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April 2015 News

Welcome to April!

Welcome to your monthly installment on all things going on at Catoctin Creek.  If you've been with us for a while, you'll know that these little monthly emails are essentially a journal entry into the life and times of us at the distillery.  The emails are a good way to keep up with news, new releases, and events coming to the distillery.

We hope you find these emails informative and helpful, and something you can quickly scan in an otherwise busy inbox.

 

Catoctin Creek World Tour

Scott and Chad returned last week from a pretty amazing world tour.  Our trip started out in London, where we attended Whisky Live (an industry trade show for whisky), and poured Roundstone Rye 80 proof, 92 proof, cask proof, and Watershed Gin.  It was fun pouring rye whisky for a British audience.  Many of the consumers had never tried American rye whisky, and found it a new experience unlike bourbon and scotch.  Industry folks (like bartenders, distributors, and retailers), were impressed as well, and we made a lot of inroads into the London market, which we expect to enter in the next month as our first shipment arrives in Europe.

London London London London

After London, Scott traveled on to Singapore to visit our importers, Liberty Spirits Asia, who've been selling our products there for about a year now.  We were happy to see Catoctin Creek situated in several top bars, including The Secret Mermaid, 28 Hong Kong Street and Jekyll and Hyde.  It is always fun to meet with the locals and to provide a "meet the maker" event, and Scott had many local bartenders come out to meet him and learn about the distillery and taste the products, which was nice.

Singapore Singapore Singapore Singapore Singapore

After Singapore, Scott traveled back home via Doha, Qatar, which provided him an opportunity to do some "product research" in the largest liquor duty free shop in the world.  It was quite a trip, spanning a ridiculous number of time zones, and although it's good to be home now, it was a very insightful and productive travel abroad.

Here's to more international success in 2015!  Catoctin Creek worldwide, baby!

Qatar

 

Silver medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and 87 points in New York

SFWSC Silver  USC 87 Points

Twice in the same week, Catoctin Creek Distilling Company has been awarded medals for its Roundstone Rye "92 Proof" whisky from two of the top international spirits judging contests:  a silver medal from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC) and an 87 point rating (Very Good, Strong Recommendation) from F. Paul Pacult's Ultimate Spirits Challenge (USC) in New York City.  Both competitions are very well regarded as some of the most impartial and well attended competitions in the world.

From the USC review:

Roundstone Rye "92 Proof" - Very pretty pale gold color. Big, bright, floral aromas followed in the mouth by a huge blast of sweet grain and spice. This one goes to 11! The finish leans toward bitter almond and spice, and then the floral elements return. 87 points - Very Good, Strong Recommendation

"We are very excited by this happy news:  two medals in one week!" remarked Scott Harris, founder and general manager at Catoctin Creek.  "These two competitions are the gold standards for spirits judging, receiving thousands of entrants from across the industry worldwide.  To be selected for these medals, in competitions that perform completely blind tastings, shows that our spirits truly stand up to the international standard and are truly among the best in the world!"

 

RAMMY15Nominated as Beverage Producer of the Year for the 2015 RAMMYs

We are pleased-as-heck to be nominated once again for Regional Food and Beverage Producer of the Year at the 2015 RAMMYs.  The RAMMYs are the big restaurateur awards ceremony of the year, sponsored by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW).  Coverage in the Washington Business Journal states:

Restaurant people throughout the D.C. region now know who they're up against in the D.C. area's Oscars of food after the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington announced the nominees for the 2015 RAMMY awards Monday night.

[...]

RAMW will take votes from the public on these categories before the June 7 awards.

That's Chad from Catoctin Creek at right, along with Early Mountain Cellars, DC Brau, New Columbia Distillers, and Dolce Gelati at right.  Read the full story, here.

 

Upcoming Events

Here are a bunch of really cool events planned at the distillery and in the area:

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – The Ole Virginia Accent

This was a featured cocktail of the Columbia Room pop-up last month.  Of the featured cocktails, was this one, which debuted our Apple Brandy on the menu, a recipe created by J.P. Featherston.  Word from the customers that night was that it was amazing!

1 oz Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye
1 oz Catoctin Creek Quarter Branch Apple Brandy (coming soon!)
½ oz Fallen Bark Hickory Syrup
Aromatic and Blackstrap Molasses Bitters

Combine the rye and brandy in equal portions, add about half as much hickory syrup and a dash or two of the bitters.  Stir on ice and strain into a rocks glass with one large ice cube.

Photo courtesy Christopher Wescott.  Recipe courtesy J.P. Featherston.  Both used with permission.

See this cocktail and hundreds more on our cocktails page.

 

In Closing...

