News

Catoctin Creek included in Loudoun Virginia's top 40 business moments 1979-2019

Scott & Becky Harris

We are so honored to be included in Loudoun County's history timeline of top 40 business moments from 1979 - 2019:

Catoctin Creek, Loudoun’s First Distillery Since Prohibition, Opens in Purcellville

Scott and Becky Harris started Loudoun’s first post-Prohibition distillery during the heart of the recession, with funding from personal finances, an SBA loan, and help from neighbors and friends in the community. Now sold in 26 U.S. states and in Europe and Asia, Catoctin Creek has won the most awards of any whiskey made in Virginia.

You can read the full story, here.  Photograph courtesy Kristen Dill.

Scott Harris on Fox Business - More Tariff Talk

I wish we didn't have to do these interviews, but we continue to hammer the point that tariffs are hurting small businesses, and the government needs to listen to us.

Fox Business Video

To see the full story, click the video above, or click here.

October is here! - Catoctin Creek News

Sourcing products locally is important to us.

Our visit to Anchor Hocking in Monaca, Pennsylvania

Back in May 2017, Becky and I had the privilege to visit our bottle supplier, Anchor Hocking, in Western Pennsylvania, pretty close to Pittsburgh. We drove four hours early one weekday morning to go see our Catoctin Creek bottles being manufactured. If you have never been in a glass factory, you should go.  It is one of the most amazing factory experiences I've ever seen.  (Click on the image to the right to see how they're made.)

Ten years ago, when we started Catoctin Creek, our mission was to use all American and local content, not just in the rye grain and fruits we source, but also in every component of the product, including labels, closures, and yes, even bottles. This proved most difficult in glass, as most commercial glass today is made in China or Latin America. However, we worked really hard to find a local supplier, and came upon Anchor Hocking. Anchor Hocking has a glorious and beleaguered past, so much so that a book was written about their rise and fall, a book which illustrates much of the decline in manufacturing in middle America today. Fortunately, Anchor Hocking has turned the corner, and we are very proud to be using Pennsylvania glass for the past six years now! Our efforts to use local glass help employ over 300 people at the Anchor Hocking plant in Monaca.

We're proud to source locally! Money spent locally gets invested locally, and the economy grows locally. Good American jobs are created and maintained. Kids are sent to school. Groceries are bought. Purposeful life happens.

So, to that I say, CHEERS this month from Virginia to Pennsylvania! A little "Virginia Love" to the Keystone State!

 

Battle of the Bartenders!

Battle of the BartendersNorthern Virginia's Ultimate Cocktail Competition

Back for it's second year!!  One night only!  Local bartenders will compete for the title of Northern Virginia's BEST bartender.  This a "Chopped" secret ingredient style competition, where bartenders will be given a challenge to construct a drink with ingredients revealed through the night.  You'll get to sample each cocktail, and vote on the winner! 

Your entry includes appetizers from Ahso.  Proceeds go to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. 

Bartenders competing in the competition:

  • Jon Schott - The People's Drug, Alexandria
  • Nikki Drake - 2941 Restaurant, Falls Church
  • Eric Bowers - Magnolia's at the Mill, Purcellville
  • Erin Robertson - Ahso Restaurant, Brambleton
  • Alex Moreno - Circa at Clarendon, Clarendon
  • Chris West - The Wine Kitchen, Leesburg

Celebrity judges for the night:

  • Michael Saccone, Thrashers Rum & Tiki TNT
  • Stefanie Gans, Northern Virginia Magazine
  • Scott Harris, founder of Catoctin Creek Distillery

Last year's champion, Phil Duong of Ahso Restaurant, will welcome everybody with a starter cocktail to get the night flowing!

Book now because space is limited, and tickets are almost sold out! $65 per person, includes all cocktails, appetizers, etc.

 

Now Available in Mexico!

Roundstone Rye to be sold in Guadalajara, Mexico City and Cabo San Lucas

Last month, we shipped our first pallet of rye whisky to Mexico!  This marks our entry into the Latin American market, partnering with Viparmex, a company that has sold premium wines and spirits in Mexico for over a generation.

