News

October 2011 Update

Latest News

Brandy Montage

This week, we are wrapping up brandy season.  This has been a really tough year for grapes; most of the wineries have really struggled with the ridiculous amounts of rain we've gotten in September.  Too much rain at this late date leaves grapes that are watery and flavorless, not very good for wine.

Pearousia1757 Virginia BrandyFortunately for us, the bulk of our grapes were picked before the big September rains started, and we've received some very nice wine for making into brandy this year.  The Seyval blanc was exceptional again this year, and the Chambourcin and Norton will make nice additions to the brandy.  Norton is a new grape for us, and distilling it has proven very interesting.  The grape is extremely floral and should offer some nice aromatic notes to the 2013 release of our 1757 brandy.

Wineries working with us this year on brandy are Tarara, Fabbioli, and Chrysalis.  Thanks to all of you wonderful winemakers (Jordan, Doug and Melanie, and Alan) for your efforts.

As mentioned last month, for those of you awaiting the next batch of Pearousia pear brandy, just as soon as we get done with all those grapes, we'll be getting back to work on the pear brandy, aiming to get that out by late this year.

Upcoming Events

There are a variety of events planned for autumn that should prove entertaining and educational:

  • October 8 - Bottling Workshop - We'll be bottling four barrels of Roundstone Rye.  It's time to catch back up from the break we took while making brOktoberfestandy!  This workshop is full, but if you have your spot reserved already, we'll see you on Saturday.
  • October 15-16 - Fall Color Tour 2011 - Please join us all weekend for tastings and free tours.  This is one of the most popular weekends for touring around Loudoun County and seeing local farms and businesses.  Please stop in to check us out!
  • October 15 - Oktoberfest - Join us for a traditional Oktoberfest in Hamilton on Saturday night.  The price of admission includes all food and drink (provided by local butcher, Lothar), and proceeds go to a good cause.  This is going to be one heck of a great evening!
  • November 1 - WhiskyFest New York - If you've got your tickets already, you're in good shape, because this event is SOLD OUT!  We'll be pouring our spirits at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square for this one of a kind whiskey festival.

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

Cocktail for October - Castle Hill Cider Sour

Cider SourHow about a nice apple cider cocktail for autumn?  This one is super simple to make, and really delicious!

2 oz Catoctin Creek eco-ganic Roundstone Rye
Castle Hill Celestial sparkling cider
Dash of Peychauds bitters
1 tsp superfine sugar

Fill a shaker with ice.  Add the rye, sugar and bitters, and top off with cider.  Shake well (holding tightly, since the carbonated cider will be under pressure!), and strain into a tumbler full of ice.  Serve with a slice of apple.

 

See this cocktail and over fifty 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.  Tours are always free, so stop by and see us sometime!

Remember, "Think Global, Drink LOCAL!"SM

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

September 2011 Update

Latest News

GrapesAs we slide out of summer and into September, we move into brandy season.  All the rye has been put away, and we're now getting the first fruit of the year.  Fresh grapes are coming in off the vine, and that wonderful Loudoun County wine is the starting point for our second vintage of brandy.

So far, our plans this year include Seyval blanc and Chambourcin (as was done for last year), and we may throw a few other varietals in there as well, like Petit Verdot and Norton.  This should make for a truly unique Virginia brandy!

1757 Virginia BrandyCatoctin Creek's brandy will be called simply, "1757", which is in honor of the founding date of Loudoun County.  And being the first grape brandy in Virginia since at least Prohibition, this will be a pretty special and truly historic expression.  We're still aging the last year's brandy in our large Bordeaux casks, so look for 1757 to arrive in 2012.

PearousiaAnd for those of you awaiting the next batch of Pearousia pear brandy, just as soon as we get done with all those grapes, we'll be getting back to work on the pear brandy, aiming to get that out by late this year.

Stay tuned here for details!

A Little Humor... A Thief in the Distillery!

We get pretty busy in the back of the distillery: meeting with people, making whisky, moving barrels, etc.  So it is easy to lose track of a pug who is our ostensible watch dog.  Luckily we have a security system to capture the details.  See the video below to see what happens when a pug is left alone in the office!

A Thief in the Distillery

Upcoming Events

There are a variety of events planned for the next few weeks that should prove entertaining and educational:

  • September 3 - Tiber Creek Cabaret - Looking for something different?  Join us for an evening of genre defying performances:  burlesque, sword-swallowing, belly dancing, original dramatic readings and live neo-Victorian electronic steampunk music, along with signature cocktails by Catoctin Creek.  This will be one funky event not to miss!
  • September 10 - Cleveland Park Tasting - Join us for FREE samples of the award winning Roundstone Rye and Watershed Gin at Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits in DC.
  • September 17 - Taste History and Whiskey at Aldie Mill - Enjoy a five course dinner, paired with whiskeys from Catoctin Creek, Scotland and Kentucky, as you sit among the gears of the historic Aldie Mill.  Rich Gillespie, noted local historian, will be on hand to tell us about this history of the local area.
  • September 23 - Catoctin Creek, Cigars, and Chocolates - What's not to like?  Join us for tastings of Catoctin Creek whisky, chocolates and cigars on the patio of the Blue Duck in northwest DC.  Enjoy an evening of fine whisky and chocolates, with cigars, hand-rolled in front of your eyes by an artisan cigar maker.
  • September 24 - Distilling Workshop - Interested in how whisky is made?  Want a chance to help distill whisky legally?  Interested in the business of distilling?  Then this workshop is for you!  Join us as we discuss the art, science and business of distilling and end the day with a private tasting!

