News

Business Insider names Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye 92 Proof in Top 10

According to two renowned whisky experts, Heather Greene of Milam and Green and author of "Whiskey Distilled: A Populust Guide to the Water of Life," and Susan Reigler, world-renowned bourbon expert and former president of the Bourbon Women Association, our Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye 92 Proof "Distiller's Edition" rates in their Top 10!  Even better, we pulled in at #2 on the list!!  Here's an excerpt from the review:

Another distillery that Reigler recommends for rye is Catoctin Creek, located in Virginia.

"Rye is generally a bit spicier and more herbal than bourbon," Reigler explained. "Think of the scent of rye grass or caraway seeds. They have a peppery character, and some also have a lot of caramel."

 You can read the full review, here.

April 2020 - COVID-19 Woes

Being a Distiller in the time of COVID-19

This is a tough month to write this update for you all. My natural tone is one of optimism and expectations at all the cool things we're planning.  Since COVID-19 came along, the whole rug has been pulled from our feet, and we're now trying to adjust to the changes, as I'm sure every single one of you is also.  It is a confusing, sometimes terrifying time now, but I rest assured knowing that we will all get through this by working together.  As you may know, we have taken major steps to do our part in the battle against COVID-19.  Here is a brief summary of what we know so far:

First Wave of Sanitizer

Scott & PoliceEarly in this crisis, we realized that we could help.  A distillery is a business in a unique position to help:  we already have permits and equipment for dealing with alcohol.  We, therefore, had a moral responsibility to turn our business upside down and begin providing hand sanitizer.  So we did.

As the crisis unfolded in the first days, we were sitting on about 60 gallons of disposal alcohol.  That is, we had 60 gallons of the accumulation of waste alcohol from the production of whisky and gin--alcohol that we normally use for cleaning or send to an alcohol-recycler who processes it as ethanol that gets into your gasoline.  This non-drinkable waste alcohol was the accumulation of six months of production, so we began giving this away for free. 

In doing so, we were able to give free sanitizing alcohol to over 100 families, six police stations, two emergency services, two medical clinics, a senior care facility, and the FAA operations center in Leesburg, Virginia.  Sadly, sixty gallons only goes so far, so we quickly shifted our production again...

 

Second Wave - Sanitizer for Purchase

Bottling SanitizerRealizing the dire need in the community, we immediately ordered 1,000 gallons of bulk alcohol.  Why not make it ourselves, you ask?  Our production is for making craft whisky, and we cannot make alocohol fast enough, cheap enough, nor high enough proof to meet FDA standards.  But, we do have alcohol permits to buy bulk alcohol and the vendors from whom to order, and that's what we did.  Having received the alcohol, Becky worked around the clock with the American Craft Spirits Association, our national association of craft distillers, to define the formulation from the World Health Organization and the FDA that would work for providing sanitizer to the public, and shared that work with over 300 craft distillers nationwide.  Scott spent the week getting our sanitizer approved by the FDA, and then shared that work with those same 300 craft distillers nationwide so they could get their sanitizers approved as well. Our goal was not competition, but cooperation in the face of this epidemic, and stomping this out as quickly as we can.

Having received all the bulk ingredients by last Thursday, we finally started bottling last week.  We are bottling today on BATCH ONE of the hand sanitizer, with BATCH TWO already on order. 

The first priority for BATCH ONE is the first responders.  We have an overwhelming demand from them, and will fill their orders first.  But I'm happy to say that we will have some from this first batch for the general public. We will have the following available in a few days:

  • 6 oz bottles (plastic) at $9.49 - limit four per family

SantizerWE ARE NOT ABLE TO TAKE PRE-ORDERS AT THIS TIME. We're too busy working on the sanitizer to answer the phones and emails on this.  I'm sorry, because I know you all are anxious about this.  We will announce soon when these are ready for pickup at our Purcellville location.  Keep an eye on our website (www.catoctincreek.com) for latest details.

(I understand that the website has been down for some people due to high volume traffic.  That is nothing I can control easily, so please just keep checking back.)

 

Still Open for Bottle Sales - Curbside

Scott CurbsidePlease don't forget about us!!  Our business is down considerably with the loss of almost every single restaurant customer we had.  We pray and hope they will be back up and running soon.  But until the state allows them to do "Cocktails to Go," which is currently illegal in Virginia, our business is getting CRUSHED.  Do not believe the stories you see about liquor store sales through the roof.  It is not the case.  During this crisis, our regular business is down 90%.

