News

November 2015 News

Happy November! 

Welcome to November!  There is so much fun stuff lined up for the rest of this year, you won't want to miss out!  In an effort not to deluge your inbox, we decided to consolidate several emails into one this month, so here is a condensed list of our most popular workshops and events.  For a more detailed list of events, check out the complete list at http://catoctincreek.com/events

Click on the photos below for more information about each event.

Another Bottling Workshop!  

Bottling Workshop

Fall Dinner at the Distillery!  

Fall Dinner

Buncearoo Presents: Jared & the Mill!  

Jared & The Mill

 

Rabble Rouser released!

 

TODAY IS THE DAY!!!!

 

Rabble RouserRabble Rouser is the latest rye whisky offering from Catoctin Creek.  Distilled from 100% rye, and like the other whisky from Catoctin Creek, Rabble Rouser is a single barrel, hand-crafted whisky.  The Rabble Rouser differs from its cousin, Roundstone Rye, in that it is distilled at a lower proof, allowing lots of earthy goodness from the grain to come through in the spirit.  The whisky is aged for four years in Minnesota white oak barrel, twice the legal age requirement for "straight rye whiskey."  It is bottled at 100 proof.

"Where Roundstone Rye is sort of restrained, with lots of fruit and elegance, Rabble Rouser is more unruly and vivacious," says Scott Harris, founder of the distillery, "There's a burst of rich rye spice and sweet woodiness that dominates this whisky." 

"At four years old, Catoctin Creek is one of just a few craft distilleries producing rye whiskey of that age," says Jake Emen, who writes for Washington City Paper.

The Rabble Rouser straight rye whisky will be released in limited quantities into the Virginia, Maryland, DC, and New York markets.  

It will be released at the Purcellville distillery TODAY. If you miss this important release day, we will likely be sold out afterwards.  If you never want to miss another special release, you should consider joining our VIP Club.  Information on VIP Club may be found here:  http://catoctincreekdistilling.com/vip-club

Catoctin Creek Rabble Rouser Straight Whisky, 50% ABV, single barrel whisky distilled from 100% rye, 750ml, SRP $61.59.  While supplies last!

This whisky is dedicated to Allan Guy, treasured colleague and friend.

 

War Shore Oysters and Cocktail Pairing at the Distillery

War Shore Oyster BarBACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!!

Join us at the distillery on Thursday, November 19, from 6:30pm to 8pm as Brad Blymier, founder of War Shore Oyster Company, and Scott Harris, founder of Catoctin Creek, team up to pair the best local oysters with the best local cocktails!

The evening will include six oysters per person, paired with three cocktails.  We'll also tour the distillery, and each guest will receive a souvenir shot glass.  The cost is only $30 per person.  Space is limited, so purchase your tickets now!

Click here for more information:  http://catoctincreekdistilling.com/events/924-war-shore-oyster-and-cocktail-pairing

War Shore Oyster Bar 

 

Announcing the Art of the Cocktail Series

An Educational Series by Scott Harris, Founder of the Distillery

Ever wonder where the cocktail came from?

What were the primary influences of the early bartenders?

How did Prohibition affect the cocktail?

What spirits were widely available before/during/after Prohibition?

What's the difference between a fizz and a flip?

What exactly are vermouth/bitters/shrubs, anyway?

Catoctin Creek is proud to present, the first in a six-part educational series on the history and the art of the cocktail.

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 2016:

  • January 8 - The Old Fashioned - the proto-cocktail of the 1840s
  • January 15 - Gin is in!  Several gin cocktails including the Martinez, the Gimlet, and the Sloe Gin Fizz
  • January 22 - Everything you wanted to know about Martinis and bitters
  • January 29 - New Orleans mojo - The sophisticated and complex beauty of the Sazerac
  • February 5 - Moonshine in American culture - 1930 to present day
  • February 12 - 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 $25 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/events/1137-the-art-of-the-cocktail-an-educational-series-by-scott-harris

 

Upcoming Events

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 – Walnut Old Fashioned

Walnut Old Fashioned

One sip of this cocktail and you'll be thinking, "Thank God, Fall is here!"  This recipe is a version of the cocktail created by Paul Taylor at Southern Efficiency, for the Smithsonian "Mind of a Critic" event held in October.  We love the use of the Nocino from Don Ciccio, a DC-based distillery producing liqueurs from old family recipes from the Amalfi coast in Italy.

2 oz Roundstone Rye whisky
½ oz honey syrup*
½ oz Don Ciccio Nocino (walnut liqueur)
Dash of Angostura aromatic bitters

Combine the ingredients in a rocks glass with a big ice cube, stirring gently.

*Honey Syrup
Combine equal parts local honey and hot water. Stir to combine and store for up to three months in the refrigerator.

Recipe courtesy Paul Taylor of Southern Efficiency.

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

October 2015 News

October is here! 

Welcome to October!  We have lots of exciting things happening in October, not least of which is the release of two very special cask proof expressions of Roundstone Rye... 

2015 Roundstone Rye Cask Proof Releases - TWO Amazing Expressions

We are very proud to announce the release of two of our newest expressions of Roundstone Rye Cask Proof!  The Roundstone Rye has won gold medals from San Francisco to New York to London, and was recently called a “huge rye” and “great fun” in the 2015 edition of Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible.  And now, we have two versions to share at cask proof.

Cask Proof 2015 ReleasesThe first expression is our Roundstone Rye "Maple Finished" Cask Proof, where we've taken those old maple-syrup barrels from the Langdon Wood maple syrup that we sell in our tasting room, and we re-filled them with whisky.  The result is not cloying or sweet, but a smooth maple flavor that blends perfectly into the whisky, and a maple finish that goes on, and on, and on, and on...  Only 26 cases will be available in the tasting room for sale!  

The second expression is our Roundstone Rye "Peach Brandy Finished" Cask Proof, where we've taken one of our spent peach brandy barrels and finished the whisky in that barrel.  In this case, again, the subtle fruitiness of the peach comes into the mid-palate, and a sweet peachy finish closes out the whisky.  Only 8 (yes, EIGHT) cases are available in the tasting room for sale!  This one will absolutely sell out right away, so please get yours ASAP to ensure you get some.

Both whisky expressions will also be released in limited quantities into the Maryland, DC, and California markets.  Be sure to check our Whiskey Wednesday in DC schedule for your chance to get a free tasting of these newest expressions!  Details, here:  http://catoctincreekdistilling.com/events/1118-introducing-whisky-wednesdays-with-catoctin-creek

Roundstone Rye Cask Proof will be released at the Purcellville distillery on September 23 for VIP members and Saturday, Oct. 10 for the general public.  Information on VIP Club may be found here:  http://catoctincreekdistilling.com/vip-club

What: Catoctin Creek Cask Proof Release
Where:

Catoctin Creek Distillery
120 W. Main St.
Purcellville, Virginia

When:

VIP ONLY:  Sept. 23, 1pm

General Public: Oct. 10, 12pm

Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye "Cask Proof" Whisky, 59.8% ABV, whisky distilled from 100% rye, 750ml, SRP $89.90.  While supplies last!

 

Catoctin Creek wins another Gold Medal in New York!

NYC Gold 2015We were awarded a gold medal for its Roundstone Rye "92 Proof" whisky in the New York World Wine and Spirits Competition.

"We are absolutely delighted by this award, from one of the most respected spirits judging competitions on the planet," remarked Scott Harris, founder and general manager of the distillery.  "New York has always been the center of our cultural universe, and it is wonderful to get this recognition from an internationally-respected organization!"

Despite its small size, the small Purcellville distillery has seen distribution expanding rapidly in the last five years, sending its spirits to New York, California, and internationally.

The New York World Wine and Spirits Competition is one of the largest competitions for the retail beverage industry in the world and has attracted top professional Judges from restaurants, bars and clubs, food and beverage buyers, USBG Mixologists, Educators, Beverage Directors, Columnists, Writers, Sommeliers and Chefs. All Judges will follow and utilize a proven numerical evaluation system that will promote reliable and consistent results.

For more information about the New York World Wine and Spirits Competition, see www.nyworldwineandspiritscompetition.com

 

Malt Imposter does a CrAzY review of our rye!

