News

Catoctin Creek Wins Double Gold at San Francisco World Spirits Competition

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 made from 100-percent rye grain and finished in Catoctin’s 1757 Virginia Brandy barrels

Additional honors include a sweep of Silver medals for the entire line of Catoctin Creek whisky

SFWSC 2017 Double Gold SFWSC 2017 Silver SFWSC 2017 Silver SFWSC 2017 Silver

PURCELLVILLE,VA, May 9, 2017—Catoctin Creek Distilling Company has won multiple awards at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC), including a Double Gold medal for the cask proof version of its popular Roundstone Rye Whisky that was finished in premium French Bordeaux oak barrels used to make the distillery’s 1757 Virginia Brandy. Released just a twice a year, Roundstone Rye – Cask Proof is a strong and dark pre-Prohibition style rye whisky made from 100-percent rye grain. The rarely given Double Gold is awarded when all members of the esteemed competition’s judging panel give a Gold medal designation.

Catoctin Creek was also awarded three Silver medals. Winners include the flagship original version of Roundstone Rye, a smooth single-grain whisky that features notes of caramel and rich butter toffee and is bottled at an approachable 80 proof, as well as the specially curated Roundstone Rye – 92 Proof and Braddock Oak Single Barrel Rye Whisky.

"We are honored to be recognized by the judges at the world's most prestigious and recognized spirits competition,” says Catoctin’s co-founder and general manager Scott Harris. “Our team at Catoctin Creek continues to make the best handcrafted Virginia whisky available today–made by us and never sourced."

Founded in 2009 by the husband and wife team of Becky and Scott Harris, Catoctin Creek uses local and organic ingredients to produce a variety of premium spirits, including Roundstone Rye, which holds distinction as Virginia’s most-awarded whisky. With Scott running business operations and Becky focused on the art of crafting the finest spirits in the Commonwealth as chief distiller, the couple leads a small team of employees that are proudly making a variety high-quality products in an historic building in the quaint downtown of Purcellville, Virginia.

The San Francisco World Spirits Competition is considered one of the most influential spirits competitions in the world. Started in 2000 with the purpose recognizing top products in the craft spirits industry, the 2017 SFWSC received 2,100 entries, the most in the competition’s history, and spirits were judged by a panel of 43 experts in the industry, including acclaimed critics, mixologists, and restaurateurs. For more information about the SFWSC visit www.sfspiritscomp.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.

Double Gold for Roundstone Rye Cask Proof

May 2017 News

Happy May!   

Our visit to Monaca, Pennsylvania

Monaca manufacturing videoLast month, Becky and I had the privilege to visit our bottle supplier, Anchor Hocking, in Western Pennsylvania.  We drove over four hours early one weekday morning to see our Catoctin Creek bottles being manufactured. (Click on the image to the right to see how they're made.)

Eight years ago, when we started the company, it was part of our mission to use all American and local content, not just in the grain and fruits we source, but 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.  However, we worked hard to find a local supplier, and came upon Anchor Hocking.  Anchor Hocking has had 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.  Happily, though, Anchor Hocking is turning the corner, and we are very proud to be using Pennsylvania glass for the past four years now!  Our efforts to use local glass help employ over 300 people at the Anchor Hocking plant in Monaca, Pennsylvania.

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.

Becky and I sincerely hope all this is good Pennsylvania karma for us, as we are this month heading up to Harrisburg, PA, to present our Roundstone Rye to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) for consideration to list it within their system!  With luck, you may see Roundstone Rye on Pennsylvania store shelves very, very soon!  (fingers crossed!)

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

--Scott

 

Mother's Day

Celebrate Mother's Day with us!

Catoctin Creek loves Mom!  Isn't she amazing? She works so hard, and love us so much, even when we don't deserve it!  So we're giving back to all those moms on Mother's Day. Order a tasting for your mom (egad, don't make her pay!), and we'll throw in a free chocolate truffle pairing!  She can choose any three from our delectable selection of Perfect Truffle seasonal chocolates.  Come on in, Mom, we miss you!  Sunday, May 14th only.

