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Washington Whiskey Weekend

Whiskey lovers, get happy!

This weekend, President George Washington’s gristmill in Mount Vernon reopens for the season and stays open until October.

Cask of single malt whisky at Mount Vernon Distillery
(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

During the off-season, this working gristmill distills spirits using the same recipe that our first president did.

In the next couple of months, a batch of Washington’s whiskey will go on sale, so keep an eye out for that one-day event.

Earlier this week, the gristmill had several of the best Scotch Whisky distillers in the world spend three days together in the company of boozy reporters and whip up a special vintage of a Scotch-style single malt.

Master distillers Bill Lumsden from the Glenmorangie Co., Andy Cant from the Cardhu Single Malt Distillery (aka the home of the colorful Johnnie Walker) and John Campbell with the Laphroaig Distillery joined George Washington Distillery’s David Pickerell, formerly with Maker’s Mark Bourbon.

Mount Vernon Distillery single malt tasting
(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The fruit of their labors was poured into barrels and will sit quietly in special oak barrels until it is ready to be imbibed.

Working on the mill’s old-school machinery was a completely different experience for the distillers, Laphroaig’s Campbell told HOH after the barrel-filling ceremony.

For a quality single malt, there would normally be two distillations of the liquor. On this equipment, they got the good stuff right off, some of which they gathered for the “director’s cut.”

The liquid from the second run was also captured and stored in barrels, leaving the masters with two very different, high-quality spirits.

This was the first time these guys worked together to make whisky, and three years from now, when the primo batch will be ready, has never seemed so far away.

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Photos of the week ending May 24, 2024