Thursday, April 30, 2009
Breaking News: Rye Whiskey soon to be sold at Mount Vernon...
For the first time since 1808, the working distillery (recently reconstructed with the financial support of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States--it burned down in 1814) at George Washington's Virginia estate, Mount Vernon, will be selling whiskey made on-site, starting in June 2009. The story is here.
Back in 1797, Washington invested in a distillery on his plantation and within a year his distiller was producing 11,000 gallons of rye whiskey annually. Most of it was sold locally for a hefty profit. After Washington's death in 1799, production tailed off.
The spirit will be rye (60% rye, 35% corn, 5% barley)--of course--and young. Most spirits made during the period were aged only briefly, if at all. Washington's rye, apparently, was especially appreciated for it's quality--which means it did spend some time, however limited, in the barrel.
Mount Vernon has been selling a limited edition American whiskey since August 2008, but this is a blend of leading American whiskeys aged on-site--not produced on site. The new stuff will be the real thing.
The grains used in this revived version were milled on-site, making this the only eighteenth-century style whiskey made in an eighteenth-century style setting using eighteenth-century techniques and technologies. It may be the most authentic rye of all. Many thanks to Virginia State Senator Linda Puller for ensuring that the distillery--operated by the Mount Vernon Ladies Association--could get the appropriate state licensing to sell distilled spirits.
Rye patriots, gather at this shrine come June to drink the nectar of our country!