Happy March - Old Tom Gin and Other News & Events
Happy March! Old Tom Gin releases this month!!
On Monday, March 22nd, at 8am, we will release our next offering of the Watershed Gin barrel rested in pear brandy barrels, our "Old Tom" style gin. This one is perfect for those classic era cocktails like the Martinez, Ramos Gin Fizz, and the French 75. This is a once a year release. This will go for sale in our ONLINE STORE, so no waiting in line! Bottles are $50.89. More details about the product are in the original press release from 2015, below.
Rye Society™ members may contact us at 540-751-3294 to obtain their bottles anytime before the release date.
And a little bit about GWAR...
And keep an eye out. GWAR is still coming. We just don't have a firm date yet! We'll let you know when we do, and, yes, VIP members will be able to pre-order once we have it set up.
Expanding our Production - a Tripling of Functional Capacity!
In our efforts to keep up with demand, we are midway through a $1 million dollar production plan expansion! We've been so grateful that the world is responding so well to our beautiful Virginia rye whisky, that we need to be able to make more! For those of you who are interested in this stuff, here's what we have planned and is already underway:
- Replacing our 100 year old floors with new industrial concrete floors - DONE!
- Replacing our 300 gallon electric mash tank with a new 530 gallon steam-powered mash tank! - UNDER CONSTRUCTION
- Adding a new grain handling system, which includes an auger to fill the mash tank. - UNDER CONSTRUCTION
- Replacing our beloved Barney, our 100 gallon electric pot still with a new 530 gallon steam-powered pot still. (We'll be keeping Ron, our 300 gallon pot still, shown on the left above.) - UNDER CONSTRUCTION
- Replacing our six 300 gallon fermenters with six new 530 gallon jacketed fermenters. - UNDER CONSTRUCTION
- Adding a new "stillage" tank, which collects the spent mash for the farmers. - UNDER CONSTRUCTION
- Adding a new massive 40T glycol system, which will greatly reduce our water usage! - ORDERED
If you know anybody who is looking to buy really good quality used equipment, please contact us! It will be sad to get rid of the old equipment that we started with, but we simply don't have room to keep it all. I'm sure they'll go to a good home and make some new distillers very happy.
Also, we're taking suggestions for names for the new equipment!
Washington Post Covers Art of the Cocktail Zoom Classes
We were elated to see the Washington Post write a story on our Art of the Cocktail classes! More than just being an instructional drink-making class, Scott's purpose is more to build a sense of community and social gathering. Fritz Hahn writes:
The collegial spirit is key: While Harris goes over the ins-and-outs of four cocktails each week, the classes, which include a lot of couples, have taken on a higher purpose. “I’ve been getting a lot of feedback like, ‘It’s so nice to have some little thing we can do on Friday night. It’s become like a date night for us,’” Harris says. “That was my hope. It’s almost like the classes are just sort of a framework for what ultimately turns into just drinking together and having a little bit of a social hour.”
Photo credit: Emma Evans for the Washington Post, and used with permission.
Catoctin Creek Apple Brandy featured in the New York Times
Julia Moskin does a pretty darn comprehensive review on the state of applejack (aka apple brandy) in the New York Times. Check it out:
As most small-scale applejack makers do, Catoctin Creek starts the process not with fresh apples but with hard cider, which it procures from Blue Bee Cider company, in Richmond, Va., in the kind of collaboration often found among craft producers. The Harrises send some of the finished brandy back to Blue Bee, where it is mixed with the cidery’s own fortified apple wine and ginger eau de vie into a spicy dessert cider called Firecracker.
This year’s batch is made from Winesap, Pippin, Arkansas Black and other heritage apple breeds that are good for brandy, she said, because they have almost no sweetness, but share a strong, concentrated apple taste that carries all the way through distillation. The kind of big, sweet apples that have been bred for eating, like Red and Golden Delicious, are far too sugary and watery. “You want a lot of flavor for the flesh that’s there,” she said.
You can read the full story, here.
Art of the Cocktail - New Season starts March 12!
Catoctin Creek is pleased to present, our SEVENTH year of this six-part educational series on the art of the cocktail.
We must still hunker down, as this pandemic isn't over yet. Thus, the classes will still be online via Zoom. Each week, we will send out a shopping list of items for you to pick up, plus the course materials. Then, every Friday night, get yourself comfortably placed behind your bar, with your computer on and ready to go, and we will enjoy the class interactively just as if we were together in person.
In this series, I will be focusing on various cocktails from books I'm enjoying. These are not cocktail recipe books, per se, but actual books on either history or some other topic, which have a prodigious amount of cocktails inside. Think of this season's class as a cocktail-infused book club. If you want to get the books and review them beforehand, that's fine, but this is not required. We'll mostly be making drinks and having fun, so don't sweat the details too much here!
But if you do get the books, please reach out and support your local independent bookstore if at all possible. They're little guys, like us, and appreciate your business. They'll also mail your books to you, so you don't have to travel far. Here are a couple we recommend:
Here is the schedule for the series:
- March 12 - Behind Bars, High Class Cocktails Inspired by Lowlife Gangsters by Shawn McManus, Vincent Pollard, Paul Sloman
- March 19 - Give Me Liberty and Give Me a Drink! by C. Jarrett Dieterle
- March 26 - Spirits, Sugar, Water, Bitters by Derek Brown with Robert Yule
- April 2 - Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt, The Complete History of Presidential Drinking by Mark Will-Weber
- April 9 - A Drinkable Feast, A Cocktail Companion to 1920s Paris by Philip Greene
- April 16 - Shaking Up Prohibition in New Orleans, Authentic Vintage Cocktails from A to Z by Olive Leonhardt and Hilda Phelps Hammond
Ingredients will be easy to obtain, and the lessons will be fun as ever. This will be via Zoom, so I still expect lots of interaction and questions and good times. It's a drinks class, after all! As I mention in many of my classes, this class will be equal parts, cocktail how-to, education, and fun.
Tickets are ONLY $10 per person for the lessons, which leaves you room to purchase the ingredients. You can purchase our spirits in our online store.
Buy Your Spirits ONLINE for Delivery or Curbside Pickup
Virginia residents may buy your whisky, gin and brandy online! The Virginia ABC now allows direct-to-consumer shipping! We are now taking orders in our Online Shop.
ORDER NOW - https://catoctincreekstore.com
If you are outside of Virginia, you may also order for online shipping, here.
You can also place curbside orders using the online shop, or simply call in your order at 540-751-3294.
Cocktail of the Month – Bad Moon Rising
2 oz Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye Whisky
¾ oz Pomegranate Rosemary Syrup
1 oz Lemon Juice
3 oz Ginger Beer
Shake whisky, lemon juice and syrup with ice. Add crushed ice to glass. Fine strain cocktail into glass, top with ginger beer and fresh ice.
Recipe and photo courtesy A Bar Above, @abarabove on Twitter.
See this cocktail and hundreds more on our cocktails page.
Proudly supporting WhiskyCast
Catoctin Creek is proud to be one of the sponsors of WhiskyCast, and if you’re not familiar with Whisky’s longest-running podcast series, we encourage you to check it out. Each week, Mark Gillespie brings you the latest whisky news from all over the world, along with in-depth interviews, tasting notes, and much more. You can listen to WhiskyCast on most podcast apps, smart speakers, and at WhiskyCast.com.
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