"We are very proud and excited to start our partnership in Mexico with Catoctin Creek Distilling Company," said Wesley Alejandro Rodriguez, CEO and partner of Viparmex. "We think the superb quality of their products, along with the Virginia whisky distilling tradition, will be an immediate success in our market. Mexico is experiencing an important increase of mixologists looking for quality products, especially in companies focused on quality with a true craft identity."

More information can be found in the press release, here.

 

Upcoming Events

We have some great events coming up. Here is the full list of events planned at the distillery and in the area.  Many events are free, so be sure to join us for something fun:

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – The Blueberry Sour

Blueberry Sour

Blueberries are under-appreciated in cocktails.  Their flavor is unique, but one thing you can always count on from blueberries is a gorgeous natural color.  In this recipe, to preserve that beautiful deep violet hue, we opted to use citric acid water instead of lemon juice.  The flavor will be nearly the same, but the citric acid is clear, whereas the lemon would be cloudy and dull the color in the blueberries.  You can get citric acid (as with most things) online in granulated form.

2 oz Roundstone Rye 80 Proof
1 oz citric water (6 tsp citric to 4½ cups of water, more or less to taste)
½ oz honey simple (1:1 honey with hot water)
½ oz blueberry simple syrup (steep blueberries in simple syrup for at least an hour, remove solids)
lemon wedge garnish

Combine the ingredients in a shaker of ice, shake, and strain into a Nick and Nora glass with ice.  Garnish with lemon.

Recipe courtesy Denise Petty.

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

Press Release: Catoctin Creek begins distribution to Mexico with Viparmex Distribution Company

Roundstone Rye is now available in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Cabo San Lucas

PURCELLVILLE, Va. (September 30, 2019) - - - Catoctin Creek Distilling Co., 120 W. Main St., announces its new partnership with Viparmex, a national wine and spirits distribution company based in Guadalajara, Mexico. Two of the craft distillery’s most popular expressions, Roundstone Rye 80 Proof and Roundstone Rye 92 Proof Distiller's Edition, are now available throughout Mexico City, Guadalajara and Cabo San Lucas. Both products are single barrel pot-stilled whiskies made from 100% rye.

"We are thrilled to begin export to Mexico," said Scott Harris, founder and general manager of Catoctin Creek. "Mexico represents the 2nd largest market in Latin America, and the largest market for ecommerce today.* After attending the Barra Bar Show in Mexico City earlier this year, we believe there is sufficient interest and disposable wealth in Mexico to begin exporting our premium whisky line to the country. With existing NAFTA and potential future USMCA rules, we believe Mexico is an excellent place to do business."

The arrangement between Catoctin Creek and Viparmex is a new relationship for both companies. Mr. Harris will be making a trip to launch the brand in the fourth quarter of 2019, which will include visits to various retailers, bars and restaurants to introduce the brand to the market.

"We are very proud and excited to start our partnership in Mexico with Catoctin Creek Distilling Company," said Wesley Alejandro Rodriguez, CEO and partner of Viparmex. "We think the superb quality of their products, along with the Virginia whisky distilling tradition, will be an immediate success in our market. Mexico is experiencing an important increase of mixologists looking for quality products, especially in companies focused on quality with a true craft identity."

Mr. Harris adds, "We are eager to work with Viparmex as our distributor. The company has been a distributor of premium wines within the country for a generation, and already has the sales structure, distribution logistics and customer base for a brand like ours to thrive."

Both Catoctin Creek and Viparmex extend a special thanks to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), and the team of in-country consultants at Grupo PM, for their assistance in export promotion and show support at Barra.

Catoctin Creek Whisky Line
[Click on the photo for a high resolution version to download.]

*Sources: Jenner, Francis, Aztec Reports, September 10, 2018, and U.S. News & World Report, "Best Countries," 2018.

