News

January 2017 News

Happy New Year! 

Happy New Year!

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

Wowee!  What a year it's been for us!  2016 had so many wonderful accomplishments, many more than we could list, but some of the highlights were:

  • Release of the second year of Rabble Rouser — Our four year old straight rye whisky sold out again in an hour!  Don't worry, we'll have more in 2017.
  • F. Paul Pacult gives Roundstone Rye Cask Proof Five Stars! — His highest recommendation.  "Not to be missed!"
  • Delicious distillery dinners featuring Wandering Chef — If you haven't treated yourself to dinner, you're missing a really wonderful experience!
  • Amazing press from national sourcesNew York Times, The Daily Beast, Washington Post, Wine Enthusiast, The Spirits Business, and Eater.
  • 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 artisan 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 2017:  Peace, Joy, and Prosperity in the New Year!! 

 

Catoctin Creek in The New York Times TOP TEN rye whiskey!

New York TimesAbsolutely 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 countless times.  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!

 

The Art of the Cocktail  An Educational Series for January

Monkey GlandOur second year  presented by Scott Harris, Founder of the Distillery 

Catoctin Creek is proud to present, our second year of this six-part educational series on the history and the art of the cocktail.  This is a reprise of last year's content, so if you missed this very popular series last year, we highly encourage you to make your reservation now!

Scott Harris, founder and distiller at Catoctin Creek, will appear in the tasting room every Friday for this six-week series. Beginning at 7pm, Scott will personally guide you through the history and construction of several cocktail styles, including the old classics, and modern takes on the cocktail!  There will be samples for sharing, and you are encouraged to buy bottles to take home with you and practice.  Lots of practice.

Here is the schedule of the series, which starts in 2017:

  • January 6 - The Old Fashioned - the proto-cocktail of the 1840s
  • January 13 - Gin is in!  Several gin cocktails including the Martinez, the Gimlet, and the Sloe Gin Fizz
  • January 20 - Everything you wanted to know about Martinis and bitters
  • January 27 - NO CLASS THIS WEEK.  Scott is on vacation
  • February 3 - New Orleans mojo - The sophisticated and complex beauty of the Sazerac
  • February 10 - NO CLASS THIS WEEK.  Our Distillery Dinner instead
  • February 17 - Moonshine in American culture - 1930 to present day
  • February 24 - Toddies and warm cocktails

If you don't know anything about cocktails, you'll love this class.  If you're already an expert, come and enjoy some casual conversation and a few drinks.  The cost is $30 per person and includes drinks.  Sign up for all six and receive two FREE Catoctin Creek rocks glasses and a FREE copy of The Architecture of the Cocktail

For more information, click here: http://catoctincreekdistilling.com/art

  

Upcoming Events

Wow!  We some fun events this month!

Here is the full list of events planned at the distillery and in the area this month.  Many events are free, so be sure to join us for something fun:

  • January 1 - NEW YEARS DAY - We will be CLOSED.
  • January 6 - Art of the Cocktail - Old Fashioneds - Join Scott for an informative and fun class celebrating classic cocktails of ages past.  Includes 4 drinks! $25/pp
  • January 13 - Art of the Cocktail - Early Gin Cocktails - Join Scott for an informative and fun class celebrating classic cocktails of ages past.  Includes 4 drinks! $25/pp
  • January 20 - Art of the Cocktail - Martinis and Bitters - Join Scott for an informative and fun class celebrating classic cocktails of ages past.  Includes 4 drinks! $25/pp

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – The Parting Glass

We're featuring a new drink for New Year's, our take on a French 75, featuring the Watershed Gin, fresh raspberry lemon juice, and sparkling cider. Come on by and raise a parting glass to 2016!

1½ oz watershed Gin
1 oz raspberry lemon juice*
1 oz Sparkling Cider or Champagne

Combine the ingredients in a flute or stemmed glass.  Garnish with a lemon peel.

*Raspberry lemon juice:
Combine equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to boil to combine, then reduce to simmer and add raspberries. Mash with potato masher or spatula. Simmer until a rich color and flavor, then strain.

Combine 3 parts of lemon juice with 1 part raspberry syrup.

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

David Wondrich Reviews Peach Brandy

Peach brandy in the barrel

David Wondrich does a fantastic piece on peach brandy in The Daily Beast. I love the history presented. I always learn from Mr. Wondrich. We are so happy to be included in his review as well:

From Purcellville, Virginia’s popular Catoctin Creek distillery there’s the Short Hill Mountain Peach Brandy ($30/375 ml), which explores the funkier end of the spirit’s flavor spectrum. It offers notes of honeysuckle and aged tobacco in the nose and is thick, rich and sweet on the palate, with plenty of peach skin.

We still have it available at the distillery for only $29 per bottle. Get yours! In the meantime, read the full story, here.

10 Women in Distilling

Becky Harris

Becky was profiled briefly in Epicure and Culture's post on "10 Women in Distilling":

Becky Harris is the chief distiller and co-founder of Catoctin Creek Distilling, the first legal distillery in Loudoun County, Virginia since Prohibition. They make whisky from scratch, using 100% rye that is certified kosher and organic. Becky’s background in Chemical and Process Engineering helps her run the whisky-making side of Catoctin Creek, a business which she started with her husband in 2009.

She says, “Many family-run distilleries have women taking care of the business side of the operations and men running the production side. We flipped those roles because our skills fit the opposite assignments”.

You can read the full story, including a cocktail from our pal, Paul Trahan Taylor, here.

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.

Latest News

Scott Harris talks about Catoctin Creek …

I hope you'll enjoy this little podcast by The Sports and Spirits Podcast interviewing our founder, Scott Harris.  A little history about Catoctin Creek starts at minute 53:00. Listen to the full podcast...

Read more

Catoctin Creek profiled in the Loudoun N…

Loudoun Now did a great article on our recent growth and the investment by Constellation Brands.  From the story: “With the advent of increased competition even locally, it really takes more...

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Press Release: Virginia resort offers fi…

Catoctin Creek Distilling Produces Private Label Rye Whisky for Virginia Resort and Tavern LEESBURG, VA, February 17, 2017 – Lansdowne Resort and Spa, A Destination Hotel and Catoctin Creek Distilling Company...

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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

The Art of the Cocktail - An Educational Series by Scott Harris (6)

  FEB 24   Art of the Cocktail Class – Toddies and warm cocktails 7:00pm—9:00pm Starting in January, Scott Harris, founder and distiller at Catoctin Creek, will appear in the tasting room every Friday for this six-week...

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DC Distillers Festival

FEB 25   DC Distillers Festival at Long View Gallery 12pm — 10pm Get ready for a trip back to pre-prohibition DC when the DC Distillers Festival kicks off Saturday, February 25, 2017. Over 20 specially...

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Catoctin Creek Bottling Workshop

  MAR 18   Bottling Workshop 10:00am—12:00pm Catoctin Creek Distilling Company will conduct a BOTTLING DAY on Saturday, March 18, at 10:00am. Volunteers wanted. Learn how to bottle, cap, seal, and label Roundstone Rye. Get your...

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