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.

Press Release: Catoctin Creek Watershed Gin wins gold medal in Chicago

Watershed Gin gets 92 points "Exceptional" rating at the 2016 Beverage Testing Institute tastings.

2016 BTI  

Watershed Gin

Chicago, IL (December 2, 2016) – The 2016 Beverage Testing Institute has awarded Catoctin Creek a gold medal for their Watershed Gin.

The awards won are as follows:

Tasting notes for the Watershed Gin describe a "Clear color. Attractive, fruity, spicy aromas and flavors of fresh baked fruitcake, gingerbread, dried pear, and candied violets with a silky, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a licorice, brown spices, honeyed raisin rye-safflower toast, and floral honey finish. A rich, flavor packed gin for craft cocktails."

The gold medal for Watershed Gin comes on the heals of three other awards recently won from the same organization in October.

Watershed Gin is available where ever fine spirits are sold in VA, DC, MD, DE, and NY.

About the Beverage Testing Institute:  The International Review of Spirits is America's oldest annual international Spirits competition and has been operated objectively for decades by the Beverage Testing Institute & Tastings.com. It is a blind tasting, medal-based competition that awards based on a 100-point scale. Spirits are judged by the Beverage Testing Institute's trained staff joined by top Spirits professionals and buyers from retailers and restaurants using a proven, consistent, proprietary methodology developed in collaboration with Cornell University. The International Review of Spirits distributes its monthly results to consumers and the trade through our publication Tastings.com, a free consumer website with tens of thousands of unique users a month on its searchable databases and via social media @tastingsbti.

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 Scott Harris 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. 

December 2016 News

December is here! 

Happy Holidays to you all!  Christmas and Hanukkah are quickly approaching, and our thoughts turn to unwinding from the stress of our daily lives and spending more time with friends and family this month.  It is such a gift to be alive, and to be with the ones we love.  We at Catoctin Creek are particularly blessed to be doing what we love, and to have customers like yourselves who enjoy our craft.  

So, from the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and may there be peace on Earth in our lifetime!

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!  

Roundstone at Christmas

 

Gift Items This Holiday Season

Stop by our tasting room this holiday season and pick up one of our exciting gift items for the holiday.  Spirits are the perfect gift for those fussy relatives who already have everything!  Give them something local, hand-crafted, and totally unique this year!

We have three-set gift packs of our flagship products:  Roundstone Rye, Mosby's Spirit, and Watershed Gin in cute little 200 mL bottles, all displayed in a handsome custom gift box.  We also have hand-wrapped gift baskets with your choice of spirits, glassware, and bar accessories like bitters and cocktail books.  We'll gladly make you a custom basket while you wait.  Finally, if you just can't decide, you can pick up a gift card for any amount at our store (or call us, we'll mail it to you).

There's pretty much something for anyone on your list!  Stop by soon and see for yourself!

Gift Ideas from Catoctin Creek

 

Brandy Seminar at the Smithsonian

BrandyJoin us December 12 in Washington DC at the Smithsonian Castle

Nothing warms a December evening like brandy. Whether you're sipping it by the fire or enjoying it in a glass of your favorite eggnog, brandy gives an added glow to the holidays. The venerable distilled wine is produced and enjoyed the world over, with cognac from France leading the way, but other varieties include the German label Asbach, pisco from Peru, and even brandy made here in the Washington area.

Scott Harris is a distiller and brandy evangelist, as well as the man responsible for a new local spirit, Catoctin Creek’s 1757 Brandy from Loudoun County. Enjoy a lively evening as Harris explains production methods around the globe, offers expert tips for enjoying your brandy, and shares some of his favorite bottles.

The cost is $65 or $50 for Smithsonian members.

BOOK NOW

 

 

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!

Starting in January, 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

 

Our Final Dinner of the Year - A Holiday Feast!

Dinner at Catoctin Creek!Dinner will be a four-course affair, using seasonal produce and local suppliers, prepared by Chefs Wes Rosati and Maria Aros of The Wandering Chef.  This month's menu will highlight a holiday theme.  

Enjoy a private tour of the distillery from owners, Scott and Becky Harris. Becky will guide you through the process of making whisky, and Scott will describe for you the wonderful history of our "new" building, which is nearly 100 years old.

Oh, and did I say cocktails? Yes, Scott & Becky Harris will personally craft cocktails expertly paired with your dinner! This will be a magical evening, and one not to miss!!

Dinner is priced at $99, and includes all four courses and cocktails.  Reserve your space now, while there is still space available!  Click here for more details. 

 

Upcoming Events

Wow!  We have a ton of 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:

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – Red Riding Hood

Red Riding Hood

This one comes to us from our friends at Element Shrub:

Keep the big bad wolves away with this shrub and bitters twist on a Boulevardier, another one of our cocktail collaborations with @dcembitterment.

1½ oz Roundstone Rye whisky
1 oz Campari
½ oz Blueberry Rosemary Element Shrub
Several dashes of DC Embitterment orange bitters

Add all ingredients of a shaker with ice. Shake thoroughly until chilled. Strain into a coupe glass. Top with bitters.

Recipe and photo courtesy Charlie Berkinshaw of Element Shrub, 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 are open every Tuesday through Sunday for tastings and bottle purchases, so stop by and see us sometime!

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

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.

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...

Read more

Contact Us

Catoctin Creek Distillery

Catoctin Creek Distillery
120 W Main St
Purcellville, VA 20132

Tel (540) 751-8404


Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence

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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