Quarantining at home is hard... wouldn't a nice bottle of whisky, gin or brandy make that life a little bit easier?  Yes, that's why we're an essential business!

So please call us at 540-751-3294 to place your order for curbside pickup at the distillery, or head to your favorite liquor store, which is still open!

 

How Can You Help?

The sanitizer project, apart from doing a community good, is helping us keep the lights on.  So far during this crisis, we have not laid off a single full-time employee.  All of our employees have all been refocused to producing hand sanitizer.  But this is really hard on the organization, so if you'd like to help, since people are asking, you can donate to our hand sanitizer project here:

Another way to show you care is pick up some of our whisky, gin and brandy, either at the distillery curbside, or at your local liquor store.  That really gives us a morale boost as well.

 

Getting Through This Together...

The rest of my newsletter usually focused on events in the future, but those are suspended until further notice, so we'll just end with a #QuarantineCocktail from my son, Edward, who is holed up in his tiny apartment in Houston, Texas.  To keep people entertained, he's making cocktails from ingredients he finds in his pantry.  Enjoy this one as a brief bright spot in your day.

Stay safe, y'all.  Wash your hands, and check on your neighbors.

Love, Scott & Becky

1 Peter 5:7

 

Cocktail of the Month – Quarantine Cocktail #1 - The Orange Blossom

The Boozy Gay

This cocktail comes to us from Eddie Harris, son of Scott & Becky, the founders of the distillery. Since Eddie, like the rest of us, is holed up in his tiny apartment in Houston, Texas, he decided to publish videos of cocktails he's making with stuff he's found in his pantry. He's calling them his #QuarantineCocktails. Give him a follow on Instagram at @theboozygay.

3 oz Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye
Honey
Orange bitters

Without ice, mix the honey with the rye until well combined. Now add the ice and the bitters. Stir to combine, then strain into a rocks glass with a nice big chunk of ice. And then wash your hands and wash it down!

Recipe courtesy Edward Harris.

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

March Greetings from Catoctin Creek

Welcome to March!

Really hard to believe that St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner!  We've never been one for the green beer thing, so this year all month long in our tasting room will be cocktails with green-inspired ingredients.  Try the "Green Fiend", the "Sour Clover", or you could be a lucky duck to try the "Lucky Buck!"  Come on in, and we'll toast to the Irish, your health, or whatever else yer heart desires!

 

Otto the Pug

Catoctin Creek welcomes new Distillery Dog:  Otto the Pug!

Canine named "Head of Security" and "Minister of Cuteness"

Many of you who have visited the distillery in the past may have met our old distillery dog, Frank, a lovable sweet old man who lived for 16.5 years.  Sadly, Frank passed away a few months ago.  It took us some time to deal with that loss, but we are happy to say that we have a new distillery dog in our lives now:  Otto the pug!

Otto is a lively little critter, hopping around like a rabbit until he passes out from puppy-exhaustion, sleeping like a dead thing six hours at a time.  You will find him most likely ensconced in a baby-wrap with our tasting room manager, Denise.  If you're really nice to Denise, she may let you see him!

Men, be warned, he loves to chew on bearded chins, and ladies, watch those dangly earrings!

Welcome, Otto!!

 

Bottling Workshops are back!

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 your chance to work the magic "whisky cow"! Or maybe you'd like to try your hands at operating "Ninette" and "Terry", our fancy French labeling machines! These bottles make great gifts for those special loved ones in your life, and you can tell them you bottled it yourself! Bring a friend!

Always FREE to attend! Click here to sign up!

Read more about the workshop, here.

Bottling Workshops

 

Old Tom Gin Release in March!

On Saturday, at noon, we will release our next offering of the Watershed Gin barrel rested in pear brandy barrels, our "Old Tom" style gin. This one is perfect for those classic era cocktails like the Martinez, Ramos Gin Fizz, and the French 75. This is a once a year release. Doors open at noon on Saturday, March 21. Bottles are $50.89. More details about the product are in the original press release from 2015, below.

Rye Society™ members may contact us at 540-751-3294 to obtain their bottles anytime before the release date.

