News

We made the New York Times TOP TEN Young Rye Whiskeys!

NY Times StoryAbsolutely stunning!  It is like a dream come true!  

Eric Asimov, writing for the New York Times, does an amazingly in-depth story on the scarcity of old rye whiskey and the excellent choices available in the younger whiskeys of the category.  With over 1300 distilleries now producing in the US, the panel had plenty to judge.

I'm honored that two of the judges were the esteemed David Wondrich and Robert Simonson.  I cannot think of two gentlemen in the industry for whom I have more respect!  I've read (and re-read) their books.  I've met them at Tales in New Orleans.  I fan-boy on these guys, always asking for autographs... So, to have these two judging my spirits, well honestly, it's just humbling.

Notably, all judging was done in a blind panel.  There's no way to be influenced by preconceptions of the spirit or where it's produced, nor the beauty of the label.  It's just the juice.  How good is the juice?

From the story:

Indeed, many of the ryes we tasted didn’t have the assertive rye personality that I’ve come to love. ... The Woodford rye was 53 percent rye, potentially very similar to bourbon. Some of the other ryes in our tasting were 100 percent rye, or very close.

Other ryes reminded us of rum, or tasted overwhelmingly of bananas or were odd in some other way. These tended to come from the craft distillers, who, like craft brewers in the early days of the beer revolution, have yet to achieve precision and reliability in their work.

“It’s like catching this category in the 10th grade,” David [Wondrich] said. “Some have already matured into their adult personas, some are still kids, and others are in transition, not as assured as you want, still hesitant.”

Speaking on the few craft brands in the list, Asimov continues:

Two other craft ryes made our list, the warm, spicy Few from Evanston, Ill., at No. 7 and the fruity, slightly sweet Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye from Purcellville, Va., at No. 9.

You can read the full story, here. I hope you will!

— Scott

Local Distillers Highlighted in the Washington Post's Going Out Guide

WaPo GOG StoryWe've been in the Washington Post "Going Out Guide" before.  It's always super nice to be covered in this esteemed newspaper.

This month, Fritz Hahn did a fantastic story on the craft distilling scene in DC.  Things have certainly exploded since 2010, when we came on the scene in the District!  When we started selling in DC, there were two (us and Copper Fox).  Now there are over ten... and more each year!

About Catoctin Creek, Fritz writes:

The 80-proof original, a young (almost two-year-old) whiskey with lots of rye spice and caramel and woody notes, is a solid all-purpose rye for cocktails. The 92 proof ($52.79), released in 2014, takes the spice and sweetness up a level and is great neat or with ice. The cask strength ($89), is a must-try for serious whiskey aficionados; it's released in limited quantities twice per year.

You can read the full story, here.

Catoctin Creek in Wine Enthusiast Magazine

Wine EnthusiastNice to get a shout-out in Wine Enthusiast magazine this month!  There's a nice feature on what to do for a day or more in Washington, DC.  Here's our bit:

Escape the city for an afternoon in the Virginia countryside.  Start with esoteric, barrel-aged beers like Ortolan Bunting (aged in Armagnac casks) or G/I/A/A IPA (matured in mezcal barrels) at Adroit Theory Brewery.  For lunch nosh on local Angus beef burgers and hand-cut fries at Market Burger Fries & Shakes.  Afterward, head to Catoctin Creek Distilling Company (above), where affable owners Scott and Becky Harris will give you a tour and tasting of their award-winning Roundstone Rye, Watershed Gin and pear brandy.

To read the full story, click here.

Adroit Beer/Whisky Collaboration in Washington City Paper

Our second beer collaboration, this one with Adroit Theory Brewing Company and called Día de los Muertos, will be available on November 12 (November 2 for VIP members).  Warren Rojas does the full backstory at Washington City Paper:

Next to scrutinize the end result was Becky Harris, Scott’s wife and Catoctin Creek’s chief distiller. As she siphoned the resulting whiskey from its cask, she couldn’t help gush about the collaboration. “I’ve been waiting for this one for two years,” she says as she pulls a dram of the experimental beverage they dubbed “Día de los Muertos” American Malt Whisky.

“The name of the original beer was Día de los Muertos. So it made sense to name the whiskey the same,” [Mark] Osborne [founder of Adroit Theory Brewing Company] says of the ominous moniker he came up with.

The whiskey smells of roasted malt and shines as brightly as copper. It’s less forceful on the palate than traditional rye whiskey, but still has a rich mouthfeel, conveying definitive hoppiness balanced by caramel notes.

You can read the full story, here.

Latest News

We made the New York Times TOP TEN Young…

Absolutely stunning!  It is like a dream come true!   Eric Asimov, writing for the New York Times, does an amazingly in-depth story on the scarcity of old rye whiskey and...

Read more

Local Distillers Highlighted in the Wash…

We've been in the Washington Post "Going Out Guide" before.  It's always super nice to be covered in this esteemed newspaper. This month, Fritz Hahn did a fantastic story on the...

Read more

Press Release: Catoctin Creek Watershed…

Watershed Gin gets 92 points "Exceptional" rating at the 2016 Beverage Testing Institute tastings.    Chicago, IL (December 2, 2016) – The 2016 Beverage Testing Institute has awarded Catoctin Creek a gold medal for their Watershed Gin. The awards...

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Contact Us

Catoctin Creek Distillery

Catoctin Creek Distillery
120 W Main St
Purcellville, VA 20132

Tel (540) 751-8404


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Latest Events

Brookland's Finest

DEC 6, 13, 20, 27   Distiller Dinner Series at Brookland's Finest in DC Evening Dinner November was such a hit, we're going to keep it going in December!  Each Tuesday in the month of...

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Bacon and Bourbon

DEC 8   Bacon and Bourbon Festival in DC 6:00pm—9:30pm Join Washington City Paper at Bacon & Bourbon: A Whiskey Festival for an evening of bacon, bourbon, beer, bites, and bluegrass at the Former Residence...

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Virginia ABC Tastings with John Shope (3)

DEC 9   Free Catoctin Creek Tastings at ABC Stores in Kingstowne / Alexandria, VA 3:00pm—8:00pm Join our Virginia Ambassador, John Shope, at select Virginia ABC stores to enjoy complimentary tastings of our award winning...

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