February Greetings from Catoctin Creek
Welcome to February!
Last month, Scott & Becky spent some time in Richmond working with the Virginia Distillers Association. On January 28th, it was "lobbying day," when distillers from across the commonwealth descended on the state capitol to lobby for modernization in ABC liquor laws. This year, the bill that stands out is SB 824, which would allow distillers in Virginia to directly ship to consumers in the state. This would be HUGE for us, in that it would allow "wine club" type operations and direct shipping of "onesy-twosy" items to customers without having to go through the onerous state special order process. If you would like to see this bill passed, you should call your state delegate and senator today!
Catoctin Creek earns impressive accolades from Wine Enthusiast tasting panel
All five rye whiskies receive consistent scores of 90 or above
Catoctin Creek has been awarded five scores not lower than 90 out of 100 points for all five rye whiskies submitted to Wine Enthusiast’s tasting panel for the magazine’s upcoming February/March 2020 issue. Catoctin Creek’s Roundstone Rye Whiskey “Distiller’s Edition” was the craft distillery’s highest scoring product, earning a “superb” rating of 94 on the panel’s 100-point scale. The other four products received “excellent” scores of either 90 or 91. Not only are these accolades outstanding, they show the consistency of Catoctin Creek’s brand portfolio across the entire lineup.
“As a distillery dedicated to producing Virginia’s most awarded rye whisky, these are some of the most exciting accolades we've received in our eleven year history. We’re thrilled to be adding additional accolades to our list by the revered Wine Enthusiast panel,” said founder Scott Harris. “The consistent scoring of our rye whisky product line is not only a win for us, but also a win for the Commonwealth of Virginia, where we source our ingredients and hand-craft each product daily.”
The Wine Enthusiast ratings include:
- 94 points for Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye Whisky “Distillers Edition” 92 Proof
- 91 points for Catoctin Creek Rabble Rouser Rye Whisky 2018 Bottled in Bond
- 91 points for Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye Whisky Cask Proof
- 90 points for Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye Whisky 80 Proof
- 90 points for Braddock Oak Rye Single Barrel (available only through Total Wine)
Wine Enthusiast hosts the tasting panel annually, reviewing wine, beer and spirits from across the globe. The publication will include Catoctin Creek in their digital tasting panel database starting in February and will release the February/March issue on Feb. 18, 2020.
Two New Malt Whisky Releases - TODAY!!
Today, February 1st, at noon, we will release not one, but TWO new whisky expressions. Both of these, first two in this series, are distilled from Beltway Brewing in Sterling, Virginia. The OctoMalt American Malt Whisky began as their OctoIPA, while the Farmhouse Pale Malt started life as their Farmhouse Pale Ale. Each one is totally delicious and a wonderful capture of the beer from the still. Aged two years in charred new oak, they are dark, sumptuous, and with a distinctive floral note from the malts and hops. Members of the Beltway Brewing team will be present at the release, along with Becky Harris, to sign bottles and do Q&A. Bottles are $69.99 each at 92 proof.
Rye Society™ members may contact us at 540-751-3294 to obtain their bottles anytime before the release date.
Rabble Rouser Release
On Saturday, February 15, at noon, we will release the Rabble Rouser Bottled in Bond Rye Whisky. Due to better growing reserves, we are happy to report that we have more available to sell! For some of you, this may be the first time you've had a chance to purchase this extremely rare whisky. Of this year's release, only 143 cases have been made, 25 of which will be released in our tasting room (the rest going nationally). Please plan to arrive before noon if you absolutely must have a bottle. Based on previous events, there is no guarantee we will have anything left after Saturday. Bottles are $99 for Rabble Rouser. Due to the extreme rarity of these releases, there will be no tastings offered. More details in the link, here.
We have some great events in the coming months. Here is the full list of events planned at the distillery and in the area this season. Many events are free, so be sure to join us for something fun:
- February 1 - Two Malt Whisky Releases - Come to the distillery to get your limited edition bottles of American Malt Whisky!
- February 14 - Art of the Cocktail - Join Scott for an informative and fun class celebrating the bartenders canon! $35/pp
- February 15 - Rabble Rouser Release - Come to the distillery to get your extremely rare bottles of our Bottled in Bond Rabble Rouser!
- April 10 - Dinner at the Distillery - Join us for our spring dinner! Fresh local seasonal produce and an amazing menu! $99/pp
For the full list of events, check our events page.
Cocktail of the Month – The Sunflower
This cocktail comes to us from Kara Newman's newest book, Shake. Stir. Sip., featuring easy cocktails done in equal parts. What I love about this cocktail, besides its refreshing taste, is that the four (five, really) ingredients combine in such a pleasant way, while being individually unidentifiable in the final drink. In other words, they blend so well into something wholly new, you'd never know that there was (for instance), St. Germain in the beverage. I guess the word I'm looking for here is "synergy," where the end result is greater than the sum of its parts. Regardless of how you analyze it, this drink has been our staple drink through the winter this season.
¾ oz Watershed Gin
¾ oz St. Germain
¾ oz Curaçao or orange liqueur
¾ oz fresh lemon juice
Rinse a chilled coupe with absinthe, then combine the ingredients into a shaker of ice. Shake well, strain into the coupe, and serve with a lemon peel garnish.
Recipe courtesy Kara Newman, Shake. Stir. Sip.
See this cocktail and hundreds more on our cocktails page.
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!
Scott & Becky