Old Tom Gin

 

Upcoming Events

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

  • March 14 - Bottling Workshop - Join us in this hands-on workshop as we bottle Roundstone Rye with a free breakfast and a grand tour of the distillery! FREE!
  • March 21 - Old Tom Release - Come to the distillery to get your yearly bottles of Old Tom Gin!
  • April 10 - Dinner at the Distillery - Join us for our spring dinner!  Fresh local seasonal produce and an amazing menu! $99/pp

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – Green Fiend

March means St. Patrick's Day, so naturally, our March tasting room cocktails are a little on the greenish side of things.

1½ oz Watershed Gin
1 oz matcha tea
½ oz lemon juice
Dash of Iki bitters
Lemon twist garnish

Stir all together in a Nick and Nora glass with a ice cubes.

Recipe courtesy Denise Petty 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

Becky Harris feature on Spirit Hub

Becky Harris on Spirit Hub

Nice to see the article about Becky Harris on Spirit Hub:

But living in the birthplace of American spirits, the idea of opening and operating their own independent distillery was an notion that had always appealed to the couple.

Becky was influenced by Virginia’s rich distilling history. Especially where rye whiskey was concerned.

“Rye was one of the most important products in colonial times,” Becky explains. “George Washington had one of the largest distilleries of his time. And we were inspired by that to focus on rye. Make it from scratch. And create a whiskey that speaks to the past, present and future of Virginia Rye.”

The Harrises decided on the name Catoctin Creek as another homage to their Virginia Roots.

You can read the full interview, here.

5 southern companies that make great whiskey

5 Southern Companies

How nice to be included in this video of "5 southern companies that make great whiskey."

Scotland and Ireland aren't the only places where fine spirits are distilled.  There are plenty of companies in the Southern U.S. that craft whiskey and show it off at tastings, tours, and other events.  If you're a whiskey lover, check out the five distilleries listed here."

Check us out at #5, starting about 4:38 in the video above.  Just click the image to bring up the video.

February Greetings from Catoctin Creek

Welcome to February!

Last month, Scott & Becky spent some time in Richmond working with the Virginia Distillers Association.  On January 28th, it was "lobbying day," when distillers from across the commonwealth descended on the state capitol to lobby for modernization in ABC liquor laws.  This year, the bill that stands out is SB 824, which would allow distillers in Virginia to directly ship to consumers in the state.  This would be HUGE for us, in that it would allow "wine club" type operations and direct shipping of "onesy-twosy" items to customers without having to go through the onerous state special order process.  If you would like to see this bill passed, you should call your state delegate and senator today!

Virginia Distillers Association

 

Wine Enthusiast Awards

Catoctin Creek earns impressive accolades from Wine Enthusiast tasting panel

All five rye whiskies receive consistent scores of 90 or above

Catoctin Creek has been awarded five scores not lower than 90 out of 100 points for all five rye whiskies submitted to Wine Enthusiast’s tasting panel for the magazine’s upcoming February/March 2020 issue. Catoctin Creek’s Roundstone Rye Whiskey “Distiller’s Edition” was the craft distillery’s highest scoring product, earning a “superb” rating of 94 on the panel’s 100-point scale. The other four products received “excellent” scores of either 90 or 91. Not only are these accolades outstanding, they show the consistency of Catoctin Creek’s brand portfolio across the entire lineup.

“As a distillery dedicated to producing Virginia’s most awarded rye whisky, these are some of the most exciting accolades we've received in our eleven year history. We’re thrilled to be adding additional accolades to our list by the revered Wine Enthusiast panel,” said founder Scott Harris. “The consistent scoring of our rye whisky product line is not only a win for us, but also a win for the Commonwealth of Virginia, where we source our ingredients and hand-craft each product daily.”

The Wine Enthusiast ratings include:

  • 94 points for Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye Whisky “Distillers Edition” 92 Proof
  • 91 points for Catoctin Creek Rabble Rouser Rye Whisky 2018 Bottled in Bond
  • 91 points for Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye Whisky Cask Proof
  • 90 points for Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye Whisky 80 Proof
  • 90 points for Braddock Oak Rye Single Barrel (available only through Total Wine)

Wine Enthusiast hosts the tasting panel annually, reviewing wine, beer and spirits from across the globe. The publication will include Catoctin Creek in their digital tasting panel database starting in February and will release the February/March issue on Feb. 18, 2020.

