Ragged Branch started making their Straight Rye Whiskey several years ago after ending up with a surplus of rye on their farm near Charlottesville. They worked with Master Distiller Dave Pickerell to design the recipe, heavy on the rye and no corn in the mash bill. First released in bottles at the distillery in the fall of 2019, and now the first Bottled-in-Bond 100 Proof offering available at Virginia ABC stores, joining their flagship Signature and Wheated Bourbons.
Ragged Branch Virginia Straight Rye is drier and spicier than our bourbons. You get layers of dried fruit, almond, and maybe a little sweet tobacco.
Virginia Rye Whisky producer Catoctin Creek Distilling Company has spent US$1 million on new equipment to triple its production capacity.
Story from THE SPIRITS BUSINESS written by Nicola Carruthers
Catoctin Creek was founded by husband and wife Scott and Becky Harris in 2009. Based in Loudoun County in the north of Virginia, Catoctin Creek produces whiskey, gin and brandy. In January 2017, Svedka Vodka owner Constellation Brands acquired a minority stake in Catoctin Creek.
The expansion plans have been ‘well underway’ for more than a year, Catoctin Creek said. The upgrade is set to be completed in late June 2021, after initially being delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“As we continue to grow Catoctin Creek as a national brand, we must ensure we have enough whisky inventory to support future demand,” said general manager Scott Harris. “This equipment expansion will guarantee our production capacity keeps up with sales for the next few years, at least.”
Read the full story here: Catoctin Creek Expansion
VinePair Top 50 Best Spirits of 2020
4. Filibuster Dual Cask Finished Rye
From an under-the-radar craft Virginia distillery, this is a world-class rye. Its immediately distinctive personality challenges the notion that rye is simply bourbon’s “spicy” cousin. Instead, the full spectrum of the grain’s qualities are highlighted in this whiskey’s 90 percent rye, 10 percent malted barley mash bill. Long before any prickle of spice, there’s lively dill and a cleansing spray of spearmint. Next comes the faint bite of pumpernickel, toasted caraway seeds, and then — finally — the palate is met with a pleasant prickling sensation. Without doubt, four years aging in charred American oak and a finishing period in sherry and French wine barrels have added depth and complexity. But it’s the grain, fermentation, and distillation that really shine in this celebration of rye whiskey. Average price: $44.
Read the full article:
See the full review of Filibuster Dual Cask Finished Virginia Rye:
Catoctin Creek Distillery receives praise for another wonderful Virginia Rye.
We are delighted that Roundstone Rye 92 Proof "Distiller's Edition," which rated 94 points in January of this year, was selected for Wine Enthusiast's Top 100 of 2020! In fact, we were the third highest rated rye whisky in the category! - Catoctin Creek
Kara Newman writes: "This single-barrel rye is suitable for sipping or a dessert pairing. Look for bold sugar-cookie aromas and confectionary richness on the palate: vanilla, cocoa, hazelnut, maple sugar and mocha. The moderately long finish is marked by lemon peel and nutmeg."
Shelley Sackier, Director of Distillery Education at Reservoir Distillery in Richmond, VA shares a wonderful piece on The Culpeper, Virginia Ramoneda Brothers oak barrel stave mill. The mill produces white oak barrel staves and accompanying products for the whiskey and wine cooperage industry. Originally published on Moonshine University.com
“You can see the piece within the piece.”
I know that might sound a tad cryptic, but this was a phrase uttered nearly simultaneously by both Vic Ramoneda and his employee, Bill DiSantis, as we all bent over a freshly cut plank of wood in the Ramoneda Brothers Stave Mill in Culpeper, Virginia.
“Do you mean like Michelangelo and the whole, ‘The sculpture is already complete—it’s there in that block of marble’ kind of thing?” I asked them both.
I laughed. They nodded politely at the joke. And then agreed, “Exactly.”
As Director of Distillery Education for Reservoir Distillery, I was neck-deep in wood science research, and this was my first on-site introduction to one of the most instrumental parts of our spirit making process--barrels. Without their participation and interaction, we have nothing but distillate to bottle; and although I think the gin-clear liquid that trickles from our copper pot’s parrot spout is remarkable in its flavors and aromas, it is not our final goal.
For the rest of the story: https://moonshineuniversity.com/the-ramoneda-brothers-stave-mill/
2 oz. of Virginia Rye Whiskey
3 dashes Blackwater Orange Bitters (Made in Virginia)
Splash of Mt. Defiance Absinthe (Made in Virginia)
1 sugar cube
Rinse a chilled old-fashioned glass with the absinthe, add crushed ice and set it aside. In a shaker, stir the remaining ingredients over ice and set it aside. Discard the ice and any excess absinthe from the prepared glass, and strain the drink into the glass. Add the Lemon peel for garnish.
