Catoctin Creek distillery in Purcellville, VA
This is one of the two distilleries that we visited this past weekend. The idea, was hatched in traffic, while commuting from the far outer burbs into DC (a nasty commute on a good day.) Hubby went to his wife with this great idea, and she told him to come back with a business plan. He did, she read it and it was good, very good. She is an engineer by trade and it shows. The place is neat and orderly, with a place for everything clearly planned. They make a rye, bottling two versions, a gin, and three brandies, pear, peach and grape. I will sample the pear sometime soon. The rye is aged a minimum of two years, with select barrels set aside for an extra year. This bottle is the three year. It is good rye, not my favorite spirit, but well made. It is smooth, with a smokey finish. The stills are a hybrid, pot-column still. The mash is heated in the bottom like a pot still, then rises through a column still. Very technical, in keeping with the character of the owners. It is a modest operation producing something like 150 gallons of finished product a week. They recently moved into downtown, into a building that housed a Buick Dealership for 70 years. They do a nice tour and have a very nice tasting room.