News

February 2017 News

Happy February! 

Greetings from the entire team at Catoctin Creek. We’re staying warm this winter by keeping the stills running, crafting fresh batches of our signature spirits. As always, we invite you to join us at our tasting room in downtown Purcellville, Virginia, where we’re open for tours, tastings and cocktails six days a week. Keep reading to learn about our recent news coverage, some special events we’re hosting at the distillery and a cocktail recipe that will get you in the mood for Mardi Gras.

 

In the News

Virginia Living
Catoctin Creek was highlighted in a recent piece by Virginia Living about the growing craft spirits movement in Virginia. Specifically, we were mentioned in a section of the story about the numerous awards Virginia distilleries having been winning. We’re happy to be in such good company. Read more here.

Paste Magazine
We also garnered a spot in Paste Magazine’s list of “5 Craft Ryes You Need to Drink Now.” Writer Richard Thomas specifically took a liking to our “grain-forward, spicy” Roundstone Rye – 92 Proof. Check out the story here.

 

The Art of the Cocktail  An Educational Series for January

Monkey GlandOur second year  presented by Scott Harris, Founder of the Distillery 

Catoctin Creek is proud to present, our second year of this six-part educational series on the history and the art of the cocktail.  This is a reprise of last year's content, so if you missed this very popular series last year, we highly encourage you to make your reservation now!

Scott Harris, founder and distiller at Catoctin Creek, will appear in the tasting room every Friday for this six-week series. Beginning at 7pm, Scott will personally guide you through the history and construction of several cocktail styles, including the old classics, and modern takes on the cocktail!  There will be samples for sharing, and you are encouraged to buy bottles to take home with you and practice.  Lots of practice.

Here is the schedule of the series, which starts in 2017:

  • January 6 - The Old Fashioned - the proto-cocktail of the 1840s
    January 13 - Gin is in!  Several gin cocktails including the Martinez, the Gimlet, and the Sloe Gin Fizz
    January 20 - Everything you wanted to know about Martinis and bitters
    January 27 - NO CLASS THIS WEEK.  Scott is on vacation
    February 3
     - New Orleans mojo - The sophisticated and complex beauty of the Sazerac
  • February 10 - NO CLASS THIS WEEK.  Our Distillery Dinner instead
  • February 17 - Moonshine in American culture - 1930 to present day
  • February 24 - Toddies and warm cocktails

If you don't know anything about cocktails, you'll love this class.  If you're already an expert, come and enjoy some casual conversation and a few drinks.  The cost is $30 per person and includes drinks.  Sign up for all six and receive two FREE Catoctin Creek rocks glasses and a FREE copy of The Architecture of the Cocktail

For more information, click here: http://catoctincreekdistilling.com/art

  

Upcoming Events

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – La Louisiane

This cocktail is cross-posted from the fantastic Instagram account @spiritedla, Hannah Chamberlain, who features amazing cocktails with stunning photography. Also check out her BuzzFeed pages.

What do you call a New Orleans resident who takes their civic and drinking responsibilities seriously?
...An absinthe-ee voter.

I'm officially ready to be a dad. 🤓

This New Orleans classic cocktail has experienced less of a resurgence than its sisters (the Sazerac and Vieux Carré) but it's a beautiful use for your Benedictine and Absinthe if you like the other two. Less bold than a Sazerac, but less subtle than a Vieux Carre, it's recently become one of my nightly go-tos.

2 oz Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye
¾ oz sweet vermouth
½ oz Benedictine
2 dashes St. George absinthe
3 dashes Peychaud's bitters
Luxardo cherry (not pictured due to casualties – RIP to our fallen garnish)

Combine all in a shaker of ice, and strain into a coupe.

Recipe and photo courtesy of @spiritedla.

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!

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

Press Release: Constellation Brands Invests in Virginia's Catoctin Creek Distillery

Investment provides capital for growth in production and marketing in 2017

PURCELLVILLE, VA, January 5, 2017 - Catoctin Creek Distilling Company, LLC, a distillery operating in Purcellville in Loudoun County, Virginia, announced today that Constellation Brands acquired a minority stake in the Virginia distillery. This investment provides the company with new capital to grow production, marketing, and to provide more jobs in Virginia.