In the American Whiskey Rye flight of The Spirits Business Autumn Blind Tastings, Filibuster Dual Cask Rye secured a Gold award for its “warming vanilla, toffee, caramel with just a hint of unexpected spice on the finish”. Congratulations on another award and a wonderful Virginia Rye!
Filibuster took home a total of three Gold Medals.
The Gold medals came thick and fast as we worked our way through the American Whiskey segment, starting with Filibuster Dual Cask Bourbon, which delivered “overripe tropical fruits” on the nose with “vanilla and loads of oak” on the palate”.
In the American Whiskey – Rye flight, Filibuster Dual Cask Rye also secured a Gold award for its “warming vanilla, toffee, caramel with just a hint of unexpected spice on the finish”.
Filibuster Boondoggler also walked away with a Gold in the American Whiskey – Single Grain flight, thanks to its aromas of “chestnut peels, some fruitiness and baking spices” and “charged fruitiness on the finish”.
Men's and Women's sizes in 7 colors. Produced and shipped by Amazon.
"We are honored to receive the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association Distillery of the Year Award for 2020! This year has been anything but ordinary, but we are so grateful for the support of our community." - KO Distilling
Story written by LoudonNow.com
Catoctin Creek Distilling Co. has established a partnership with N10 Bourbon Ltd. to export its whiskies throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
N10 Bourbon is an American whiskey distribution company based in the U.K. and will export the Purcellville distillery’s popular single-barrel, pot-stilled whiskies: Roundstone Rye 80 Proof, Roundstone Rye 92 Proof Distiller’s Edition, and Roundstone Rye Cask Proof.
“I am extremely happy to be partnered with N10 Bourbons Ltd in the U.K.,” said General Manager and co-founder Scott Harris. “The U.K. is one of the most important markets in Europe for American whiskey, and we are thrilled to be partnering with a distributor who specializes solely in American whiskey. That will give our brand the focused attention it deserves.”
READ THE FULL STORY - CLICK HERE
Liquor.com feature story on 7 great Virginia Distillers, including 2 makers of Virginia Rye Whiskey, Silverback and Catoctin Creek.
Visit these Virginia distilleries for a real taste of history.
Written by Jarrett Dieterle
Virginia’s wine scene is getting a lot of attention these days, but the state’s distilleries shine bright, too. American whiskey was born on the shores of Virginia’s James River in 1620, after all, investing the commonwealth with a rich distilling heritage that is holding strong.
Today, there are more than 45 distilleries in the state making some of the country’s best gin, vodka, whiskey and moonshine. Visiting them all would take a season. These seven are an excellent way to start your journey through Virginian spirits.
Silverback - Come for the large silverback gorilla statue out front, then stay for the delicious spirits. Located along Virginia’s Route 151—dubbed Alcohol Alley for its five wineries, three breweries, cidery and distillery—this is one of the state’s hidden gems. The surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains make it one of the prettiest Virginia distilleries to visit.
Silverback’s Strange Monkey gin wins over the most skeptical drinker with its approachable character. Blackback honey rye marries amber rye with honey sourced from local farms. The tasting room, open Thursday to Monday, serves craft cocktails using local ingredients and the distillery’s full array of spirits.
Catoctin Creek - An hour outside of Washington, D.C., Catoctin Creek is part of the great rye rebirth in American distilling. Its flagship Roundstone, which the distillery calls a “pre-Prohibition” rye, is made of 100% organic rye. Its brandies, made with 100% local fruit, are also superb, including peach, apple and pear spirits––all great on their own or mixed into a cocktail. Tours and tastings take place Tuesday through Sunday in a brick-lined room featuring a formidable central bar that overlooks the warehouse where the distilling takes place.
READ THE WHOLE STORY HERE:
Copper Fox Distillery introduces Copper Fox Apple Brandy Rye. This limited edition bottling is their original rye whisky transferred and finished for an additional period of time in apple brandy barrels. Medium-long finish with notes of dried apple, spiced pears and cigar smoke. Non-chill filtered. 50% abv/100 proof. Available now exclusively at their distillery stores in Sperryville and Williamsburg.
Ward Eight - Drink Recipe
This one is a true refresher!