 

Game NightGame Night at Catoctin Creek

We're starting a new tradition! Third Thursdays are Game Night at Catoctin Creek.  Each week, we'll enjoy house cocktails with some old school games!  This month, Alexa is our host, as we kick off several rounds of charades!  "Sounds like... FUN!"  Come and enjoy some drinks and some lively entertainment!  This event is FREE to attend.  May 18th, 6pm. 

 

Upcoming Events

We have some great events coming up in April.  Join us for one of these!

  • May 14 - Mother's Day - Celebrate Mom with free chocolates with any tasting.  FREE for mom!
  • May 18 - Game Night - Alexa kicks off this Third-Thursday tradition with charades!  FREE
  • May 22 - Dinner at WK Hearth - $95 gets you four courses and five cocktails at this always fun event! $95pp all inclusive
  • May 27 - Bottling Workshop - This is our most popular event! Join us for breakfast, a free tasting, and a lot of fun! FREE

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – Monkey Gland

 

Monkey Gland

This is a delicious old standard with a rather dubious name. It is one of the cocktails invented by Harry McElhone, circa 1927, from Harry's New York Bar in Paris, France. The ingredients produce a wickedly lurid, but very tasty drink!

1¼ oz Catoctin Creek Organic Watershed Gin
1¼ oz freshly squeezed orange juice
¼ oz grenadine
1 dash absinthe
orange slice for garnish (opt)

Mix the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, strain and pour into the chilled glass. Garnish with an orange slice.

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: Catoctin Creek Distilling Company Spirits to Enter Michigan in April

Roundstone RyeInitial launch to feature award-winning Roundstone Rye, a pre-Prohibition style rye whisky made from 100-percent rye grain

PURCELLVILLE, VA, April 13, 2017 – Catoctin Creek Distilling Company has announced plans to begin selling its award-winning spirits in Michigan on April 15. Upon launch, premium spirits made by the craft distillery based in northern Virginia’s Loudoun Valley will initially be available in Detroit, Lansing and Ann Arbor. Additional distribution locations will be added in the near future. The expansion into Michigan comes via Benchmark Beverage Company.

"Benchmark Beverage is very excited about selling the Catoctin Creek line all over the state of Michigan,” says Auday Arabo, President of Benchmark Beverage Company. “The distillery is making great products that we’re certain will be winners with our consumers.”

Founded in 2009 by the husband and wife team of Becky and Scott Harris, Catoctin Creek uses local and organic ingredients to produce a variety of premium spirits, including its flagship Roundstone Rye, which holds distinction as Virginia’s most-awarded whisky. With Scott running business operations as general manager and Becky focused on the art of crafting the finest spirits in the Commonwealth as chief distiller, the couple leads a small team of employees that are proudly making a variety high-quality products in an historic building in the quaint downtown of Purcellville, Va. In a relatively short time Catoctin Creek has garnered many accolades and critical acclaim and expanded distribution across the country.

“Every bottle we produce at Catoctin Creek is crafted by hand from the best organic grains,” says Scott Harris. “We can’t wait for the spirits we make with careful attention to detail to be enjoyed by people across Michigan.”

Catoctin Creek’s expanded distribution into Michigan will start with its flagship product, Roundstone Rye, a pre-Prohibition style rye whisky made from 100-percent rye grain. Lauded across the globe with gold medals in London, New York and San Francisco, Roundstone Rye is one of very few organic whiskeys available today. After being aged in new Minnesota white oak casks for just under two years, it is bottled at an approachable 80 proof, ultimately offering a smooth whisky that blends flavors of the wood with the spice of rye’s true grain character. A superb sipping whisky, Roundstone Rye also features notes of caramel, rich butter toffee, and just a hint of lemon in the nose.

Roundstone Rye will be carried in bars, restaurants and grocery stores where premium spirits are sold. Availability of additional Catoctin Creek products in Michigan will be announced soon.

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.

April 2017 News

Happy April!   

Catoctin Creek... True Craft, inspired by tradition.