Catoctin Creek is a craft distillery producing their flagship, award-winning Roundstone Rye whisky, among other products.  The distillery's products have received numerous medals and awards, most recently receiving gold medals from the 2016 American Whisky Masters in London and the Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago, along with a five star "Highest Recommendation" from F. Paul Pacult's Spirit Journal.

"We created Catoctin Creek to produce award-winning 100% rye single-barrel whisky entirely from grain to glass," remarked Becky Harris, the president and chief distiller of Catoctin Creek.  "In order to expand our production and portfolio, we needed the right partner for the next level of growth. Constellation has a strong commitment to this category, and with their expertise and support, we look forward to bringing our Virginia whisky to the world with the same team and exceptional product quality."

"As we continue to invest in and explore the high-end craft whisky segment, we are excited to partner with Catoctin Creek - producers of authentic and award-winning products that provide us with deeper knowledge of emerging opportunities,” said Ben Dollard, chief growth officer, Constellation Brands. “Working with passionate entrepreneurs like Becky and Scott Harris allows Constellation Brands to support and accelerate their growth while staying at the forefront of the evolving alcoholic beverage landscape.”

"We are excited about our future in craft spirits," remarked Scott Harris, founder and general manager of the distillery.  "When we started, our core mission was to produce the finest rye whisky possible.  Constellation understands that core mission, and shares our business values."

Fisher & Company, of Menlo Park, California, initiated the transaction and advised Catoctin Creek in closing the deal with Constellation.  The core management team of Scott and Becky Harris, who founded the distillery in 2009, will remain the same.  The company expects to begin expansion in early 2017, and will continue to operate out of its 120 W. Main St., Purcellville location.  

About Constellation Brands:  Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ and STZ.B), a Fortune 500® company, is a leading international producer and marketer of beer, wine and spirits with operations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Italy. Constellation is the No. 3 beer company in the U.S. with high-end, iconic imported brands such as Corona Extra, Corona Light, Modelo Especial, Modelo Negra and Pacifico. The company’s beer portfolio also includes Ballast Point, one of the most awarded craft brewers in the U.S. In addition, Constellation is the world’s leader in premium wine, selling great brands that people love, including Robert Mondavi, Clos du Bois, Kim Crawford, Meiomi, Mark West, Franciscan Estate, Ruffino and The Prisoner. The company’s premium spirits brands include SVEDKA Vodka, Casa Noble Tequila, and High West Whiskey.

Based in Victor, N.Y., the company believes that industry leadership involves a commitment to brand building, our trade partners, the environment, our investors and to consumers around the world who choose our products when celebrating big moments or enjoying quiet ones. Founded in 1945, Constellation has grown to become a significant player in the beverage alcohol industry with more than 100 brands in its portfolio, about 40 facilities and approximately 8,000 talented employees. We express our company vision: to elevate life with every glass raised. To learn more, visit www.cbrands.com.

About Catoctin Creek Distilling Company:  Catoctin Creek Distilling Company (120 West Main Street, Purcellville, VA 20132; Twitter: @catoctincreek) is the first distillery in Loudoun County Virginia since before prohibition. Family owned and operated, Catoctin Creek produces premium spirits: rye whisky and gin from organic sources, and brandy from Virginia wines. For media-related inquiries, please contact Hannah Watson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 434-964-0004 ext. 19, or for more information please visit www.catoctincreek.com.

January 2017 News

Happy New Year! 

Happy New Year!

From the entire team at Catoctin Creek, we say:  "Happy New Year!!"

Wowee!  What a year it's been for us!  2016 had so many wonderful accomplishments, many more than we could list, but some of the highlights were:

  • Release of the second year of Rabble Rouser — Our four year old straight rye whisky sold out again in an hour!  Don't worry, we'll have more in 2017.
  • F. Paul Pacult gives Roundstone Rye Cask Proof Five Stars! — His highest recommendation.  "Not to be missed!"
  • Delicious distillery dinners featuring Wandering Chef — If you haven't treated yourself to dinner, you're missing a really wonderful experience!
  • Amazing press from national sourcesNew York Times, The Daily Beast, Washington Post, Wine Enthusiast, The Spirits Business, and Eater.
  • Wonderful support from our restaurant, bar, and off-premise partners — We are overjoyed at the continued support we receive from those retailers and restaurants who take the extra step to support small-batch artisan spirits like ours.  It means everything to us!!  Thank you!
  • Wonderful support from our customers — People just like you!  We wouldn't be here without your support too!  Thank you!!