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

Cocktail for September - Raspberry Vinegar Rickey

Raspberry Vinegar RickeyDid you weather hurricane Irene?  We've had a heck of a month of hurricanes and earthquakes!  This cocktail, a take on DC's official cocktail, the Rickey, might help take the edge off a stressful August, courtesy the Good Booze blog.

 

1½ oz Catoctin Creek Watershed Gin
1 Tbsp Roaring Twenties Raspberry Vinegar (didn’t make it yet? We have an alternative here)
Club soda
Lime wheels
Sugar

To make the caramelized limes: Dredge the lime wheels in sugar. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat; when the pan is hot, cook the lime wheels on each side until just lightly golden. They will be a little sticky; set aside to cool (they can also be refrigerated at this point for a day or two).

To assemble the drink: Place the caramelized lime wheel in the bottom of in a tall glass or a large wine glass and lightly muddle the fleshy center, then remove and set aside. Add one tablespoon of Raspberry Vinegar, 1.5Catoctin Creek Mobile App ounces of gin, and stir. Add several ice cubes and top with club soda. Stir well, then top with the reserved lime wheel.

See this cocktail and over fifty 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.  Tours are always free, so stop by and see us sometime!

Remember, "Think Global, Drink LOCAL!"SM

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

August 2011 Update

Latest News

First Tasting at Catoctin CreekTASTINGS NOW AVAILABLE AT THE DISTILLERY!

Hot on the heels of our recent distillery store opening--allowing bottle sales at the distillery--we are now also able to offer tastings at scheduled and pre-arranged times.  With the introduction of tastings, we have new store hours:

Monday 8 - 6 PM
Tastings at 12 PM
Tuesday thru Friday 8 - 3 PM
Tastings at 12 PM
Saturday 11 - 3 PM
Tastings at 2 PM
Sunday by appointment

If you wish to schedule a group tour, private function, or a Sunday visit to the distillery, including tastings, please contact us.  And of course, if you like what you taste, we're delighted to sell you a bottle or two!

Distillery Closed First Week of August

Please note that from Monday, August 1 to Friday, August 5, the distillery will be CLOSED while we are on a much-needed family vacation.  We will return on August 6.  During that time, of course, bottles are still available at your local stores and restaurants.

Catoctin Creek Distillery Reviewed in Washington Post

Washington Post Editors' PickThe Washington Post highlighted Catoctin Creek Distillery as an Editors' Pick for their "Going Out Guide" in Virginia:

White whiskies are often uncomplicated and quite harsh. Catoctin’s is floral and citrusy, with a smoothness and drinkability that is the greatest testament to the care and attention to detail that the Harrises put into their operation.

Read the rest of the review, here.

Now Available in iTunes and Android Marketplace

Catoctin Creek Mobile AppCheck out our new mobile app, now available for iPhone and Android!  The Catoctin Creek app will keep you up to date with all the latest cocktail recipes, events, videos and news of the distillery, right in your pocket.  The app is FREE, so download it today by using the QR code at right or by visiting our social media page.  Do let us know what you think!

A Crazy July - Roller Derby Girls, Charity Events, and Chefs on Harleys!

NOVA Roller DerbyJuly has been a crazy month!  We were thrilled to welcome the NOVA Roller Derby team out to the distillery for a private bottling workshop.  Clad in camouflage miniskirts, high heels, fishnet stockings, and tattoos, these girls were intimidating at first, but they were all business when it came to bottling whisky.  We had a super time getting to know the team, and hope you all will check out the NOVA Roller Derby web page for news and information about the team.  We can't wait to see their first bout, coming in late summer or early autumn. (Photos courtesy Ed Felker, Mayfly Design.)

NOVA Roller Derby NOVA Roller Derby

Dickson Wine BarEarlier in the month, we attended a charity tasting and cocktail party at Dickson Wine Bar on U Street NW in DC.  The event raised almost $1300 for the One Home, Many Hopes girls' school in Kenya.  It was a great cause, giving resources and hope to orphaned girls in rural Kenya.  We also had a very nice time meeting so many new people in northwest DC.  For more information about the charity, visit their web site at One Home, Many Hopes Kenya, and thanks to our hosts for the evening, Dickson Wine Bar(Photograph by DJ and copyright by Firefly Imageworks.)

Chefs Go FreshFinally, we had the great pleasure of hosting several dozen DC area chefs for a private tour and tasting, sponsored by The Georgetowner.  The "Chefs Go Fresh" event involved the chefs of several DC area restaurants donning their biking leathers, hopping on their Harleys, and cruising out to Loudoun County to see the best of our local meat, produce, wine, and yes, of course, spirits!  We were thrilled to be part of the tour and to meet so many new chefs from DC.  Here's hoping that we'll see Catoctin Creek spirits showing up in several new venues in DC and Northern Virginia soon!