Made by HandThere are a lot of craft whiskies on the market today, and you may ask, what's so special about Catoctin Creek?  What makes us different?  Scott Harris, our founder, explains:

Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye is an exceptional single barrel whisky, faithfully reproduced using 19th century methods, and accurately capturing what rye whisky tasted like from Virginia at that time.  We start with fresh, organic 100% rye grain.  Why organic?  Because organic grain is not only cleaner, giving a better taste with no harsh chemicals like pesticides, but it is also more historically accurate.  The world didn't have industrial fungicides and pesticides in the 1800's.

This grain is mashed in small 300 gallon batches, and then fermented at room temperature—again for historical accuracy.  In the "old days", they would not have had super efficient, glycol-chilled fermenters.  True, the modern fermenters can squeeze every drop of alcohol out of a potent potable, but we're not looking for efficiency.  We're looking for flavor and historical accuracy. Higher levels of alcohol in our mash would dilute the flavor of the native grain. 

Made by HandThe next step is the distillation, and again, we use old-fashioned pot stills, and cook for over nine hours during the distillation.  You can think of it in terms of a coffee analogy.  Most American whisky made today is made on a column still, where you have steam in contact with the mash or wash for about 5 minutes, where the extraction of the flavor occurs—cogeners (that is, flavor molecules) are pulled out with the steam and captured in the condenser.  This is like a drip coffee, where the hot water passes over the coffee grounds for a very short time.  In a pot still, the grains cook in the pot with the alcoholic vapors for the entire batch distillation time, over nine hours.  Therefore we get a lot more of the flavor compounds (cogeners) with each distillation, yielding a super-flavorful raw spirit.  So, continuing that coffee analogy, this is like a french-press, where the grounds are steeping in the coffee during the entire brew time.  

After distillation, we age in new Minnesota white oak barrels, which is the fourth step in making this gorgeous whisky.  The Virginia climate is the big factor here, and in Virginia, we are blessed with hot summers, cold winters, and crazy fluctuations during spring and autumnall of which drives that whisky in and out of the wood extracting amazing flavor from the barrel.

We bottle at either 80 or 92 proof, never chill filtering, so that we can preserve that delicious flavor, just as it was in the barrel.  

At Catoctin Creek, we are PROUD TO BE OBSTINATELY INEFFICIENT!

Made by Hand

Now Hiring!

We need a couple good people in our tasting room!  Want to earn $15-20 per hour (including tips) working in a fun and dynamic environment?  Get in on the ground floor!  Contact Jon Coate at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Upcoming Events

We have some great events coming up in April.  Join us for one of these!

  • April 6 - Dinner at Magnolias - $90 gets you four courses and five cocktails at this always fun event! $90pp all inclusive
  • April 14 - Dinner at the Distillery - Miss the dinner at Magnolia's? Join Scott & Becky at the distillery for this lovely four course dinner. $99pp
  • April 22 - Bottling Workshop - This is our most popular event! Join us for breakfast, a free tasting, and a lot of fun! FREE
  • April 29 - Cocktail Class at Catoctin - Learn how to craft some cocktails for this SlowFood DC event - $33pp

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – Ric Flair

Ric Flair

Last night, Becky and I had dinner and drinks at Dino's Grotto in Shaw in DC.  Not only do they have amazing Italian food, but a cocktail menu that features tons of local distillers--like us! Ric Newton, head bartender there, has a cocktail he invented called the Ric Flair.  It's a great drink, the woodsy flavor of the amaro and vermouth blends perfectly with the cherry liqueur and bouncy rye.  Absolutely delicious!  Be sure to ask for it with the Catoctin Creek rye!

1½ oz Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye
½ Cherry Heering
½ Nardini Amaro
½ Cinzano sweet vermouth
Dash of aromatic bitters
Dash of orange bitters

Combine, stir, strain over fresh ice. Orange twist.

Courtesy Ric Newton, Dino's Grotto bar.

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

March 2017 News

Happy March! 

Welcome to Spring!!  Bring on the flowers!

Greetings from the entire team at Catoctin Creek. February has come and gone, and now we turn our eyes to some great events in March!  Be sure to check us out and come on into the tasting room for some wonderful spring cocktails!

  

In the NewsAddie Rodgers adjusts a label on a bottle of Roundstone Rye at Catoctin Creek

Sports and Spirits Podcast
I hope you'll enjoy this little podcast with our founder, Scott Harris.  A little history about Catoctin Creek starts around minute 53:00.

