First public tasting and buying opportunity for George Washington Rye Whiskey at Mount Vernon Distillery
Who was the master distiller behind the creation of this whiskey? None other than Dave Pickerell, past Distillery Manager at Maker’s Mark. (He’s now involved with WhistlePig Rye Whiskey, among other activities.) I’m also getting a review sample of the whiskey, so I’ll let you know my thoughts after I taste it.
Here are some other tidbits of information that Frank Coleman of the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S. (DISCUS) provided me. (Thanks Frank!)
*Prince Andrew and Gov. Bob McDonnell (then-AG) cut the ribbon on the distillery in the Fall of 06.
*DISCUS and WSWA funded the $2.1 million project in 2001.
*Ground was broken in Fall, 2001–five years of archaeology and then construction followed.
*The Distillery and its second floor museum about the history of distilling in America is The Gateway to the American Whiskey Trail www.Americanwhiskeytrail.com.
*DISCUS got a law passed in to allow the GW Distillery to be a special ABC store.
*In February, 2010 DISCUS passed a law to permit ABC stores to allow tastings of spirits–law is effective July 1. Hence, this is also the first public liquor store tasting since Prohibition.
*Demonstration distilling was done several times since 2002 on the lawn on an exact replica of the 18th cent Smithsonian Pot Still built by Vendome Copper of Louisville.
*Products from those events, including GW Rye and Martha’s Rum were only sold at private auctions.
*The first two bottles of the first demonstation GW Rye sold to publisher Marvin Shanken for $100k–a record for an American whiskey. Bottle #1 is in the Distillery museum; bottle #2 is on display at Shanken Communications.
*A unique vatted American whiskey, aged and blended on the grounds at Mount Vernon, and made from a dozen great American whiskeys including Jack Daniels, Maker’s Maker, etc has been on sale in mini-bottle gift sets. The public will also be able to taste and purchase those sets on July 1.
Official Press Release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT: Frank Coleman, Distilled Spirits Council (202) 682-8840
June 25, 2010 Melissa Wood, Mount Vernon, (703) 799-5203
BUY GEORGE!: First Public Opportunity to Buy and Taste
George Washington Rye Whiskey at the Mount Vernon Distillery
MOUNT VERNON, VA. — On July 1, for the first time since the George Washington’s distillery burned to the ground in 1814, the public will be able buy Rye Whiskey made at the founding father’s distillery. And, thanks to a new law in Virginia, they can taste it BEFORE they buy it at this special public tasting event.
The extremely limited edition whiskey (550 bottles) was produced in the reconstructed distillery in 2009 according to the General’s own recipe discovered by historians in the mansion’s extensive records. (Bottle shot at left, courtesy of Russ Flynt.)
Starting at noon, the public will be able to sample small amounts before purchasing one of the unique 375 ml bottles for $85. The proceeds will benefit Mount Vernon’s education programs.
What: First public sale and tasting of the new George Washington Rye Whiskey produced at George Washington’s Distillery using the Founding Father’s own historic recipe
When: July 1, 2010
11:30 a.m. Media set-up
11:45 a.m. Inaugural tasting with public officials followed by media tastings
12:00 p.m. – 1 p.m. Public tasting event (while supplies last)
12:30 p.m. Unveiling of local artist’s painting in distillery’s upstairs museum
Where: George Washington’s Distillery
5514 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway (SR 235)
3 miles south of Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens main entrance.
Who: Jim Rees, President, Historic Mount Vernon, Public Officials