Upcoming Events

As July slips into August, we turn our minds from the dog days of summer and toward the coming cooler days of autumn.  There are a variety of events planned for the next few weeks that should prove entertaining:

  • August 13 - Spectator Series Tasting at Lansdowne Resort - Come join us for tapas and cocktails at On the Potomac restaurant at Lansdowne Resort.  In collaboration with Farm to Fork, the event will feature a variety of locally-sourced food, along with featured cocktails from Catoctin Creek.
  • September 3 - Tiber Creek Cabaret - Looking for something different?  Join us for an evening of genre defying performances:  burlesque, sword-swallowing, belly dancing, original dramatic readings and live neo-Victorian electronic steampunk music, along with signature cocktails by Catoctin Creek.  This will be one funky event not to miss!
  • September 17 - Taste History and Whiskey at Aldie Mill - Enjoy a five course dinner, paired with whiskeys from Catoctin Creek, Scotland and Kentucky, as you sit among the gears of the historic Aldie Mill.  Rich Gillespie, noted local historian, will be on hand to tell us about this history of the local area.
  • September 23 - Catoctin Creek, Cigars, and Chocolates - What's not to like?  Join us for tastings of Catoctin Creek whisky, chocolates and cigars on the patio of the Blue Duck in northwest DC.  Enjoy an evening of fine whisky and chocolates, with cigars, hand-rolled in front of your eyes by an artisan cigar maker.
  • September 24 - Distilling Workshop - Interested in how whisky is made?  Want a chance to help distill whisky legally?  Interested in the business of distilling?  Then this workshop is for you!  Join us as we discuss the art, science and business of distilling and end the day with a private tasting!

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

Cocktail for Summer - Cool Hand Cuke

What better way to escape the dog days of summer than with this cool refresher?

Cool Hand Cuke

1 1/2 oz Catoctin Creek Mosby's Spirit
Sliced cucumber, diced
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
3/4 oz simple syrup
Thin slice of cucumber, for garnish

Muddle the diced cucumber in a rocks glass and add ice. Mix the Mosby's Spirit, lime juice and simple syrup in a tumbler and pour over ice and cucumber. Stir well and garnish with a slice of cucumber.

See this cocktail and over fifty 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.  Tours are always free, so stop by and see us sometime!

Remember, "Think Global, Drink LOCAL!"SM

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

July 2011 Update

Latest News

First SalesTHE DISTILLERY STORE IS OPEN! HUZZAH!

Yes, this morning, we opened the doors to the distillery as a newly licensed retail store. Officially operating as a Virginia ABC store, we can now sell bottles of our spirits to the general public.

Can't find your Catoctin Creek spirits at the local ABC store? Come on by! Want a tour and maybe pick up a bottle or two? Come on by! Last minute gift needed for a friend? Come on by! (You get the idea...)

We're celebrating the new store opening with a Fourth of July weekend grand opening party. From opening until 4pm each day (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), we'll be doing tours. We'll also be highlighting some of our very favorite local bands with live music. Oh, and there might be a large German man in Lederhosen selling bratwursts.

Seriously, it's going to be a heck of a good weekend. So stop by!

Scott and Becky Selected as 2011 Northern Virginia Innovators

NOVA InnovatorsIt was our great honor last Wednesday to be selected as one of the three finalists in the NOVAEXEC Magazine 2011 Northern Virginia Innovators. The awards ceremony was held by the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with the Loudoun Time Mirror and NOVAEXEC Magazine.

We felt pretty humbled to be selected along with Volkswagen and Guernsey Office Products, two companies that have been around much longer than we have!

"NOVAEXEC sees innovation as creation," says the magazine article highlighting the award, "Scott and Becky Harris followed in the footsteps of one of Northern Virginia's most famous innovators, George Washington, when they took up his past-time of producing spirits."

Honestly, we're just following our dream, and so happy to be doing it in Northern Virginia!

Events in July

We have several really neat events this month. Be sure to pick one or two and join us!

  • July 1-3 - Grand Opening Weekend - Come join us with tours, bottle sales, a book signing, live music and bratwursts! (Note, we will be closed on the 4th of July to be with family and friends.)
  • July 3 - Pig Roast and Catoctin Creek Cocktails at the Passenger - The Passenger is THE spot for DC cocktails. For the 4th of July weekend, they're roasting a whole pig and serving up some of our cocktails, pie, and beer from DC Brau!
  • July 9 - Tasting at The Perfect Pour - Come join us in Elkridge, Maryland for a tasting of all of our spirits.

For the full list of events, check our events page.  Stay tuned as we add more events throughout the month (like a tasting at Dickson Wine Bar in DC, and the ever popular bottling workshops).

Cocktail for Summer - The Summer Bliss

Summer BlissWhat says summer better than watermelon, pineapple, and cool refreshing punch? This one comes from Huppahs.com, and highlights our Watershed Gin. Deeeee-lish!