From The Havana Beach Bar & Grill at The Pearl Hotel in Rosemary Beach, FL
2 oz. rye whiskey
0.5 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. of grenadine (or cherry juice)
Optional: 0.5 oz. of orange juice for added sweetness
Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice
Shake vigorously for 25 seconds
Using a strainer, strain the shaken ingredients into a glass
Garnish with your choice of cherries, orange peel or both
Sip and enjoy!
Three Monkeys Farm in Northern Virginia harvested a beautiful crop of Rye Grain berries this year. Looking forward to tasting them in a great Virginia Rye Whiskey one day. Distillers, check out the resources page on the website for contact information.
The Best White Whiskeys On The Market, According To Bartenders
by News Lagoon
George Washington Unaged Rye Whiskey
"George Washington Unaged Rye Whiskey (Mount Vernon, Virginia). This small-batch product is a favorite, not only because it is the official spirit of the Commonwealth of Virginia, but also given the historical research that went into determining the mash bill; 60% rye, 35% corn, and 5% barley. It can be said that this is a faithful representation of whiskey distilled in the early Republic, and the methods used at the George Washington distillery – the wood-fired stills, the grain milled on-site – are remarkable." -
Luke Pecoraro, director of curatorial services at Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation in Williamsburg, Virginia
The unaged product has a consistently good taste and finish, and is produced in limited quantity twice a year.
A History of Rye in the US
By David Furer
As seen on Distilling.com
Part 1 link: https://distilling.com/distillermagazine/a-history-of-rye-in-the-us-part-i/
Part 2 link: https://distilling.com/distillermagazine/a-history-of-rye-in-the-us-part-2/
Excerpts below, read the entire story by following the links above to Distilling.com.
Virginia lays claim to the birthplace of American distilled spirits as the first batch of whiskey, albeit from corn, was documented to have been produced as early as 1620 by English settler George Thorpe near Jamestown. Rye’s presence and dominance in what later became the states of New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia was in great part due to socioeconomic factors and geography. In Europe, wheat was a staple meant for the tables of the affluent, whereas rye was a poor person’s staple. Immigrants to the new land in search of a better life were mostly poor, bringing with them what they knew best. “The original settlers from the Germanic areas grew rye for bread and whiskey,” said whiskey historian John Lipman. He cites the ship Mary Hope which had sailed in 1710 to Philadelphia carrying the Oberholtzers (née Overholt) and Böhmes (née Beam) to the New World as a lineage point.
Rye’s popularity in the new country grew out of necessity, prompted by the lack of Caribbean molasses for rum distillation at commercial coastal distilleries — a consequence of English hostility, whose navy maintained control of the Atlantic Ocean — and neither was it a drink for patriots. By the late 1700’s, there were thousands of small grain distilleries each in New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland. Corn was native throughout, though more widespread and easier to grow in the south. Barley lacked the hardiness required for a staple crop, and rye was much easier to grow.
Recently retired President George Washington was considering a gentlemanly retirement at his Mount Vernon, Virginia estate when his farm manager James Anderson in 1797 proposed growing rye and corn for the distillation of whiskey. He granted the Scotsman dispensation to furnish the new operation with five copper stills, boilers, tubs and wooden troughs; by 1798 the distillery was in operation.
Between 1810 and 1840 it’s estimated 14,000 to 20,000 distilleries, licensed and otherwise, operated in the young United States. Most of its population was northerly with rail transport yet to be developed. But once railroads were built, it was discovered that the rye whiskey known as Monongahela, which arrived to its populated coastal destinations quickly and a yellowish hue, it tasted better when darker brown. Thus began the conscious warehousing of distillates in barrels with prices commensurate for the capital invested to do so.
The Civil War helped spread the sweeter whiskies of the south to the rye drinkers who prevailed in it. Jumping ahead some decades, eastern distillers opening after Prohibition still favored rye over corn. Kentucky distilleries with cheaper and more plentiful arable land were poised to build large facilities to garner economy of scale on the back of an extensive and well-financed rail network. Added factors included the taste for bootlegged Canadian whiskeys, and the fewer regulations imposed upon Kentucky operations after WW2. In southwest Pennsylvania there were over 100 distilleries operating before Prohibition, with Overholt distillery at Broad Ford, the largest rye distillery after Prohibition, closing in 1951.
From the end of Prohibition until 2006, rye was in steady decline, with 150,000 cases of rye sold in the United States compared to 14.7 million cases of bourbon.
