catoctin Creek produces premium spirits: rye whisky and gin from organic sources, brandy from Virginia wines, and seasonal brandy. Catoctin Creek prides itself on offering high-quality and organic spirits. For media-related inquiries, please contact Kyle Schmitz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or for more information on Catoctin Creek Distilling Company please visit www.catoctincreek.com.

About Fabbioli Cellars:  Fabbioli Cellars is a small, family owned and operated vineyard and winery. We focus on growing and making high quality red wines using traditional methods and 21st century knowledge. Through hard work, good decisions and great relationships with customers, family and friends, we have been able to succeed at this dream.  For more info contact them at 15669 Limestone School Road, Leesburg, Virginia, phone 703-771-1197, www.fabbioliwines.com.

October 2014 News

Welcome to October!

Washington Post

September was a big, big month for us!  In September, we received some HUGE press from Sunday's"Travel" section of the Washington Post.  Lavanya Ramanathan wrote a story on what Catoctin Creek is really about:  hand-made craft rye whisky... the real deal:

Here we see how rye is made: not in giant, impersonal vats somewhere in Indiana, but a few dozen miles from home. Scott explains that the first step to rye, in fact, is making something not unlike a hefeweizen — a primordial stew teeming with grains that must ferment to become alcohol. The distillation happens later, in a fancy copper still, which separates the alcohol from the grainy pulp, known as mash, with heat that turns it to gas. Upon cooling, the gas is returned to its liquid form, which is now that brash stuff known as white whiskey. To become the Roundstone rye that has won the company kudos, it goes into oak barrels to age for at least two years.

As the tour wraps up, I spy Becky, a onetime chemical engineer who’s now chief distiller at Catoctin Creek. She’s dragging bins and heavy bags of grains across the floor as if engaged in some kind of demented CrossFit exercise. She stops to check a computer, then resumes the manual labor on her factory floor.

That’s how rye is made, I think.

And I’ll be thinking of it the next time I order a rye old-fashioned.

You can read the entire story, here. It's fantastic!!

 

First Local, Organic Rye

Earlier in the month, we achieved an important company milestone:  our first local, organic rye!  Since we started this company, we have sought to produce with local, organic rye, but sadly, there was never enough in Loudoun (or even Virginia) to supply our needs.  There was always lots of rye, but having it organically produced was difficult.  Further, having it milled organically was also difficult.

Until now.

Recent upstart, Three Monkeys Farm, who farms the land at Morven Park in Leesburg, harvested their first crop of organic rye this month, and we produced our first batch of whisky using this local rye!  We still have a long way to go to scale this up to a full-time rye for our uses, but the first batch was a huge success, and we look forward to moving more into the production schedule soon!

Just as important, Locke's Mill in Berryville, Virginia, is now milling grain for us!  Locke's Mill is a meticulously restored 1800's era grain mill, which is still completely powered by water wheel.  We are thrilled to be using grain that was grown within 10 miles of the distillery, in a mill located nearly as close.  Truly, we are seeing our efforts to rebuild an agricultural economy in Western Loudoun beginning to flourish, ever so slowly.

Who knows what the future will bring, but I, for one, can't wait to taste that local, organic rye whisky in a few years! 

Below are some photos of the new rye, the farm, and the millstone at Locke's Mill.  Click on the photos for larger images.

Three Monkeys Farm Rye Three Monkeys Farm Rye Three Monkeys Farm Rye Three Monkeys Farm Rye Lockes Mill

 

Cask Proof

Cask Proof Release!

It's that time of year again! Our newest expression of Roundstone Rye CASK PROOF will be released this month. We're releasing Roundstone Rye CASK PROOF "Brandy Finished Rye" on Oct. 19 for VIP members, and Nov. 1 for the general public.