4-5 lb seedless watermelon
1 bottle Catoctin Creek eco-ganic Watershed Gin
18 oz pineapple juice
18 oz lemon juice
18 oz simple syrup
18 oz lemon/lime seltzer

Cut the watermelon in half and scoop out the fruit into very large bowl. Use an immersion blender to liquidate the fruit. Strain through a cheese cloth. You will end up with about 42 oz of watermelon juice. Combine all the ingredients. Add the seltzer and ice to the punch bowl just before serving.

See this cocktail and over fifty more on our cocktails page.

Courtesy of Huppahs.com. Garland courtesy of FiftyFlowers.com. Photo courtesy Jason Weil and used with permission.

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.  Tours are always free, so stop by and see us sometime!

Remember, "Think Global, Drink LOCAL!"SM

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

June 2011 Update

"This certified eco-ganic and kosher bottling is out of [Loudoun] County, Va., where the locals know something about white spirits. Left to mature in a barrel, this alcohol becomes the brand’s Roundstone Rye, but without the oak, we get a vibrant flavor, fresh on the palate. There’s some juicy banana on the finish and a nice velvety mouthfeel."

-- Max Watman, author of Chasing the White Dog and Liquor.com contributor

Latest News

Catoctin Creek LineupWe are now only one month away from selling bottles at the distillery. Virginia Senate Bill 1249 goes into effect on July 1, 2011, and on that day, at six o'clock AM, we will open the doors to selling bottles directly from our supply at the distillery!

This is a big step for us, of course, and I never thought in my wildest dreams that I'd become a liquor store owner! (Basically, that is what we will be, a state-licensed ABC store in the front office, selling only Catoctin Creek products, of course.)

If you want to be one of the first few people to get a signed bottle at the distillery, show up bright and early on Friday, July 1. See you soon!

Mosby's SpiritMosby's Available in Virginia ABC

Mosby's Spirit, our multiple award winning white whisky, is now widely available on the shelves of your local Virginia ABC stores. ABC has picked it up as a "listed item", and bottles began arriving in local stores in May.  Look for it in the whisky section, probably near the Roundstone Rye.  But if you don't see it, you can ask for it by product number #27488. No more special ordering required!

If you have not yet tried Mosby's Spirit, this is a really neat new type of whisky.  Mosby's is the truest expression of the spirit that comes off the still; it sees no aging at all, and shows you how clean and nice an eco-ganic rye spirit can be when crafted with care by hand in small batches.

Taste History

Mosby's Spirit is very representative of the historical Virginia whisky.  Since George Washington first fired up his stills at Mount Vernon, and on through the Civil War, and up until Prohibition, if you lived in Virginia, and you were drinking whisky, you were almost certainly drinking an unaged rye whisky like Mosby's Spirit.

For a fun evening, grab some friends and a bottle each of Mosby's and Roundstone.  Sample between the two.  Notice the differences in the taste and aromas.  The only difference between the two is the aging that Roundstone receives in the barrel.  You'll be amazed what wood does to the spirit!

Events

In June, look for a few very cool events on the calendar:

  • June 4 - Barrel Tasting at Park Hyatt, DC - Gather at the entranceway of Blue Duck Tavern, surrounded by barrels, and sample the true flavors of American wine and spirits.
  • June 10 - Homegrown Spirits at Homewood Museum - Join Dr. Dennis Pogue (historian at Mount Vernon Distillery) and several local distillers as we sample spirits from around the area and learn about the history of distilling in the Mid-Atlantic region.
  • June 18 - Catoctin Creek Distilling Workshop - Interested in distilling? Want to make whiskey yourself legally? Ever wonder what it takes to start and run a distillery?  This is the course for you! Only a few seats are left, so order today!
  • June 23- DC Whiskey Cruise - Join Catoctin Creek for an evening on the Potomac as we cruise with over 200 whiskeys, all available for tasting!

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.  Tours are always free, so stop by and see us sometime!

Remember, "Think Global, Drink LOCAL!"SM

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

May 2011 Update

"Just bought some of your Roundstone Rye. Seriously, one of the best whiskeys I've had. Well done, you. Delish! Can't wait to try more."

-- Caroline Jane Kenney

Latest News

Barrel PrepBig news! Virginia Senate Bill 1249 was signed by Governor Bob McDonnell, allowing us to sell bottles at our distillery! The law, in effect, allows us to operate as an ABC store, selling all of our products in our retail store starting on July 1. Barrel FillLook for a "store grand opening" on that date. Perhaps you can be the first to buy a bottle at the distillery when we open on Friday morning, July 1st!

Because of the expected increase in sales, we've ramped up production of our spirits. This means more rye grain, more yeast, more water, and yes, more barrels. We're filling barrels like crazy, working to get enough Roundstone Rye into inventory so that we're ready when people can start buying directly from us. Becky has been filling barrels at a rate of about two per week, which should put us in good shape come July.

Two More Awards from American Distilling Institute

Mosby's takes Bronze Medal at ADI Roundstone takes Silver Medal at ADI

We were very pleased to obtain two more medals from the American Distilling Institute. Mosby's Spirit received another bronze medal and was named "Best In Category" for un-aged rye whiskey. Roundstone Rye picked up a silver medal at the competition and was also named "Best In Category" for aged rye whiskey. These medals are great, and we certainly welcome the recognition, but most of all, we're really glad that people are enjoying our spirits.

