April 4, 2007

George Washington's Mount Vernon Rye

Bill Dowd photo

When I attended the reopening cermony for George Washington's Mount Vernon, VA, distillery -- rebuilt 200 years after a fire destroyed the original, I had an opportunity to sample a young rye that resulted from a cooperative effort among a group of the industry's master distillers. The whiskey is due to go on sale in small bottles exclusively on the Mount Vernon grounds this summer.

Mount Vernon Rye:

Remarkable color for something only in the wood for a year. ... Obviously, the maturation process had been sped up by using small, 10-gallon casks which surround the raw whiskey with very accessible oak. ... Fine nose, promising spiciness and herbal nuances. ... Much of the expected initial heat usually present in young whiskey was missing, leaving a warm yet palatable initial taste, along with the expected spice from the rye grain, and a satisfactory finish. ... All in all, a definitely promising young whiskey that I'd love to re-taste a year or two from now.

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