As always, there are lots of fun and information on our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages, where you can stay up to date with the daily activities at the distillery. We are open every Tuesday through Sunday for tastings and bottle purchases, so stop by and see us sometime!

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

March 2015 News

Crocuses by Scott HarrisFebruary...ugh!  Glad that's over!

Enough of all this snow... bring on the spring!!

Despite the dreary weather, February was a pretty good month for us. 

We announced our release of the Barrel Aged Gin coming out in March.  Details on that are below.  We also announced our Art Contest, which will be wrapping up in March as well. 

During February, we also began distribution to California, so if you live in the Golden State, you can get Catoctin Creek now!  Here's how.

So, cheer up, dear folks, spring is just around the corner!

 

Barrel Aged Gin released this month

Old Tom ginCatoctin Creek is pleased to announce the limited release of our Pearousia Barrel "Old Tom" style Watershed Gin.  We took our regular, award-winning Watershed Gin, and set some aside for a time to rest in a re-used Pearousia pear brandy barrel.  The result is a golden, rich, and surprisingly fruity gin which gleams in those cocktails made for Old Tom gins, like the famous Ramos Gin Fizz.

Each 750 mL bottle is bottled at 92.4 proof (46.2% ABV).  The Virginia ABC price is $50.90.

The formal release schedule for the "Old Tom" Watershed Gin is:

At the Distilery:

  • Sunday, March 1 -- Available for purchase to VIP members, until March 14
  • Sunday, March 8 -- "Ramos Gin Fizz" Shake Off Event -- For VIP members, a cocktail party celebrating the new gin with classic cocktail fun!
  • Sunday, March 15 -- Available for purchase to the general public

At Weygandt Wines in DC:

  • Saturday, March 14 -- Chad will be pouring tastings at Weygandt Wines with the new gin, among other Catoctin Creek products

At Hank's on the Hill in DC:

  • Monday, March 16 -- Launch party at Hanks on the Hill from 5pm - 7pm, featuring a $5 happy hour punch and special cocktail menu at $10 apiece.

 

Art Contest - Details and a Special Event!

Catoctin Creek Art CollageWe are proud to announce our first ever art contest.  Intended as a way to support and promote the diverse local art community of Loudoun County, Virginia and surrounding areas, we will accept submissions of art, with a grand prize of $1000 for the winning piece!

Submissions will be accepted until March 13, 2015, at 5:00pm.  The contest will be judged by the employees of the Loudoun distillery, and a winner will be chosen on March 20th. 
We'll announce the winners Sunday, March 29 at 7pm.  We'll have tastings, whisky, and cocktails for our normal fees, but the event is free.  Registration is required to ensure we don't get overly full.  Register for the event, here!
  • Grand Prize:  $1000
  • Second Place:  $500
  • Third Place:  $250

All submitted entries will be eligible for display in our tasting room for the entire month of April.

For full details, entry information, and rules of the contest, please click here.

Pictured above, clockwise from top left, art by Andrew Spell, Jay Cliburn, David Buchanan, and Firefly Imageworks.

Upcoming Events

Here are a bunch of really cool events planned at the distillery and in the area.  If you can't find an event here that suits you, you're just not trying that hard:

Holy cow!  That's a lot of events!!!

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – Ramos Gin Fizz

Chad and the Old Tom gin!

This cocktail requires quite a bit of shaking... best to do it with friends!

3 oz Catoctin Creek Pearousia Barrel "Old Tom" Watershed Gin
1/2 oz parts fresh lime juice
1/2 oz fresh fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
4 oz cream
1 egg white
3 dashes Orange flower water
2 drops Vanilla extract
Soda water

Pour all ingredients except soda in a mixing glass, dry shake (no ice) for two minutes, add ice and hard shake for another minute.

Strain into a highball glass without ice, top with soda.

Recipe courtesy Wikipedia.

See this cocktail and hundreds more on our cocktails page.

 

In Closing...

As always, there are lots of fun and information on our Instagram, 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

February 2015 News

Roundstone in MumbaiHappy February!

BRRRR!!!!!!! It's cold out there!  Better stay warm with a nice glass of Catoctin Creek!  

We wouldn't want any of you getting frostbite, now would we?!

To warm you up, at right is a photo of Roundstone Rye sent to us from Anish in Mumbai, India.  Great to have fans far and wide on this little blue planet of ours!

Cheers!

 

Catoctin takes GOLD and SILVER in the UK, and Forbes reviews Watershed Gin!!