Mosby's SpiritMosby's Available in Virginia ABC

In May, Mosby's Spirit will start to appear on the shelves of your local Virginia ABC stores. ABC decided to pick it up as a "listed item" earlier this quarter, and now almost one thousand bottles sit poised in Richmond for delivery to the stores early this month. And in case the store clerks are unfamiliar with Mosby's Spirit, you can ask for it by product number #27488. No more special ordering required!

Events

In May and early June, look for a few very cool events on the calendar:

  • May 11 - Kennedy Center Wine & Cultural Celebration - A wonderful event at the Rooftop Terrace Restaurant.  We'll be pouring drinks and there will be lots of local foods provided.
  • May 14 - Bottling Day Workshop - Our popular, and free event.  A hands on bottling workshop.
  • May 21 & 22 - Loudoun County Farm Tours - Come and see free tours of production at the distillery.  We'll be mashing and distilling all day with nonstop tours through the day.
  • June 4 - Barrel Tasting at Park Hyatt, DC - Gather at the entranceway of Blue Duck Tavern, surrounded by barrels, and sample the true flavors of American wine and spirits.

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.  Tours are always free, so stop by and see us sometime!

Remember, "Think Global, Drink LOCAL!"SM

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

April 2011 Update

Bottling DayLatest News

I'll eat when I'm hungry, I'll drink when I'm dry
If the hard times don't kill me, I'll lay down and die
I'll tune up my fiddle and I 'll rosin my bow
I'll make myself welcome, wherever I go

Rye whiskey, rye whiskey, rye whiskey I cry
If a tree don't fall on me, I'll live till I die

-- Tex Ritter, "Rye Whiskey"

March was a whirlwind month for us at Catoctin Creek. Early in the month, our Mosby's Spirit was featured in a story on rye whiskey in DRAFT Magazine. The very next day, in Imbibe, they featured our Watershed Gin, along with a nice spot for our friends at Mokomandy! (including a recipe for their Hibiscus 75, which is an amazing gin cocktail!)

DRAFT Magazine Imbibe March/April 2011

USC 2011Later in the month, we picked up news that we received two silver medals at the Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago, both for our Mosby's Spirit and our Roundstone Rye. And finally, after that, we received word that our Mosby's Spirit was rated a "Strong Recommendation" from F. Paul Pacult's Ultimate Spirits Challenge In fact, Mosby's Spirit was the third highest rated spirit in the category of American Whiskey.

Wow! What a great month!

Events

Church and StateIn March, we kicked off with a great cocktail party, courtesy smörgie and Church & State in DC. Thanks to Shakti from smörgie and Erik from C&S for hosting the event. We had a great time pouring our whiskies and telling the story about starting the distillery. Plus, there was a cool cocktail contest, with some very creative and unusual new cocktails.

Coming in April, we have the EarthDay@Loudoun family festival at Clyde's of Willow Creek in the Broadlands. Catoctin Creek is the proud sponsor this year of the Wine, Beer and Spirits Garden. That means we'll be pouring! Come by for a tasting, and sample great local wines and beers while you're there as well. (Grown-ups only, of course.)

We've also set the date for our next Distilling Workshop. The last workshop was a complete success, and the folks really enjoy learning the details behind the distillation process. The June workshop includes a full tasting at Magnolia's restaurant included in the price of the seminar. So be sure to reserve your spot if you're interested, because these do sell out.

Mosby's SpiritMosby's Spirit "Listed" in Virginia ABC

Our beloved Mosby's Spirit has finally been graduated from the "special order" status to a full "listed" product in Virginia ABC. That means you should find it on the Virginia shelves starting no later than May. Look for it next to the Roundstone Rye, but if you don't see it, be sure to ask your ABC store clerk for product number #27488. This should make Mosby's much easier to obtain going forward!

So, head on out to your ABC stores and get a bottle of a true Virginia historical spirit, and our most award winning product!

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.  Tours are always free, so stop by and see us sometime!

Remember, "Think Global, Drink LOCAL!"SM

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

March 2011 Update

Latest News

Photo credit Shannon Sollinger, Leesburg Patch.February was another busy month for us at Catoctin Creek. During the month, we hosted two private bottling workshops (one for a volunteer food kitchen in DC, and one for a wedding party), got ourselves into a lot of new restaurants, and hosted a table at the first ever Loudoun Food Expo in Purcellville.

The Loudoun Expo was incredibly well attended, and quite surprising. We visited with over 1,000 people, mostly locals, interested in our spirits, plus the fine array of local wines, meats, and produce available from producers in Western Loudoun. Many people don't realize, we have quite an agricultural area in the county, and it's been growing in recent years. We always encourage people to support their local businesses, or they won't exist anymore!

Photo credit Shannon Sollinger, Leesburg Patch. Read more about the Leesburg Patch story on the Loudoun Expo, here.

Major Win in Richmond!

