News

Local Distillery Drinks in the Sun

Neal Augenstein, reporting for WTOP, gives a nice overview of our new solar array at the distillery:

Stills in Catoctin Creek Distillery, in Purcellville, Va. (Courtesy Scott Harris) Outfitting the new technology for the mostly brick building, that was originally a Buick dealership and later a furniture factory, did pose challenges.

"We had to make sure the wooden frame roof was sound," says Harris. "Some of the struts and rafters were not up to code for the weight of the new system on the roof, so we had to replace those with some steel I-beams."

Read the entire story, here, and listen to the podcast, here.

L'Chaim in the Washington Jewish Week

L'Chaim in Washington Jewish WeekA while back, we performed a tasting at a big synagogue in Potomac, Maryland.  Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon were on hand to interview us, and also provided a review of the Roundstone Rye.

One day a few years back, Scott Harris — founder and general manager of Catoctin Creek Distilling Co. in Loudon County — was sitting at his desk at one of the various Washington, D.C., defense contractors when he had an epiphany. As he puts it, “I was working on the 30th revision of a Powerpoint package which I knew nobody would ever read. I said to myself, ‘There has to be something more to life than this.’ ”

So after 20 years building a software career in telecommunication systems and government IT solutions, Harris wanted something more rewarding. “At that moment,” he says, “I was swept back to a quarter century earlier, when I was a 15-year-old intern working in a winery. That was a job that I really enjoyed — the satisfaction of working with my hands, producing something, and having people appreciate what I had produced. It was this kind of job that I now felt myself seeking. But this time, I thought, I’d focus on spirits. I wanted to start a distillery.”

To read the full article, click here.

Leesburg Today Previews Mid-July Opening

Excitement is building as we approach the opening of our new building on Main Street.  Margaret Morton, of Leesburg Today, covers the story of the new building, how we obtained it, what we're doing to it, and when we expect to open:

As with any old building—and the exact age of the structure is difficult to assess—discoveries abound, as additions and deletions that had been covered up over the years revealed both answers and more mysteries. “Every time we discover something new, it sets up a further question,” Scott said.

...

One of the best things about an old warehouse-style building—and the bulk of the structure—is that it is relatively easy to adapt to a new use. After removing the plywood and taking in the dimensions of the large space, crews cut the floor apart to lay in new plumbing, including cast iron sewer pipes for longevity. A sluice, similar to what once was common in dairy barns, runs through the middle of the production area, so the floor can be hosed down at the end of the day’s production.

Read the entire story, here.

Blending the Past & Present: A New Home for Catoctin Creek Distilling Company

On TapOn Tap Magazine published a story about our transition from our industrial warehouse space to our new historic home on Main Street in Old Town Purcellville.  Michael McCarthy writes:

Soon it became clear that from both a production and marketing perspective it was time for a move. Like the spirits they craft, Scott and Becky were looking for a perfect blend of old and new in potential locations. They found just such a thing in the Case Building on Main Street in downtown Purcellville. The building, built around 1890 by Samuel Case, was home to the Case Motor Company in 1920 – the year Prohibition took effect, and had been in the Case family until Scott and Becky purchased it in 2013.

The move to Main Street feels like a step back in time and a journey to “Mayberry” USA. The street is home to many buildings that date back as far as 1850, 1880 or 1890 and despite booming development on the outskirts, Main Street has retained the charm of years past.

Read the entire article, here.

The Whiskey Reviewer Reviews Roundstone Rye

The Whiskey ReviewerS.D. Peters of The Whisky Reviewer grabbed a bottle of Roundstone Rye at his local liquor store and wrote up the following review.  I think he nailed it:

It’s not only a unique Rye, but a unique entry in the exclusive class of 100% Ryes. It’s the least Rye-like 100% Rye I’ve had, yet still very much a Rye of the New Breed, having a particularly characteristic sweetness I’ve detected in other craft Ryes. Lacking a decent metaphor, I’ll go with a simile: it’s like peppering a piece of fruit.

...

What really makes this Rye distinctive is a subtlety throughout. While it suggests a commanding sweetness, the spicy undertones of Rye remain until the finish, tempering the sweet so it’s less like candy, and more like a rich, eco-ganic fresh fruit.

On a grading system, we rated a "B+", which puts us below the "Masterpiece" class of "A" and "A+" whiskies, but above the best of the mass market stuff.  "Very good stuff."  We're happy with that!  Thanks, S.D.!

Read the full review, here.

Tour de Spirits in Washington Post Express

Washington Post ExpressNevin Martell does a piece on the various distillery tours in the greater Washington DC area.  Nice coverage for us!

"This hour long tour involves learning and liquid appreciation.  Guests at the eco-ganic and kosher distillery begin by seeing and sniffing every step of the whiskey-making process.  The guide may open one of the fermenters for a peek.  'The grain looks like oatmeal and smells like beer,' Harris says.

Read the entire story, here.

Washington Post, Closer Inspection: From grain to glass

EnolmasterOne of my favorite weekend rituals is pulling out the Washington Post weekend magazine and browsing through it on a leisurely Sunday morning.  And one of my favorite sections in the magazine is Closer Inspection by Kris Coronado.  How thrilling, then, is it to be featured in the magazine ourselves? (Very thrilling, I must tell you!)

Kris explores the distillery process, from grain to glass.  Here she is talking about the bottling operation:

The staff likes to call the distillery's Enolmaster bottling machine 'the whisky cow.' The hand-operated system fills four bottles at once.  "We usually have a group of volunteers that come in and help us bottle," Harris says.

Read the full story online, here.