This expression of cask proof is very special. At 59.8% ABV (119.6 proof), it is a big, huge rye! Our classic Roundstone Rye, using organic 100% rye, and as always, MADE BY US, it was aged first in Minnesota white oak and then finished in a red wine Bordeaux barrel that previously aged our 1757 Virginia Brandy. This expression, batch B14E3, is dark, almost reddish in color, with a deep woody, caramel taste with that characteristic rye snap, and a noticeably fruity nose from the presence of the grape. Truly spectacular, and only 283 bottles of this one were produced. It. Will. Not. Last!!!

Info on VIP Club, here: http://catoctincreekdistilling.com/vip-club

 

Beard House

James Beard Dinner at Trummer's On Main - October 9th!

Last month, Catoctin Creek was beyond thrilled to be included with a small list of Virginia's rising star chefs at the James Beard Dinner in New York City.  The event was a resounding success, so everybody decided it was time to do it again... but this time, back home in Virginia!

Catoctin Creek and six phenomenal Virginia chefs will gather again on October 9th at Trummer's on Main to present this epic collaboration and showcase of Virginia agricultural cuisine for local diners and imbibers.

A rare opportunity to experience spirits and cuisine from Virginia's most talented young chefs and distillers in one evening, tickets for this exciting cocktail reception and six-course dinner are now available. Tickets must be purchased in advance, here This is a small venue dinner, so purchase your tickets now, before it's too late!

Beard House

 

Meet the Maker Night at 2941 Restaurant

Scott HarrisOn October 15th, from 6:30 - 8:30pm, join Scott Harris, as he is welcomed by Executive Chef Bertrand Chemel and the entire team at 2941 Restaurant.

Scott Harris, owner of award-winning Catoctin Creek Distillery located in the heart of historic Purcellville, Virginia,  will participate in the first 'Made in Virginia: Meet the Maker' event - an exclusive evening taking place at 2941 on Wednesday, October 15th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. Priced at $45pp, attendees will have the opportunity to personally meet and chat with Scott Harris, and enjoy a private neat tasting featuring some of Catoctin Creek Distillery's signature spirits including Roundstone Rye, Watershed Gin, and Mosby's Spirit, to highlight a few. Harris will also share the history of the Virginia-based distillery and details on the art of making organic handcrafted spirits.

In addition, 2941's resident Beverage Director Jonathan Schuyler will be preparing and offering cocktail connoisseurs a special cocktail flight tasting showcasing Catoctin Creek spirits. Throughout the evening, guests will also enjoy an assortment of sweet and savory small bites prepared by Executive Chef Bertrand Chemel and Pastry Chef Caitlin Dysart. Following the event, guests will be sent home with special takeaway treats from both 2941 and Catoctin Creek Distillery.

For additional information regarding the event, please call 703-270-1500. To purchase tickets, please visit https://www.giftrocker.com/secure/Order/?h=b1ebed78.

Meet the Maker at 2941

 

100 Year Old Whiskey Tasting

Bridgewater RyeBefore Scotch, before bourbon, there was rye whiskey! Many people don't realize the important history that rye whiskey played in the United States. Before the Revolutionary War, rum was the predominant spirit of the colonies, but after the revolution, the British cut the colonists from sources of sugar cane. America had to look internally for a source for distilled spirits, and rye grain was abundant and easily available. George Washington distilled rye whiskey at Mount Vernon, and the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania was fought over rye whiskey. Bourbon and Scotch came much, much later. Rye was king!

We love this history, so we are thrilled to have obtained exactly one bottle of rye whiskey that was bottled in 1914. An anonymous donor has requested that we open and taste the contents of this bottle of whiskey that has been in his family since before Prohibition. The whiskey is called "Bridgewater Rye Whiskey", distilled in 1906 at the Eagle Distillery in Stanley, KY, and bottled in bond in 1914, exactly 100 years ago! This 8 year old spirit is still sealed with its tax stamp. We'll open it and share tastes of this one of a kind spirit this one night only.