Catoctin Creek 3, White Wine Cask Rye

Those zany guys at Malt Impostor are at it again, this time, reviewing The Single Cask Nation Catoctin Creek 3 Year Old Rye Whisky.  The reviews are always crazy, but I think he liked it:

On the scale of the greatest players on the Phoenix Suns— The SCN Catoctin Creek 3 Year Old Rye Whisky (White Wine Cask) is Charles Barkley–Though he only played for a few years, he was nevertheless the league MVP on a team he led to the NBA Finals in 1992-93. Also, he was never, in any way, turrible.

Read the full review, here.

 

Upcoming Events

Here are a few really cool events planned at the distillery and in the area:

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – Cucumber Collins

 

Autumnal Equinox

Now that autumn is here, let's celebrate with an appropriate cocktail!  The equinox is that special time in the calendar when the length of day and night are exactly equal across all the globe. This only happens at the beginning of spring and now, at autumn. From here on out in the northern hemisphere, our nights will be longer than our days as we slide into autumn and winter.

With that in mind, here is a cocktail from Chad Robinson made just for the season.

1½ oz Catoctin Creek Watershed Gin
1 oz Cocci Americano vermouth
½ oz Fall shrub*
Sage and sliced apple garnish

Combine all ingredients in a shaker of ice, and strain into a rocks glass with one or two large cubes. Garnish with an apple slice and a leaf of sage.

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

September 2015 News

September is Brandy Month!

Catoctin Creek 1757 Virginia Brandy 

At Catoctin Creek, brandy is a spirit that we've enjoyed making since we started the distillery in 2009.  And although other spirits such as whiskey, mezcal, rum, and even cachaça have seen much interest in high-end cocktail bars, brandy remains relatively unknown by the general public.  

Therefore, it was very cool to see the article in Eater on a "Beginner's Guide to Brandy."  The fabulous Jake Emen does a great story breaking down the types of brandy found worldwide.  A wonderful Brandy 101 for beginners:

"The only times I really hear brandy referenced, it's the most generic, cliché image of a stuffy old white man in a smoking jacket with a snifter by a fireplace drinking some unpronounceable French brandy," says Chad Robinson, an all-around brandy enthusiast, and brand ambassador for Catoctin Creek, a Virginia distillery which produces a range of brandies, in addition to whiskey and gin. Yes, brandy can be enjoyed in that form and fashion. But no, that's not all there is to it.

Read the full story, here.  

Autumn is brandy season, so come on by the distillery, and pick up a bottle of any one of our available types of brandy:  1757 Virginia Brandy (from grapes), Pearousia pear brandy, Short Hill Mountain Peach Brandy, and Quarter Branch Apple Brandy.  Presently, we have all four varieties available for sale today.  Come and see us soon!

 

Epicurience Weekend!  Join us in the VIP tent or at Patowmack Farm.

Cork Wine Bottle

Catoctin Creek will be participating in two wonderful events this year at Epicurience.  We hope to see you at one of them!

Epicurience Virginia Opening Night Chefs Dinner - September 4th

Enjoy an idyllic setting with country cuisine, a selection of award-winning beverages and live music at the "State Fair" event that marks the start of Epicurience Virginia 2015, which celebrates the best in food and wine.  The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm, one of Loudoun's Destination Restaurants and farms, will be your host. Meet and enjoy the offerings of these nationally and regionally celebrate chefs: Tarver King, The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm - Loudoun County, VA Bryan Voltaggio, Volt and Family Meal - Frederick County, MD & Loudoun County, VA Justin Severino, Cure - Pittsburgh, PA Tim Ma, Water & Wall - Arlington, VA Jason Lage, Market Table Bistro & Market Burger - Loudoun County, VA Scott Harris, Catoctin Creek Distillery - Loudoun County, VA Loudoun Wine Award Gold Medal Winners   Get tickets here

VIP Chef's Plates and Cocktail Pairings by Catoctin Creek - September 5th

Catoctin Creek Distillery will be offering VIP Guests an exclusive cocktail sampling in the VIP tent all day long!  Stroll through the vendors at the Grand Tasting, and when you're ready, pop into the VIP tent for live music, a sampling of great fare from local Virginia chefs, wines from Virginia wineries, and cocktails by Catoctin Creek!  The VIP tent is an exclusive ticket, so you must get that ticket in advance, here.  The complete schedule of events is here.

Epicurience

 

Catoctin Creek Week in New York City!  September 8-11

Hey, New York!  Scott Harris, the founder and distiller at Catoctin Creek Distillery, will be touring around New York the second week in September!  If you live in the New York City or Brooklyn areas, please be sure not to miss a chance to meet Scott and chat with him.  He's super nice, and is happy to spend some time over a dram (or two, or three!) talking about how he and Becky started the distillery, what it's like to be a craft distiller, what goes into the making of our products, and just about anything else you'd like to ask!  (Why do we spell whisky without an 'e'?  What's the deal with being eco-ganic?  How did the name Roundstone come to be?) 

For the full schedule of events during the week, click here.  Be sure to check out at least one of these, and spread the word!!  And if you're a restaurant, bar, liquor store, or other such venue, please reach out to us and let us know if you'd like Scott to stop by for a visit!  He'll have time during the day to make some visits, so let us know ASAP if you'd like to see him!

 

In the News...

We have a nice profile of the distillery at The Dominion Collective.  Joe Fitzpatrick does a pretty comprehensive piece, for example, this quote on why we chose to be eco-ganic:

For us, eco-ganic really is the starting point of historical accuracy. One hundred years ago, they didn’t have herbicides, fungicides, or insecticides. It was eco-ganic production; they just didn’t call it that. We felt that eco-ganic was more historically accurate with the way the spirit would  taste, and it helps support sustainable farming and, generally speaking, gives smaller farmers that are seeking a high-value means of income for their crops. So we like the whole circle of life, crunchy granola kind  of message too. But when it comes down to it, we like the taste, and the taste of the eco-ganic grain is super clean and doesn’t have any of the residues or off notes you would taste in a spirit that has been treated with these chemicals.

Read the full story, here.

 

 

Upcoming Events

Here are a few really cool events planned at the distillery and in the area:

  • September 4 - Marie Miller and Jesse Ruben, LIVE! - The fun continues with Buncearoo in September!
  • September 4 - Epicurience Market at Patowmack Farm - Join Scott and Becky with local wineries, and James Beard nominated chefs like Tim Ma, Bryan Voltaggio, Jason Lage, and Tarver King for a sampling of wonderful Virginia fare.
  • September 5 - Epicurience Grand Tasting VIP Tent - Join Scott and Becky as we pour signature cocktails in the VIP tent.
  • September 8-11 - Catoctin Creek Week in New York - Scott will be touring around New York City and Brooklyn.  Come meet him while he's there!
  • September 12 - Whiskey Dinner at Aldie Mill - Now in our fifth year, by the time you read this, it's probably already sold out, but CHECK AND SEE!!  It is a must do bucket-list event!
  • September 18 - Dinner at the Distillery - Now in our second year, join us for a delicious four-course seasonal dinner and paired cocktails.
  • September 19 - Bottling Workshop - Another great opportunity to bottle whisky, get a personal tour from Scott & Becky, and get breakfast and a free tasting too!
  • September 25 - Alanna Royale and friends, LIVE! - Wow, the Buncearoo fun just keeps on keeping on!  Seriously, if you've not checked out a concert at Catoctin Creek, you're truly missing out!

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – Cucumber Collins

 

Cucumber Collins

DrinkTonight is an absolutely amazing Instagram account based in DC, and featuring fantastic cocktail recipes with various local spirits.  They really enjoy our Watershed Gin, and have featured it four times int he recent past.  I am grateful too that they have graciously allowed me to cross post their beautiful photos and cocktail recipes here for you so share.  Find them on Instagram at www.instagram.com/drinktonight.

A simple juice + spirit drink is necessary after a long, hot draining DC weekend. This is not a strong cocktail at all, and just a touch of gin is needed to cut some of the sweetness of the apple juice.

1 oz Watershed Gin
Juice of one entire granny smith apple
Juice of half a cucumber
Juice of half a lime

Combine the juices and gin, and serve over ice.  Garnish with slices of lime and cuke.

Recipe and photo by DrinkTonight, 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

August 2015 News

Welcome to August!

August-Cocktails

Greetings, Catoctin Creek Nation!  August is now upon us, and we've changed up the cocktails again in the tasting room!  Going with the "Dog Days of Summer" theme, our August cocktails are all inspired by those hot evenings at the community pool, sipping on lemonade, picnics, and other rituals of late summer.