Greenprints: Northern Virginia Magazine Covers Eco-Friendly Production at Catoctin Creek

Catoctin Creek in NOVA magazine

The May 2013 issue of Northern Virginia magazine has a wonderful story on our efforts to build a "green" distillery on Main Street in Purcellville.  They highlight several of the aspects of the production that will result in a very efficient and energy saving production plant, one of the only of its kind!  Melissa J. Lyden reports:

Catoctin architect Dieter Meyer: "Re-purposing one typical existing downtown building is the equivalent of recycling 1.34 million aluminum cans.  A very strong case has been made, that the greenest building is the one that already exists."

Read the entire story, here.

Valley Homes and Style: Gentlemen's Moonshine

Roundstone Rye by Andrew Spell

Maggie Wolff Peterson wrote a nice article in Valley Homes & Style featuring our distillery.  There are some gorgeous photos of the process and the products as well, courtesy some of our favorite photographer friends.

Open the front door to the Catoctin Creek distillery in Purcellville, Va., and enter a wave of fragrance: the tang of fermenting grain. In a nearly nondescript industrial park, a good half-mile from the historic and lovely center of town, Scott and Becky Harris are doing something that nobody has done, at least legally, in Loudoun County since Prohibition. They’re making whiskey.

Read the full article, here.

Modern Luxury DC - The Life of a Barrel

Modern Luxury DCModern Luxury DC does a fascinating article, tracing the life of a barrel from oak grove, through whisky, syrup, and finally to its end.  This is a great insight to a different kind of recycling program.

Under federal law, the casks can only be used once for the whiskey, so Harris sells them to anyone who's interested.

Read the full article, here.

The Whiskey Reviewer Sips White Whiskey

Mosby's SpiritJake Emen discusses White Whiskey on The Whiskey Reviewer, and kindly quotes us about the philosophy of white whiskey in general:

Next in my adventure with white whiskey came Mosby’s Spirit, which I sampled on a recent visit to Catoctin Creek Distilling Company. This didn’t smell like your typical whiskey, either. Instead, there was a light, lemon citrus on the nose, with fresh floral aromas, backed up by a deep grainy profile.

Pure grain was the dominant force when tasting Mosby’s, producing something was, at least for myself, astonishingly easy to drink after my prior experience. Surprised by this, I asked Catoctin’s co-owner and distiller, Scott Harris, about what’s going on in the world of white whiskey these days.

“What I think some distillers get wrong is that they basically produce a spirit that they’re going to be putting away for a long time,” Harris said. “But you have to make money in the short term so you take some of that and you bottle it. So a spirit that should be aged for four years or something like that is oilier, and muskier, and not as pleasant. Some people like it, but not everybody likes it. Therefore, I think they make a mistake of putting something into a bottle which should be going into a barrel.”

So how does one make a better product? “When we started producing the Mosby’s, we aimed to produce a white whiskey that was truly drinkable on its own as a white spirit. It’s meant to be drank white,” Harris said.

Read the full review here.

Kojo Nnamdi Show discusses Craft Distilling

Kojo Nnamdi ShowBecky appeared on the Kojo Nnamdi show on WAMU 88.5. From the show description:

Small-batch craft distilleries are popping up across the country and region. They make everything from gin to rye to vodka, often with a focus on local ingredients and unique flavors. We talk with three local makers about what goes into getting a distillery off the ground and onto shelves at bars and liquor stores.

Other guests for the hour were Mike Lowe, of New Columbia Distillers, and Chris Cook, of Sloop Betty.

It was a great show! You can see the original show site, here.

The Whiskey Reviewer Visits Catoctin Creek

Future Home of Catoctin Creek DistilleryJake Emen visited us in January and subsequently reviewed us on The Whiskey Reviewer. This is perhaps one of the most thorough and accurate pieces of coverage on the distillery:

If you live in or around Washington D.C., then it’s likely you’ve been seeing more and more of Catoctin Creek these days. In 2012, they increased their production to 40,000 bottles, double 2011′s level, and they have formed a variety of local partnerships. So it is that you’ll find the private label 515 exclusively at J&G Steakhouse at the W Hotel in D.C.; or if you went to D.C. Brau brewery, you’d see a rack of Catoctin Creek barrels put to use; or if you went to the 2012 Farmland Feast, you’d have seen their whiskey up for grabs in a charity-auction… and on down the line from there. From top to bottom, Catoctin Creek is a very locally-focused, community-driven operation. Enthusiastic volunteers actually do all of their bottling by hand during their filled-to-capacity weekend bottling workshops.

Read the full review here.

Latest News

Liquor.com - "Best Whiskey from Vir…

Thanks to Liquor.com for designating us the best whiskey from Virginia!  Booyah! Virginia’s distilling history goes at least as far back as Kentucky’s. Catoctin Creek, founded in 2009, is one of...

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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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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

Old Tom Gin Release Day

  APR 27   Release Day!  Old Tom Gin 12:00pm—7:00pm On Saturday, at noon, we will release this year's batch of Old Tom Gin. We took our regular, award-winning Watershed Gin, and set some aside for a time...

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Finch Sip + Craft

  APR 29   Sip + Craft at Catoctin Creek Distillery 6:00pm—9:00pm We're doing another Sip + Craft!! Come to Catoctin Creek Distillery, and learn the art of block printing! Our craft this time is inspired...

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Whisky Dinner at Monk's BBQ

  MAY 7   Whisky Dinner at Monk's BBQ 7:00pm—9:00pm Monk’s BBQ is joining with our close neighbor and one of our favorite distilleries, Catoctin Creek, to bring you a very special dining experience. Four of Catoctin’s...

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