You will never have an event like this again. Do not miss this!

There is no fee to participate, but you must be a VIP member to receive an invitation to this event. For more details on the VIP club, see the VIP Club section, above.

Date: Sunday, October 19
Time: 7:00pm
Where: Catoctin Creek Distillery
120 W. Main St
Purcellville, VA
Price: Free, for VIP members only

 


Eagle Distillery, Stanley, Kentucky

Upcoming Events

There are a variety of great events planned for the month that should prove entertaining and educational:

  • October 9 - James Beard Dinner at Trummer's - Six amazing chefs team up with Catoctin Creek for an encore performance of our NYC dinner!
  • October 15 - Meet the Maker at 2941 - Scott will join the team at 2941 for a fun night of cocktails and small bites.
  • October 19 - 100 Year Old Rye Tasting - Join us for a chance to taste a bottle of 100 year old rye whiskey!  VIP only!
  • October 19 - Cask Proof Release - VIP members can enjoy the early release of "Brandy Finished Rye" at nearly 120 proof!
  • October 24 - Dinner at Catoctin Creek - Dine with us as we pair cocktails with a sumptuous four course meal!

For the full list of events, check our events page.

 

Cocktail of the Month – Boulevardier

BoulevardierThe Boulevardier was invented during Prohibition, when an out-of-work American barman, named Harry McElhone, set up Harry's New York Bar in Paris. Similar to a Negroni, this cocktail substitutes whisky for gin, and in our version, we substitute Aperol for Campari, giving the cocktail a lighter, candied texture.

1¼ oz Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye "92 Proof"
1 oz Aperol (or Campari, if you wish)
1 oz Carpano sweet vermouth
Orange twist for garnish

Combine all ingredients on ice, stir and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a twist of orange.

See this cocktail and hundreds more on our cocktails page.

 

In Closing...

As always, there are lots of fun and information on our Facebook and Twitter pages, where you can stay up to date with the daily activities at the distillery. We do tours and tastings every day, so stop by and see us sometime!

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

Latest News

Thirteen Distillers Unanimously Opposed …

October 30, 2014 — Today, thirteen Virginia Distillers sent a letter to Governor Terry McAuliffe, in opposition to the Governor's proposal to raise spirits taxes in the Commonwealth of Virginia yet...

Read more

Press Release: Catoctin Creek Receives …

October 30, 2014, Purcellville, VA – Catoctin Creek has been awarded the Platinum Award, the highest level achievable, in the Loudoun Dulles Green Business Challenge. The Loudoun Dulles Green Business Challenge...

Read more

Two Gold Medals in One Week!

Last week, we learned that we received not one, but two gold medals in a single week!  Fantastic news!! The Artisan Awards and the Fifty Best both awarded the Roundstone...

Read more

Contact Us

Catoctin Creek Distillery

Catoctin Creek Distillery
120 W Main St
Purcellville, VA 20132

Tel (540) 751-8404

Latest Events

Cask Proof Release at Catoctin Creek Distillery

A first of a kind:  "Brandy Finished Rye"! It's that time of year again! Our newest expression of Roundstone Rye CASK PROOF will be released this month. We're releasing Roundstone Rye...

Read more

BUNCEAROO Presents! Pat McGee! Live at Catoctin Creek!

An Intimate Evening with Pat McGee! Nestled in the distillery, enjoy a one-of-a-kind event with great music in a fantastic venue. What: BUNCEAROO Presents! Pat McGee Where: Catoctin Creek Distillery120 W. Main St.Purcellville, Virginia When: Friday, November...

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All the way from Scotland! Jim Malcolm Concert at the Distillery!

Playing One Night Only!  Live at Catoctin Creek! {youtube}cYq0l-MmBnw|400|200|0{/youtube} Jim Malcolm is the ultimate Scots troubadour. Travelling the world with his guitar, harmonicas, and engaging wit, he sings the traditional songs of...

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