 

Two New Malt Whisky Releases - TODAY!!

Today, February 1st, at noon, we will release not one, but TWO new whisky expressions. Both of these, first two in this series, are distilled from Beltway Brewing in Sterling, Virginia. The OctoMalt American Malt Whisky began as their OctoIPA, while the Farmhouse Pale Malt started life as their Farmhouse Pale Ale. Each one is totally delicious and a wonderful capture of the beer from the still. Aged two years in charred new oak, they are dark, sumptuous, and with a distinctive floral note from the malts and hops. Members of the Beltway Brewing team will be present at the release, along with Becky Harris, to sign bottles and do Q&A. Bottles are $69.99 each at 92 proof.

Rye Society™ members may contact us at 540-751-3294 to obtain their bottles anytime before the release date.

Malt whisky releases

 

Rabble Rouser Release

On Saturday, February 15, at noon, we will release the Rabble Rouser Bottled in Bond Rye Whisky. Due to better growing reserves, we are happy to report that we have more available to sell! For some of you, this may be the first time you've had a chance to purchase this extremely rare whisky. Of this year's release, only 143 cases have been made, 25 of which will be released in our tasting room (the rest going nationally). Please plan to arrive before noon if you absolutely must have a bottle. Based on previous events, there is no guarantee we will have anything left after Saturday. Bottles are $99 for Rabble Rouser. Due to the extreme rarity of these releases, there will be no tastings offered. More details in the link, here.

Rye Societymembers may call us at 540-751-3294 to obtain a bottle anytime before the release date.

Rabble Rouser

 

Upcoming Events

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

  • February 1 - Two Malt Whisky Releases - Come to the distillery to get your limited edition bottles of American Malt Whisky!
  • February 14 - Art of the Cocktail - Join Scott for an informative and fun class celebrating the bartenders canon! $35/pp
  • February 15 - Rabble Rouser Release - Come to the distillery to get your extremely rare bottles of our Bottled in Bond Rabble Rouser!
  • April 10 - Dinner at the Distillery - Join us for our spring dinner!  Fresh local seasonal produce and an amazing menu! $99/pp

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – The Sunflower

The Sunflower

This cocktail comes to us from Kara Newman's newest book, Shake. Stir. Sip., featuring easy cocktails done in equal parts. What I love about this cocktail, besides its refreshing taste, is that the four (five, really) ingredients combine in such a pleasant way, while being individually unidentifiable in the final drink. In other words, they blend so well into something wholly new, you'd never know that there was (for instance), St. Germain in the beverage. I guess the word I'm looking for here is "synergy," where the end result is greater than the sum of its parts. Regardless of how you analyze it, this drink has been our staple drink through the winter this season.

¾ oz Watershed Gin
¾ oz St. Germain
¾ oz Curaçao or orange liqueur
¾ oz fresh lemon juice
Absinthe rinse

Rinse a chilled coupe with absinthe, then combine the ingredients into a shaker of ice. Shake well, strain into the coupe, and serve with a lemon peel garnish.

Recipe courtesy Kara Newman, Shake. Stir. Sip.

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 earns impressive accolades from Wine Enthusiast tasting panel

All five rye whiskies receive consistent scores of 90 or above

PURCELLVILLE, Va. (January 21, 2020) - - - Catoctin Creek Distilling Co., 120 W. Main St., has been awarded five scores not lower than 90 out of 100 points for all five rye whiskies submitted to Wine Enthusiast’s tasting panel for the magazine’s upcoming February/March 2020 issue. Catoctin Creek’s Roundstone Rye Whiskey “Distiller’s Edition” was the craft distillery’s highest scoring product, earning a “superb” rating of 94 on the panel’s 100-point scale. The other four products received “excellent” scores of either 90 or 91. Not only are these accolades outstanding, they show the consistency of Catoctin Creek’s brand portfolio across the entire lineup.

“As a distillery dedicated to producing Virginia’s most awarded rye whisky, these are some of the most exciting accolades we've received in our eleven year history. We’re thrilled to be adding additional accolades to our list by the revered Wine Enthusiast panel,” said founder Scott Harris. “The consistent scoring of our rye whisky product line is not only a win for us, but also a win for the Commonwealth of Virginia, where we source our ingredients and hand-craft each product daily.”

