We were overjoyed (over the moon, in fact) at Lavanya Ramanathan's very in depth story on visiting Catoctin Creek. She really went into depth in her story, covering not only how the spirits are made, but the whole vibe of coming out to Purcellville for a day trip, including even a stop at Market Burger for lunch. Such a wonderful story! Here is an excerpt:
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.
Read the entire article, here.
Thanks go out to Jason Diamond, from Men's Journal, for calling out five American craft whiskeys doing it right! We were thrilled to be named among other fine whiskey makers like FEW and Dry Fly, producing great new American whiskey:
A bottle of organic Roundstone Rye 92-proof is what you're looking for if you want your socks knocked off. Just the amount of spice you'd expect from a great rye, but it won't have you breathing fire. If you're looking for something a little more subtle, a bottle of sweet and spicy regular Roundstone Rye should always be within reach. You can't ever go wrong with Catoctin Creek.
Wow!! To read the entire story, click here.
Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2014 (10th Anniversary Edition), reviews Roundstone Rye Cask Proof (batch B12E1), and scores it an 88.5! The review, as these tend to be, is all over the place, like a big happy golden retriever puppy: The rye is chaotic, unexpected, youthful, crazy, and yet, still totally loveable:
A truly huge rye... Through a combination of sheer delicious belligerence and chutzpah has your taste buds swooning. Great fun!
Lew Bryson, in the summer 2014 issue of Whisky Advocate, (re-)reviews Mosby's Spirit, our beautiful unaged rye spirit, and gives it a score of 82:
The second craft rye I'm revisiting. Mosby's is still 100% organic rye and unaged, but the nose is more fun: some green pear and melon esters in there with the grassy rye spice. It's nicely smooth on the tongue, delivers exactly what the nose promised, plus a shot of fresh-cracked black pepper...and a much longer finish these days. Greatly improved; a good white whisky.
Lew also reviewed the Roundstone Rye Cask Proof (batch B12E1), but he didn't find it as pleasing as we do, scoring it a 77. Being honest, the review disappointed us, especially considering the last review from Whisky Advocate was clamoring for more age, and now that we have it, they consider it over-oaked. We truly struggle to see how a whisky that is less than two years old could be over-oaked in 30 gallon barrels. Anyhow, in the interest of transparency, here is that review, for what it's worth:
Single barrel, cask proof. Strong wood aromas; pencil shavings, hot-sawn oak. Hot and tight, intense wood. There's some interesting stuff around the edges, but the wood's blocking it till some sweetness peeks through at the end. Water helps a little, but not enough. Over-barreled.
M. Carrie Allan, spirits writer for the Washington Post, gave us great coverage in the Food section, announcing the release of our new 92-Proof version of the Roundstone Rye:
Catoctin Creek has been curating the barrels it has tucked away, tasting and selecting a few hundred that seemed to be developing deeper and more interesting flavors, and holding them back to use in this release. As a result, the new rye is not only less diluted, but also, at just under four years in barrel, a bit older than the current Roundstone.
That said, Becky says that many old-school whiskey buffs put too much emphasis on barrel age. “I kind of compare it to taking your dog to a dog show, right?” she says. “When people evaluate a rye whiskey, they want it to taste like other whiskeys they’ve had — the ‘breed standard.’ . . . I like to think the craft distilling movement is trying to bring some new dogs to the show, but the show that’s out there — and I’m just rolling with this metaphor now — is run by the people who are deeply invested in a very old stock style of whiskey.” Many younger craft brands, she says, don’t have very old whiskeys. “But they are amazing whiskeys. They may not be a purebred English mastiff, but it’s an amazing dog in its own right.”
Read her full story, plus a great new recipe with the Roundstone Rye 92, here.
Renée S. Gordon does a travel feature for the Philadelphia Sun, and this time, she turns her sights on Loudoun County, and our deep collection of history, entertainment and gastronomic treasures. Happily, Catoctin Creek gets a call out:
Catoctin Creek Distilling Company is in the heart of Purcellville and is the first legal distillery in Loudoun County since before Prohibition. Owners Becky and Scott Harris create small batch liquors that are entirely handcrafted. They make 40,000 bottles annually including their version of moonshine. Distillery tours and guest bartender events are offered.
Catoctin Creek is another of my “amazing females” sites. Becky Harris, a chemical engineer, is the distiller. She is one of the few in the country and [one of a few] female distiller[s] on the East Coast.
[Corrections noted above are our own.]
Read the full story, here.
E-man Booze (follow him on Twitter at @emanbooze) does a pretty hilarious, but very insightful review on Roundstone Rye. Check it out, y'all:
Market Watch did an interesting piece on a number of women who work at several distilleries across the world, including our own beloved Becky Harris. Amber Drea writes:
After staying home with her kids for 10 years, the former chemical engineer decided to take on distilling duties, while Scott managed the marketing and sales side. “I’ve always been interested in making things,” Harris explains. It also helped that she had a science background. “This business was Scott’s dream job, so he chose well when we got married 20 years ago,” she jokes.
Read the entire article, here.