About Wolfgang Puck Barrel Select Rye Whisky
Scott Harris founded Catoctin Creek Distilling Company in 2009 together with his wife Rebecca. Located in Purcellville, Virginia, the distillery — situated in the heart of Virginia's wine country — is surrounded by the vines of over thirty different wineries. Scott, who graduated from Georgia Tech and previously worked as a software engineer, handles the marketing and distribution of Catoctin Creek Distilling Company spirits. Rebecca, who received a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin and worked for years as a chemist at Amoco Foam and CIBA Vision, does "the lion's share of the distilling," Scott admits.
Catoctin Creek Distilling Company Roundstone Rye Whisky is made from 100% organic rye grains. After slowly fermenting the rye for five to seven days — the slow fermentation process results in a more mellow drink — Rebecca distills the mash in a custom-made 400 liter Kothe hybrid pot-column still. "Scott likes to compare it to a German sports car," she says, "and really, it handles incredibly well." The spent rye grains are collected and given away to local farmers, who use them as feed for their cattle and livestock.
After distillation, Catoctin Creek Distilling Company Roundstone Rye Single Barrel Whisky is aged in new, white American oak barrels for approximately two years. The barrels, which are made by a cooperage in Minnesota, are made using beeswax rather than paraffin as a sealant. "We use organic products because there's a taste to chemicals," Scott says. "And that stuff gets concentrated in the distillation process and comes out in the spirit. We don't want any of that stuff infecting our flavor."
Roundstone Rye might be Virginia's most awarded whisky, but that hasn't stopped the creators from experimenting with it. For the Wolfgang Puck Rye Whisky, they've finished that same rye in California Zinfandel wine barrels from Ravenswood. Bottled at 92 proof, it was initially sold exclusively at celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck's CUT Steakhouse at the Rosewood Hotel in Washington DC.
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As American as the bald eagle, rye whiskey was first brewed in the American Northeast in the 1600s. Even George Washington distilled it after leaving the Oval Office, so there’s no way of denying its origin.
It’s distinguished from bourbon for its original and unique spicy notes.
By law, rye whiskey must be made from at least 51% rye grain, aged in new and charred oak barrels for at least two years, and bottled at no more than 62,5% ABV.
Check out our impressive selection of rye whiskeys, find your new favorites in The best-reviewed rye whiskeys, and explore our treasury of Best rye bottles under $100.