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News and Press Releases - 2024

The Bourbon Life Podcast - Interview with Rebecca Harris

This week on The Whiskey Trip Podcast, Big Chief takes a ride to Northern, Virginia to visit Rebecca Harris from Catoctin Creek Distilling Company.

Becky takes the big man through the history of Catoctin Creek and their Virginia Rye Whiskies. After years of being a chemical engineer she, along with her husband, started this craft distillery in Purcellville, Virginia.

Their passion is rye whiskey done their way. All her products begin with the finest local and organic grains to create the cleanest spirit possible. At the heart of the distillery is a pair of pot stills, where Becky insists on cooking the distillate for a full nine hours, more than twice as long as most other distilleries, to create the unique and award-winning flavors in her distillate.

They start the show with the Roundstone Rye Distiller’s Edition. Only one in every ten barrels gets selected to be in the Roundstone Rye "92 Proof" whisky. This 100% rye mash-bill is something special.

They then move on to the cask proof version of our ever-popular Roundstone Rye.  Released at approximately 58% ABV (it varies depending on the individual barrels), this is seriously strong whisky!  Delicious, dark, complex and ridiculously smooth for the proof

To start the second half Becky and Big Chief sip on Rabble Rouser Bottled in Bond Rye Whiskey. "Where Roundstone Rye is sort of restrained and elegant," says Scott Harris, founder of the distillery, "Rabble Rouser is more unruly and vivacious.".

To finish the show Becky treats the big man Catoctin Creek Hot Honey Rye. Just as you're savoring the whisky, the peppers come in with a surprising and delightful bit of heat.  Smooth and sweet, with a ZING!  This is a fun one!

You can link to the show on Spotify, here.


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The Scotch Malt Whisky Society: Distillery Profile - Catoctin Creek

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society of the United Kingdom is a storied old whisky club dating back over 40 years.  The organization has grown to appreciate more than just Scotch whisky, but also whisk(e)y from around the world.  They publish a periodical for their members, and this month, Catoctin Creek was highlighted in their distillery profile.  Lee "Connas" Conner writes:

Although Rebecca’s background is as a chemical engineer, she clearly advocates the philosophy of the distilling process being a hands-on process, where the operators communicate and adapt according to what happens during production.

“You have a relationship with your still, it’s like a living creature, it has moods. Sometimes it can be difficult, but you get a feel for how it runs and how to control it. I instil this into our team when we’re training them, you just have to feel it!”

This relationship and human involvement with the whiskey endures right the way through to cask selection, as Rebecca explains.

“Obviously we want a degree of uniformity with our end product, but some casks can turn out sweeter than others, or spicier and so on,” she says. “When I put a batch together what I’m looking for is absolute consistency of flavour. For instance, I like our 80 per cent proof [40% abv] to be easy drinking and not too overpowering. Whereas our Distiller’s Edition [46% abv] is a little bit spicier. For me it’s about flavour delivery – even our cask proof whiskey is very much about flavour before the heat from alcohol.”

Scott agrees: “I must say, Catoctin presents very well at cask proof, our lighter side of rye fits well with no dilution in my opinion.”

You can read the full article, here.


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Press Release: Catoctin Creek Product Family Earns Big Awards at National Whiskey Competition

Three products score Gold, Platinum and Double-Platinum at Fred Minnick's ASCOT Awards

PURCELLVILLE, VA. (May 20, 2024) - - - Catoctin Creek Distilling Co., The Virginia Rye Whisky ℠, won a slew of awards at Fred Minnick's ASCOT Awards.   Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye Cask Proof earned a DOUBLE-PLATINUM, Catoctin Creek Hot Honey Rye earned a PLATINUM, and Catoctin Creek Rabble Rouser Bottled-In-Bond Rye earned GOLD.  That makes a clean sweep of the three products entered into the competition this year.

The ASCOT Awards is an international spirits competition created by spirits personality and veteran tasting judge, Fred Minnick. The competition provides a unique opportunity for distillers to have their products recognized through Fred’s YouTube channel, social media, news articles, newsletters, and festival.  The competition is judged blindly by a respectable council of tasters, including Susan Reigler, Clay Risen, Tiffanie Barriere, Peggy Noe Stevens, Deyana Jones-Reid, Francesco Lafranconi and, of course, Fred Minnick himself, among many others.

“This is HUGE!!” said Scott Harris, founder and general manager of Catoctin Creek. “It is always nice to win some medals, but to sweep the awards with medals for everything we submitted is rare and really exciting!  Fred has assembled an incredible panel of judges, all of whom represent the top of their art.  We're honored to be recognized in this amazing competition.”

More information about the award can be located, here.

About Catoctin Creek Distilling: Catoctin Creek Distilling Company, The Virginia Rye Whisky ℠, was founded by Scott and Becky Harris in 2009. Inspired by the history and craft of Virginia, Catoctin Creek made a name for itself as the first legal distillery since Prohibition in Purcellville, Virginia’s Loudoun County. The independent 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 making rye whisky, gin, and seasonal brandy from local grains and fruits, with spirits available throughout the United States, Mexico, Canada, Australia and Europe. 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) 751-3294 or visit CatoctinCreek.com. Follow Catoctin Creek on Instagram, Blue Sky, Mastodon and Facebook.

  • ASCOT Awards Double Platinum 2024

    Double Platinum

    Roundstone Rye Cask Proof

  • ASCOT Awards Platinum 2024

    Platinum

    Hot Honey Rye

  • ASCOT Awards Gold 2024

    Gold

    Rabble Rouser


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American Whiskey Magazine - Milestones

Maggie Kimberl at American Whiskey magazine checks in with us after 15 years of business. The article celebrates our latest release of Rabble Rouser and dips into a little of our history and why we make rye whisky.

“We focus on making Virginia rye whiskey,” explains Scott Harris. “Rye whiskey is a tradition that goes back in Virginia to 1607, to Jamestown, the first settlers in Virginia. It’s Virginia’s native spirit, and that’s what we want to make. That’s why we focus on rye whiskey almost exclusively.”

You can read the full story, here.


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New Wine Review - These Are the Whiskey Gifts Moms Actually Want

Whiskey blenders and distillers, who also happen to be moms, talk about the bottles they’d love to receive on Mother’s Day.

Becky Harris, Co-founder and Chief Distiller
Catoctin Creek
Mom to Luke, 23, and Eddie, 26

For Mother’s Day this year, were it even available anymore, I would love a bottle of Single Cask Nation: The English Whisky Co. 9 Year English single malt whisky. It was just delicious, and I always like to be shouting out other independent spirits companies available doing fun and unexpected projects.

You can see the full article, here.


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