Tag Archives: George Washington Rye Whiskey

George Washington Rye Whiskey

George Washington Rye Whiskey
Batch 2014B (Nov), Bottle 1731
43% ABV
$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!)

New U.S. Releases – June ’10

I’m trying to be a little more timely with these release summaries as I’ve been slacking off lately. I only heard about five new tipples this month but they all are very interesting.

Iowa Bourbon Whiskey
Timeframe: July 1st
ABV: ?
Iowa Bourbon! Five years ago would you have ever thought of such a thing? This is coming to us from the Cedar Ridge Vineyards Winery & Distillery. It was distilled back in 2008 and the first 1,500 cases are being released this year. What’s even cooler is that they are going to use their own used barrels and make a scotch-style single malt to be called Cedar Ridge Single Malt Whiskey in 2011.

George Washington Rye Whiskey
Timeframe: July 1st
ABV: ?
Price: $85/375ml
This was some of the first whiskey made at the reconstructed distillery in Mount Vernon. It was recreated from President Washington’s original recipe found in the archives at Mount Vernon. It was distilled in 2009 and ready for sale next month but only at the distillery.

The Arran Malt, Anniversary Bottling
Timeframe: June 29th release, no word on when it will show up on our shores
ABV: ?
Price: Around $80
This is some of the original malt distilled back in 1999 that was finished for the last two years in Amontillado Sherry Casks. It is being released to mark the 15th anniversary of the distillery.

Glen Breton 15 Year Old “Battle of the Glen” Canadian Single Malt Whisky
Timeframe: ?
ABV: 43%
Price: ?
You have got to love the sense of humor of these guys. They are releasing this special bottling to celebrate their victory in the Canadian Supreme Court against the SWA’s draconian naming laws. For those that don’t know the SWA tried to force the distillery not to use the name because they thought if it said “Glen Breton Canadian” everyone would automatically assume it’s scotch. Congratulations on the victory guys and I can’t wait to try the celebration dram.

The Kilbeggan Reserve Malt
ABV: 40%
Price: ?
This is a truely special dram. Just for the simple fact that it is the first whiskey distilled at Kilbeggan in 53 years. It’s a three year old matured in quarter casks by Cooley at the recommissioned Kilbeggan distillery. That gives Cooley two working distilleries now. Kudos for their hand in the resurgence of Irish Whiskey!

Knappogue Castle 12 Year Old Irish Whiskey
It’s not new. It’s the same Knappogue but they are doing away with their vintage releases in favor of a standard 12 Year Old.

That’s it for June. Please let me know if I missed anything that you may have heard of.

By the way, I just wanted to remind folks that these release summaries are for U.S. releases. There are plenty of things that are coming out for travel retail or overseas only that don’t make it on the list. I don’t include them deliberately because it used to frustrate the hell out of me to hear about great new whiskey and then find out that I can’t get it.

And as a reminder…Maker’s 46 should be in your local liquor stores around the middle of July!

Drink wisely my friends,