Enjoy the Pink Side of the Moon, a creative take on pink lemonade, the Big Quench, a lime based cocktail, and Blue is the new Orange, a fun blueberry cocktail.  By popular demand, we also have the return of some Catoctin Creek classics, like the Bloody Mosby, the Horse's Neck, and the Gin & Tonic.  

Of course, if cocktails aren't your thing, we still have flights of whiskey, brandy, gin and moonshine!  We have also introduced a line of custom non-alcoholic sodas, using Element Shrubs as the base. Next time you're in, you can try a Lemon Mint soda, or a Blueberry Rosemary soda, to name a couple!  So even your designated driver (or children) will get a crafted artisan experience!  There's something for everybody!

Come see us soon!!

Apple Brandy is HERE!!!!

 Apple Brandy

We are thrilled to announce that our first batch of Catoctin Creek Apple Brandy is now available for sale!  Only 336 bottles were made, so this one will go pretty fast!  You can pick up your limited edition, hand-numbered bottles at our tasting room during normal business hours!

Our apple brandy is sourced from local Virginia apples, and done in collaboration with Blue Bee Cidery in Richmond.  We've been working on this project for several years now, so we are delighted that we finally have some available to sell!  Come and get yours soon, while it lasts!  If you're unsure, come in and ask for it as one of your tasting options, and you can try it before you buy it!

We also still have a very small amount of Roundstone Rye "CASK PROOF" available, but only 12 bottles or so.  So if you want that, you better get that soon, because we won't make any more for the rest of this year.

 

Catoctin Creek featured in the new Whole Foods in Ashburn, Virginia!

Whole Foods

Whole Foods just opened a new store in Ashburn, Virginia, just about 10 miles from us here in Purcellville, and in it, they've launched a new concept:  a local-only pub!  That's right, you can go to get groceries, and stop by for a well made Manhattan, Sazerac or Gin Fizz.  What's more, they're only featuring locally made spirits, like Catoctin Creek, Copper Fox, and Mt. Defiance.  So when you get your cocktail, it's like visiting a remote tasting room for all these great local distilleries.  They also have beer from Old Ox, and a few other surprises!  So definitely, go check them out and give them some love while you fill your grocery basket!

 

Now in North Carolina!

Roundstone Rye

Catoctin Creek is now available in North Carolina, and will soon be available at fine restaurants, bars, and retail ABC stores throughout the state.

"We are thrilled to continue our east-coast expansion in the United States," said Scott Harris, founder of Catoctin Creek Distilling Company.  "Since our inception in 2009, we have received numerous and consistent requests from people in North Carolina to purchase our products.  We felt the time was finally right to begin to supply our neighboring state."

North Carolina is one of the sixteen "control states" where liquor sales are controlled by the state government.  Distribution in North Carolina will be achieved through a partnership between Catoctin Creek and Southern Wine and Spirits Mid-Atlantic, which brokers the distillery's sales in the state.  The first product selected for distribution in North Carolina is the distillery's most popular and internationally award winning rye whisky, Catoctin Creek eco-ganic Roundstone Rye, 40% ABV, SRP $45.   Other products will be available on a special-order basis.

For more information on Roundstone Rye, see:  http://catoctincreekdistilling.com/products/roundstone

For more information on our North Carolina distribution, see:  http://catoctincreekdistilling.com/wheretobuy-nc

 

Upcoming Events

Here are a few really cool events planned at the distillery and in the area:

And in September, a few more:

  • September 2 - Four course dinner at Vermillion - Meet Scott and Becky and enjoy hand-crafted cocktails by Jeff Faile at this great Alexandria restaurant.
  • September 4 - Marie Miller and Jesse Ruben, LIVE! - The fun continues with Buncearoo in September!
  • September 12 - Whiskey Dinner at Aldie Mill - Now in our fifth year, by the time you read this, it's probably already sold out, but CHECK AND SEE!!  It is a must do bucket-list event!
  • September 18 - Dinner at the Distillery - Now in our second year, join us for a delicious four-course seasonal dinner and paired cocktails.
  • September 25 - Alanna Royale and friends, LIVE! - Wow, the Buncearoo fun just keeps on keeping on!  Seriously, if you've not checked out a concert at Catoctin Creek, you're truly missing out!

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – The Double Barrel

Double Barrel

This cocktail comes to us from Chris Grimm at Horse and Flower.  The cocktail is attributed to George J. Kappeler, 1900. A "nice, serious cocktail."

1½ oz Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye "92 Proof"
1½ oz Carpano Antica red vermouth
1½ oz Noilly Prat extra dry vermouth
1-2 dashes Angostura bitters
1-2 dashes orange bitters

Combine all over ice and strain into a cocktail glass.

Photo and cocktail courtesy Chriss Grimm 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

July 2015 News

Happy 4th of July from Catoctin Creek!!!!

American Flag Spirits

Catoctin Creek would like to wish each and every one of you a safe and enjoyable Independence Day!  We will be OPEN FOR BUSINESS during the holiday.  Tours and tastings are from 12pm to 7pm on Saturday.  Please stop by to get out of the heat and grab some refreshments before heading out to your favorite fireworks show or holiday cookout!  To reserve your spot, click here!

What better way to celebrate our nation's independence than with a bottle of hand-crafted Virginia rye whisky or gin?!  God Bless America, indeed!

 

Announcing the Catoctin Creek Music Festival — Sunday, July 19!

 Catoctin Creek Music Festival

We are thrilled to announce our first ever music festival at Catoctin Creek!  Four amazing bands will perform throughout the day on Sunday, July 19th, from 12pm to 8pm.  Tickets are only $20 in advance, $25 at the door, and give you access to the entire day of music!  The tasting room will be open during the show, so you can get tastings at the bar for normal prices.  You'll be seated in the distillery for the shows, and free to come and go with your CCDC wristband.

Click Here to Book Now

We'll also have food available for the day from Sexi Mexi food truck ... So really, what else were you planning on doing that's as cool as this on a Sunday afternoon?!

Here's the line-up of artists:

This concert will prove to be one of the best in local music to hit Western Loudoun, featuring styles ranging from Bluegrass, Rock, Indie-Goth-Bluegrass (seriously?! yeah!!), and New Orleans/Dixieland Jazz.  Don't miss this great day to get out of the heat, slip into the cool AC, sip a delicious cocktail, and enjoy the show!

 

Roundstone Rye Reviewed in Wine Enthusiast

Wine Enthusiast July 2015

We were delighted to receive a review in the recent issue of Wine Enthusiast for Roundstone Rye. The bottle reviewed was submitted over 2 years ago, so we almost forgot completely about it. Since then, the whisky has gotten older and more complex, having the benefit of aging in our off-premise barn/rickhouse. The newest bottles being sold today... well, we just keep getting better!

89 - Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye (USA; Catoctin Creek Distilling, Purcellville, VA). This single-barrel whiskey is made from 100% rye and aged for less than two years. In the glass, it has an orange-amber hue and aroma that melds oak, malt and vanilla. On the palate, vanilla leads, with oakiness winding into a baking-spice finish. A good match for Manhattans.

You can read the full review, here, or click the image at right.

 

Guest Bartender of the Month — Chad Robinson

Chad Robinson

Join us in welcoming Chad Robinson as our guest bartender in July!  Chad will be slinging the cocktail shakers behind the bar on Saturday, July 11, from noon til dusk.  If you don't already know, Chad is the Catoctin Creek brand ambassador, usually traveling up and down the east coast to represent Catoctin Creek.  On the side, he loves to do a bit of bartending.  An expert on cocktails, Chad has been a vital part of educating the public on old classics like punches, toddies, and fizzes.  This month, Chad will be doing various takes on the classic highball (a basic mixture of soda and spirits).  

Cocktail tastings will be served all day, and Chad will be on hand to chat and answer questions about his creations.  While you're there, be sure to ask him about the history of cocktails and soak up some of that massive drinking knowledge that he has!  It's an opportunity you don't want to miss!

Chad behind the bar

 

Catoctin Creek wins 2015 RAMMY for Best Food and Beverage Producer in DC!

Rammys Winner

Catoctin Creek got big news in June as we were awarded the RAMMY for best regional food and beverage producer in Washington DC.  The RAMMYS are the Washington DC area's biggest food awards, with the awards selected each year by a panel of judges at the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington.  Also nominated in the category were finalists: DC Brau Brewing Company, Dolci Gelati, Early Mountain Vineyards, and New Columbia Distillers.

