Greetings, Catoctin Creek Nation!
Welcome to May! We are glad for the warmer weather and all the blooms. In the spirit of the season, we're happy to announce our Flower Sour Power Hour.
During the month of April, our sales team were canvasing the various Catoctin Creek territories with a contest for all the bartenders: Come up with the coolest flower-based whisky sour cocktails, hashtag it on social media using the hashtag #flowerpowersours. In May, we'll be choosing a winner from all the entries received. Now it is time for you, the drinking public, to decide the winners.
But first, a little background: The whisky sour is a classic cocktail which has not received enough acclaim. It is super simple to make, delicious during warmer weather months, and totally perfect with Catoctin Creek. (What's more, with all that citrus, you'll never get scurvy!)
And as for the flower, our roundel logo (seen below) represents the land from which we hail—the land that infuses every bottle we produce—the great Commonwealth of Virginia. Virginians were among the first in our nation to begin making rye whisky, and not least of which was George Washington, who distilled rye whisky commercially at his Mt. Vernon farm. And when people started distilling corn into Bourbon whiskey in modern-day Kentucky, yes, that land was still called "Virginia." (Kentucky didn't become a state until 1792.)
And so, Virginia is the birthplace of American whiskey, and we're extremely proud of her. As an homage to Virginia, we've adorned our Roundel with her state flower, the flowering dogwood. So we created a contest to honor both! The Flower Sour Power Hour!
Join us! On May 23, come to the Passenger in DC to help Catoctin Creek pick the winner of our Flower Power Sour Competition!
Every 10 minutes you'll visit with one of the five finalists, try their cocktail and talk to them about the inspiration behind their flowery creation. Sample the finalists' different floral-influenced takes on the quintessential classic, the whiskey sour, made with Virginia's most-awarded whiskey, Catoctin Creek's Roundstone Rye, and then vote on your favorite one to help decide which one will be crowned the most powerful Flower Power Sour. More details, here.
Catoctin Creek featured in Better Homes and Gardens
A wonderful little call-out in the May 2018 issue of Better Homes and Gardens:
A spice-forward tribute to-and from-Virginia, the birthplace of American whiskey.
Absolutely could not have said it better myself!
Catoctin Creek receives 90 point review from WhiskyCast
It was very nice to receive a 90 point review from WhiskyCast this week! We definitely enjoy seeing other people's tasting notes. Palates can be very subjective and vary from person to person, but it's always nice when they like our whisky! From the review:
Score: 90 points
This edition is bottled at 46% ABV, compared to the 40% strength of the standard Roundstone Rye, and the difference clearly shows. The nose is very aromatic with notes of honey, butterscotch, bitter lemon, linseed oil, and muted spices. The taste is tart and spicy with cinnamon and clove balanced by lemon zest, honey, vanilla, and a nice touch of butterscotch that comes out late and sticks around through the finish, along with muted spices and a touch of lemon zest. Nice!
You can read the full review, here.
Becky Harris profiled in CRAFT magazine
Check out the cool interview with our "badass maker," Becky Harris! (quoting the magazine here!). Her latest interview is in CRAFT magazine, here.
Cool events this month!
There are some amazing events planned for spring! Check out the full list here. Be sure to join us for all the fun!
Starving Artist Show
May 10, 6:00pm. Join us for our Starving Artist Show, featuring local artists Amy Walton, Randy Krukles, Rachelle Windle, and our own distiller artist, Addie Rodgers. The evening will offer local art for sale, live music, food by the Wine Kitchen, and one cocktail included in your ticket price.
Union Street Public House Dinner + Cigars
May 17, 6:00pm. Join us for a delicious Catoctin Creek pairing dinner at Union Street Public House. We will have a four course dinner with pairings, plus for only $20 more, you can enjoy a cigar and a dram of the impossible-to-find Rabble Rouser! Book early to reserve a table by calling 703-548-1785.
May 19, 10am. Catoctin Creek Distilling Company will conduct a BOTTLING DAY on Saturday, May 19, at 10:00am. Volunteers wanted. Learn how to bottle, cap, seal, and label Roundstone Rye. Get your chance to work the magic "whisky cow"! Or maybe you'd like to try your hands at operating "Ninette", our fancy French labeling machine! This event is FREE to attend!
Flower Sour Power Hour
May 23, 7pm. The cherry blossoms may be past peak bloom, but the dogwoods are looking magnificent!
On May 23, come to the Passenger to help Catoctin Creek pick the winner of our Flower Power Sour Competition!
Every 10 minutes you'll visit with one of the five finalists, try their cocktail and talk to them about the inspiration behind their flowery creation. Sample the finalists' different floral-influenced takes on the quintessential classic, the whiskey sour, made with Virginia's most-awarded whiskey, Catoctin Creek's Roundstone Rye, and then vote on your favorite one to help decide which one will be crowned the most powerful Flower Power Sour.
Dinner at the Distillery
June 15, 7:00pm. Dinner will be a four-course affair, using seasonal produce and local suppliers, prepared by Chefs Wes Rosati and Maria Aros of The Wandering Chef. Enjoy a private tour of the distillery from owners, Scott and Becky Harris. Scott & Becky Harris will also personally craft cocktails expertly paired with your dinner! This will be a magical evening, and one not to miss!! Dinner is priced at $99, and includes all four courses and cocktails.
Cocktail of the Month – Crackbrained Poet
This cocktail comes to us from Italy, through bar manager Mario Farulla of Baccano in Rome! It is so cool to be selling our products in Italy, the land of vermouths, bitters and amaro. Mario writes:
La lucida follia di Schmidt, è pura arte, genio ed improvvisazione; estro di cui siamo tutti figli. La sua visionaria via di accostamenti e presentazione dei drink è l’eredità di cui dobbiamo far tesoro senza però fermarci mai alla superficialità. Per questa rivisitazione del “Pleasant Surprise” ho voluto utilizzare il Catoctin Creek, che con le sue note vanigliate e di pellame ben sia accostano al mix di vini liquorosi e spezie presenti nel drink.
Translation: Schmidt's lucid madness is pure art, genius and improvisation; inspiration of which we are all children. His visionary way of combinations and presentation of drinks is the legacy we must treasure always maintaining the superficiality. For this version of the "Pleasant Surprise" I wanted to use Catoctin Creek, which with its hints of vanilla and leather, well match the mix of liqueur, wines and spices present in the drink.
The "Schmidt" referenced here is William Schmidt, a pre-prohibtion bartender and author of The Flowing Bowl.
1 tsp caster sugar
40ml (1⅓ oz) Catoctin creek Roundstone Rye Whisky 92 Proof
20ml (⅔ oz) Lustau Almacenista Sherry
20ml (⅔ oz) Madera Cossart 5 y.o.
1 dash orange bitters
3 dashes Angostura bitters
Garnish: Essentia vaporized nutmeg
Grated black pepper crusta
Glass: Sherry Goblet
Courtesy of Mario Farulla, Baccano, Rome, Italy, @mariofarulla on Instagram.
See this cocktail and hundreds more on our cocktails page.
So Long For Now
As always, we thank you for your support as we continue to craft the finest spirits in Virginia. Please visit 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