Tuesday, October 5, 2010

And Now: Making George Washington's ... Brandy

In addition to distilling more than 10,000 gallons of rye whiskey in 1799, Washington's distillery also produced much smaller quantities of apple and peach brandy. It appears that Washington may have been his own best customer when it came to the brandy, as the plantation accounts record that in October of that year, 67 gallons of the apple and 60 gallons of the peach brandy were transferred to the "Mount Vernon house," presumably for the enjoyment of the Washington household.

Distillers from Huber Starlight Distillery, in Indiana, and from Finger Lakes Distilling, in New York, are bringing about 150 gallons of fermented peach wine to distill in our pot stills; making this the first time brandy will have been made at the distllery in almost 200 years. Dave Pickerell and Joe Dangler, old hands who are experts by now in operating our unique wood-fired stills, have agreed to participate as well. The distilling will take place starting today and should wrap up some time tomorrow. If everything goes well, our plan is to barrel the brandy -- possibly up to 50 gallons -- and bottle it and offer it for sale at some point in the future.

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