News

Top 10 Unusual Whisky Cask Finishes

In an article that covers unusual cask finishes—everything from fish barrels to Tabasco barrels—it was cool to see The Spirits Business pick up a story on our Maple Finished Cask Proof:

One of the quirkier expressions created by [Catoctin] Creek in the name of “research and development”, this whisky is created by finishing ‘cask proof’ Roundstone Rye in a Langdon Wood maple syrup barrel. According to Catoctin, the resulting liquid is “not cloying or sweet”, but instead offers “a smooth maple flavour that blends perfectly into the whisky”, with “a maple finish that goes on, and on, and on, and on…”.

You can read the full story, here.

Top 10 Best Value for Money American Whiskeys

 Roundstone Rye

Hot on the heels of the American Whiskey Masters, where Catoctin Creek received a gold medal and two silver medals, Nicola Carruthers at The Spirits Business called out ten best whiskey values from the USA:

Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye Cask Proof caught the attention of the panel and was accordingly awarded a Gold. The bottling was described as “very balanced and opened well with water”. Judges found it to be a good example of a rye whiskey due to being “sweet” on the nose but with “rye characteristics”.

You can read the full story, here.

Roundstone Rye Cask Proof Reviewed

Malt Review

We recently submitted a bunch of our spirits to be reviewed in the American Whiskey Masters in London.  The contest results have yet to come in, but apparently, now that the blind-judging is completed, the judges were allowed to pick and choose their favorite spirits to take home with them.  Mark, from Malt Review, who also writes for Whisky Magazine, does a splendid job reviewing our Roundstone Rye Cask Proof.  I particularly like his color note: "polished mahogany."

In the mouth: quite a chewy texture, but a wonderful balance of sweetness and bitterness from the wood as a first impression. And it follows very well from the nose: again, that tartness from the redcurrant, with wood tannins creating a nice cloying mouthfeel. Peppermint. Then the sugary goodness: molasses and prunes again. Blackcurrant. Elderberry. A slug of port before drifting into a slightly woody finish. For it’s the balance on the finish, again of the sweetness and the bitterness, which makes this such a great whiskey.

Read the full review, here.

Catoctin Creek featured in Northern Virginia magazine "Distilleries" issue

Northern Virginia Magazine

Stefanie Gans, writer and food critic for Northern Virginia magazine, does a big article in the July 2016 issue about all the growth in distilleries in the Northern Virginia area.   We're pleased to be featured alongside others in the region, including KO, Bowman, and Belmont Farm, to name a few.  There are also some fantastic photos by Rey Lopez, one of our favorites in the area, so be sure to check this one out!

"If I can learn how to make contact [lenses]," Becky Harris says, she could master the age old distilling process.  Now she starts her days at 6 a.m., making the mash with local rye and water, letting it sit, ferment.  The stills stand next to floor-to-ceiling windows facing the center of Purcellville, what was once a town known for its temperance enthusiasm.

You can read the full story, here.

Best Local Distilleries, according to top DC bartenders

Catoctin Creek Building

Thrillist just came out with their list of top local distilleries, as voted by top DC bartenders.  We're so happy to be included in a list of very fine local providers!

"Roundstone Rye is a great whiskey -- robust, sweet, and spicy -- great in cocktails or neat. Catoctin shares a lot of values with us: they source locally and pesticide-free. They care about their quality, and it shows." -- Todd Thrasher, bartender/owner of the Eat Good Food Group (PX, Restaurant Eve, etc.)

Read the full story, here.

Eater: 14 Best Affordable American Craft Whiskeys

Eater did a story on the best, most affordable American craft whiskey on the market, and we were delighted to be included in such fine company!  But before publishing the list, they are very careful to lay down some ground rules first:

For these purposes, a craft whiskey producer must distill every last drop of what goes into the bottle—no sourcing or independent bottling. Rather than defining "craft" based on the number of bottles a company releases annually, we're just not including the major brands, and any other producer who does their own distilling is in play. The only caveat is that the brand must be at least partially distributed on a national basis, so that consumers can nab a bottle from an accessible online retailer.

About Catoctin Creek, they write:

1) Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye (80 proof), $39.99: While Catoctin Creek produces gin and brandy, and has released limited editions such as their Kings Mountain single malt (distilled from a beer made by Heritage Brewing), it's their rye whiskey that runs the Purcellville, Virginia distillery's show. Distinctive for being a rare 100 percent rye whiskey, the liquor showcases a light, spicy grain and oak profile. Catoctin Creek is also certified kosher.

Read the full story, here.