"We are so incredibly honored by this award," said Scott Harris, co-founder of the distillery.  "The first person I must thank is my wife, Becky, who gets up every morning to make the whisky.  Just as importantly, I wish to thank all of the restaurants in the DC area who support what we do by buying our products.  There's no place quite like DC for supporting local liquor!  We are truly thankful!"

Scott and Becky at the RAMMY Awards

 

Upcoming Events

Here are a bunch of really cool events planned at the distillery and in the area:

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – The Founder's Julep

Founder's Julep

This cocktail was the second of two created for the History of Drinking lectures at the National Archives.

1 oz Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye
½ Smith & Cross Jamaica Rum
¾ oz Henriques & Henriques Finest Dry Madeira
½ rich simple syrup
1 dash Angostura bitters
5 sprigs fresh mint

Gently muddle the leaves of 3 mint sprigs with the simple syrup in a julep cup. Drag leaves around the cup to coat the inside, then discard leaves. Add other ingredients and fill halfway with crushed ice, jiggle. Finish by heaping crushed ice into a rounded cone sticking out of the top of the cup. Garnish with 2 fulsome sprigs of mint sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Courtesy JP Fetherston, bartender at Southern Efficiency.

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

June 2015 News

June is RAMMYS Month!

Rammys Finalist

We were very honored to be named a finalist in the category of Beverage Producer for the RAMMY 2015 awards!  Think of the RAMMYS as the awards for all things restaurants, food and drink in Washington DC.  Sponsored by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW), the RAMMYS are most important to us because they are acknowledgement from our peers in the industry. 

The big gala, including the announcement of the winners, will be at the Convention Center on June 7th.  Wish us luck!!

Learn more about the RAMMYS, here.

 

Our New Jingle!!  By Andrew McKnight and Beyond Borders!

Andrew McKnight and Beyond Borders 

We were so pleased this week when Andrew McKnight and Beyond Borders (pictured above) dropped off a little present they've been working on for the past year.  They created a jingle for us!!

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN!

Oh, how I love this new jingle!  It so perfectly captures the fun energy that we hope to bring to every party.  We hope you'll enjoy, and feel free to share!

Don't forget to check out Andrew McKnight and Beyond Borders for more information about the band!

Written, arranged and performed by Andrew McKnight & Beyond Borders (Lisa Taylor, Les Thompson & Stephanie Thompson)
With special guests Seth Kibel on clarinet and Rick Reaves on trombone
Recorded and engineered by Dustin Delage at Cabin Studios, Leesburg VA

 

Catoctin Creek on the Radio!  Listen to us on Foodie and the Beast

Federal News Radio

Last weekend, we were invited back to appear on Foodie and the Beast on Federal News Radio.  Nycci and David had the finalists in the Beverage Producers category (ourselves, DC Brau, New Columbia, and Early Mountain Vineyards) on the show to talk about the RAMMYs and what it meant to each of us to be nominated for the award.

We slung the cocktail shaker to pour our signature cocktail for the gala, The Devil and His Wife.  It was a great show! You can hear the show on their site, here, or download the podcast, here.

Foodie and the Beast

 

Roundstone Rye on Whiskey Cats Podcast

The Whiskey Cats are a team of three boisterous ladies who gather and consume various whiskies and tell us about it on their podcast.  This week's show has them tasting two ryes, our own Roundstone Rye, and a rye from Oregon called Finn's.  Both are produced very similarly, but it's fun to listen to how different the two spirits are.

Listen to the podcast on Soundcloud by clicking here.

Whiskey Cats

 

New in the Tasting Room — Chocolate Tastings and New Cocktails!

Cocktails

New Chocolates and Cocktails

Our entire tasting menu has been revamped for June.  Cocktails now include the Front Porch Sipper and the Hibiscus Colada, among others.  Come in and try our newest cocktails designed with summer in mind.  Cool, refreshing, and delicious!  Find out more, here.

We've also added a new spirits / chocolate truffle pairing menu.  You can try some new chocolates from The Perfect Truffle in Frederick, Maryland, which have been thoughtfully paired with three of our spirits, only $15 for the combined spirits / chocolate tasting!  And, of course, if you like the spirits or the chocolates, we can send you home with a bottle or a box of chocolates... or both!

 

Upcoming Events

June is a funny month, full of travel and some lobbying on Capitol Hill, so we have relatively few events this month:

  • June 12 - Wandering Chef Dinner - Our monthly four course dinner with cocktail pairings.  Get a private tour of the distillery and an amazing dinner.
  • June 27 - Bottling Workshop - Ever popular, and always sold out... come learn how to bottle whisky and get a free tasting and breakfast!

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – The Devil and His Wife

The Devil and His Wife

"The devil's beating his wife" is a Southern saying to describe the weather when it is simultaneously raining and the sun is shining.  Figuring that the cocktail is a derivative of the New Orleans classic rum drink, the hurricane, we kept with the weather theme, but added a bit of a Virginia twist.  (Pawpaws are native to Virginia.)

This is the Catoctin Creek feature cocktail of the RAMMYS 2015 gala in Washington DC.

Pawpaw1 oz Roundstone Rye
1 oz Mosby's Spirit
1½ oz pawpaw syrup*
½ oz orange juice
½ oz lime juice
½ oz grenadine*
Orange wedge for garnish

Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake the cocktail for about 30 seconds. Pour into a hurricane glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with an orange wedge.

Pawpaw syrup - Mix 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water and 2 cups of paw paw pulp in a saucepan. Stir constantly to keep the pawpaw from scorching on the bottom of the pan. Once all the sugar is dissolved, strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve to strain out more of the solids. Add a ½ oz of Mosby's Spirit to help preserve the syrup. Store for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

Grenadine - Mix equal parts pomegranate juice and sugar in a saucepan. Turn the heat on low and stir to combine until all the sugar is dissolved. Store for two weeks in the refrigerator. You may also buy it in the store but isn't it more fun to make your own? Alternative recipes call for pomegranate molasses, vanilla extract and other additives, but I prefer to KISS it. (Keep it simple, stupid)

Cocktail recipe courtesy of Chad Robinson.  Pawpaw photo copyright Clarknova on Wikipedia; unrestricted use permitted.

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

May 2015 News

Welcome to May!  What a journey so far!

The Harris Family, 2010The following is an excerpt from the Visit Loudoun Blog, where, this month, Scott is making a guest appearance telling the story of how he and Becky started Catoctin Creek.  We hope you enjoy... 

Wow.  Six years.  I can hardly believe it.  Time flies so quickly. 

Six years ago, I was sitting at my desk in a windowless office, underneath the unflattering fluorescent tubes of a Fairfax-based government contractor.  I was working on the sixth revision of a Powerpoint package--my boss was ridiculously finicky--doing a presentation for a customer whom I knew would never even see my slides.

"This is the worst," I told myself.  "There has got to be more to life than this."

I was turning forty.  And I was trapped.  I felt confined in my prison, and I couldn't figure out how to escape.  I wanted to be productive; I wanted to do something that mattered.

But what?  My mind continually wandered back to 1985, when I was a fifteen-year-old intern working in a winery.  That was a cool job.  You got to pick the grapes, press the grapes, ferment them, bottle them, and then serve them to the public.  At the end of the process, you held something in your hand, and it was good.  I wanted that kind of purposeful life again.

By 2009, after twenty years of government contracting, I had become a great lover of drinking.  Wineries were everywhere in Loudoun County.  What could I do that was different?  I decided to start a distillery.

I knew nothing about it at the time.  It was just a pipe dream.  But I had several things going for me:  First, my wife, Becky, and I had saved money all our careers.  We didn't come into our marriage with money, but we worked our butts off and saved every dime.  That would be important capital if we started a new venture.

Second, my wife.  Becky was my secret weapon.  Becky graduated with an honors degree in chemical engineering.  She knew about industrial processes.  She knew how to distill.  She was comfortable with mass production and quality control.  So when I brought the idea to her of starting a distillery, her reaction was a casual, "Yeah, I know how to do that."  Then she added, "But first, you gotta write a business plan."

That was my third big advantage, which I never realized was an advantage.  Twenty years in government contracting had taught me to be a very good businessman.  I could manage budgets, do project planning, manipulate spreadsheets, write large technical documents, do government proposals, and had all the tools that would be needed to get us off the ground. 

And so we started.  Long story short, by July 2009, we had obtained SBA financing for a business plan solely on paper, in the worst economic market in a generation!  It was miraculous!  "God wants us to make whisky!" we told ourselves.  By January 2010, we were distilling the first legal alcohol in Loudoun County since Prohibition.

