First, Forbes did a fantastic and thorough article about our efforts to make lemons into lemonade with our release of the #InThisTogether Infinity Barrel benefit project. Kate Dingwall writes:
“We wanted to find partners who could help us get assistance to the people who are the heart and soul of all these restaurants, who are often undocumented, juggling multiple jobs, may be struggling with health effects from the virus themselves, and uncertain whether their workplaces will ever open again,” explains [Rebecca] Harris.
You can read that full article, here.
Then, we got word that we were one of only four craft distilleries featured in Forbes for World Whisky Day! How insanely cool is that?!
“Virginia had 3,600 distilleries in 1810, making primarily unaged rye, but also brandies from local fruits,” says Becky. “Our inspiration dates back to before 1830, when distilleries had not started mass production and before standard regional identities for rye existed. Each of my rye farmers has a slightly different flavor that their terroir brings to the whisky, and my 100% rye mashbill uses grain from 3-4 sources, fermented together, pot-distilled and aged to create the finished products.”
The expressions of Catoctin Creek’s Roundstone Rye whisky are chosen from single barrels which reflect the flavor profile, character, and excellence chosen for each, a process that paid big when Wine Enthusiast awarded high scores to all five rye whiskies in the February/March 2020 issue.
You can read that full article, here. Thank you, Forbes!!
Tasting Panel focuses its attention on Becky Harris in this month's issue of Distillery Spotlight. What a wonderful article and photos by Matt Jackson and Nick Klein:
[Rebecca] Harris became a trailblazer in the spirits world as one of the first female head distillers in modern U.S. history, yet she’s quick to point out that American distillation’s early success was largely due to the efforts of women. “In this region of the country, the tobacco industry [was] so demanding that women were the ones who took care of the brewing and distilling,” Harris explains. “It really wasn’t until the bigger stills came over from Europe that distillation became more industrial.”
You can read the full story, here, or the Tasting Panel site, here.
In these difficult times (I am getting so tired of saying that), Whisky Advocate finds the bright spots. This is a nice article highlighting the sanitizer production across the country, and the few states like Virginia that have allowed direct-to-consumer shipping.
A windfall came, however, when the Virginia ABC announced on April 6 that it would allow certain distilleries to ship directly to in-state customers. “That was a lifeline to our operations,” Harris says. “Once we wound down the sanitizer project, a number of people working on it transitioned into packing and shipping cases.” Thus far, it’s been “a real lifesaver” for Catoctin Creek and neighboring craft distilleries. “I talked to a number of other distilleries in Virginia, some of whom do less than 500 cases a year out of their tasting room,” Harris says. “Their sales had actually improved by 50% over the previous year.”
You can read the entire story, here.
Hooray! Another great review from American Whiskey magazine. Catoctin Creek Rabble Rouser was recommended, 8.6/8.9 points by Peggy Noe Stevens and Susan Reigler, and again the highest rated whiskey in the issue! A highlight from the review by Susan Reigler:
Nose: Rye grass partners with floral notes. The woods after a spring rain with wildflowers underfoot. Subtle for 100 proof.
Palate: Sweet spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and allspice. Then the flowers blossom. This is all balanced with vanilla and rye spice.
Finish: Very long, though the flowers fade and the spice is persistent.
Comments: Unexpectedly, water brings out morerye rather than the fruit. But this doesn't do enough to upset the balance.
Get your copy of the magazine, here.
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.
NBC12 in Richmond covering our first shipment of hand sanitizer. Read the full story and see the video, here.
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.
Maxim did a story on some of the best Bottled In Bond whiskies available, and our Rabble Rouser was selected (among some very fine company, if we do say so)!
Previous whiskey releases from Virginia distillery Catoctin Creek have qualified as BIB, but this was the first one explicitly marketed as such. It’s a 100 percent rye whiskey that is spicy, earthy, and fruity.
You can read the full article, here.
American Whiskey magazine does an interview with Becky Harris, our president and chief distiller, about starting up a distillery and what's on the horizon.
Focusing more now on the spirit itself, how did you go about deciding on your product range?
We were inspired by the history of spirits in the region, and specifically in Virginia. If you visit the distillery at Mount Vernon you can get an excellent sense of the deep roots of the business here. We ultimately decided that we wanted to focus on rye whisky, it was a crucial piece of whisky history in this country, as well as being under-represented in the marketplace. We had a vision of making rye, 100 per cent rye, from grain to bottle, with a focus on local content and small batch, pot still production.
Our first whisky, the Catoctin Creek 80 proof Roundstone Rye, has always been made from organic, or organically raised rye grain and has a spicy and fruity flavor profile with a kiss of mint. This is a youthful rye, aged in 30 gallon barrels to create a profile balanced between the influence of the oak and the grain spirit itself.
You can read the full interview, here.
Kelsie Schrader, writing for Rachel Ray Every Day magazine, covers 10 female pioneers in the spirits industry and gets Becky in her article:
When Becky and Scott Harris founded Catoctin Creek Distillery in 2009, they became the owners of [Loudoun] County, Virginia's first legal distillery since prohibition, making Becky the county's first female chief distiller in almost a century. Prior to opening the distillery, Becky worked as a chemical engineer at companies, including Amoco and YDK America. Opening the distillery was her husband's idea, and though Becky wasn't a big whisky drinker before opening the distillery, she applied her science background to the distilling and production processes to create high-quality spirits that have earned great acclaim.
You can read the full article, here.
Thanks to Liquor.com for designating us the best whiskey from Virginia! Booyah!
Virginia’s distilling history goes at least as far back as Kentucky’s. Catoctin Creek, founded in 2009, is one of the best in the state, releasing various versions of its Roundstone rye, as well as a newly designated bottled-in-bond expression, Rabble Rouser.
Read the full article and see the other 49 states, here.
We were delighted once again to be featured in Forbes, this time in an article about Irish whiskey and its American descendants. Claudia Alarcón writes:
As one of the first distilleries committed to the history and craft of Virginia rye whisky, Catoctin Creek uses old-world production and local and ørganic grains to produce the various excellent expressions of Roundstone Rye, including seasonal releases and private cask offerings. The Distiller’s Edition of Roundstone earned a gold medal in New York in 2015; the Cask Proof received double gold in San Francisco in 2017 and the Single Barrel edition brought home double gold from New York in 2018. These outstanding spirits are best appreciated neat, or simply over an ice cube to mellow out their heat and spicy notes.
You can read the entire story, here.