Although it hasn't gotten as much attention as the Governor's ABC privatization bill, we have a bill working its way quietly through Richmond. Senate Bill 1249, designating an eco-ganic distillery as an agent of the ABC board, has passed both the Senate and the House of Delegates! (Hooray!) It remains to be signed by the Governor before becoming law. SB1249 will allow us to now sell bottles at our distillery. That means, if you cannot find the bottles at your local store, you can always come by and pick up a bottle or two from us.

And at the federal level, if you'd like to support smaller excise taxes for small producers like us, please support HR#777.  Supporting the bill is easy using the PopVox web site.  They do all the work in contacting your local representatives!  Click here for more details.

March Events

Looking forward to March, we have several great events planned:

More great events are scheduled in April and May, so check our web site for full details.

Roundstone RyeIncreasing Capacity

We've been so busy keeping up with demand, we've decided to double our production and mash twice per week now. That should allow us to ready ourselves for in-distillery sales, and provide better product availability in Virginia. We know it's frustrating not to find our stuff on the shelves when you go to your store, and we're working very hard to try to address that situation. Hopefully, the increased production means more product available when you want it, where you want it.

So for now, I better get back to the distillery floor! There's rye to be mashed!

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.  Tours are always free, so stop by and see us sometime!

Remember, "Think Global, Drink LOCAL!"SM

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

February 2011 Update

Latest News

Catoctin Creek Mosby's SpiritWhew! We're still trying to catch our breath after a very busy 2010 holiday season. With all the mundane year-end tasks (like closing the accounting year), we're still focusing a ton of effort on keeping the stores stocked with Roundstone Rye, Mosby's Spirit, Watershed Gin and Pearousia. We're working like crazy, but this is a good thing!

In January, we celebrated our first full year in production. Yep, we're a year old! Still in diapers, but also still here and making whisky! We enjoyed a few nice pieces of press in January, including a story in The Loudoun Times, a four page feature in Flavor magazine, a mention on the very popular WTOP radio station, and a front page cover story in The Indie. We're blessed for all the press we're getting. I guess it shows Northern Virginia's interest in its first (legal) distillery since Prohibition!

The Indie Flavor Mag

CocktailsWe have lots of great new cocktails on our web site, so be sure to check out the cocktails page for many cool ideas. Experiment a little, and if you come up with something good (or great), give it a name and send it to us. We'll gladly stick the best ones on the web page and give you credit. Be sure to include a photo so we can see what the cocktail looks like!

In January, we kept busy with two bottling workshops and our quarterly distilling workshop. Our distilling workshop overflowed at well over 30 people, but I think everybody had a great time learning about making whisky. And we always have a super time with our bottling volunteers. It is always a great way to meet new people, and folks enjoy the experience of working the bottling line for an hour or two on a Saturday. If you're ever interested in joining us, drop us a line!

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.  Tours are always free, so stop by and see us sometime!

Remember, "Think Global, Drink LOCAL!"SM

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

January 2011 Update

Happy New Year!!

Hogmanay in Edinburgh

And surely ye'll be your pint stowp!
And surely I'll be mine!
And we'll tak a cup o'kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
— Robert Burns, 1788

Happy New Year!! ... Or as they say in Scotland, "Happy Hogmanay!"

What a year we had in 2010. January marks our first anniversary in full-scale production, and looking back, it has been quite a first year! I won't bore you with a 2010 "Year-End Review"; there's always our web site for that.

Instead, let us raise a glass and toast "Cheers!" to a prosperous and healthy 2011! Sláinte!

News for December

December was one of our busiest months ever.  Naturally, with all the seasonal giving for Hanukkah and Christmas, our sales were the strongest ever.  (And we thank you for that!)  What a great way to end the year!

As the year ended, we were very lucky to get featured in the Washington Business Journal and KosherEye, a leading national kosher food review site.  We always enjoy the press, and it helps us get the word out there and tell our story.

As for events, we have a few in store for January:

  • Jan. 8 - Our bottling workshop, where we'll be bottling 120 cases of Roundstone Rye.  The demand for this eco-ganic rye whisky has been strong, and we're now bottling double per month what we were bottling only a few months ago!  If you are one of the folks who responded to our invitation, you'll have a great time and get to see some pretty neat behind-the-scenes operations at the distillery.
  • Jan. 15 - Our artisan distilling workshop, where the uber-whiskey-geeks get to learn about the craft, science, and business of distilling, and get to be a distiller for a day.  This day-long session goes deep into the operations at the distillery from mashing, to fermentation, to distillation, to aging, filtering, and finally bottling.  We conclude the day with a tasting at Magnolia's, which is a great way to end the day!
  • Jan. 21 - Tasting and cocktails at Food Matters in Alexandria.  Food Matters is one of the coolest new restaurants in the DC area, focusing on eco-ganic, sustainable and (shall I say?) DELICIOUS food!  We're overjoyed to be bringing our spirits in to sample some of their awesome cocktails.

PearousiaFinally, the last of the Pearousia pear brandy is in the ABC system.  If you haven't yet had a chance to purchase any, there are about 100 bottles left.  You'll need to special order it through your local ABC store.  Just tell the clerk you want a bottle of Catoctin Creek Pearousia, and give them the order code #952556.  When it's gone, IT'S GONE!  These limited edition, hand numbered bottles won't last.  So get yours today.

