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“It’s at a Kimpton,” Scott said. And he had our attention. You know how we feel about Kimpton here at NPS. Not only that, the Kimpton was actually the Lorien in Alexandria, a property on the upswing run by our favorite Steph Vogel! Double bonus.

We’re there!

The drive in around the beltway at rush hour was awful as usual, leaving us only three minutes to valet, drop our bags, and head down to the Catoctin Creek event. Rye, Brandy and tasty treats from chef Sebastian Rondier? Yes please.

Becky and Scott make a great product that is almost as much fun to talk about as it is to drink. Cheers Catoctin Creek!

The fois gras bites with popcorn?! Genius.

The highlight of the evening was hanging out with Steph and catching up. It is always fun to introduce good people to each other!

Needless to say, we had a nice buzz and a warm glow after the event, so we headed over to the bar for a bigger snack. And then it was up to 301 (a new room at the Lorien for NPS).

301 is blue. That will (thankfully) change soon. Can’t wait to see what the designers do to this space.

Sitting room with a balcony

Amenity and note are always nice. Of course chef filled us up.

The all important shower is HUGE which also makes it a bit chilly

Bathtub in the shower

Really the only major bug in this room is the way the toilet is situated relative to the bed. That needs some more thought.

Not really

The sparkling water came in more than handy. It was a necessity after all of that rye!

Breakfast with Steph in the morning bright and early capped off a great Kimpton visit. Five showerheads and a rush order on the designer’s work at the Lorien. We’ll be back for sure.

Less than two handfulls of miles from the apothecary shed itself is a home grown distillery called Catoctin Creek. Since 2009, Catoctin Creek has been distilling Rye into various award-winning products. We’re partial to the Watershed Gin ourselves.

Catoctin Creek in the old Case building

Catoctin Creek in the old Case building

Baker Bob set up a long talked about distillery tour on a lazy Sunday afternoon. The tour was fantastic, carried out by Scott Harris himself. Excellent.

In between leading questions, Scott taught us some things.

In between leading questions, Scott taught us some things.

Scott talked us through the process to make Rye, Gin (in run 2), and Brandy.

Step one: Cook the Rye (soon to be more local)

Step one: Cook the Rye (soon to be more local)

Step two is brewing a rye beer to about 10%.

Step three: transfer beer to still and a 6 hour run.

Step three: transfer beer to still and a 6 hour run.

Gin takes a second distillation plus an infusion.

Gin takes a second distillation plus an infusion.

The bottling machine which caused a pizza party insurrection.

The bottling machine which caused a pizza party insurrection.

Shipment for Australia

Shipment for Australia

Yeah

Yeah

Catoctin Creek Tasting Room

Catoctin Creek Tasting Room

Pouring flights

Pouring flights

Custom flight: Gin and Two Ryes

Custom flight: Gin and Two Ryes

The Catoctin product set is certainly made with love. I remain a big fan of the Watershed Gin. The Roundstone Rye is rough and thin at 80 proof. The 92 proof has more body (and less water) and is a better product. I guess around here we’re used to a sweeter mash bill with some corn and wheat and a higher proof. The Catoctin Creek mash is 100% rye.

What does Sammy think of the Brandy?

What does Sammy think of the Brandy?

Aftermath

Aftermath

All told, the afternoon was very well spent with a gracious and committed host doing excellent work. Keep it up Catoctin Creek. We’re damn proud to have you here just over the river.

The fellers say, "Thanks Scott and Becky!"

The fellers say, “Thanks Scott and Becky!”

Back home again with some new stuff to add to the bar.

Watershed Gin always in stock here

Watershed Gin always in stock here