So, from our family to yours, we wish you the very best for 2017:  Peace, Joy, and Prosperity in the New Year!! 

 

Catoctin Creek in The New York Times TOP TEN rye whiskey!

New York TimesAbsolutely stunning!  It is like a dream come true!  

Eric Asimov, writing for The New York Times, does an amazingly in-depth story on the scarcity of old rye whiskey and the excellent choices available in the younger whiskeys of the category.  With over 1300 distilleries now producing in the US, the panel had plenty to judge.

I'm honored that two of the judges were the esteemed David Wondrich and Robert Simonson.  I cannot think of two gentlemen in the industry for whom I have more respect!  I've read (and re-read) their books countless times.  I've met them at Tales in New Orleans.  I fan-boy on these guys, always asking for autographs... So, to have these two judging my spirits, well honestly, it's just humbling.

Notably, all judging was done in a blind panel.  There's no way to be influenced by preconceptions of the spirit or where it's produced, nor the beauty of the label.  It's just the juice.  How good is the juice?

From the story:

Indeed, many of the ryes we tasted didn’t have the assertive rye personality that I’ve come to love. ... The Woodford rye was 53 percent rye, potentially very similar to bourbon. Some of the other ryes in our tasting were 100 percent rye, or very close.

Other ryes reminded us of rum, or tasted overwhelmingly of bananas or were odd in some other way. These tended to come from the craft distillers, who, like craft brewers in the early days of the beer revolution, have yet to achieve precision and reliability in their work.

“It’s like catching this category in the 10th grade,” David [Wondrich] said. “Some have already matured into their adult personas, some are still kids, and others are in transition, not as assured as you want, still hesitant.”

Speaking on the few craft brands in the list, Asimov continues:

Two other craft ryes made our list, the warm, spicy Few from Evanston, Ill., at No. 7 and the fruity, slightly sweet Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye from Purcellville, Va., at No. 9.

You can read the full story, here. I hope you will!

 

The Art of the Cocktail  An Educational Series for January

Monkey GlandOur second year  presented by Scott Harris, Founder of the Distillery 

Catoctin Creek is proud to present, our second year of this six-part educational series on the history and the art of the cocktail.  This is a reprise of last year's content, so if you missed this very popular series last year, we highly encourage you to make your reservation now!

Scott Harris, founder and distiller at Catoctin Creek, will appear in the tasting room every Friday for this six-week series. Beginning at 7pm, Scott will personally guide you through the history and construction of several cocktail styles, including the old classics, and modern takes on the cocktail!  There will be samples for sharing, and you are encouraged to buy bottles to take home with you and practice.  Lots of practice.

Here is the schedule of the series, which starts in 2017:

  • January 6 - The Old Fashioned - the proto-cocktail of the 1840s
  • January 13 - Gin is in!  Several gin cocktails including the Martinez, the Gimlet, and the Sloe Gin Fizz
  • January 20 - Everything you wanted to know about Martinis and bitters
  • January 27 - NO CLASS THIS WEEK.  Scott is on vacation
  • February 3 - New Orleans mojo - The sophisticated and complex beauty of the Sazerac
  • February 10 - NO CLASS THIS WEEK.  Our Distillery Dinner instead
  • February 17 - Moonshine in American culture - 1930 to present day
  • February 24 - Toddies and warm cocktails

If you don't know anything about cocktails, you'll love this class.  If you're already an expert, come and enjoy some casual conversation and a few drinks.  The cost is $30 per person and includes drinks.  Sign up for all six and receive two FREE Catoctin Creek rocks glasses and a FREE copy of The Architecture of the Cocktail

For more information, click here: http://catoctincreekdistilling.com/art

  

Upcoming Events

Wow!  We some fun events this month!