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.  Tours are always free, so stop by and see us sometime!

Remember, "Think Global, Drink LOCAL!"SM

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

December 2010 Update

Robert Burns, Scottish PoetGive him strong drink until he wink,
That is sinking in despair;
And liquor good to fire his blood,
That is pressed with grief and care:
There let him drink deeply, and deep carouse,
With bumpers flowing over,
Till he forgets his loves or debts,
And minds his griefs no more.
— Solomon's Proverbs, xxxi. 6, 7
(as transcribed by Robert Burns)

News for November

As December brings its chill winds, we now see the closure of 2010 approaching.  What an incredible year it has been for us.  This year was our first full year in production, and now, as we look forward to the holidays, we smile and think back gratefully on the start of our business and how fortunate we were.

Yes, November has come and gone, and, good heavens, what a busy month it was! We received so much good news last month that it seems unbelievable! We are so lucky and blessed to be enjoying this great new career we've made for ourselves.  Becky and I are so thankful for each and every one of you out there who enjoy our products.  This holiday season, we raise a glass to you!

Cheers!

NYISC 2010 Silver Awards

Garden and Gun

Jewish Single Malt Whisky Society

In a single overwhelming week last month, we received three very big pieces of news.  The first was winning two silver medals at the New York International Spirits Competition!  Up against some 150 spirits from around the world, we came away with silvers for both of our whiskies (Roundstone Rye and Mosby's Spirit).  We now have a growing list of awards and accolades that we can proudly publish on our web site.  Secondly, we received a great review from the Jewish Single Malt Whisky Society, and finally, we found ourselves as a winner in Garden and Gun magazine's "Made in the South" awards. Any one of these would have been a great boost to the week, but all three in one week? Whew! Thank you, all!

Also in November, MyJoogTV released their video episode about Catoctin Creek with musician Andrew McKnight performing one of his songs. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out. It has some neat history about establishing the distillery and some enjoyable music from Andrew McKnight–a real friend of the distillery.

PearousiaGreat Gift Idea for the Holidays

As we turn our minds to the holidays, and gifts for Christmas and Hanukkah, don't forget those hard-to-buy-for folks on your list. Every year, it seems I never know what to buy my father for Christmas. If you are like me, why not buy a bottle of Roundstone Rye, Mosby's Spirit or Pearousia? There are still about 100 bottles of Pearousia left, so order yours today!

(Did you know it is perfectly OK to mail liquor in the US mail, UPS, or Fed-Ex? Although our distillery cannot ship directly to consumers, person-to-person shipments have always been legal.)

Check out our web site for details on where to buy our products locally.  The list grows more and more every month.

Shipping Nationwide

And did you know you can now buy Catoctin Creek products nationwide? YES! Just call the good folks at Schneider's of Capitol Hill and ask for Catoctin Creek. We're new at the store, so we're not appearing in their online store yet, but just call them at 1-800-377-1461, and Schneider's can take care of packing and shipping for any destination you choose.

Events Calendar

Keep an eye out for these cool events in December and January:

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.  Tours are always free, so stop by and see us sometime!

Remember, "Think Global, Drink LOCAL!"SM

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

November 2010 Update

Announcing the November Bottling Workshop... Volunteers Wanted!

Bottling DayCatoctin Creek® Distilling Company will conduct a BOTTLING DAY on Saturday, November 13. Volunteers wanted. Find out more here and contact us to register.

Due to overwhelming demand, space is limited to the first 15 people responding.

News for November

Lift up your glass both Bold and Meek,
For those beyond praise!
Those good folks at Catoctin Creek
(with nary ought an amber liquid),
have cured somber mood and general malaise!
-- John Clarkson

October is over; the leaves are turning, and a brisk wind is blowing. It is autumn in Virginia. What an appropriate time to return to rye spirits! By day we're busily mashing and distilling our rye whisky, and by night, we're hunkered by the fire sipping a glass of Roundstone Rye or Mosby's Spirit.

Early in October, we received some great reviews on American Craft Spirits. It is safe to say that ACS enjoyed the Roundstone Rye, loved the Watershed Gin, and fell over the moon for the Mosby's Spirit. Indeed, they rated it a 95, saying it was "hands down the best white [whisky] ever tasted." Wow! For those of you interested, you can read the full reviews by clicking the links to the products above. And thank you, American Craft Spirits!

We were also honored that Catoctin Creek was selected as a finalist in the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year awards. Further, both of us personally were chosen as finalists in the Chamber's Entrepreneur of the Year award. Thank you to all of you out there who voted for us in this competition. We'll find out next week how we do in the awards, but win or lose, we're just happy to be nominated.

Catoctin Creek® Cask Purchase Program

Cask Purchase ProgramEver wish you could own your own cask of whisky? The Catoctin Creek® Cask Purchase Program may be for you. For an investment of $5000 (taxes and shipping extra), you can own a whole cask (estimated at 150 bottles at cask strength) of a truly unique single-cask expression of Catoctin Creek eco-ganic rye whisky. Here is an opportunity to own a one-of-a-kind treasure which you can even get the chance to help distill yourself at our distillery. Now, where else are you going to get that kind of opportunity?  Click here fore more details.

