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Did You Know George Washington Distilled Whiskey?

George Washington Distillery and Grist Mill

In fact he had the largest Whiskey Distillery in 18th Century America.  It's something not to many people realize.  The George Washington Distillery and Grist Mill are just a few miles down the road from his Mount Vernon Estate.  The current distillery building is built on the foundation of the orginal from 1792.

Thirteen years ago Mount Vernon embarked on recreating George Washington's Distillery using authentic tools, materials and construction techniques from George Washington's time.  Then they hired a well known distiller from Makers Mark Whiskey to distill the whiskey to the original instructions.  Now twice a year two whiskey batches are produced and sold.

The first is a "white whiskey" the same kind sold in the 18th century made from 60% rye and is unaged.  Therefore is clear which is different than the "aged" whiskey which is cured in charred Oak barrels for two years.  The distillery uses local grains grown in Virginia and ground at the distillery.

The whiskey is a novelty and considered by some to be a collectors item.  When it goes on sale at the gift shops the batches which are small sell out in hours.  The whiskey isn't cheap.  A small bottle of the "white whiskey" sells for $95 and the "aged" whiskey sells for $180.  The next sale is this weekend, Saturday April 12 at 10AM.  If you want a bottle you should plan to arrive by 6 AM to get in line.


 

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Comment balloon 24 commentsCindy Jones • April 04 2012 01:41PM

Comments

Cindy, My liver has distiller many a glass over the years. I certainly don't recall spending $180 a bottle though. Rich
Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 6 years ago

Cindy how interesting! Clear whiskey and spending that much money just to collect it ! Sure would like a shot right now !

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) over 6 years ago

You knew I'd be here with the mention of some type of "adult beverage".............very cool info Cindy, I had no idea.

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) over 6 years ago

You scooped me with this one!  I had no clue that George Washington made his own whiskey.  Pretty cool.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) over 6 years ago

Cindy

Interesting story, I didn't George Washington distilled whiskey.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Posted by Lou Ludwig, Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC (Ludwig & Associates) over 6 years ago

Cindy - I was not aware of George Washington distilled whiskey. Thanks for the information.

Posted by John Pusa, Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest) over 6 years ago

Cindy, I am "shocked " the President of our country would do such a thing. 

I guess we can assume that since he distilled it, he also sampled some from time to time.

I believe "HOME GROWN" liquor is still available in parts of the country.

Thanks for sharing.


Irene Durocher

Boca Raton,Fla.

Posted by Irene Durocher, homesweethome4u@att.net (Coldwell Banker BUYERS AGENT) over 6 years ago

Cindy, AWESOME localism post and SUGGESTED!  I had no idea, and but many others didn't either!  Thanks for  a great history lesson!

Posted by Melissa Brown, Realtor - South Charlotte NC Homes for Sale (Helen Adams Realty) over 6 years ago

Hey Cindy~Great story! That's some pretty expensive whiskey, if I bought a bottle I would probably go sit in a corner by myself and drink it. :)

Have an AWESOME evening!

 

Posted by Michael S. Bolton, MN Appraiser (Michael S. Bolton,Inc.) over 6 years ago

We lived in Mt Vernon before we relocated to Maryland.  Before that I resided in CA for most of my life.  I so enjoy all the history and the family ties on the East Coast.  This is a fabulous tradition and it was in my own backyard for years. :)

Posted by Gail C. Harris, Reach the BEACH with Gail C. Harris (cell: 703.868 (Resource Network, LLC SFR, AHWD, ACRE, SMAR Board Director) over 6 years ago

George also owned slaves and had wooden false teeth. The image of him as a bootlegger adds another perspective to the guy.

Posted by Eric Kodner, Wayzata Lakes Realty: Twin Cities, Madeline Island (Wayzata Lakes Realty: Eric Kodner Sells Twin Cities Homes) over 6 years ago

Hi Cindy, 

Nope I wasn't aware that George Washington distilled whiskey.  But I don't doubt it.  My wife has some 'Moonshine' her Grandfather made before his death.  Oh no drinking it from us... not even a sip just something he did and she finds some need to keep a bottle of the stuff.  I did take a sniff and whewwww....... the smell alone took my head off... :)  

Posted by John McCormack, AlbuquerqueHomes.com, Albuquerque Homes Realty (Albuquerque Homes Realty * www.AlbuquerqueHomes.com) over 6 years ago

Rich-I"m not a whiskey drinker but since they sell out I'm assuming there are plenty of them in the area.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 6 years ago

Hannah-hope you have a great weekend.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 6 years ago

Roger-it's not shaken or with a twist but it's definitely got some kick to it.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 6 years ago

Chris Ann-GW was a man of many talents.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 6 years ago

Lou-seems George Washington's Distillery is a suprise to many.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 6 years ago

John-amazing little part of our history that doesn't seem to be in the books.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 6 years ago

Irene-a little sip of whiskey to keep him warm on cold nights.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 6 years ago

Melissa-glad to share a bit of local information.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 6 years ago

Michael-the money raised from the sale of the whiskey does go to keeping Mount Vernon running.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 6 years ago

Gail-I wonder how many tourists go to the Mount Vernon Estate and never make the drive a few more miles down the road to see the Distillery or Woodlawn?

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 6 years ago

Eric-he did own slaves but his false teeth were not made of wood.  Forensic Anthropologists have studied them to determine they were actually made from gold, ivory, lead, human and animal teeth.  Now that's bizarre.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 6 years ago

John-fortunately George's whiskey seems to have been quite popular and not what we now qualify "moonshine."

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) over 6 years ago

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