Here is the full list of events planned at the distillery and in the area this month.  Many events are free, so be sure to join us for something fun:

  • January 1 - NEW YEARS DAY - We will be CLOSED.
  • January 6 - Art of the Cocktail - Old Fashioneds - Join Scott for an informative and fun class celebrating classic cocktails of ages past.  Includes 4 drinks! $25/pp
  • January 13 - Art of the Cocktail - Early Gin Cocktails - Join Scott for an informative and fun class celebrating classic cocktails of ages past.  Includes 4 drinks! $25/pp
  • January 20 - Art of the Cocktail - Martinis and Bitters - Join Scott for an informative and fun class celebrating classic cocktails of ages past.  Includes 4 drinks! $25/pp

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – The Parting Glass

We're featuring a new drink for New Year's, our take on a French 75, featuring the Watershed Gin, fresh raspberry lemon juice, and sparkling cider. Come on by and raise a parting glass to 2016!

1½ oz watershed Gin
1 oz raspberry lemon juice*
1 oz Sparkling Cider or Champagne

Combine the ingredients in a flute or stemmed glass.  Garnish with a lemon peel.

*Raspberry lemon juice:
Combine equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to boil to combine, then reduce to simmer and add raspberries. Mash with potato masher or spatula. Simmer until a rich color and flavor, then strain.

Combine 3 parts of lemon juice with 1 part raspberry syrup.

See this cocktail and hundreds more on our cocktails page.

 

In Closing...

As always, there are lots of fun and information on 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!

Cheers!
Scott & Becky

David Wondrich Reviews Peach Brandy

Peach brandy in the barrel

David Wondrich does a fantastic piece on peach brandy in The Daily Beast. I love the history presented. I always learn from Mr. Wondrich. We are so happy to be included in his review as well:

From Purcellville, Virginia’s popular Catoctin Creek distillery there’s the Short Hill Mountain Peach Brandy ($30/375 ml), which explores the funkier end of the spirit’s flavor spectrum. It offers notes of honeysuckle and aged tobacco in the nose and is thick, rich and sweet on the palate, with plenty of peach skin.

We still have it available at the distillery for only $29 per bottle. Get yours! In the meantime, read the full story, here.

10 Women in Distilling

Becky Harris

Becky was profiled briefly in Epicure and Culture's post on "10 Women in Distilling":

Becky Harris is the chief distiller and co-founder of Catoctin Creek Distilling, the first legal distillery in Loudoun County, Virginia since Prohibition. They make whisky from scratch, using 100% rye that is certified kosher and organic. Becky’s background in Chemical and Process Engineering helps her run the whisky-making side of Catoctin Creek, a business which she started with her husband in 2009.

She says, “Many family-run distilleries have women taking care of the business side of the operations and men running the production side. We flipped those roles because our skills fit the opposite assignments”.

You can read the full story, including a cocktail from our pal, Paul Trahan Taylor, here.

Latest News

June 2017 News

Happy June!    Old Tom Gin is back!!! We are very pleased to announce the return of our "Old Tom" style of Watershed Gin!  Available starting June 1st, until it runs out.  Quantities...

Read more

Press Release: Catoctin Creek Announces …

New facility in Virginia will push award-winning craft distillery towards goal of doubling production by next year PURCELLVILLE, VA, June 1, 2017 – The owners of Catoctin Creek Distilling Company are happy...

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Catoctin Creek Wins Double Gold at San F…

Catoctin Creek Distilling Company Wins Multiple Medals at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition Awards include Double Gold Medal for Roundstone Rye Whisky – Cask Proof, a pre-Prohibition style rye whisky...

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Contact Us

Catoctin Creek Distillery

Catoctin Creek Distillery
120 W Main St
Purcellville, VA 20132

Tel (540) 751-8404


Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence

Latest Events

Summer Seafood Boil at Catoctin Creek

  JUL 7   Summer Seafood Boil at Catoctin with War Shore Oyster Co. & Magnolia's 7:00pm—9:00pm Summertime means seafood, so War Shore Oyster Company and Magnolia's at the Mill are teamed up with us to do...

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Catoctin Creek Bottling Workshop

  JUL 8   Bottling Workshop 10:00am—12:00pm Catoctin Creek Distilling Company will conduct a BOTTLING DAY on Saturday, July 8, at 10:00am. Volunteers wanted. Learn how to bottle, cap, seal, and label Roundstone Rye. Get your...

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Speakeasy Night at Catoctin Creek

JUL 15   Speakeasy Night at Catoctin Creek 8:00pm—11:00pm What's the secret password?  If you don't know it, we don't know you!  If you do know it... you're in on Loudoun's hottest Speakeasy Party!  We'll have...

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