Pearousia Pear Brandy - Only 150 Bottles Left

PearousiaIf you're looking for a unique gift for Christmas or Hanukkah, you might consider our Pearousia pear brandy as a stocking stuffer. Now available throughout Maryland, DC and Virginia, we have only 150 bottles left in stock. In Virginia, you'll need to go to the ABC store and tell the clerk that you'd like to special order product #952556. (You won't find it on most of the shelves because it's so limited.) Be sure to get yours today... before it's gone!

Finally, a big thanks to the latest bunch of restaurants to bring in Catoctin Creek spirits. Restaurant Eve, PX, The Chesapeake Room, Mokomandy, and Buck's Fishing and Camping all picked up Catoctin Creek last month. Be sure to pay these fine folks a visit, and don't be afraid to ask for "Catoctin Creek" at your local retailer.

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 just topped 2500 users on Facebook! Tours are always free, so stop by and see us sometime!

Remember, "Think Global, Drink LOCAL!"SM

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

October 2010 Update

"She was only a whisky maker, but he loved her still."  –Anonymous

October is here, and we now return to rye.  After a solid month of grape brandy production, distilling Chambourcin and Seyval Blanc from Tarara Winery, we now have our young brandy safely entombed in three large French Bordeaux casks.  Two years it will sleep, until we reopen the casks to check the brandy for the first time in 2012.  What a lesson in patience!!

Chambourcin Wine Chambourcin into the Still

Cham-Wow! Nighty, Night... Chambourcin and Seyval

PearousiaIf you haven't already heard... Pearousia Limited Edition Pear Brandy is now available in Virginia ABC stores.  You must special order it using code 952556 at your local store. Just tell the clerk your name and phone number, how many bottles you want, and give them that code and they should call you when it arrives.  $42 per hand-numbered 375 ml bottle. Just in time for Christmas and Hanukkah! These will sell out quickly, so get yours ordered today!  Pearousia will also be available through select stores in Maryland and the District of Columbia, through Bacchus Importers, LTD.

In October, we received our first formal review of Roundstone Rye and Watershed Gin from American Craft Spirits.  We were thrilled with the 88 and 89 point scores they received.  Moreover, the write-ups were entertaining and really honed in on what we're trying to accomplish with our spirits. American Craft Spirits also took the time to feature us in an interview, which is a fun read if you have a few extra moments in your day.

Mark your calendar for a few great events coming up in October/November:

  • Fall Farm Color Tour - Oct. 16 and 17 - We will be offering free tours and a full scale production demonstration all weekend long.  Come by and see how to make whisky and meet Scott & Becky.
  • Catoctin Creek Distilling Workshop - Oct 23 - Ever want to do hands-on distillation yourself?  Thinking of starting a business like this?  This is the class for you!
  • WhiskyFest NYC - Nov 9 - Sample hundreds of whiskies from around the world, including your own local Catoctin Creek!

Finally, for those of you who might be interested in owning a small piece of this business, we are now seeking investment to fund our expansion phase.  Investors must qualify under SEC rules to invest in this private placement offering.  For more information about this limited time opportunity, please contact us or review the information at the company investment site on our web page.

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.  Tours are always free, so stop by and see us sometime!

Remember, "Think Global, Drink LOCAL!"SM

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

Latest News

Rabble Rouser featured in Maxim

Maxim did a story on some of the best Bottled In Bond whiskies available, and our Rabble Rouser was selected (among some very fine company, if we do say so)! Previous whiskey...

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Becky Harris in American Whiskey Magazin…

American Whiskey magazine does an interview with Becky Harris, our president and chief distiller, about starting up a distillery and what's on the horizon. Focusing more now on the spirit itself...

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Becky in Rachel Ray's magazine

Kelsie Schrader, writing for Rachel Ray Every Day magazine, covers 10 female pioneers in the spirits industry and gets Becky in her article: When Becky and Scott Harris founded Catoctin Creek...

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Contact Us

Catoctin Creek Distillery

Catoctin Creek Distillery
120 W Main St
Purcellville, VA 20132

Tel (540) 751-8404


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Latest Events

Catoctin Creek Bottling Workshop

  JUN 22   Bottling Workshop 10:00am—12:00pm Catoctin Creek Distilling Company will conduct one of our famous Bottling Workshops!  Here's your chance to volunteer and learn how to bottle, cap, seal, and label Roundstone Rye. Get...

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Nose-to-tail cooking

  JUN 23   Nose-to-tail butchery & cooking 6:00pm—9:00pm Long Stone Farm and Chef Tim Rowley of the Wine Kitchen will join forces to provide a private culinary tour of the pig from nose to tail. ...

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Día de los Muertos

  JUL 6   Special Release – Día de los Muertos American Malt Whisky  12:00pm—1:00pm This whisky was made in collaboration with Adroit Theory Brewing Company, the mad geniuses of the local beer world! Aged at...

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