We are very happy to announce that Roundstone Rye took home the bling-bling in the United Kingdom!  The Wizards of Whisky World Awards, after performing blind tastings of hundreds of spirits from around the world, named Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye "Cask Proof" its #7 whisky in the grain whisky spirits category, and earning it a gold medal.  That's beating out some pretty big names in the whisky world right now, like Whistlepig, Bushmills, Redbreast and Greenspot, just to name a few!  Roundstone Rye "92 Proof" came in at a very respectable #18 in the same category, earning silver.

And on the same day, we learn that Forbes magazine, in their Food & Wine section, does a spectacular review of our Watershed Gin!  Quoting Adam Morgenstern:

http://catoctincreekdistilling.com/administrator/index.php

While gins can be all over the map these days, Watershed comes across with clear focus. Beautiful juniper nose and taste, with practically no alcohol harshness; amazing considering it’s bottled at 100 proof, higher than most gins. There’s pepper and cinnamon on the finish and it’s incredibly balanced. Sipping it took me out of detective mode — rather than try and figure out the mystery botanicals, I just wanted to sit back and enjoy it.

We couldn't be more pleased!!

 

Announcing - Our First Ever Art Contest!

Art Contest for local artists - $1000 Grand Prize!

We are proud to announce our first ever art contest.  Intended as a way to support and promote the diverse local art community of Loudoun County, Virginia and surrounding areas, we will accept submissions of art, with a grand prize of $1000 for the winning piece!

Submissions will be accepted until March 13, 2015, at 5:00pm.  The contest will be judged by the employees of the Loudoun distillery, and a winner will be chosen on March 20th.
  • Grand Prize:  $1000
  • Second Place:  $500
  • Third Place:  $250

All submitted entries will be eligible for display in our tasting room for the entire month of April. 

Catoctin Creek Art CollageSubmissions should reflect some aspect of Catoctin Creek (the distillery or the creek), life in Virginia, Maryland or Washington DC, and reflect revelry, culture, enjoyment of life, whiskey, drinking, etc.  We give wide latitude for the maximum artistic creativity.  Nearly any submission will be acceptable, including, but not limited to:

  • Landscapes
  • Still Lifes
  • Portraits
  • Sculpture
  • Music
  • Jewelry
  • And any media types:  Watercolors / Mixed Media / Photography / Painting / Ink / etc.

For full details, entry information, and rules of the contest, please click here.

Pictured above, clockwise from top left, art by Andrew Spell, Jay Cliburn, David Buchanan, and Firefly Imageworks.

Scott and Becky named in Southern Living's "50 People Changing the South in 2015"

Scott and BeckyOur big news story of the month of January:  being named by Southern Living as one of the 50 people changing the South in 2015! Booyah! (Question is, do Becky and I count as one or two people?!) 

This is a magazine that my mother has read since I was a baby, and now, what an honor to be included in it!

"We surveyed the region to find the movers-and-shakers who are shaping the South with community-minded ideas and projects. From groundbreaking chefs to designers with a voice, these are the people you’ll want to keep an eye on this year. 

In the middle of Virginia’s wine country, Becky and Scott Harris are making what may be the most Southern of spirits. While many craft spirits claim the title of “handmade,” Catoctin walks the walk with its line of whiskeys, gins, and brandies that are made start-to-finish in [Loudoun] County using locally sourced fruits and rye. Other materials, such as boxes and services, also come from the area, and the team gives back to the land by donating its spent rye mash for cattle farmers to use as livestock feed. Expanding its regional reach, Catoctin creates specialty products for top bartenders and hotels in the Virginia and D.C. area."

Read the full story, here.

 

Upcoming Events

Here are a couple really cool events planned at the distillery:

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – Chad's Port Punch

Chad's Port PunchChad came up with this cocktail for a private party for the RAMMY nominations in DC last month.  Easily batched and poured for the masses, it is reminiscent of a sangria or a grog. 

6-8 oranges, peeled (peels saved), 2 sliced, and the rest juiced
8-10 lemons, peeled (peels saved), 2 sliced, and the rest juiced
2-3 cups of sugar
1 bottles of Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye
1 bottles of Catoctin Creek 1757 Virginia Brandy
1 bottles of port

Place the sugar and citrus peels in the punchbowl and stir roughly to infuse the sugar with the citrus oil in the peels.  Juice the citrus into the punchbowl.  You should have enough juice that the sugar dissolves completely. Keep juicing until the sugar is dissolved.

Add the booze to the punch and stir to combine.  Remove most of the citrus peels.  Float the remaining punch with slices of citrus and top with ice until completely full. 

Serves at least 30-40 people.

See this cocktail and hundreds more on our cocktails page.

 

In Closing...

As always, there are lots of fun and information on our Instagram, 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

January 2015 News

Happy New Year! 2015 is here!!