The Wine Enthusiast ratings include:

  • 94 points for Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye Whisky “Distillers Edition” 92 Proof
  • 91 points for Catoctin Creek Rabble Rouser Rye Whisky 2018 Bottled in Bond
  • 91 points for Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye Whisky Cask Proof
  • 90 points for Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye Whisky 80 Proof
  • 90 points for Braddock Oak Rye Single Barrel

Wine Enthusiast hosts the tasting panel annually, reviewing wine, beer and spirits from across the globe. The publication will include Catoctin Creek in their digital tasting panel database starting in February and will release the February/March issue on Feb. 18, 2020.

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.

The New Yorker: A Whiskey Maker's Exploration of Craft - Part 1

Featured on The New Yorker, produced for Autograph Collection Hotels, follow along as Becky Harris, founder and head distiller of Catoctin Creek Distillery, travels to 2 Autograph Collection Hotels to gather inspiration from each boutique hotel’s dedication to craft. At her first stop, Schloss Lieser in Germany, she explores the hotel’s rich history and vision, the adjacent vineyards of the famous Moselle valley, and the unique flavors of the region.  View the full video, here.

Part two, Becky in Chattanooga, is here.

Happy New Year from Catoctin Creek

Hooray! 2020 is here!

Now in our eleventh year!

Now that 2019 is over and behind us, we hope that 2020 will be prosperous and joyful for you! As we look back, we are grateful for the ability to do what we love, making Virginia's most awarded whisky, and grateful for you, our customers who enjoy what we take so much care to craft.  We have a lot of things in store for 2020.  We will have two new malt whisky releases on February 1st, and later in February, our much anticipated Rabble Rouser release!!  We will also have lots of fun events throughout the year.  Stay tuned!

From our family to yours...

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

 

Two New Malt Whisky Releases

On Saturday, February 1st, at noon, we will release not one, but TWO new whisky expressions. Both of these, first two in this series, are distilled from Beltway Brewing in Sterling, Virginia. The OctoMalt American Malt Whisky began as their OctoIPA, while the Farmhouse Pale Malt started life as their Farmhouse Pale Ale. Each one is totally delicious and a wonderful capture of the beer from the still. Aged two years in charred new oak, they are dark, sumptuous, and with a distinctive floral note from the malts and hops. Members of the Beltway Brewing team will be present at the release, along with Becky Harris, to sign bottles and do Q&A. Bottles are $69.99 each at 92 proof.

Rye Society™ members may contact us at 540-751-3294 to obtain their bottles anytime before the release date.

Malt whisky releases

 

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

Our fifth year of this popular class -- presented by Scott Harris, Founder of the Distillery 

Monkey Gland

Catoctin Creek is pleased to present, our FIFTH year of this six-part educational series on the art of the cocktail. This year, we have all new content exploring the canonical books of each generation of bartending since the beginning of cocktails through modern times.

Starting in January, 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 construction of several cocktails, 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.

This year, we will also have the books used in the class available for sale to take home at discounted prices.

Here is the schedule of the series:

  • January 3 - Jerry Thomas' Bartenders Guide, How to Mix Drinks, Receipts for Mixing..., published 1862.
  • January 10 - Harry McElhone & Wynn Holcomb, Barflies and Cocktails, 300 Recipes, published 1927.
  • January 17 - Harry Craddock, The Savoy Cocktail Book, published 1930.
  • January 24 - Leo Cotton, ed., Old Mr. Boston De Luxe Official Bartender's Guide, published 1960.
  • January 31 - Gary Regan, The Bartender's Bible, 1001 Mixed Drinks..., published 1991.
  • February 7 - NO CLASS THIS DAY. We are otherwise occupied this evening.
  • February 14 - Kara Newman, Shake. Stir. Sip., published 2016.

NOTICE ON SNOW DAYS: If we have to cancel a class because of weather, we will reschedule the date to February 21, February 28, etc. Your reservation will be honored for the snow date, or you may get a refund if you are unable to make the new date.

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 $35 per person and includes drinks. Sign up for all six and receive two FREE Catoctin Creek rocks glasses.

Each session is $35 per person (VIP members 20% off), and includes four cocktails.

Book Now

Info This class will fill up, so reserve your spot now! Due to overwhelming demand and the intimate size of our tasting room, space is limited to the first 30 people responding.

Per ABC laws, cocktail samples will be limited to four pours with 0.5 oz of liquor in each pour. Certain mixer limitations will apply.

