George Washington Rye Whiskey
Batch 2014B (Nov), Bottle 1731
$100 (375 mL)
What the Distillery Says
This special bottle of George Washington’s Rye Whiskey® is one of a limited number of bottles distilled at George Washington’s reconstructed distillery at Mount Vernon.
The mash bill, or recipe, was discovered by researchers examining the distillery ledgers for 1798 and 1799. His whiskey consisted of 60% rye, 35% corn and 5% malted barley. The records also indicate that George Washington’s whiskey was distilled at least twice before being sent to market. In Washington’s time whiskey was not aged and was sold in its original form. The whiskey in this bottle accurately represents that process.
Mount Vernon staff used Washington’s original mash bill and traditional 18th-century methods in the production of this rye whiskey. This included grinding of all the grain in Washington’s water-powered gristmill, fermenting in wooden mash tubs and distilling in copper pot stills heated by wood fires, making this rye whiskey as close to the original recipe as possible.
What Gary Says
Nose: Thick, robust cereal, corn bread and freshly baked rye bread; a hint of barley malt and pine.
Palate: Rich, creamy, sweet corn and sweet barley malt with a bite of pepper and a touch of sourdough bread.
Finish: Fairly quick (although more pleasant than the other white dog whiskies evaluated during the same sessions).
Comments: In early 2015, I visited George Washington’s Mount Vernon Distillery and Gristmill, and bought this bottle (despite not being a fan of white dog). They make whiskey a couple times a year, using the same techniques used in George Washington’s day (almost completely by hand!) They sell a limited number of bottles, and I was anxious to taste what whiskey back in Washington’s day may have tasted like. In that period, whiskey wasn’t aged (at least not intentionally), so the unaged rye whiskey was as close as I could get (although I guess something aged for some odd months might have been more accurate – who knows). Besides the methods used, this is a much lower proof than most white dog on the market today. And of the three white dogs I reviewed, this was hands down my favorite. Quite interesting, with a lot more going on in terms of depth of flavor on both the nose and palate, and a thicker mouthfeel. I would absolutely love to try this with some real age on it, based on what I’ve read about lower proof distillates. Don’t get me wrong – this was an expensive taste of history, but it left me with no regrets.
Rating: Must Try (if you’re a whiskey geek; otherwise try before you buy!)