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My Handcrafted Opinions on Whiskies, Distilleries and Other Related Stuff

Catoctin Creek, Virginia, USA

No, I hadn't heard of it either....  In fact I have a growing suspicion that even those of us who think we know a thing or two about "craft distilling" actually don't know a signficant amount about what is going in various small towns and industrial parks around this country and perhaps the world.  On a June day in 2014 I found myself in Virginia on business trip with a few hours to kill and so thanks to the miracle that is smart phone technology I searched for, and found, a craft distillery offering tours and tastings less than 50 miles from my hotel in the Washington DC area.  The site, a former car dealership and furniture store, is quite new as they started (as many craft distilleries do) in a nearby industrial unit in 2009, outgrew it and in 2012 purchased a very nice facility in downtown Purcellville.  They make rye whiskey (and some gin from the whisky tails - interesting) and sell some rye spirit as well.  I started with a $10 tasting flight which included the rye spirit, bottled at 40% abv, their "standard" 2 year old Roundstone Rye and their newest / latest batch of 3 year old Roundstone rye. For another $5 you can take a tour of the distillery (ie go into the next room) and have the whisky making process explained which I did.  Would I recommend you travel far to seek this out?  Probably not.  Did I accidently discover the best kept whiskey secret in Virginia and a product so stunning that John Hall should melt down his stills and go back to wine makling.  Also a no.  But if you are in the DC area and need to get your "whisky geek" on it is a very professional set up and worth the short trip.

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Old Pulteney, Wick, Scotland

Old Pulteney, Wick, Scotland Just like the girl in college who broke your heart and you never quite got over, this is the distillery that got away.  As I mentioned in Reviews I really like this whisky and I decided in May 2011 to go and visit Wick and the far North of Scotland and take in Glenmornagie and Old Pulteney.  Unfortunately it was not to be.  Traffic, single lane highways and poor planning meant I finally got to Wick at 4:10pm in the afternoon that day, and the visitor's center closed at 4:00.   Now I will never her see her stills.  I peered through some windows, took my photos and drove on to John O Groats, the northerly tip of Scotland where the UK mainland, like my luck, ended.
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