White Manhattan

 

Robert BurnsBurns Dinner at Oatlands

Burns Night is a tradition dating back a hundred years or more celebrating Scotland's national bard, Robert Burns. If you've been to one, you'll know what a rousing good time it is, and if you've not been before, you're in for a real treat. We'll be hosting the annual tradition at Oatlands on Jan. 25, 6:30pm.

Dinner will be a formal Scottish affair, with roasted lamb, neeps and tatties (potatoes and squash), and of course, the traditional haggis! (Be brave, young soul, and try some!) Oh, and lest we forget, there will be whisky and poetry flowing, provided by Scott Harris and Catoctin Creek Distillery. (Bring a poem to share!) Kilted attire suggested, but not required. Tie and jacket suggested.

For more information or to make your reservation, click here.

 

Upcoming Events

Wow!  We have some great events in the coming months. 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 3 - February 4 - Art of the Cocktail - Join Scott for an informative and fun class celebrating flavors of the world! $35/pp
  • January 25 - Burns Dinner at Oatlands - A Scottish tradition! Great food, song, drink, whisky, and even haggis! $120/pp
  • February 1 - Two Malt Whisky Releases - Come to the distillery to get your limited edition bottles of American Malt Whisky!

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – Cranberry Spiced Old Fashioned

Cran Spiced Old Fashioned

Here's a new account for you to follow: @theboozygay from Spring, Texas. Eddie Harris is the owner of the account, and also happens to be the son of the founders. When he's not full-time ambassador for Catoctin Creek in Texas, he enjoys walks on the beach, piña coladas, and making cocktails. This one is his latest: "This week's cocktail of the week says Merry Christmas in a very boozy way!"

1 oz Copper and Kings Brandy (or Catoctin Creek 1757 Virginia Brandy, if you prefer)
1 oz Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye
⅔ oz of cranberry syrup*
Dash of bitters

Stir and enjoy over a big rock in a rocks glass. Garnish with cranberries on a toothpick.

Cranberry syrup
½ cup light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 bag of cranberries
1 tsp nutmeg

Combine all over low heat until mixed, at least one hour. Strain and remove the cranberries. Keep syrup in refrigerator for up to three months.

Recipe and photo courtesy @theboozygay 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

Seasons Greetings from Catoctin Creek

December is here! 

Happy Holidays to you all!  Christmas and Hanukkah are quickly approaching, and our thoughts turn to unwinding from the stress of our daily lives and spending more time with friends and family this month.  It is such a gift to be alive, and to be with the ones we love.  We at Catoctin Creek are particularly blessed to be doing what we love, and to have customers like yourselves who enjoy our craft.  

So, from the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and may there be Peace on Earth in our lifetime!

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!  

Photo credit: @justinccdc 

 

Gift Items This Holiday Season

Stop by our tasting room this holiday season and pick up one of our exciting gift items for the holiday.  Spirits are the perfect gift for those fussy relatives who already have everything!  Give them something local, hand-crafted, and totally unique this year!

We have gift packs of our flagship products:  Roundstone Rye, Watershed Gin, and a Glencairn glass in cute little 200 mL bottles, all displayed in a handsome custom gift box.  We also have hand-wrapped gift baskets with your choice of spirits, glassware, and bar accessories like bitters and cocktail books.  We'll gladly make you a custom basket while you wait.  Finally, if you just can't decide, you can pick up a gift card for any amount at our store (or call us, we'll mail it to you).

There's pretty much something for anyone on your list!  Stop by soon and see for yourself!

Gift Ideas from Catoctin Creek

 

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

Our fifth year of this popular class -- presented by Scott Harris, Founder of the Distillery 

Monkey Gland

Catoctin Creek is pleased to present, our FIFTH year of this six-part educational series on the art of the cocktail. This year, we have all new content exploring the canonical books of each generation of bartending since the beginning of cocktails through modern times.

Starting in January, 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 construction of several cocktails, 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.

This year, we will also have the books used in the class available for sale to take home at discounted prices.

