Becky Harris

Becky was profiled briefly in Epicure and Culture's post on "10 Women in Distilling":

Becky Harris is the chief distiller and co-founder of Catoctin Creek Distilling, the first legal distillery in Loudoun County, Virginia since Prohibition. They make whisky from scratch, using 100% rye that is local and certified kosher. Becky’s background in Chemical and Process Engineering helps her run the whisky-making side of Catoctin Creek, a business which she started with her husband in 2009.

She says, “Many family-run distilleries have women taking care of the business side of the operations and men running the production side. We flipped those roles because our skills fit the opposite assignments”.

You can read the full story, including a cocktail from our pal, Paul Trahan Taylor, here.

NY Times StoryAbsolutely stunning!  It is like a dream come true!  

Eric Asimov, writing for the New York Times, does an amazingly in-depth story on the scarcity of old rye whiskey and the excellent choices available in the younger whiskeys of the category.  With over 1300 distilleries now producing in the US, the panel had plenty to judge.

I'm honored that two of the judges were the esteemed David Wondrich and Robert Simonson.  I cannot think of two gentlemen in the industry for whom I have more respect!  I've read (and re-read) their books.  I've met them at Tales in New Orleans.  I fan-boy on these guys, always asking for autographs... So, to have these two judging my spirits, well honestly, it's just humbling.

Notably, all judging was done in a blind panel.  There's no way to be influenced by preconceptions of the spirit or where it's produced, nor the beauty of the label.  It's just the juice.  How good is the juice?

From the story:

Indeed, many of the ryes we tasted didn’t have the assertive rye personality that I’ve come to love. ... The Woodford rye was 53 percent rye, potentially very similar to bourbon. Some of the other ryes in our tasting were 100 percent rye, or very close.

Other ryes reminded us of rum, or tasted overwhelmingly of bananas or were odd in some other way. These tended to come from the craft distillers, who, like craft brewers in the early days of the beer revolution, have yet to achieve precision and reliability in their work.

“It’s like catching this category in the 10th grade,” David [Wondrich] said. “Some have already matured into their adult personas, some are still kids, and others are in transition, not as assured as you want, still hesitant.”

Speaking on the few craft brands in the list, Asimov continues:

Two other craft ryes made our list, the warm, spicy Few from Evanston, Ill., at No. 7 and the fruity, slightly sweet Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye from Purcellville, Va., at No. 9.

You can read the full story, here. I hope you will!

— Scott

Tasting Room at Catoctin Creek

Architectural Digest did an article on the 12 coolest craft distilleries and we were included!  

The first craft distillery built in Virginia’s Loudoun County since the pre-Prohibition era sits in the historic Case Building space (a onetime Buick dealership) on Main Street in the town of Purcellville, an hour west of Washington, D.C. Its industrial-chic tasting room, designed by W. A. Brown & Associates, is lit by 56 Edison bulbs and lots of natural light from the original 1920s windows. It’s the perfect place to taste the brand’s handcrafted rye whiskey, which is faithful to the ingredients and methods commonly used in the region during Prohibition.

Read the full story, here.

Wine EnthusiastNice to get a shout-out in Wine Enthusiast magazine this month!  There's a nice feature on what to do for a day or more in Washington, DC.  Here's our bit:

Escape the city for an afternoon in the Virginia countryside.  Start with esoteric, barrel-aged beers like Ortolan Bunting (aged in Armagnac casks) or G/I/A/A IPA (matured in mezcal barrels) at Adroit Theory Brewery.  For lunch nosh on local Angus beef burgers and hand-cut fries at Market Burger Fries & Shakes.  Afterward, head to Catoctin Creek Distilling Company (above), where affable owners Scott and Becky Harris will give you a tour and tasting of their award-winning Roundstone Rye, Watershed Gin and pear brandy.

To read the full story, click here.

Inc Magazine 

Inc magazine does a feature on craft distillers, and Catoctin Creek featured in the #3 spot of the 26 distilleries profiled. Coeli Carr writes:

Making distilled spirits is an ancient process, and for 21st-century craft distillers--currently there are about 1,000 of them in the U.S., according to the American Distilling Institute--everything old is new again. And profitable. ADI's annual survey estimates that craft sales moved about 2.4 million cases in 2015, about 40 percent more than the previous year. From 2011 through 2015, segment revenue grew more than 40 percent annually.

Read the full story, here.

Latest News

Rabble Rouser featured in Maxim

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...

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Becky Harris in American Whiskey Magazin…

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...

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Becky in Rachel Ray's magazine

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...

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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

Holiday Dinner at the Distillery

  DEC 13   Holiday Dinner at the Distillery 7:00pm—9:00pm Join us December 13th for our annual holiday-themed dinner. We will feature a four course menu plus an amuse boushe from Justin Thyme Culinary. The theme for the...

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Catoctin Creek Bottling Workshop

  DEC 21   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 - Tour through the "Bartender's Canon"

  JAN - FEB 3-14   Art of the Cocktail Class – Tour through the "Bartender's Canon" 7:00pm—9:00pm Catoctin Creek is pleased to present, our FIFTH year of this six-part educational series on the art...

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