The reemergence of cocktail culture — first in San Francisco, then New York and Chicago — spurred the rebirth of rye whiskey, growing 20% in 2006 and 30% in 2007, and 600% between 2009 and 2015. Presaging this was the development of the Mount Vernon Distillery, a project initiated with the support of DISCUS, which follows a mash bill (borne out by George Washington’s ledgers) of 60% rye, 35% corn, 5% malted barley.
David Furer has worked since 1986 in the adult beverage industries of Europe, Asia and his native USA. He has been involved in communications and marketing of wine, spirits and beer, along with the occasional jaunt into foods and cigars. He is a co-organizer and will be the host of March 2019's Climate Change Wine Leadership Conference in Porto, Portugal. Furer is a regular columnist for France’s Sommeliers International and the creator of high-concept alcohol events. He lives in New York’s Hudson Valley.
Whiskey Wash - Whiskey Review: Catoctin Creek Infinity Barrel Virginia Rye Whisky
"It is really delicious. I could drink this, neat, over and over again. It doesn’t need a damn thing. I want to try more of their whiskeys under better circumstances and it’s evident why they have received so many accolades. Well done." 5 STARS - By Carin Moonin / July 28, 2020 Whiskey Wash
Read the entire review and article here - Whiskey Wash
Beat the heat with this refreshing Filibuster cocktail recipe. A Summer sip that will impress all your friends during patio season!⠀
🍊Citrus in the Rye🍊⠀
1.5 oz Filibuster Rye⠀
.75 oz Lemon Juice⠀
.75 oz Grapefruit Juice⠀
.5 oz Simple Syrup⠀
.5 oz Blood Orange Bitters⠀
3 dashs Angostura Bitt
Read the full Chillled article here: https://chilledmagazine.com/top-virtual-distillery-tours
Founded by Scott and Becky Harris in 2009, Catoctin Creek was the first legal distillery to open since prohibition in Purcellville, Virginia’s Loudoun County. The craft distillery produces Roundstone Rye, in Virginia’s most-awarded whisky, made from local organic grains through old-world production methods.
Read the whole story here:
Congratulations to Filibuster Distillery for winning Silver from the 2020 ADI Craft Spirits Awards for their Straight Rye Whiskey. Another great Virginia Rye!
2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition Winners. Congratulations to these fine Virginia Rye whiskies that won recognition in this venerable competition.
Reservoir Distillery, Richmond, VA
Reservoir Rye – Gold
Hunter & Scott Rye – Gold
Filibuster Distillery, Maurertown, VA
Filibuster Straight Rye – Silver
Ragged Branch, Charlottesville, VA
Straight Rye Bottled in Bond – Silver
New Orleans Bourbon Fest Straight Rye – Silver
Speyside Cooperage now has both an oak stave mill and new cooperage producing 53 gallon white oak whiskey barrels in Virginia. A great option for Virginia whiskey distillers wanting to go full Virginia grain to glass sourcing. https://speysidebci.com/about-us/locations
by Daniel Marstellar - Shaken News Daily
Feb. 12, 2020
American rye whiskey has been among the hottest areas of the drinks market in recent years, evidenced by the category’s rapid rise to more than 1 million cases in annual volume. According to Impact Databank, American rye neared 1.1 million cases last year, on 9% growth—more than doubling their total of five years earlier—with both major marketers and smaller players contributing to gains.
Diageo-owned Bulleit rye leads the field by a wide margin, with volume up 4% to an estimated 470,000 cases last year. Rye now accounts for about one-third of the entire Bulleit franchise, which depleted an estimated 1.42 million cases in the U.S. in 2019 and saw net sales climb 4% in the six months through December.
Utah-based High West has seen its rye depletions continue to soar since being acquired by Constellation in 2016. Over the past three years, High West’s rye volume has nearly doubled to 80,000 cases, placing it among the leading brands in the category.
Likewise, rye is a growing part of the mix for Beam Suntory, which counts Old Overholt, Knob Creek, Jim Beam, and Basil Hayden’s among its rye offerings. Basil Hayden’s in particular showed strong growth last year, with its rye depletions nearly doubling to 33,000 cases.
Among other key brands, Brown-Forman’s Woodford Reserve and Jack Daniel’s ryes now combine for more than 90,000 cases, while Infinium Spirits’ Templeton (63,000 cases) and Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits’ Redemption (40,000 cases) are also establishing a solid presence as the category continues to expand.
We've been hearing about this one for a while. Someone who had the chance to taste it earlier this year came away impressed. it's a 100 proof straight rye bottled in bond. Made from local Virginia Rye grain. www.raggedbranch.com
Stories about Virginia Rye Whiskey, its makers and supporting organizations and individuals. as well as related distilled spirits industry news.