Rye Bother? NPR coverage of Rye and Bourbon

The vast majority of Tennessee [whisky AND] bourbon and rye on the market are some mixture of rye and corn together." (My additions in bold.)

Regardless, it is a great story, and well worth reading.  Funny also to note that the researcher is named "Tom Collins."  You can't make this stuff up!

Read the full story, here.

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.

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

  DEC 21   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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The Art of the Cocktail - Tour through the "Bartender's Canon"

  JAN - FEB 3-14   Art of the Cocktail Class – Tour through the "Bartender's Canon" 7:00pm—9:00pm Catoctin Creek is pleased to present, our FIFTH year of this six-part educational series on the art...

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Burns Dinner at Oatlands

  JAN 25   Burn's Night Dinner – A Scottish Midwinter Tradition 6:30pm—9:30pm Burns Night is a tradition dating back a hundred years or more celebrating Scotland's national bard, Robert Burns. If you've been to one, you'll know...

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