About Catoctin Creek Distilling: At Catoctin Creek Distilling Company, 120 West Main St., True Craft is Inspired by Tradition.℠ Founded by Scott and Becky Harris in 2009, Catoctin Creek made a name for itself as the first legal distillery since prohibition in Purcellville, Virginia’s Loudoun County. The craft distillery is home to Virginia’s most-awarded whisky, Roundstone Rye, which has been presented gold medals across the globe and stands out through its old-world production methods. Catoctin Creek prides itself on sourcing rye whisky, gin, and seasonal brandy from local and organic grains and fruits, with spirits available in 26 states and 3 continents. The Harris’ intricate attention to detail results in high quality internationally-acclaimed products, including seasonal releases and private cask offerings, that recognize the true craft of Virginia spirits. For more information, call (540) 751-8404 or visit www.catoctincreek.com. Follow Catoctin Creek on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

About Viparmex: Viparmex is a Mexican company dedicated to import and distribution of premium wines and spirits from all over the world throughout Mexico. Founded over 20 years ago, Viparmex have become one of the leading wine companies in Mexico, earning the trust of customers nationally and partners internationally.  Viparmex today is one of the most recognized importers in Mexico in the HO.RE.CA market, covering the most important states of Mexico.  The company's core competence is the strong relationship built with its partners and customers, and through the years has been committed to providing and excellent balance between quality and price of their products and services, always with the objective of achieving a unique purchasing experience that distinguishes us from our competitors. For more information, visit www.viparmex.com.mx or follow on Facebook.

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Roundstone Rye aparecerá primero en Ciudad de México, Guadalajara y Cabo San Lucas

PURCELLVILLE, Va. (27 de septiembre de 2019) - - - Catoctin Creek Distillery anunció hoy su nueva asociación con Viparmex, una compañía nacional de distribución de vinos y licores con sede en Guadalajara, México. Actualmente, la distribución en México se centrará en las dos expresiones más populares de Catoctin Creek, la Roundstone Rye 80 Proof y la Roundstone Rye 92 Proof "Distiller's Edition", ambas son whiskies de barril hechos de centeno al 100%.

"Estamos encantados de comenzar a exportar a México", dijo Scott Harris, fundador y gerente general de la destilería. "México representa el segundo mercado más grande de América Latina, y el mercado más grande para el comercio electrónico en la actualidad.* Después de asistir a la barra Barra show en la Ciudad de México a principios de este año, creemos que hay suficiente interés y riqueza disponible en México para comenzar a exportar nuestro whisky premium línea al país. Con el TLCAN existente y las posibles reglas futuras de USMCA, creemos que México es un excelente lugar para hacer negocios".

El acuerdo entre Catoctin Creek y Viparmex es una nueva relación para ambas compañías. El Sr. Harris agrega: "Estamos entusiasmados de trabajar con Viparmex como nuestro distribuidor. La compañía ha sido un distribuidor de vinos premium en el país durante una generación, y ya tiene la estructura de ventas, la logística de distribución y la base de clientes para que una marca como la nuestra prospere ".

"Estamos muy orgullosos y entusiasmados de comenzar nuestra asociación en México con Catoctin Creek Distilling Company", dijo Wesley Alejandro Rodríguez, CEO y socio de Viparmex. "Creemos que la excelente calidad de sus productos, junto con la tradición de destilación de whisky de Virginia, será un éxito inmediato en nuestro mercado. México está experimentando un importante aumento de mixólogos que buscan calidad, especialmente en empresas enfocadas en la calidad con una verdadera identidad artesanal ".

Harris hará un viaje para lanzar la marca en el cuarto trimestre de 2019. El viaje incluirá visitas a varios minoristas, bares y restaurantes para presentar la marca al mercado.

Un agradecimiento especial al Departamento de Agricultura y Servicios al Consumidor de Virginia (VDACS), y al equipo de consultores en el país (Grupo PM), por su asistencia en la promoción de exportaciones y su apoyo en Barra.

Catoctin Creek Whisky Line[Haga clic en la foto para descargar una versión de alta resolución.]