Here is the schedule of the series:

  • January 3 - Jerry Thomas' Bartenders Guide, How to Mix Drinks, Receipts for Mixing..., published 1862.
  • January 10 - Harry McElhone & Wynn Holcomb, Barflies and Cocktails, 300 Recipes, published 1927.
  • January 17 - Harry Craddock, The Savoy Cocktail Book, published 1930.
  • January 24 - Leo Cotton, ed., Old Mr. Boston De Luxe Official Bartender's Guide, published 1960.
  • January 31 - Gary Regan, The Bartender's Bible, 1001 Mixed Drinks..., published 1991.
  • February 7 - NO CLASS THIS DAY. We are otherwise occupied this evening.
  • February 14 - Kara Newman, Shake. Stir. Sip., published 2016.

NOTICE ON SNOW DAYS: If we have to cancel a class because of weather, we will reschedule the date to February 21, February 28, etc. Your reservation will be honored for the snow date, or you may get a refund if you are unable to make the new date.

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 $35 per person and includes drinks. Sign up for all six and receive two FREE Catoctin Creek rocks glasses.

Each session is $35 per person (VIP members 20% off), and includes four cocktails.

Book Now

Info This class will fill up, so reserve your spot now! Due to overwhelming demand and the intimate size of our tasting room, space is limited to the first 30 people responding.

Per ABC laws, cocktail samples will be limited to four pours with 0.5 oz of liquor in each pour. Certain mixer limitations will apply.

White Manhattan

 

Upcoming Events

Wow!  We have some great events in the coming months. 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:

  • December 13 - Holiday Dinner at the Distillery - Fine dining at the distillery.  Join Scott and Becky for a four-course dinner with cocktail pairings. $99/pp SOLD OUT
  • December 21 - Bottling Workshop - Always free to public, and a fun morning of breakfast, bottling and tastings!  FREE!
  • December 25 - CHRISTMAS DAY - We will be CLOSED to be with friends and family.
  • January 1 - NEW YEARS DAY - We will be CLOSED due to massive hangovers.
  • January 3 - February 4 - Art of the Cocktail - Join Scott for an informative and fun class celebrating flavors of the world! $35/pp
  • January 25 - Burns Dinner at Oatlands - A Scottish tradition! Great food, song, drink, whisky, and even haggis! $120/pp

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – Bucky Barnes

Bucky Barnes

This cocktail is a modification of one that was in Whisky Advocate. The original recipe had a rather complicated pear/persimmon/clove brown simple syrup, which I'm sure is lovely, but I just finished canning a dozen cans of fresh persimmon jam, and so I wanted to use that instead. I've tweaked things around a bit while still honoring the original ingredients and proportions. And honestly, it came out great!!

This cocktail is the embodiment of November. You can serve it as a sling (cold, with an ice cube), or warm it gently and serve as a toddy.

3 oz Roundstone Rye 92 Proof
1 oz Nonino amaro
½ oz brown sugar syrup or molasses syrup
½ oz persimmon jam
2 oz pear juice
dash of vanilla extract
dash of woodland bitters

Vigorously shake all the ingredients in a shaker of ice. Double-strain and serve with a big rock in a rocks glass. Serves two.

Recipe and photo courtesy Scott Harris, variation on a recipe in Whisky Advocate.

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

Battle of the Bartenders coverage

Jon Schott of The People’s Drug in Alexandria
Jon Schott of The People’s Drug in Alexandria. Photo credit Renss Greene, Loudoun Now.

Great coverage of our Battle of the Bartender's event last week, which raised over $4,000 for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  Nikki Drake, from 2941 Restaurant in Falls Church took home top honors for the night.  Writing in Loudoun Now, Rens Greene sums up the night:

Nikki Drake, from 2941 Restaurant in Falls Church, came out on top, earning bragging rights for the next year as Northern Virginia’s best bartender. She overcame competition from Jon Schott from The Peoples Drug in Alexandria, Eric Bowers from Magnolias at the Mill in Purcellville, Erin Robertson from AhSo Restaurant, Alex Moreno from Circa at Clarendon in Clarendon, and Chris West from The Wine Kitchen in Leesburg. They were judged by Michael Saccone, of Thrashers Rum & Tiki TNT; Stefanie Gans, former dining editor and restaurant critic for Northern Virginia Magazine and current program director at Cookology; and Scott Harris, founder of Catoctin Creek Distillery.

You can read the full story, here.

November News from Catoctin Creek

Autumn at Catoctin Creek Distillery

Moving into November.