When I fast-forward to today, April 2015, I boggle at where we've come.  Catoctin Creek, which started as a two person operation in a small warehouse in north Purcellville, is now a truly international brand.  We have over twenty employees, and sell in Germany, London, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, and in the United States from Boston to Georgia, from Nashville to San Francisco.  All from our little factory on Main Street in Purcellville.

It has been quite a journey.  And to what do I attribute our success?  Prior planning and hard work.  There is no luck.  As my father always told me, you work hard, and you make your luck.  Every single day, we arise at 5:00AM and begin work at 6:00AM at the distillery.  And when the production day is done, around 4:00PM, our day is only half over.  Most nights, we then transition to "evening mode" heading off to events throughout the Washington DC area, where we promote our brand and meet our customers.  If we get into bed by midnight, that's a good night, and we start it all over again the next day. 

But we love every minute of it, and I couldn't think of ever going back to that Powerpoint job.

It's a good life so far!

 

Roundstone Rye CASK PROOF Available in May!!

Roundstone Rye Cask Proof

Gold Medal – Roundstone Rye "Cask Proof", #7 finisher in category
– Wizards of Whisky World Awards 2015

Score: 88.5 "A truly huge rye... Through a combination of sheer delicious belligerence and chutzpah has your taste buds swooning. Great fun!"
– Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2014

––––––––

We are very happy to announce that Catoctin Creek's Roundstone Rye CASK PROOF is once again available in the month of May!  The product goes on sale on Sunday, May 10th to our VIP members.  Then, on Sunday, May 24th, it will go on sale to the general public.

This version of Cask Proof is two years old, batch number B15E2, and has a beautiful nose on it of rich caramel and wood spice, and is viscous and lovely in the mouth, with the characteristic sweet, smooth fruitiness that Roundstone Rye has become known for.  And at 120 proof, that's some potent stuff!!

Look for it to be released in limited quantities in the Maryland, Delaware, and DC markets.  Ask your favorite retailer to order it from Bacchus.  In New York, your retailers can pick it up from Blueprint Brands, our New York distributor.  And in Virginia, it is available in limited quantities through Virginia ABC stores (ask your clerk to order #952820). 

Of course, it is most easily obtained at the distillery, on May 24th for the general public.  Better line up, because only a couple hundred bottles are available nationwide, so this one will disappear quickly!

750ml only, 120 proof (+/-), $89.90.

 

Roundstone Throwdown!

Roundstone Throwdown 2015

Last year we had a wonderful group of bartenders from all over our area show off their skills each month for our Tasting Room Takeover series, which featured such talent as Trevor Frye of Jack Rose Dining Saloon and Jamie Imhof of Wildwood Kitchen. To kick off our 2015 series, we're debuting a special primetime pay-per-view event: Roundstone Throwdown - Battle of the Beltways!

In a Roundstone Throwdown, two challengers go head-to-head to determine who makes the best Roundstone Rye cocktail! For our Roundstone Throwdown premiere on Monday, May 18, we'll pit DC favorite JP "Pretty Boy" Fetherston of Southern Efficiency against Baltimore's beloved Doug "The Thug" Atwell of Rye in Fells Point. The two cocktail Goliaths will battle in an epic face-off to decide which city serves superior sips! Your votes decide the outcome! You won't want to miss it!

The Roundstone Throw Down will occur at the distillery, at 7:30pm on Monday, March 18th. It's the battle of Charm City versus Capital City! Both bartenders will provide a cocktail of their own design, and you'll get to judge the winner... after much "research", of course! The cost is $20 admission, VIPs attend for free. Sign up today, as space is limited!

Cocktail Event

 

New in the Tasting Room

Element Shrubs

Shrubs, Bitters, and Soaps... (oh, my!)

We have several new products in the tasting room, including some wonderful soaps made with our whisky and gin, whisky-infused coffee beans, delicious pickles and relish from Gordy's Pickle Jar in DC, hand-crafted bitters from DC Embitterment, and our newest addition, artisan shrubs (for cocktails) from Element shrubs.  These 375mL bottles make a great base for cocktails and homemade flavored sodas.  Try a free sample this weekend.  Don't be afraid to ask any of our brand ambassadors for a little taste!

Wandering Chef Lunch

Saturday Lunch Service in our Tasting Room

You asked for it... you got it!  We now offer a Saturday lunch service in our tasting room, provided by the Wandering Chef.  The menu changes each weekend, but last week's menu included:

  • Herb and lemon hummus with toasted pita or vegetable crudites
  • Feta cheese dip with roasted peppers
  • Chilled tomato gazpacho, pickled shrimp and crostini
  • Braised meatball sliders with pesto and pasta salad
  • Chicken breast panini with a roasted onion goat cheese spread
  • Sponge cake and fresh fruit compote "trifle"

Sounds like the perfect accompaniment to a flight of spirits or cocktails!  Come join us this weekend!

 

Pat McGee Visits Catoctin Creek

Pat McGee and Roundstone Rye

We were very honored to have Pat McGee kick off his CD release party at Catoctin Creek Distillery last month.  In case you missed it, Pat played a sold-out show to an audience of adoring fans.  Word on the street is that Pat is a fan too, of our Roundstone Rye whisky!

Everyone who attended the concert got a chance to meet and talk with Pat McGee, and went home with a belly full of good spirits and a heart full of songs.

For more great events like this, including more concerts, please check out our events page!

 

Upcoming Events

Here are a bunch of really cool events planned at the distillery and in the area:

  • May 8 - Smithsonian at 8 - Join us in DC to celebration of the history of the local area at the Carnegie Library.
  • May 8 - Buncearoo Presents Matt Duke and Andrea Nardello - Enjoy another great house concert with Buncearoo.
  • May 10 - VIP CASK PROOF Release - Cask Proof goes on sale to our VIP club members.
  • May 15 - Wandering Chef Dinner - Our monthly four course dinner with cocktail pairings.  Get a private tour of the distillery and an amazing dinner.
  • May 18 - Roundstone Throwdown - Join guest bartenders J.P. Featherston and Doug Atwell for an amazing cocktail challenge!
  • May 23 - Bottling Workshop - Ever popular, and always sold out... come learn how to bottle whisky and get a free tasting and breakfast!
  • May 24 - CASK PROOF Release - Line up early to get one of only a couple hundred bottles of Cask Proof Roundstone Rye.  Doors open at 1pm.

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – Elemental Rye Julep

Element Rye Julep

We are very excited about the newest product available in our tasting room, a fine collection of hand-crafted shrubs from Element.  What is a shrub, you ask? We're so glad you asked!

Whereas a syrup (aka simple syrup) is a mixture of sugar and water with optional fruit and herbs, and bitters are concentrated tinctures of alcohol and herbs, fruit, and other flavorings, a shrub uses a base of vinegar to achieve acidity, and is then a mixture of herb and fruit flavors.  A shrub allows the cocktail to skip the ubiquitous citrus used to provide acidity, and gives a whole new range of flavors.

This is a traditional mint julep, but we've substituted the shrub for the mint simple syrup.

3 oz of Roundstone Rye whisky
½ oz of Element lemon mint shrub, more or less to taste, but remember, a little bit goes a long way!
6-10 fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish

Add mint to a rocks glass with crushed ice, and middle the mint to the ice.  Add the rye and shrub and stir to combine, then garnish with more mint.

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

April 2015 News

Welcome to April!

Welcome to your monthly installment on all things going on at Catoctin Creek.  If you've been with us for a while, you'll know that these little monthly emails are essentially a journal entry into the life and times of us at the distillery.  The emails are a good way to keep up with news, new releases, and events coming to the distillery.

We hope you find these emails informative and helpful, and something you can quickly scan in an otherwise busy inbox.

 

Catoctin Creek World Tour

Scott and Chad returned last week from a pretty amazing world tour.  Our trip started out in London, where we attended Whisky Live (an industry trade show for whisky), and poured Roundstone Rye 80 proof, 92 proof, cask proof, and Watershed Gin.  It was fun pouring rye whisky for a British audience.  Many of the consumers had never tried American rye whisky, and found it a new experience unlike bourbon and scotch.  Industry folks (like bartenders, distributors, and retailers), were impressed as well, and we made a lot of inroads into the London market, which we expect to enter in the next month as our first shipment arrives in Europe.

