We knew that we would have some free time out in wine country during the SIL’s wedding weekend, so I thought it would be a good idea to crowd-source some wineries to visit just to see if anyone had any must-try favorites. My co-worker replied and reminded me that Catoctin Creek Distillery was there, and informed me that if I didn’t visit while I was out there, that I was dead to her. That’s reason enough for me! Then, once I was doing my plotting and planning, I figured out that the distillery was just 10 minutes from the wedding venue. It was a done deal, and done very easily.
On Friday, we headed from the farmhouse to the venue to help with a little bit of setup for the wedding. Once it got to be lunch time and I started getting hangry, we headed out to find lunch and to taste some whiskey! We rolled into adorable downtown Purcellville, checked out our lunch options, and decided that burgers were the perfect lunch before booze tasting. We grabbed a delicious lunch at Market Burger Fries and Shakes, just across the street from the distillery.
I ordered a burger but topped like their black bean burger. It had pepper jack cheese, avocado, chipotle mayo, lettuce, tomato, and grilled onions. It was SO GOOD. The lady just had a burger with the standard toppings. We also split a GIANT order of fries. The coolest part was that everything was locally sourced. It was a surprising find in such a small town. Oh god, it was delicious, and it handled my hanger just perfectly.
After we finished lunch, it was just about time for the distillery to open, so we wandered back across the street.
They let us in just a few minutes before opening time and we took a seat at the horseshoe shaped bar. The space was very warm and inviting. Wooden stools, concrete bar, wooden tables, metal chairs, exposed wooden rafters. It was a fantastic space and I felt very comfortable and happy just to be there.
I had a hard time deciding between the flight options, be it the original (The Mosby ‘s Spirit, The Watershed Gin, and The Roundstone Rye), the whiskey (Mosby’s Spirit, Roundstone Rye, and Roundstone Rye 92 proof) , cocktail, or the brandy flight (peach, pear, and grape). I decided on the brandy because of the fruity flavors and she decided on the whiskey.
I’m not the biggest fan of the taste of straight liquor, so I should have gone for the cocktail flight (you can choose 3 of about 8 cocktails made with their different liquors). But it was still a fun adventure to try brandy. Definitely outside my comfort zone.
I will definitely be getting the original flight or the cocktail flight the next time. I’m just itchin’ to try that gin.
I was a little concerned about time and having to get back to the hotel, get ready for the rehearsal dinner, etc, so we weren’t planning on doing the tour. We found out the the owner, Scott, who also runs their Twitter and who I had been Tweeting back and forth with for a few days, was the one giving the tour. The tasting also didn’t take very long, so we sprung for the tour. I’m really glad we did, because it was a lot of fun.
Scott walked us through some of the history of the distillery and all of the steps of the process. He made sure to stop at every step to see and smell the sights and smells of the process. The hands-on aspect was really great. He also talked about how the leftover rye is sent out as feed and that the way their production plays out that they are basically in the feed business, with whiskey on the side. One of the most fun facts of the day was that the cows that made up our lunch were fed that rye.
He said that they are at the point where they are distilling and bottling every day. They don’t want to be in every store in every state, they like staying fairly small, but that they are growing like crazy. I think my most favorite fact was that of the 19 (?) or so states that they’re currently in- Washington DC accounts for a majority of their production and sales. How awesome is that? Also, I’m not the slightest bit surprised. This city sure loves its craft alcohol!
- Favorite flavor I had: I think I probably liked the Mosby’s Spirit or the Roundstone Rye the best.
- Most interesting thing I want to try next time: Definitely the original or the cocktail flight!
- What makes this place stand out: The space is incredible and the owners were awesome! I’m so excited I got to meet them and am excited to see what comes of the future.
- How soon I’d go back (tomorrow/next week/next month/special occasions): The lady wants to make another trip out for more wine tastings, and the Brother-in-Law’s family farmhouse is out there, I hope to find some time in the next month or so, but definitely by the fall.
- Places to go afterward (what’s nearby): Downtown Purcellville is super cute. There were some little antique shops and such there, and tons of food options. There are also a zillion wineries in the surrounding area. You could totally make a day of it.