Category Archives: whisky/whiskey
It’s been 10 years since George Washington’s Distillery at Mount Vernon re-opened and to mark the occasion, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed a bill Sunday officially naming George Washington’s Rye Whiskey the Commonwealth’s official spirit.
Not a bad tenth birthday present (or 220th birthday, depending on how you look at it).
Got this press release today from the good folks at Templeton Rye. This is a true vote of confidence in the longevity of the rye-naissance. I’m loving the re-establishment of the rye distilling tradition, not just in Templeton, Iowa, but also in what was once one of the great rye-producing capitals of the U.S.: Maryland. Later this month Sagamore Spirit Distillery is hosting the grand opening of its Baltimore facility….
Who says the government can’t get anything meaningful accomplished?
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed into law this week SB1261, which designates George Washington Rye Whiskey—produced at the restored late-eighteenth-century-style George Washington Distillery at Mount Vernon—as the Commonwealth’s official “state spirit.” Virginia State Senator Adam P Ebbin of Alexandria (my current stomping ground!) sponsored the bill.
Max L. Shapira, president of Heaven Hill Brands, offered these words on the passing of master distiller emeritus and all around bourbon legend Parker Beam:
“I, along with our entire Heaven Hill family, am saddened to share that our Master Distiller Emeritus, Parker Beam, passed away last night after a long and valiant battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS. All of us within the company, and the general public, watched with awe and admiration as Parker and Linda waged a much publicized war against this terrible disease, using their courage, his standing as one of the industry’s great Master Distillers and his wide sphere of influence to generate international awareness, and millions of dollars, for ALS research and treatment.
Starting in 1960 when he joined his father Earl here, and continuing through his appointment as Master Distiller in 1975, succeeding his father, Parker’s leadership established the foundation for our company and our Bourbon heritage. It was Parker who saw us through Bourbon’s first golden age in the 1960’s, its subsequent decline in the 1970’s and who led us to today’s new Golden Age, helping pioneer our first premium small batch and single barrel Bourbons, and paving the way for Heaven Hill to be the category leader we are today. There are no awards Parker has not won—charter member of the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame, Whiskey Advocate Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame, they go on and on—but what we will remember most about Parker was the leadership, the can-do attitude, and the kind and selfless mentoring he did to his son Craig and a whole new generation of Bourbon distillers.
At this time, however, our thoughts and prayers first go out to his family. We will share more on Parker Beam’s immense legacy in a follow-up release tomorrow morning, Tuesday, January 10.”
Just got this press release from Catoctin Creek. Big investment from a really big company….
Catoctin Creek Distilling Company, LLC, a distillery operating in Purcellville in Loudoun County, Virginia, announced today that Constellation Brands acquired a minority stake in the company This investment provides the company with new capital to grow production, marketing, and to provide more jobs in Virginia.
Catoctin Creek is a craft distillery that produces its flagship, award-winning Roundstone Rye whisky, among other products. The distillery’s products have received numerous medals and awards, most recently receiving gold medals from the 2016 American Whisky Masters in London and the Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago, along with a five star “Highest Recommendation” from F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal.
“We created Catoctin Creek to produce award-winning 100% rye single-barrel whisky entirely from grain to glass,” remarked Becky Harris, the president and chief distiller of Catoctin Creek. “In order to expand our production and portfolio, we needed the right partner for the next level of growth. Constellation has a strong commitment to this category, and with their expertise and support, we look forward to bringing our Virginia whisky to the world with the same team and exceptional product quality.”
“As we continue to invest in and explore the high-end craft whisky segment, we are excited to partner with Catoctin Creek – producers of authentic and award-winning products that provide us with deeper knowledge of emerging opportunities,” said Ben Dollard, chief growth officer, Constellation Brands. “Working with passionate entrepreneurs like Becky and Scott Harris allows Constellation Brands to support and accelerate their growth while staying at the forefront of the evolving alcoholic beverage landscape.”
“We are excited about our future in craft spirits,” remarked Scott Harris, founder and general manager of the distillery. “When we started, our core mission was to produce the finest rye whisky possible. Constellation understands that core mission, and shares our business values.”
Fisher & Company, of Menlo Park, California, initiated the transaction and advised Catoctin Creek in closing the deal with Constellation. The core management team of Scott and Becky Harris, who founded the distillery in 2009, will remain the same. The company expects to begin expansion in early 2017, and will continue to operate out of its 120 W. Main St., Purcellville location.