*Fuentes: Jenner, Francis, Aztec Reports, September 10, 2018, and U.S. News & World Report, "Best Countries," 2018.

Acerca de Catoctin Creek Distilling: en Catoctin Creek Distilling Company, 120 West Main St., True Craft está inspirado en la tradición. Fundada por Scott y Becky Harris en 2009, Catoctin Creek se hizo un nombre como la primera destilería legal desde la prohibición en Purcellville , El condado de Loudoun de Virginia. La destilería artesanal es el hogar del whisky más premiado de Virginia, Roundstone Rye, que ha recibido medallas de oro en todo el mundo y destaca por sus métodos de producción del viejo mundo. Catoctin Creek se enorgullece de obtener whisky de centeno, ginebra y brandy de temporada de granos y frutas locales y orgánicas, con licores disponibles en 26 estados y 3 continentes. La intrincada atención al detalle de Harris da como resultado productos aclamados internacionalmente de alta calidad, que incluyen lanzamientos de temporada y ofertas de barriles privados, que reconocen el verdadero oficio de los espíritus de Virginia. Para obtener más información, llame al (540) 751-8404 o visite sit www.catoctincreek.com. Sigue a Catoctin Creek on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Acerca de Viparmex: Viparmex es una empresa mexicana dedicada a la importación y distribución de vinos y licores premium de todo el mundo en todo México. Fundada hace más de 20 años, Viparmex se ha convertido en una de las principales empresas vitivinícolas en México, ganándose la confianza de los clientes a nivel nacional y socios a nivel internacional. Viparmex hoy es uno de los importadores más reconocidos en México en el mercado HO.RE.CA, cubriendo los estados más importantes de México. La competencia central de la compañía es la fuerte relación construida con sus socios y clientes, y a través de los años se ha comprometido a proporcionar un excelente equilibrio entre la calidad y el precio de sus productos y servicios, siempre con el objetivo de lograr una experiencia de compra única que nos distinga de nuestros competidores Para obtener más información, visite www.viparmex.com.mx o siga en Facebook.

Becky Harris Sales Training Video

Mucho gracias to Lamar Romero at Dragon Spirits Marketing for assembling this training video of our founder and chief distiller, Becky Harris, walking through a sales session with the spirits.

September is Virginia Spirits Month! - Catoctin Creek News

It's 5 o'clock for the whole month of September!

Virginia Spirits Month

September is VIRGINIA SPIRITS MONTH! Join us for the month-long party! We're talking special discounts with Virginia ABC, in-store tastings, spirits festivals, the launch of our new Virginia Spirits Trail and MORE, happening near you and beyond!

  • Catoctin Creek TastingsVirginia Spirits Day is Sept. 5 - 20% Discount! - All across the Commonwealth, online, and in every ABC store including our tasting room, Roundstone Rye 80 Proof is 20% off (a savings of over $9 per bottle).  One day only!! - Details here.
  • Discounts all month long - 5% off Roundstone Rye 92 Proof "Distiller's Edition" and Watershed Gin.
  • Launch of the Virginia Spirits Trail - In partnership with Virginia Tourism, we have some cool new maps, and if you visit 10 or more distilleries, you'll get a free t-shirt!  Pick up your free map at any participating distillery, or get one online, here.
  • ABC store tastings throughout the state - Visit with one of our friendly ambassadors at your local ABC store. Take a taste; buy a bottle!  Full schedule of stores, here.
  • Virginia Spirits Roadshows - We'll offer samplings and a chance to speak with local distillers:

For full information, click: http://www.virginiaspirits.org/september-2019/

Cheers to September!!

Roadshow Roadshow Roadshow

Roadshow VA Spirits Trail

Roadshow Roadshow Roadshow

Now Available!

