Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Liquor in Loudoun!

Last weekend was husband's 30th birthday, and we had a big day planned.  After making a big batch of breakfast burritos, we headed west to Purcellville to visit the new distillery, Catoctin Creek.  Opening in 2009, it is the first family owned distillery in Loudoun County since before Prohibition. 

Photo found here
The facility is located in a very unassuming warehouse area just off Route 7, about an hour west of Washington, DC.  Loudoun is known for it's winemaking, so it's somewhat fitting that the county now has it's own distillery.  They are certified both organic and kosher, and they produce high quality, small batch spirits and liqueurs.  They are open for tours and tastings (visit their website for specific times). 

Photo found here
We went at 2pm on Saturday - the only tasting time for the day.  The front office space is tiny so they can only accommodate about 4-6 people at a time for a tasting.  We were in the third of three groups to taste that afternoon.  The tastings consist of 3 different liquors - their Watershed Gin, an un-aged white whiskey called Mosby’s Spirit,  and the most popular Roundstone Rye whiskey.  The pours are quite generous, more than half of a shot glass each, but we felt that the tasting fee at $10 was a little high.  

Photo found here
It's awkward doing a liquor tasting for the first time, especially when we're more familiar with beer and wine tastings!  The need to SIP the gin and whiskies is definitely important!  While I'm not much of a liquor drinker, I did taste a few from husband's pours.  He really liked the 2 whiskies, and we came home with a bottle of the Roundstone Rye. 

You can find the liquors in most bars and restaurants in Leesburg, and they're working their way towards DC.  When we were out a few weeks ago in Georgetown, there was a bottle on the bar front and center.  Along with the 3 I've mentioned, they make a brandy from Virginia grown grapes, and have partnered with nearby Fabbioli Cellars to make a brandy using pear wine.  They've won several awards, including the most recent just this month, bringing home the gold metal from the Beverage Testing Institute for the Watershed Gin.

It's definitely worth a visit to Catocin Creek, and would be great coupled with a winery stop and lunch at Magnolia's in Purcellville or Tuskies in Leesburg!

After we left Purcellville, we headed north to Baltimore for dinner and a ballgame - more on that to come soon!

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