London London London London

After London, Scott traveled on to Singapore to visit our importers, Liberty Spirits Asia, who've been selling our products there for about a year now.  We were happy to see Catoctin Creek situated in several top bars, including The Secret Mermaid, 28 Hong Kong Street and Jekyll and Hyde.  It is always fun to meet with the locals and to provide a "meet the maker" event, and Scott had many local bartenders come out to meet him and learn about the distillery and taste the products, which was nice.

Singapore Singapore Singapore Singapore Singapore

After Singapore, Scott traveled back home via Doha, Qatar, which provided him an opportunity to do some "product research" in the largest liquor duty free shop in the world.  It was quite a trip, spanning a ridiculous number of time zones, and although it's good to be home now, it was a very insightful and productive travel abroad.

Here's to more international success in 2015!  Catoctin Creek worldwide, baby!

Qatar

 

Silver medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and 87 points in New York

SFWSC Silver  USC 87 Points

Twice in the same week, Catoctin Creek Distilling Company has been awarded medals for its Roundstone Rye "92 Proof" whisky from two of the top international spirits judging contests:  a silver medal from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC) and an 87 point rating (Very Good, Strong Recommendation) from F. Paul Pacult's Ultimate Spirits Challenge (USC) in New York City.  Both competitions are very well regarded as some of the most impartial and well attended competitions in the world.

From the USC review:

Roundstone Rye "92 Proof" - Very pretty pale gold color. Big, bright, floral aromas followed in the mouth by a huge blast of sweet grain and spice. This one goes to 11! The finish leans toward bitter almond and spice, and then the floral elements return. 87 points - Very Good, Strong Recommendation

"We are very excited by this happy news:  two medals in one week!" remarked Scott Harris, founder and general manager at Catoctin Creek.  "These two competitions are the gold standards for spirits judging, receiving thousands of entrants from across the industry worldwide.  To be selected for these medals, in competitions that perform completely blind tastings, shows that our spirits truly stand up to the international standard and are truly among the best in the world!"

 

RAMMY15Nominated as Beverage Producer of the Year for the 2015 RAMMYs

We are pleased-as-heck to be nominated once again for Regional Food and Beverage Producer of the Year at the 2015 RAMMYs.  The RAMMYs are the big restaurateur awards ceremony of the year, sponsored by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW).  Coverage in the Washington Business Journal states:

Restaurant people throughout the D.C. region now know who they're up against in the D.C. area's Oscars of food after the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington announced the nominees for the 2015 RAMMY awards Monday night.

[...]

RAMW will take votes from the public on these categories before the June 7 awards.

That's Chad from Catoctin Creek at right, along with Early Mountain Cellars, DC Brau, New Columbia Distillers, and Dolce Gelati at right.  Read the full story, here.

 

Upcoming Events

Here are a bunch of really cool events planned at the distillery and in the area:

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – The Ole Virginia Accent

This was a featured cocktail of the Columbia Room pop-up last month.  Of the featured cocktails, was this one, which debuted our Apple Brandy on the menu, a recipe created by J.P. Featherston.  Word from the customers that night was that it was amazing!

1 oz Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye
1 oz Catoctin Creek Quarter Branch Apple Brandy (coming soon!)
½ oz Fallen Bark Hickory Syrup
Aromatic and Blackstrap Molasses Bitters

Combine the rye and brandy in equal portions, add about half as much hickory syrup and a dash or two of the bitters.  Stir on ice and strain into a rocks glass with one large ice cube.

Photo courtesy Christopher Wescott.  Recipe courtesy J.P. Featherston.  Both 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

March 2015 News

Crocuses by Scott HarrisFebruary...ugh!  Glad that's over!

Enough of all this snow... bring on the spring!!

Despite the dreary weather, February was a pretty good month for us. 

We announced our release of the Barrel Aged Gin coming out in March.  Details on that are below.  We also announced our Art Contest, which will be wrapping up in March as well. 

During February, we also began distribution to California, so if you live in the Golden State, you can get Catoctin Creek now!  Here's how.

So, cheer up, dear folks, spring is just around the corner!

 

Barrel Aged Gin released this month

Old Tom ginCatoctin Creek is pleased to announce the limited release of our Pearousia Barrel "Old Tom" style Watershed Gin.  We took our regular, award-winning Watershed Gin, and set some aside for a time to rest in a re-used Pearousia pear brandy barrel.  The result is a golden, rich, and surprisingly fruity gin which gleams in those cocktails made for Old Tom gins, like the famous Ramos Gin Fizz.

Each 750 mL bottle is bottled at 92.4 proof (46.2% ABV).  The Virginia ABC price is $50.90.

The formal release schedule for the "Old Tom" Watershed Gin is:

At the Distilery:

  • Sunday, March 1 -- Available for purchase to VIP members, until March 14
  • Sunday, March 8 -- "Ramos Gin Fizz" Shake Off Event -- For VIP members, a cocktail party celebrating the new gin with classic cocktail fun!
  • Sunday, March 15 -- Available for purchase to the general public

At Weygandt Wines in DC:

  • Saturday, March 14 -- Chad will be pouring tastings at Weygandt Wines with the new gin, among other Catoctin Creek products

At Hank's on the Hill in DC:

  • Monday, March 16 -- Launch party at Hanks on the Hill from 5pm - 7pm, featuring a $5 happy hour punch and special cocktail menu at $10 apiece.

 

Art Contest - Details and a Special Event!

Catoctin Creek Art CollageWe are proud to announce our first ever art contest.  Intended as a way to support and promote the diverse local art community of Loudoun County, Virginia and surrounding areas, we will accept submissions of art, with a grand prize of $1000 for the winning piece!

Submissions will be accepted until March 13, 2015, at 5:00pm.  The contest will be judged by the employees of the Loudoun distillery, and a winner will be chosen on March 20th. 
We'll announce the winners Sunday, March 29 at 7pm.  We'll have tastings, whisky, and cocktails for our normal fees, but the event is free.  Registration is required to ensure we don't get overly full.  Register for the event, here!
  • Grand Prize:  $1000
  • Second Place:  $500
  • Third Place:  $250

All submitted entries will be eligible for display in our tasting room for the entire month of April.

For full details, entry information, and rules of the contest, please click here.

Pictured above, clockwise from top left, art by Andrew Spell, Jay Cliburn, David Buchanan, and Firefly Imageworks.

Upcoming Events

Here are a bunch of really cool events planned at the distillery and in the area.  If you can't find an event here that suits you, you're just not trying that hard:

Holy cow!  That's a lot of events!!!

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – Ramos Gin Fizz

Chad and the Old Tom gin!

This cocktail requires quite a bit of shaking... best to do it with friends!

3 oz Catoctin Creek Pearousia Barrel "Old Tom" Watershed Gin
1/2 oz parts fresh lime juice
1/2 oz fresh fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
4 oz cream
1 egg white
3 dashes Orange flower water
2 drops Vanilla extract
Soda water

Pour all ingredients except soda in a mixing glass, dry shake (no ice) for two minutes, add ice and hard shake for another minute.

Strain into a highball glass without ice, top with soda.

Recipe courtesy Wikipedia.

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 do tours and tastings every day, so stop by and see us sometime!

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

February 2015 News

Roundstone in MumbaiHappy February!

BRRRR!!!!!!! It's cold out there!  Better stay warm with a nice glass of Catoctin Creek!  

We wouldn't want any of you getting frostbite, now would we?!

To warm you up, at right is a photo of Roundstone Rye sent to us from Anish in Mumbai, India.  Great to have fans far and wide on this little blue planet of ours!

Cheers!

 

Catoctin takes GOLD and SILVER in the UK, and Forbes reviews Watershed Gin!!

We are very happy to announce that Roundstone Rye took home the bling-bling in the United Kingdom!  The Wizards of Whisky World Awards, after performing blind tastings of hundreds of spirits from around the world, named Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye "Cask Proof" its #7 whisky in the grain whisky spirits category, and earning it a gold medal.  That's beating out some pretty big names in the whisky world right now, like Whistlepig, Bushmills, Redbreast and Greenspot, just to name a few!  Roundstone Rye "92 Proof" came in at a very respectable #18 in the same category, earning silver.

And on the same day, we learn that Forbes magazine, in their Food & Wine section, does a spectacular review of our Watershed Gin!  Quoting Adam Morgenstern:

http://catoctincreekdistilling.com/administrator/index.php

While gins can be all over the map these days, Watershed comes across with clear focus. Beautiful juniper nose and taste, with practically no alcohol harshness; amazing considering it’s bottled at 100 proof, higher than most gins. There’s pepper and cinnamon on the finish and it’s incredibly balanced. Sipping it took me out of detective mode — rather than try and figure out the mystery botanicals, I just wanted to sit back and enjoy it.