WTOP: Catoctin Creek on Capitol Hill seeking excise tax relief

WTOP aired a story about our efforts, along with other distillers and the Distilled Spirits Council, to seek federal excise tax (FET) relief for small producers.  The story highlights the fact that spirits pay a proportionally larger percentage of excise taxes than do our counterparts in wine and beer, and seeks relief on the first 100,000 proof gallons produced.  

Harris said he believes his small distillery could add employees and stir tourism if Congress extended to distilleries the federal excise tax breaks currently given to craft beer makers and small wineries. Right now, Harris and other craft distillers pay the same federal excise tax rate as their big competitors such as Jack Daniels and Jim Beam.

“It’s very hard for smaller companies like ours to compete and to do innovative, new products like we’re doing,” Harris said.

Distillers are asking Congress to cut the federal excise tax on the first 100,000 gallons of spirits produced to $2.70 per gallon for all distillers. The rate would then rise to $13.34 per gallon on alcohol produced after the first 100,000 gallons.

Read the full story, here.

Catoctin Creek featured in Distilled Magazine

Distilled MagazineDistilled magazine, in their inaugural issue, did a beautiful profile piece on Catoctin Creek.  Our distillery dog, Frank, a precocious pug who serves as part-time security guard, features on half of the photos taken!  Johanna Ngoh writes:

A chemical engineer by training, Becky Harris blinked casually at her husband's suggestion that they quit six-figure day jobs to make whisky.  "OK, I got this," Becky told Scott, unfazed.  "You just need to make sure we can make some money."

 The magazine is currently not available online, so if you can pick up a copy, grab one!

Virginia Living Cocktails

Virginia Living

Virginia Living magazine did a feature asking local Virginia bartenders to present some of their favorite cocktails.  We were delighted to find ourselves in two of them: I Am Virginia by Todd Thrasher, and The Blue Puppy by Hunter Johnson.  

We could all use something tall and cool heading into the summer season. And Virginia's top mixologists are only too happy to oblige. For stylish and delicious cocktails made in true Virginia fashion, try these signature quaffs from bars and restaurants around the state.

You can read the whole article and see the other recipes by clicking here.

Eater's 10 Best Rye Whiskies Under $35

Eater did a piece on the 10 best rye whiskies under $35, and gave Catoctin a shout-out in the latter half of the article, in their "5 Under $45" section.  We're pleased to be mentioned in such good company.

Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye (80 proof), $39.99: Virginia's Catoctin Creek uses a 100 percent rye mash bill for its Roundstone Rye, which we haven't seen much or any of on this list. Roundstone is aged for under two years in 30 gallon casks. It's spicy and with a lighter profile than many ryes, and also showcases some cereal grain notes.

Read the full story, here.

Catoctin Creek founder Scott Harris on All Things Loudoun podcast

If you've ever wanted to learn what it was like starting the distillery, and what were some of the biggest challenges we faced, this podcast is a great in-depth interview with Scott Harris, our founder:

 

All Things Loudoun Podcast

 

If the embedded widget above doesn't work, you can directly hear the podcast, here.

Catoctin Creek in Huffington Post Travel

Scott and the barrels at Catoctin Creek

Northern Virginia got special attention in this month's travel section of The Huffington Post.  Malorie Yolen-Cohen lists the top 27 things to do while in our area, and calls us out at #4:

This territory just west of our Nation’s Capital, encompassing the growing-hipper-by-the-day towns of Leesburg and Purcellville, is touted as “DC’s Wine Region.” But though Loudoun County claims over 40 wineries, breweries and distilleries are also opening at fast pace. Many, not surprisingly, are owned and operated by former government contractors - engineers and scientists who wish to apply their knowledge of physics and chemistry to the spirits world.

...

4. Try out a slew of spirits at the source in Catoctin Creek Distillery’s repurposed 1921 garage (Purcellville). Engineers Becky and Scott Harris now apply their brainpower towards making incredibly good small batch whisky, gin and brandy. The world is slowly taking notice.

You can read the full article and check out the other fun places that were mentioned, here.

Latest News

Daily Beast - What Music Embodies Rye Wh…

Photograph by Atlantic Records, used under license, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45577655. The Daily Beast asked rye distillers around the country to tell us what their spirits taste like by comparing them to...

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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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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

  AUG 10   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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Spirited History: A Tasting of History & Whiskeys at Aldie Mill

  SEP 14   Dinner and Whiskey at Historic Aldie Mill 6:30pm—10:00pm NOW IN OUR NINTH YEAR!! Join us for a unique and intimate evening with old friends and new as we taste five exquisite whiskeys paired...

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Autumn Dinner at the Distillery

  SEP 20   Autumn Dinner at the Distillery 7:00pm—9:00pm Join us September 20th for our autumn-themed dinner. We will feature a four course menu plus an amuse boushe from Justin Thyme Culinary. The theme for the night...

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