Catoctin Creek Team Photo 2014

From the entire team at Catoctin Creek (pictured above), we say:  "Happy New Year!!"

Wowee!  What a year it's been for us!  2014 had so many wonderful accomplishments, many more than we could list, but some of the highlights were:

  • Our first full year on Main Street in downtown Purcellville — Our new home has proven to be a functional and beautiful setting for making whisky in a town that was once known as a center for Temperance education!  Historic irony at its best!
  • Launch of Catoctin Creek into new markets — Delaware, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.
  • A great season of concerts at the distillery — Amazing talent like Pat McGee, The Alternate Routes and Jim Malcolm.  And some exciting ones for 2015!
  • Delicious monthly dinners featuring Wandering Chef — If you haven't treated yourself to dinner, you're missing a really wonderful experience!
  • Amazing press from national sourcesJim Murray's Whisky Bible, Men's Journal, Daily Beast, Washington Post [1], [2], [3], and National Public Radio.
  • Wonderful support from our restaurant, bar, and off-premise partners — We are overjoyed at the continued support we receive from those retailers and restaurants who take the extra step to support small-batch artisanal spirits like ours.  It means everything to us!!  Thank you!
  • Wonderful support from our customers — People just like you!  We wouldn't be here without your support too!  Thank you!!

So, from our family to yours, we wish you the very best for 2015:  Peace, Joy, and Prosperity in the New Year!!
 

Ladies in Whiskey – Becky Harris featured on NPR's Morning Edition!

Becky at the distilleryThank you Allison Aubrey for working Becky Harris into your story on women in whiskey:

Well, now history is coming full circle. There's a vanguard of new female distillers, blenders and tasters.

From Becky Harris, co-founder of Catoctin Creek distillery in Virginia, to Meredity Grelli of Wigle Whiskey in Pittsburgh, these women are finding success as grain-to-bottle distillers.

Harris says the demand for her organic, rye whiskey is so strong, she's selling every drop she can produce.

Listen or read the full story, here.

 

Upcoming Events

January is one of our quieter months, but even so, we have a couple really cool events planned at the distillery:

If you're making plans for Valentine's Day weekend, be sure to check out our special dinner and a concert:

  • February 13 - Dinner and a concert featuring Andrew McKnight - We'll host one of our regular dinner events at the distillery, but you'll also dine with Andrew McKnight and the whole band from Beyond Borders.  After dinner, it's a concert!  This one will sell out, so be sure to get your tickets now!

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – Mulled Cider with Rye

Mulled Cider and RyeThis cocktail comes to us from Sonja Bradfield, author of Ginger and Toasted Sesame.  Sonja has some amazing photographs and a delicious recipe for cider and rye, perfect for a warm winter beverage:

One of my favorite things to drink when the weather gets cold is something warm with a kick like a nice chai tea or a hot toddy. On Thanksgiving my family brewed an impromptu pot of mulled apple cider and for a little extra warmth we added a nip of whiskey. For this recipe I used some apple cider pressed in Virginia and some rye whiskey distilled in Virginia.

...

[This] rye is great in this mulled cider recipe. It’ll warm you right down through your toes. This recipe makes a half gallon but you can easily double that for a bigger group gathering for the holidays. Just let the spices and fruit simmer long enough to get the cider nice and spicy. For an extra kick, you can add a few black peppercorns and maybe a bit more rye.

½ gallon of apple cider
2 satsuma oranges
1 honey crisp apple
3 cinnamon sticks
10 cloves
Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye whisky

Thinly slice the oranges and apple horizontally.

Pour the cider in a large pot and add the slices of fruit, the cinnamon sticks and cloves.

Bring to a boil over high heat then lower the heat and let the mixture simmer for about 30 minutes until fragrant.

Fill up mugs about three quarters full and add about an ounce of rye whiskey to each mug.

Garnish with an apple or orange slice, half a cinnamon stick and cloves.

Recipe and photo by Sonja Bradfield, and used with permission.

See this cocktail and hundreds more on our cocktails page.

 

In Closing...

As always, there are lots of fun and information on our Instagram, 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

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Contact Us

Catoctin Creek Distillery

Catoctin Creek Distillery
120 W Main St
Purcellville, VA 20132

Tel (540) 751-8404

Latest Events

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Meet Catoctin Creek at the Stone's Cove Kitbar in Herndon Local Mondays are an opportunity for local hospitality-driven businesses to showcase their products at the KitBar.  Catoctin Creek has the...

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Whiskey School at Monk's BBQ

Catoctin Creek's Scott Harris will teach about American Whisk(e)y:  Bourbon and Rye Join Scott Harris, founder of Catoctin Creek, for a night of fun, barbecue, and whiskey.  Scott will hold a...

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