Roundstone Rye Cask Proof - HICKORY SYRUP BARREL FINISH

Cask Roof Hickory FinishThis month, we have the Roundstone Rye Cask Proof - Hickory Syrup Barrel finished whisky on sale in the tasting room.  This whisky was aged for two years in our regular white oak barrels, and then finished in a barrel used to age hickory syrup from Falling Bark Farm.  The resulting whisky is a full, rich, smoky, whisky with chewy chocolate toffee flavors, sour apple, honey, leather and raw tobacco.  This is decadent and perfect for sipping.  Come in and try a sample in the tasting room and pick up a bottle while they last!

(The Falling Bark syrup is amazing too, and we sell that in the tasting room as well! Perfect for Sunday morning pancakes!)

$89.90 per 750mL bottle, 58% ABV.

 

Upcoming Events

We have some great events in May. 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:

And a sneak peak at November:

  • Nov 4 - Battle of the Bartenders! - Back for our 2nd year, local area bartenders battle in this "Food Network style" competition, and you are the judge!  $65/pp

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – The Lumber Yard

This one comes to us from Nightcap Cocktail Company, which you can find on Instagram at @nightcapcocktailco or on their web site.

The air is misty. You just woke up. Your flannel shirt is exuding the smell of last night’s campfire. You leave the log cabin that you built by hand, pick up your axe, and head out for a day’s work.

or... it’s five o’clock on a Thursday and one sip of Catoctin Creek’s cask-proof edition rye has you literally dreaming. Spec below, so you can dream, too.

2 oz Catoctin Creek Cask Proof Roundstone Rye
¼ oz black birch syrup
2 dashes star-anise bitters

Stir over ice. Smoke glass with applewood, anise, and cinnamon. Strain into old fashioned glass with large block of clear ice. Garnish with torched orange wedge.

Recipe courtesy Nightcap Cocktail Company; photo by Hilary Hyland and used with permission.

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

August Greetings from Catoctin Creek - The Birthplace of American Whiskey

Happy August! 

Virginia, the Birthplace of American Whiskey... 

Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains

The Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia.  (Photo credit:  Getty Images. Used under license.)

Two of the reasons we started Catoctin Creek Distillery were (1) our love of whiskey, and (2) our love for Virginia.  Many Americans, when asked, "What is America's native spirit?" will answer, "Bourbon!"  This is actually incorrect, as the first whiskey to be enjoyed in America was actually rye whiskey from Virginia, which predates bourbon by about 100 years.  Prohibition did many things, including wiping out most of the old family-run distilleries of the 1800's, but it also gave us a cultural amnesia when it comes to our alcoholic history. So, please allow me to illustrate that history for you here:

When the British started coming to America in the 1600s and more massively in the 1700s, the spirits they drank were almost exclusively rum.  This was because sugar was easy to obtain in the Caribbean, and trade routes brought both raw sugar, molasses, and finished rum to America.  It was used in all kinds of ways, from making punch to making tinctures and medicines.  Rum was the king spirit in a land full of citizens of the British crown.  When the colonists rebelled against King George III, going as far as to declare war against him, he got rather peeved and cut off the supply of sugar, molasses and rum coming into the country.  Americans were an enterprising sort, and after the war in the 1780s and 1790s, having found themselves in a country with many Scots, Irish, and English peoples, lots of arable land, and we must acknowledge a large enslaved African work-force, colonists began making whiskey in large scale for the first time.  Distilling whiskey had always been done for many years in America; nearly every small-grain farm was producing small amounts for home consumption.  But with the rum gone, and many new city dwellers to quench, whiskey production goes commercial.  In the states from Virginia, through Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, and even up into Canada, the grain that grew best was rye (not corn).  And so rye whiskey production goes big and goes commercial.

George Washington, our first president and revolutionary general, had retired at his estate at Mount Vernon, and began producing rye whiskey commercially.  His distillery was the largest commercial distillery during his lifetime.  His biggest production was rye whiskey. 

Those early settlers in the "wild west" who started to experiment with corn (a grain introduced to them by the Native Americans), would start producing corn whiskey that we today call Bourbon.  In those early days, however, Kentucky territory was still called Virginia!  (Kentucky doesn't become a state until 1794.)  And so it may be cheeky to say it--I'll say it anyway--Virginia is also the birthplace of Bourbon! 

