What’s that? Oh, you haven’t heard of Catoctin Creek? Wait, are you serious??
Actually, I believe it. And I wouldn’t expect many to have heard about these folks. Well, things are going to change, my friends! Catoctin Creek is surely the new kid on the block (please, no Donnie Wahlberg jokes, people). They started in 2009 and are the first distillery to open in their county since Prohibition. The brain child of Scott & Becky Harris, I think these folks have something quite good on their hands. And this something is only going to grow!
For my tree-huggers out there, all of Catoctin Creek’s products are certified organic. And for my Jews in the audience, their products are kosher certified (Star K). Oh, and for my booze lovers on the other side of the computer or smartphone screen, their whiskies are really good and… award winning!
Sadly, as it stands now, Catoctin Creek spirits are currently only available in California, Virginia, Maryland & Washington DC. In speaking with Scott Harris, however, he told me that they are currently working on wider distribution.
Update – Schneider’s of Capitol Hill will ship Catoctin Creek nationwide (USA).
Rather than put it all on the post here, to learn more about Catoctin Creek, click here.
Now, let me learn you on these whiskies. First, I’ll review their “Mosby’s Spirit” which is unmatured rye spirit, straight off the still then diluted to 40% ABV. The second is their “Roundstone Rye” which is their “Mosby’s Spirit” aged in new oak barrels for an unspecified amount of time. Both are 100% rye with no other grain influence.
Mosby’s Spirit – Virginia, USA – Awarded a bronze medal by the American Distilling Institute – 40%ABV – 750ml – $39
On the nose — No doubt about – if the label on the bottle didn’t tell me, or the crystal clear color of this rye didn’t clue me in, this is white dog, new make spirit, what ever you want to call it – it’s straight off the still rye!
Slight citrus notes. If I didn’t know better, I might confuse the scent of this for a silver tequila.
Hints of gooseberries.
Very sweet nose. Very clean as well.
Rye bread (duh!).
On the mouth — Thinnish mouth feel.
I enjoy the flavor much more than the nose. Very drinkable.
A slight saltiness to this.
Here’s a strange note for you: fresh cement.
Light & clean white wine.
Some unripened peach tones in there.
Tinned oranges. Actually a tin of many fruits (including that one single solitary cherry they throw in for you).
Finish — Medium in length with some of the rye from the nose and an interesting cranberry flavor that popped up.
In sum — I went into reviewing this whisky with the thought that it’s nothing more than a rye for mixing purposes. Nosing the stuff and I still felt this way. Tasting it changed my mind. I would be happy to sip on this stuff, especially in the summertime but I’d equally be happy to make a nice Manhattan with it. Think I’ll pour a wee bit more… Nah, have to review the Roundstone Rye now…
Roundstone Rye – Virginia, USA – 40%ABV – 750ml – $39
On the nose — It’s interesting what one year in an oak cask will do.
Upfront with the vanilla and a few hits of coconut.
Rounded out with soft caramel apple
On the mouth — Big and rich in flavor and a nice mouth feel.
Grilled apple slices.
Still a good deal of new make-i-ness in there but, I’m a fan of young spirit so no complaints here and after only a small amount of time in a cask, I would not expect anything else.
Unripened peach (just like with the white dog).
Finish — Medium in length with some great notes of caramel and rye.
In sum — A very approachable rye, especially for those just getting into them. It might benefit from a slightly higher ABV (maybe 46%) but still, a solid whisky (and yes, Catoctin Creek spells it “whisky” without the “E”.
Many thanks to Scott Harris for the generous samples!