We couldn't be more pleased!!

 

Announcing - Our First Ever Art Contest!

Art Contest for local artists - $1000 Grand Prize!

We are proud to announce our first ever art contest.  Intended as a way to support and promote the diverse local art community of Loudoun County, Virginia and surrounding areas, we will accept submissions of art, with a grand prize of $1000 for the winning piece!

Submissions will be accepted until March 13, 2015, at 5:00pm.  The contest will be judged by the employees of the Loudoun distillery, and a winner will be chosen on March 20th.
  • Grand Prize:  $1000
  • Second Place:  $500
  • Third Place:  $250

All submitted entries will be eligible for display in our tasting room for the entire month of April. 

Catoctin Creek Art CollageSubmissions should reflect some aspect of Catoctin Creek (the distillery or the creek), life in Virginia, Maryland or Washington DC, and reflect revelry, culture, enjoyment of life, whiskey, drinking, etc.  We give wide latitude for the maximum artistic creativity.  Nearly any submission will be acceptable, including, but not limited to:

  • Landscapes
  • Still Lifes
  • Portraits
  • Sculpture
  • Music
  • Jewelry
  • And any media types:  Watercolors / Mixed Media / Photography / Painting / Ink / etc.

For full details, entry information, and rules of the contest, please click here.

Pictured above, clockwise from top left, art by Andrew Spell, Jay Cliburn, David Buchanan, and Firefly Imageworks.

Scott and Becky named in Southern Living's "50 People Changing the South in 2015"

Scott and BeckyOur big news story of the month of January:  being named by Southern Living as one of the 50 people changing the South in 2015! Booyah! (Question is, do Becky and I count as one or two people?!) 

This is a magazine that my mother has read since I was a baby, and now, what an honor to be included in it!

"We surveyed the region to find the movers-and-shakers who are shaping the South with community-minded ideas and projects. From groundbreaking chefs to designers with a voice, these are the people you’ll want to keep an eye on this year. 

In the middle of Virginia’s wine country, Becky and Scott Harris are making what may be the most Southern of spirits. While many craft spirits claim the title of “handmade,” Catoctin walks the walk with its line of whiskeys, gins, and brandies that are made start-to-finish in [Loudoun] County using locally sourced fruits and rye. Other materials, such as boxes and services, also come from the area, and the team gives back to the land by donating its spent rye mash for cattle farmers to use as livestock feed. Expanding its regional reach, Catoctin creates specialty products for top bartenders and hotels in the Virginia and D.C. area."

Read the full story, here.

 

Upcoming Events

Here are a couple really cool events planned at the distillery:

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – Chad's Port Punch

Chad's Port PunchChad came up with this cocktail for a private party for the RAMMY nominations in DC last month.  Easily batched and poured for the masses, it is reminiscent of a sangria or a grog. 

6-8 oranges, peeled (peels saved), 2 sliced, and the rest juiced
8-10 lemons, peeled (peels saved), 2 sliced, and the rest juiced
2-3 cups of sugar
1 bottles of Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye
1 bottles of Catoctin Creek 1757 Virginia Brandy
1 bottles of port

Place the sugar and citrus peels in the punchbowl and stir roughly to infuse the sugar with the citrus oil in the peels.  Juice the citrus into the punchbowl.  You should have enough juice that the sugar dissolves completely. Keep juicing until the sugar is dissolved.

Add the booze to the punch and stir to combine.  Remove most of the citrus peels.  Float the remaining punch with slices of citrus and top with ice until completely full. 

Serves at least 30-40 people.

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 do tours and tastings every day, so stop by and see us sometime!

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

January 2015 News

Happy New Year! 2015 is here!!

Catoctin Creek Team Photo 2014

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

Wowee!  What a year it's been for us!  2014 had so many wonderful accomplishments, many more than we could list, but some of the highlights were:

  • Our first full year on Main Street in downtown Purcellville — Our new home has proven to be a functional and beautiful setting for making whisky in a town that was once known as a center for Temperance education!  Historic irony at its best!
  • Launch of Catoctin Creek into new markets — Delaware, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.
  • A great season of concerts at the distillery — Amazing talent like Pat McGee, The Alternate Routes and Jim Malcolm.  And some exciting ones for 2015!
  • Delicious monthly dinners featuring Wandering Chef — If you haven't treated yourself to dinner, you're missing a really wonderful experience!
  • Amazing press from national sourcesJim Murray's Whisky Bible, Men's Journal, Daily Beast, Washington Post [1], [2], [3], and National Public Radio.
  • 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 artisanal 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 2015:  Peace, Joy, and Prosperity in the New Year!!
 

Ladies in Whiskey – Becky Harris featured on NPR's Morning Edition!

Becky at the distilleryThank you Allison Aubrey for working Becky Harris into your story on women in whiskey:

Well, now history is coming full circle. There's a vanguard of new female distillers, blenders and tasters.

From Becky Harris, co-founder of Catoctin Creek distillery in Virginia, to Meredity Grelli of Wigle Whiskey in Pittsburgh, these women are finding success as grain-to-bottle distillers.

Harris says the demand for her eco-ganic, rye whiskey is so strong, she's selling every drop she can produce.

Listen or read the full story, here.

 

Upcoming Events

January is one of our quieter months, but even so, we have a couple really cool events planned at the distillery:

If you're making plans for Valentine's Day weekend, be sure to check out our special dinner and a concert:

  • February 13 - Dinner and a concert featuring Andrew McKnight - We'll host one of our regular dinner events at the distillery, but you'll also dine with Andrew McKnight and the whole band from Beyond Borders.  After dinner, it's a concert!  This one will sell out, so be sure to get your tickets now!

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – Mulled Cider with Rye

Mulled Cider and RyeThis cocktail comes to us from Sonja Bradfield, author of Ginger and Toasted Sesame.  Sonja has some amazing photographs and a delicious recipe for cider and rye, perfect for a warm winter beverage:

One of my favorite things to drink when the weather gets cold is something warm with a kick like a nice chai tea or a hot toddy. On Thanksgiving my family brewed an impromptu pot of mulled apple cider and for a little extra warmth we added a nip of whiskey. For this recipe I used some apple cider pressed in Virginia and some rye whiskey distilled in Virginia.

...

[This] rye is great in this mulled cider recipe. It’ll warm you right down through your toes. This recipe makes a half gallon but you can easily double that for a bigger group gathering for the holidays. Just let the spices and fruit simmer long enough to get the cider nice and spicy. For an extra kick, you can add a few black peppercorns and maybe a bit more rye.

½ gallon of apple cider
2 satsuma oranges
1 honey crisp apple
3 cinnamon sticks
10 cloves
Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye whisky

Thinly slice the oranges and apple horizontally.

Pour the cider in a large pot and add the slices of fruit, the cinnamon sticks and cloves.

Bring to a boil over high heat then lower the heat and let the mixture simmer for about 30 minutes until fragrant.

Fill up mugs about three quarters full and add about an ounce of rye whiskey to each mug.

Garnish with an apple or orange slice, half a cinnamon stick and cloves.

Recipe and photo by Sonja Bradfield, 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 do tours and tastings every day, so stop by and see us sometime!

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

December 2014 News

Welcome to December!  Happy Holidays!!

Christmas Bokeh by Scott Harris

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happiest of Holidays to you all!!  May your every wish come true this holiday season, and may your glass never be empty! 

We have some wonderful gift ideas in our tasting room this holiday season.  Of course, we have a full supply of Roundstone Rye, Mosby's Spirit, Watershed Gin, and our line of fruit brandies (1757 Virginia Brandy, Pearousia Pear Brandy, and Short Hill Mountain Peach Brandy).  But we've also got some nice box sets of the brandy, with signed and dated, individually numbered bottles, and ready-to-give gift baskets, including all you need for a ready-made cocktail kit (like our Gin & Tonic gift basket, and our Roundstone and cocktail book basket).

Come on in this month and see what's in store... and enjoy a tasting while you're there!

And from our family to yours, we wish you Peace on Earth and Good CHEERS!!

 

Join us for dinner this December!

We have a very special holiday dinner planned in December.  We'll enjoy a scrumptious four course dinner, paired with seasonal cocktails.  If you've never been to one of our dinners, they truly are a magical experience.  Check out the video below for a little taste of what dinner at the distillery is all about.