Therefore, we honor Virginia and the birthplace of American whiskey.  What we produce at Catoctin Creek is meant to honor that spirit that would have been very common in our area in the 1800's.  So drink a glass and let your imagination wander a bit, and you might just find yourself transported back to a simpler time.

Cheers! 
 

Upcoming Events

We have some great events in May. 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:

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – The Uranus

Uranus

We frequently will dive into the Tiki genre with our whiskey. Some may regard rum as the sole heir to Tiki cocktails, but quoting Matt Perkins, the beverage manager at Magnolias at the Mill, "If you argue about whether or not it's Tiki, you're entirely missing the point of Tiki."

This cocktail comes to us from @adventuresofriad on Instagram, and we're very impressed with this cool summertime refresher:

The #cocktail group I’m in feels like that this summer should be dedicated to #mezcal tiki cocktails, and I whole-heartedly agree! Here’s a #riff on one of my #favorite tiki cocktails the #Saturn

The Saturn is initially made with gin, falernum, orgeat, passion, and lemon and it’s blended as well!

My take is a little more #fun than that! I’m calling it the Uranus because there’s a lot going on in Uranus! 😘 it features some of my #favorite ingredients in a fantastic #amalgamation of #love in a glass!

¾ oz El Silencio Mezcal
¾ oz Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye
½ oz lemon juice
½ oz passion fruit juice
¼ Luxardo maraschino liqueuer
2 barspoons creme de violette

Split base of mezcal and rye whisky with passion fruit purée, fresh squeezed lime juice Luxardo maraschino and creme de violette strained over crushed ice in a glass rimmed with tajin and garnish simply with mint (but go crazy because the bigger the garnish the better ).

Cocktail and photo courtesy of @adventuresofriad and used with permission.

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

July Greetings from Catoctin Creek - Bespoke Bitters with a Virginia Accent

Happy July! 

Telling a Story with Flavor... 

Roundstone Bitters

This month, I'd like to feature a story from Modern Bar Cart founder Eric Kozlik: 

One of our very first retail partners – almost half a decade ago – was Catoctin Creek Distilling Co., based out of beautiful Purcellville, Virginia. They were one of the first craft distilleries in the region, and when tasting room manager Denise Petty and brand rep John Shope asked me to work with them to develop a bitters flavor to pair with their award winning Roundstone Rye, to say I was excited would be a vast understatement.

I rolled into their tasting room on a weekday several months ago, and we all sat down at their horseshoe-shaped bar, nosing and happily tasting that Roundstone Rye, looking for inspiration. But we all realized that the first major hurdle we had to confront was:

How do you build a bitters flavor to accentuate or pay tribute to one particular product? Not an entire category of spirits or a type of cocktail – but one bottle with a unique fingerprint all its own.

Now, I’m sure there’s multiple answers to this question, but because my background is in psychology and creative writing, my solution was to build a flavor by telling a story.

When I interviewed John and Denise about what Roundstone Rye is all about – the answer, in large part, turned out to be: Virginia. Being situated in one of the most beautiful parts of the Virginia countryside, the people who make and sell this beautiful liquid can’t help but be inspired by the sights, smells, and flavors all around them.

So I quizzed them – and we came up with three quintessential Virginia flavors that we really wanted to highlight:

  • The first was chicory, which is a flowering member of the dandelion family. We used the root of this plant, which has been used for centuries as a tea or coffee substitute, to provide a savory, slightly bitter backbone for the bitters. Because of the other ingredients in the mix, which I’ll cover in a second, we opted against the roasted variety – which can be fairly intense. Instead, the role that chicory root plays in this product is very similar to the role that many gin distillers say orris root plays in their spirits. It’s a binder, giving a pleasant earthy canvas upon which the other botanicals can dance.
  • Next, we entered the world of aroma and nostalgia with the addition of honeysuckle flowers. These long, fluted orange blossoms are heavy with sweetness and evoke warm summer nights sitting on the porch watching fireflies flick on and off in the yard. The aroma of honeysuckle and the flavor are pretty close – and it’s hard to describe, but once you encounter it in the world, it’s a highly perfumed sensation you’ll never forget.
  • Finally, as an homage to Virginia, we selected the regal rose, featuring its dried buds and petals in our Roundstone bitters formulation. Although the flowering dogwood is the state flower – and features prominently in the Roundstone logo on the front of the bitters label – The Virginia Rose is a common flower that grows wild in the woods across the region, so we thought it would be fitting to give it a nod in our recipe.

