They may live in Virginia's wine country, but Scott and Rebecca Harris prefer a stronger proof. The couple has just launched the area's first micro-distillery, Catoctin Creek.
The business is built on a shared loved for artisanal potables and Rebecca's background as a chemical engineer. The duo self-financed their new venture, which just debuted its first three products ($39 for 750 ml), all organic and kosher.
Mosby's Spirit, an unaged white whiskey, is named for a Civil War colonel and the bedrock of the distillery. The potent spirit has mellow floral aromas but a wallop of warm spice, which would be perfect for spiking lemonade or heating a Sazerac.
Harris barrel-ages the same white whiskey for five months to create Roundstone Rye. The oak casks give this rich, dark spirit its buttery toffee flavors and a vanilla finish that begs for a Manhattan.
Watershed Gin is triple-distilled from organic rye. The fresh pour tickles the nose with juniper, citrus and eight other secret spices that make it perfect with a splash of tonic water.
Up next, the Harrises will debut a line of wine-based spirits, including a pear brandy slated to hit shelves around Christmas.
Roundstone Rye is now sold at Virginia ABC stores with, gin and white whiskey available by special order. D.C. and Maryland will soon sell all three products.
Visitors can always request an impromptu tour, but if you go during Loudoun's Spring Farm Tour this weekend, you can catch a full distillation demonstration.
Catoctin Creek Distilling Company, 37251-C East Richardson Ln., Purcellville, VA; 540-751-8404 or catoctincreekdistilling.com
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