George Washington. President, patriot, truth teller, and whiskey maker? Yes, we cannot tell a lie, our nation's first Commander-in-Chief was also a fairly prolific maker of hooch, as evidenced by the Distillery & Gristmill found at his home in Mount Vernon. The distillery has been reconstructed and starting at 10am on Thursday, April 4, 1,100 bottles of rye whiskey made from Washington's own recipe and process — 60% rye, 35% corn, and 5% malted barley, mixed and fermented in 120-gallon oak barrels, and double distilled in copper pot stills — will be available for sale at the Shops at Mount Vernon. The $95 bottles cannot be ordered via internet or phone, they must be purchased onsite.
But what exactly does a rye made from a two century old recipe taste like? According to master distiller, Dave Pickerell, its nose is, “slightly floral, earthy, and grainy,” with a taste that is “surprisingly sweet and mellow,” but with a bit of a bite, characteristic of unaged rye. We'll drink to that.