Now, unfortunately, three botanicals does not a bitters make. So although this was a great start, we now needed to decide how we’d ultimately round out the formulation to make it really jive with the Roundstone rye. Because when you think of rye, you don’t really think of pairing with exclusively floral ingredients, so something else needed to come into the fold.

Now, one thing I really love about Roundstone Rye is that it was the rye that turned me onto rye. I was a baby in the world of spirits when I first tried it, and to be honest, I was bracing myself for something dark, spicy, and feisty. Instead, I was greeted with a spirit that was round, affable, and almost fruity, which says a lot about master distiller Becky Harris’s fermentation and distillation methods.

So thinking about this flavor profile and thinking about the most iconic use case for rye – the Manhattan – we decided we needed to get some citrus notes involved in the form of orange, bitter orange, and grapefruit.

After several test batches and in-depth tasting and pairing sessions, where we gradually pipetted the bitters into the rye with more or less dilution, and with the addition of a few other key botanicals, we finally arrived at what we were looking for:

A cocktail bitters with enough bright citrus to make a gorgeous Manhattan, with plenty of quintessentially Virginian ingredients, and most importantly, something completely unique and completely integrated into the story of the Roundstone Rye.

This is where most collaboration projects fall short, and it’s also where a lot of at-home consumers don’t have the resources to commit to ingredient sourcing, concept development, and iteration. That’s why you get a lot of great fruit, vegetable, and berry-driven bitters coming out of the home garden, herb garden, or fruit tree, but these tend to be extremely seasonal and hard to replicate.

So if you’re a home bitters maker, I hope these Roundstone bitters inspire you to go down all the rabbit holes and really think about the greater story that your creations tell through their flavor profiles.

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

You can buy the bitters in our distillery tasting room or online at Modern Bar Cart.

 

Daily Beast - What music embodies rye whiskey?

Missy Elliott

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 music.  Of the various responses, most were by men choosing artists who are also men.  That is what it's like being a woman in a man's whiskey world.  Becky Harris, our founder and distiller (and my wife), mixed it up a little bit, and I think Becky nails it here:

Whiskey, like music, is primarily viewed through a male lens, and I wanted to shout one out for the ladies. Doreen St. Felix wrote about Missy Elliott in the New Yorker, ‘hip-hop artists are musicologists, and sampling is one way histories are folded into the present.’ Like Elliott, another Commonwealth native, we pull influences from all corners and filter them through our Virginia mindset. We take the rye of the past, and... flip it, and reverse it. Catoctin Creek created a new aesthetic for rye: toggling between chill, fruity, and bold spice.

You can read the full story, here.  

 

Día de los Muertos Release, July 6

Día de los MuertosThe Day of the Dead comes early this year!  This whisky was made in collaboration with Adroit Theory Brewing Company, the mad geniuses of the local beer world! Aged at 4.6+ years old, this beer started with Adroit's famous Russian Imperial Stout, which we distilled and aged for over four years. The resulting whisky is full-bodied, rich, overflowing with notes of caramel, rich malt, chocolate, and honey-rubbed leather. It is simply incredible! Due to the terrible "angel's share" in Virginia, there was a ton of evaporation on this spirit in the barrel. The good news is that means that the resulting alcohol is super-concentrated and especially delicious. The bad news is that we have less to sell. ONLY 147 BOTTLES AVAILABLE! Each bottle comes with a custom-made cedar gift box, and is priced at $159.99. Available in our tasting room only! Limit one bottle per customer. We seriously recommend lining up for this one. It will sell out in the first hour. Becky Harris (chief distiller) and Mark Osborne (founder, Adroit Theory) will be present to sign bottles and chat.

