Catoctin Creek & an easy summer weekend getaway!

May 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

My friends,

I am urging all of you to seek out a bottle of Catoctin Creek Organic Roundstone Rye Whisky asap.  I never fully understood love-at-first-taste until last night.  Having recently received a bottle as a gift, I was excited to open it up and have a taste.  WOW.  Was I impressed!

This award-winning whiskey has no alcohol “burn” at all and when it hits your tongue, it melts into a creamy, chewy caramel toffee with notes of vanilla.  I was so impressed with it’s smoothness, I am confident I will be a fan for life.  After a brief conversation with the distillery owner, Scott Harris, it became clear that I am not the only one to have had this reaction and apparently, they are so popular that they are struggling to fill their orders for just the VA, MD & DC markets!  Awww shucks. …Well, we’ll just have to take a road trip!

(Click on the image above to be taken to the Catoctin Creek website)

Made in Purcellville, Virginia, this small micro-brewery makes about 10,000 bottles per year.  They are doubling their production to 20,000 this year but I doubt there will be enough to make it up-stream to NY.  Using local grains, their products are both Organic and Kosher and if that’s not good enough, each bottle is signed & dated by hand.

In addition to the Roundstone Rye, they also make Watershed Gin, Mosby’s Spirit (an unaged whiskey which I’m now dying to try!), a pear brandy, an apple brandy and some seasonal fruit liqueurs.

Want a great summer weekend getaway?  Take a trip to our nation’s capitol for a day (or two), then drive about 1hr west to Catoctin Creek Distillery for a tour & tasting.  After a picnic lunch, drive another hour south to visit the Copper Fox Distillery

If you live in the DC area, check out the May Wine & Cultural Celebration Series at the Kennedy Center’s Roof Terrace Restaurant & Bar on Wednesday, May 11th from 6pm-8pm where Catoctin Creek along with many fellow VA distillers, wine makers, farmers and the like will be doing tastings.  For more information including ticket info and reservations, click HERE.

Love to hear from you!  Be sure to post a comment if you’ve ever visited the distillery or tried any of Catoctin Creek’s products!

WhiskyLive NYC 2010

April 8, 2011 § 1 Comment

I find it only fitting that my first posting be on the heels of such a great event.  I am talking about New York’s WhiskyLive event (held on April 6th) – and what an event it was!
WhiskyLive is unlike any tasting I have ever been to.  Before I get into the spirits – let me bring you up to speed first on a few of the details.  WhiskyLive is a manageable (not to big, def not too small), fun (does this really need an explanation?), whisky-focused expo-type of event where you go to taste some truly beautiful, and often unique whiskies.  WL has events in major cities in the US and all around the world.   You can find out more information about them here.  You can save some money by purchasing your tickets in advance but for those of you who have have a hard time making commitments, you can buy your tickets at the door.  In addition to a variety of booths who showcased everything from whisky & chocolate pairings (thank you, Cellar Door Chocolates for a truly unique experience) to scotch based cocktails to maker’s mark signature dipped shot glass – there was also a buffet dinner, live music, and master classes.

Who was there?

The classics were all there: in the blend category you of course have Johnny Walker & Chivas Regal; for the single-malt scotch lovers, you’d be disappointed not to have seen Glenlivet & Macallan there.  Bourbon: Makers Mark & Four Roses…. You get the idea.  Then you can get into the smaller, lesser known (or better known depending on which circle you travel in) boutique products.  I’m talking about anCnoc 16yr old which is a little more spicy and has a bit more of an impact on your tongue than their delicious and very approachable 12yr.  There was Copper Fox, a rocking rye that lingered on your pallet long enough to make you smile, pucker up, and go back for more.  It smelled of warm vanilla (yum!) and was smooth yet bright.  I was intrigued and delighted by Scott’s Selection line of products.  They take some of the best casks from different distilleries in Scotland and bottle them at cask strength – no added water or chill filtering to ensure the purest form of the Scotch.  What a treat!  I was also really surprised and delighted to have tried Tomatin.  They were sampling the 12, 15 & 18 but the surprise was the 30 year and 50 year samples that were brought over for the event.  The 30yr was a special blend that included both a peated barley malt and non-peated malts.  From the first smell to the moment it hit my lips, I knew I was in love.  And then I was poured a sample of the 50yr.  It had such depth and character – I felt like I had died and gone to heaven.  This was a real treat for everyone at the event because these two products have not even been bottled yet.  They literally had 2 old-school shaped bottles with hand-written labels stuck to their fronts.  Just perfect.

It was a great night for the event, too.  Situated inside Chelsea Piers at pier 60 with views of the Hudson River, it was just chilly enough and just rainy enough to keep you inside sipping drams and chatting your way around the tables.  At the end of the evening, we walked out on the banks of the Hudson into the misty rain – for a quick moment I imagined myself in Scotland!  (The imagery was  probably helped by the fact that I was standing next to a group of kilt-clad men!).

I was excited and inspired to see so many women attend the event.  They were right there side-by-side sipping, tasting, & exploring with the men.  It was such a great evening and a truly fun event.  I met some really interesting women in the business, many of whom will be contributing to this blog at some point over the next few months.  A special thank you to David Sweet for organizing such a great & successful evening!  I will end this first post with one quote:

“The only wrong way to drink whisky is to not!” – David Sweet

Welcome aboard, ladies.

(this blog post first appeared on FRIDAY, APRIL 8th at WhiskyWoman’s original home: http://whiskywoman.blogspot.com/)

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