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GW Rye Whiskey


Tradesman
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Just new to the site here, and wanted to clear up some information on the George Washington Rye Whiskey produced at Mount Vernon.  This was to answer some points made on an earlier post about visits to Washington's Distillery and some information that was miscommunicated by the staff there, and also clear up the production schedule there.  The Gristmill (waterpowered) does grind all the grains for the rye whiskey made in the distillery (rye, corn and malted barley).  All the fermentation is done by 18th-century methods, fermenting in wood mash tubs using wood mash rakes and bucketing hot boiling water from the boiler, the five copper pot stills are heated by direct wood fires.  The tours of the distillery run from April 1 - Oct 31 every year, 10am to 5pm.  The rye whiskey runs are made in March and November when regular tours are not ongoing -- this is due to the methods used and safety issues, running in an 18th century manner, means a lot of bucketing of hot water, mash, and wet floors, along with exposed hot copper -- not a good environment for large tour groups, production must be focused on.  Mount Vernon does offer two small group VIP tour experiences during March and November, which can be learned about on the MV website.  The unaged rye goes for $98 for a 375ml, and the 2 year old rye goes for $188 - since Virginia is a control state, just over half of that total goes to the taxman.  The 2-yr old aging is very young, but at the time the projects started in 2009, Mount Vernon wanted to see what the aged market was for the GW whiskey and went with the youngest age they could do to get it on the market.  Now some barrels are being held longer and the first 4 year old GW rye will come in late 2017.  Barrels are 25 gallon, and that is due to fact that they have to be moved around the site and into the rack on the Mount Vernon Estate by manual labor, 53 gallon barrels are used sometimes for brandy aging (peach and apple), these are smaller runs.  The whiskey is more than a souvenir and whiskey writers and experts have tasted both types and liked them.  Hope this clears up some questions about the operation.

 

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7 hours ago, Tradesman said:

Just new to the site here, and wanted to clear up some information on the George Washington Rye Whiskey produced at Mount Vernon.  This was to answer some points made on an earlier post about visits to Washington's Distillery and some information that was miscommunicated by the staff there, and also clear up the production schedule there.  The Gristmill (waterpowered) does grind all the grains for the rye whiskey made in the distillery (rye, corn and malted barley).  All the fermentation is done by 18th-century methods, fermenting in wood mash tubs using wood mash rakes and bucketing hot boiling water from the boiler, the five copper pot stills are heated by direct wood fires.  The tours of the distillery run from April 1 - Oct 31 every year, 10am to 5pm.  The rye whiskey runs are made in March and November when regular tours are not ongoing -- this is due to the methods used and safety issues, running in an 18th century manner, means a lot of bucketing of hot water, mash, and wet floors, along with exposed hot copper -- not a good environment for large tour groups, production must be focused on.  Mount Vernon does offer two small group VIP tour experiences during March and November, which can be learned about on the MV website.  The unaged rye goes for $98 for a 375ml, and the 2 year old rye goes for $188 - since Virginia is a control state, just over half of that total goes to the taxman.  The 2-yr old aging is very young, but at the time the projects started in 2009, Mount Vernon wanted to see what the aged market was for the GW whiskey and went with the youngest age they could do to get it on the market.  Now some barrels are being held longer and the first 4 year old GW rye will come in late 2017.  Barrels are 25 gallon, and that is due to fact that they have to be moved around the site and into the rack on the Mount Vernon Estate by manual labor, 53 gallon barrels are used sometimes for brandy aging (peach and apple), these are smaller runs.  The whiskey is more than a souvenir and whiskey writers and experts have tasted both types and liked them.  Hope this clears up some questions about the operation.

 

 

Hi Tradesman, and welcome to SB!  The 25 gallon explains why the 2 yr (which admittedly I haven't tried) comes off as "crafty".  As I shared with my write up, I bought the bottle of unaged for that "chance to taste history" since that is how it would have been consumed in George's day.  I don't regret the purchase, although it is an expensive venture.  

 

Is your familiarity based on being associated with the distillery or operation, or some connection to someone who is?  I asked the gentleman some questions when we did the tour, but didn't take notes (and probably should have).  But I'm sure we'd love the opportunity to queue up some questions!

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