Members of the Rye Society may call us to obtain their bottle before the release date. If you're interested in joining the Rye Society, subscribe on the button below.

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Upcoming Events

We have some great events in May. 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:

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – Sunshine & Spice & Lemon on Ice

Sunshine and Spice and Lemon on Ice

This cocktail is re-posted from @bitbyafox on Instagram. Prairie Rose writes:

On Monday, I did a live tasting of @catoctincreek’s Distiller’s Edition 92 Proof Rye Whisky. And I’ve been playing around with it ever since (as you can tell from this half empty bottle!) Because of its higher proof, I love that it can stand up to a lot of different kinds of ingredients. Like Galliano Liqueur and lemon curd, for instance! I wanted to highlight the bright lemon zest in this rye, and lean into the warmer weather with a sunshiny cocktail recipe. Stay tuned for my interview with@catoctincreek founder @scohar70 on the #bitbyafoxpodcast tomorrow!

2 oz Catoctin Creek Distiller’s Reserve Rye Whisky
3/4 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
3/4 oz Galliano Liqueur
1 tablespoon of lemon curd
🍒 🍋 garnish

Add all ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake until well chilled. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish.

Recipe and photo courtesy Bit by a Fox and used with permission.

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

Daily Beast - What Music Embodies Rye Whiskey?

Missy Elliott

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 music.  Of the various responses, most were fairly (in our humble opinions) predictable: old white guys honoring other old white guys. <yawn>

That is what it's like being a woman in a man's whiskey world.  Becky Harris, our founder and distiller, mixed it up a little bit, and I think Becky nails it here:

Whiskey, like music, is primarily viewed through a male lens, and I wanted to shout one out for the ladies. Doreen St. Felix wrote about Missy Elliott in the New Yorker, ‘hip-hop artists are musicologists, and sampling is one way histories are folded into the present.’ Like Elliott, another Commonwealth native, we pull influences from all corners and filter them through our Virginia mindset. We take the rye of the past, and... flip it, and reverse it. Catoctin Creek created a new aesthetic for rye: toggling between chill, fruity, and bold spice.

You can read the full story, here.  

Latest News

Catoctin Creek - Best of Virginia 2022

Once again, Catoctin Creek has been awarded #1 BEST OF VIRGINIA for Distillery in Northern Virginia in Virginia Living magazine! Nestled* on the banks of its namesake creek, Catoctin opening in 2009 as the first legal distillery in Loudoun County since...

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American Whiskey: Profile on Catoctin Creek

Maggie Kimberl of American Whiskey magazine recently caught up with Becky Harris for an update on the distillery: MK: Catoctin Creek whiskeys have garnered some major accolades over the years. What are you most proud of? RH: This is a really challenging...

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The Spirits Business: Ten female-founded spirits brands

Nice to see Becky included in The Spirits Business roundup of ten female-founded spirits brands on International Women's Day. Becky Harris co-founded Catoctin Creek Distilling Company in Virginia with her husband Scott in 2009. Based in Loudoun County in the north...

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Contact Us

Catoctin Creek Distillery

Catoctin Creek Distillery
120 W Main St
Purcellville, VA 20132

Tel +1-540-751-8404

catoctincreek.com

buyvirginiarye.com


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Latest Events

Catoctin Creek Bottling Workshop

  JUL 16   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 - The Online Class with John Shope

  Every Fri Art of the Cocktail Class – 2022 Summer Series 7:00pm—9:00pm AS FEATURED IN THE WASHINGTON POST!  Starting July 22, and for six weeks every Friday, John Shope, our Virginia Sales Manager, will...

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Fall Dinner at the Distillery - Chef Tarver King

  SEP 2   Dinner at the Distillery with Chef Tarver King 7:00pm—9:30pm BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND!  In March, this dinner sold out in a few days! Join us for our fall dinner at the distillery with...

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