Perfect for the coming holiday season

ANNOUNCING!  20% off on Black Friday! - One day only, the Virginia ABC will be offering 20% off on most liquor products in our tasting room!  Come in on Friday, November 29 or miss out forever! Tasting room only.

As we finally move into the cooler days and nights of autumn, don't forget, Catoctin Creek is a perfect companion.  A glass of whisky is a delightful treat after a long day of raking leaves on those blustery evenings!  You could serve your Thanksgivings guests a wonderful cocktail party before the big feast, or grab a bottle or two for those hard-to-shop-for friends and relatives.  Roundstone Rye is a gift sure to please!

For more gift ideas, be sure to check out our list of events below, and bring your friends and family to something fun and truly one-of-a-kind.

Happy November, all!

 

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.

 

The Art of the Cocktail - Our 5th Year - Tour through the "Bartender's Canon"

Monkey Gland

Catoctin Creek is pleased to present, our FIFTH year of this six-part educational series on the art of the cocktail. This year, we have all new content exploring the canonical books of each generation of bartending since the beginning of cocktails through modern times.

Starting in January, 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 construction of several cocktails, 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.

This year, we will also have the books used in the class available for sale to take home at discounted prices.

Here is the schedule of the series:

  • January 3 - Jerry Thomas' Bartenders Guide, How to Mix Drinks, Receipts for Mixing..., published 1862.
  • January 10 - Harry McElhone & Wynn Holcomb, Barflies and Cocktails, 300 Recipes, published 1927.
  • January 17 - Harry Craddock, The Savoy Cocktail Book, published 1930.
  • January 24 - Leo Cotton, ed., Old Mr. Boston De Luxe Official Bartender's Guide, published 1935.
  • January 31 - Gary Regan, The Bartender's Bible, 1001 Mixed Drinks..., published 1991.
  • February 7 - NO CLASS THIS DAY. We are otherwise occupied this evening.
  • February 14 - Kara Newman, Shake. Stir. Sip., published 2016.

 

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 $35 per person and includes drinks. Sign up for all six and receive two FREE Catoctin Creek rocks glasses.

What: Art of the Cocktail
Where: 120 W. Main Street
Purcellville, Virginia
When: Every Friday from January 3 to February 14
(some exceptions, see above)
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Price:

Each session:
$35 per person (VIP members 50% off)

(includes four cocktails)

Book Now

Info This class will fill up, so reserve your spot now! Due to overwhelming demand and the intimate size of our tasting room, space is limited to the first 30 people responding.

Per ABC laws, cocktail samples will be limited to four pours with 0.5 oz of liquor in each pour.

Bartender's Canon

 

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:

  • Nov 4 - Battle of the Bartenders - Northern Virginia's ultimate cocktail competition! $65/pp
  • Nov 16 - Bottling Workshop - Join us for this always fun, always free workshop and bottle your own whisky! FREE
  • Nov 17 - Jim Malcolm Concert - Scotland's troubadour back for another concert!  $25/pp
  • Nov 22 - Lighting of the Vines - Join us at Bluemont Vineyard for this once a year collaborative event!  $139/pp
  • Dec 13 - Dinner at the Distillery - Join us for our Christmas dinner at the distillery. $99/pp SOLD OUT
  • Dec 21 - Bottling Workshop - Join us for this always fun, always free workshop and bottle your own whisky! FREE
  • Jan - Feb - Art of the Cocktail - This year, we will be studying the original books in cocktail history. $35/pp
  • Jan 25 - Burns Dinner at Oatlands - A Scottish tradition, we'll celebrate the life of Robert Burns with a wonderful feast! $120/pp

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

 

Cocktail of the Month – The Virginia Commonwealth

The Virginia Commonwealth

This cocktail comes to us from Nathan Wilkinson, @jollybartender on Instagram. It is a wonderful celebration of Commonwealth featuring two of its best distilleries:

This cocktail shows off Catoctin Creek’s Distillers Edition Roundstone Rye with Mt. Defiance Sweet Vermouth—two great Virginia distilleries.

3 oz Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye Distiller's Edition
½ oz Mt. Defiance Sweet Vermouth
½ oz Ramazzotti amaro
3 dashes Hella orange bitters
Lemon zest garnish

Combine all ingredients in a shaker of ice. Stir and strain into a coupe and garnish.

Cocktail and photo courtesy Nathan Wilkinson, 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

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...

Read more

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...

Read more

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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