Listen to the full podcast, here.

The podcast is also located on iTunes, here.

Loudoun Now
Our local newspaper did a great article on our recent growth and the investment by Constellation Brands.  From the story:

“With the advent of increased competition even locally, it really takes more resources to support your brand,” she said. “We were trying to grow organically but it gets more and more difficult to see sales consistently stay level when you don’t have the support that you need. We were looking for a strategic partner.”

You can read the full story, here.  Photo credit: Douglas Graham, Loudoun Now.

 

Private Label Whisky Release Party at Coton & Rye

Rye Cherry JulepLansdowne Resort and Spa and Catoctin Creek Distilling Company are excited to release a private label rye whisky for the resort’s quintessential Virginia tavern, Coton & Rye. This is the first legal batch of alcohol made from grain grown in Loudoun County since Prohibition.

As a part of Coton & Rye’s overall celebration of the land, Coton farm and Virginia lifestyle, Director of Culinary Operations Marcus Repp and his Culinary Team are working closely with local farmers, artisans, vintners and distillers to offer guests the opportunity to connect with the community in simple but meaningful ways while at the resort. To make this connection to the local community deeper, the resort has selected a local batch of rye to produce their own private label rye whisky. The rye was grown at Morven Park through the historic estate’s farming co-op program. Trent Tebbe, Proprietor of Three Monkeys Farm farmed the rye and provided it to Catoctin Creek, which became Barrel 609.

“When we tasted Barrel 609 and learned about the rye’s conception in Loudoun County, it was a natural choice for Lansdowne,” said Michael Stephens, Managing Director, “Our commitment to the local community and staying true to our roots in Loudoun County is unwavering.”

The Catoctin Creek 'Coton & Rye' Private Barrel Whisky is only available on the Coton & Rye menu. Feature cocktails on the Coton & Rye menu include Cherry Blossom Julep (Catoctin Creek Rye, Ginger Ale and Tamarind Soda) and The Boulevardier, a cocktail invented during Prohibition (Catoctin Creek Rye Whisky, Aperol, Carpano Sweet Vermouth, and Orange Twist).

“The birthplace of American Whisky was Virginia. People made whisky out of necessity when Great Britain cut off ties with America,” explains Scott Harris, owner of Catoctin Creek, “We are beyond ecstatic to have the first batch of legal alcohol made from grain grown in the county since Prohibition.”

The Catoctin Creek 'Coton & Rye' Private Barrel Whisky is slated to make its debut to the public on Thursday, March 23rd at Coton & Rye. The Catoctin Creek Launch Party at Coton & Rye will take place on Thursday, March 23rd and is open to the public. Tickets are $35/each and available for purchase on Eventbrite.com.

  

Upcoming Events

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – A lovely flower in the middle of the pond

A Lovely Flower in the Middle of the Pond

A Lovely Flower in the Middle of a Pond

2 oz rose and lavender tea infused Mosby's Spirit
½ oz honey syrup (1 part honey, 1 part boiling water)
½ oz lemon juice
¼ oz Luxardo
¼ oz El Guapo (rose syrup)
3 dashes lavender bitters
candied rose for garnish

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

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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

Farm dinner with Chef Tarver King

  NOV 7   Farm Dinner with Chef Tarver King 7:00pm—9:30pm Please join us for a very special Farm Dinner with Chef Tarver King of The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm.  Chef Tarver King has been featured...

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Catoctin Creek Bottling Workshop (8)

  NOV 18   Bottling Workshop 10:00am—12:00pm Catoctin Creek Distilling Company will conduct a BOTTLING DAY on Saturday, Nov. 18, at 10:00am. Volunteers wanted. Learn how to bottle, cap, seal, and label Roundstone Rye. Get your chance...

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Jim Malcolm 2017 Tour

  NOV 19   From Scotland for his third visit - Jim Malcolm in Concert! 7:00pm—9:00pm We are delighted for the third visit from Jim Malcolm to Catoctin Creek! Jim Malcolm is the ultimate Scots troubadour...

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