To learn more, or reserve your spot, click here.

Dinner Video

 

FREE Holiday Concert by the Songbirds

The Songbirds

To get you in the holiday spirit, the Songbirds will perform in our tasting room on December 7th, from 1pm - 3pm.  This concert is free, so come enjoy a tasting, bring the kids (they are always welcome), and enjoy this holiday concert from five very talented young ladies!

Click here for more information.

 

Solar Event

Holiday Mixer and Karaoke

Do You Hear What I Hear? The Purcellville Business Association is Stepping into Christmas with Karaoke Karols, a Mixer to celebrate the Most Wonderful Time of the Year and to raise money for Western Loudoun charities. Come to O Little Town of Purcellville on Wednesday, December 17th from 6:00 to 9:00 pm, at Catoctin Creek Distillery, 120 West Main Street. There is a $10 Admission to join the Jingle Bell Rock. If you would like to join in the fun and participate as a solo or group performer to sing about Mistletoe, Holly, Winter, Snow or just Cold Weather, please let us know. Also an Ugliest Christmas Sweater contest will be held on this not-so Silent Night. Mixer guests will vote with for their favorite crooners and the ugliest sweater. All proceeds will be donated by PBA toward Happy Holidays for local charities. PBA is not a charitable organization and donations are not tax deductible as charitable contributions.

Click here for more information.

 

Upcoming Events

There are a variety of great events planned for the month that should prove entertaining and educational:

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – Balsamic Berry Old-Fashioned

Balsamic Berry Old FashionedThis cocktail uses balsamic vinegar as a shrub. The vinegar provides nice tartness along with the fruitiness of the berry juices.

1½ oz Roundstone Rye
½ oz aged Balsamic vinegar
½ oz Cranberry juice
½ oz berry syrup
2 raspberries for garnish

Combine all ingredients over ice and stir in a rocks glass. Garnish with two raspberries.

Berry Syrup

6 oz blackberries
6 oz raspberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Bring mixture to a simmer for 10 mins, puree and strain.

Courtesy Hannah Blymier.

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 do tours and tastings every day, so stop by and see us sometime!

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

November 2014 News

Welcome to November!

Greetings, Catoctin Creek fans!  We hope you are enjoying the cooler weather with a nice dram of Roundstone Rye or a snifter full of 1757 brandy.  As we approach Thanksgiving, I can think of nothing better to accompany that autumn chill than a nice glass of Catoctin Creek!  (Read on for a really good recipe for Thanksgiving!)

Green Biz Platinum The Fifty Best Gold Artisan Awards Gold

In October, we were very happy to receive two gold medals for Roundstone Rye "92 Proof" from The Fifty Best and the Artisan Awards, and we also received the Platinum Award from the Loudoun Dulles Green Business Challenge!  We don't make whisky just to receive awards, but it is nice to be recognized now and then for the efforts that go into the products.  It's not easy, but we love what we do, so we continue to do it... for you!

We have lots of great things lined up for you this month, so please stay tuned and come join us for something!

 

Cask Proof Release on SATURDAY!!

Cask Proof

The Roundstone Rye Cask Proof will be released at the distillery on Saturday at noon.  This is a once-a-year release, and this year's expression is very special.  At 59.8% ABV (119.6 proof), it is a big, huge rye! Our classic Roundstone Rye, using eco-ganic 100% rye, and as always, MADE BY US, it was aged first in Minnesota white oak and then finished in a red wine Bordeaux barrel that previously aged our 1757 Virginia Brandy. This expression, batch B14E3, is dark, almost reddish in color, with a deep woody, caramel taste with that characteristic rye snap, and a noticeably fruity nose from the presence of the grape. Truly spectacular, and only 283 bottles of this one were produced. It. Will. Not. Last!!!

As of today, only eight cases or so are still available, so be sure to show up early.  I expect it to sell out in a couple of hours.

 

Virginia Oysters and Virginia Cocktails, a perfect pairing!

War Shore Oyster Company

War Shore Oyster BarJoin us at the distillery on Wednesday, November 19, from 6:30pm to 8pm as Brad Blymier, founder of War Shore Oyster Company, and Scott Harris, founder of Catoctin Creek, team up to pair the best local oysters with the best local cocktails!

The evening will include six oysters per person, paired with three cocktails.  We'll also tour the distillery, and each guest will receive a souvenir shot glass.  The cost is only $30 per person.  Space is limited, so purchase your tickets now!

Click here for more information.

 

Upcoming Events

There are a variety of great events planned for the month that should prove entertaining and educational:

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – Boozy Apple Drunken Raisin Pie

Kitchen ThymeThis month's "cocktail" is not a cocktail. It's a recipe! But why not?!

This recipe comes to us from Melissa Krumbein of Kitchen Thyme, Richmond, Virginia. Check her out at KitchenThymeRVA.com. What better time of the season to make pie than November? And to use Roundstone Rye in the recipe is simply being smart!

Drunken Raisins:
1 cup golden raisins
Pour Roundstone Rye to cover raisins let sit overnight in sealed, air tight container.

Preparation:
Flambé raisins until flame has dissipated.
Remove remaining liquid for pie crust and filling.
Set raisins aside to cool.

Pie Crust Ingredients:
Yield: two 9 inch crusts
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
8 teaspoons granulated sugar
8 tablespoons cold salted butter (1 stick), cut into small pieces
2-3 tablespoons bourbon

Preparation:
Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl and stir briefly until the mixture is aerated. Using your fingers, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it’s in pea-size pieces that are slightly yellow in color, about 4 to 5 minutes. Then take 2 tablespoons of the bourbon and mix just until the dough comes together. (Add the last tablespoon of bourbon, if necessary, but don’t overwork the dough or it’ll become tough.) Shape the dough into a flat disk, cover it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Once cooled, roll out 1 disk to cover bottom of pie pan and trim dough over the edge of the pan.

Pie filling Ingredients:
2 tablespoons flambéd Roundstone Rye
6 Stayman apples
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter

Preparation:
Peel, quarter, and core apples; cut into 1/4-inch slices (should have 6 cups). Combine sugars, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, apples, raisins and bourbon. Spoon apple filling into the chilled pastry shell; cut butter into very small pieces and sprinkle over the apples. Roll out remaining pastry. Cut slits in pastry dough and lightly brush egg wash around edge of pie. Cover pie and trim overhang. Turn edges under flush with the rim; crimp all around to make a stand-up edge. Bake pie at 425 ̊ for 40 minutes, or until top is golden brown and juices are bubbling up. Cool on wire rack.

Kitchen ThymeRecipe courtesy Melissa Krumbein of Kitchen Thyme, Richmond Virginia. Check her out at KitchenThymeRVA.com. 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 Facebook and Twitter pages, where you can stay up to date with the daily activities at the distillery. We do tours and tastings every day, so stop by and see us sometime!

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

Latest News

Catoctin Creek again in Forbes

We were delighted once again to be featured in Forbes, this time in an article about Irish whiskey and its American descendants.  Claudia Alarcón writes: As one of the first distilleries committed to...

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7 Bottled-In-Bond Whiskeys You Must Try …

So very nice to be included in the Bourbon Review's list of seven bottled-in-bond whiskeys you must try in 2019.  Explaining what bottled-in-bond means, they write: The law states that bottled-in-bond...

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Rabble Rouser reviewed in Robb Report

Dan Dunn, writing for the Robb Report, does a review of our latest Rabble Rouser release: The Rabble Rouser Rye differs from its forebear in that it’s distilled at a lower proof...

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Contact Us

Catoctin Creek Distillery

Catoctin Creek Distillery
120 W Main St
Purcellville, VA 20132

Tel (540) 751-8404


Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence

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Latest Events

Sip & Paint

  MAR 28   Sip and Paint at the Distillery 6:00pm—8:00pm Want to learn to paint?  Already a gifted artist?  Just want an excuse to relax a little with some painting lessons and a refreshing cocktail? ...

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Last Dance with Mosby's Spirit

  APR 8   Last Dance with Mosby's Spirit Dinner at West End Wine Bar & Pub 7:00pm—9:00pm Join us for a "Last Dance with Mosby's Spirit" at the West End Wine Bar and Pub. In...

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Yoga at the Distillery

  APR 11   Yoga at the Distillery – Every 2nd Thursday 6:00pm—7:00pm Beginning in March, come join us at Catoctin Creek Distillery every second Thursday for a Yoga and Cocktails night! Come share our beautiful, peaceful...

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