DISCUS

HISTORIC MOUNT VERNON AND DISTILLED SPIRITS COUNCIL UNVEIL REPLICA 18th CENTURY STILL AT KENTUCKY BOURBON FESTIVAL - First Whiskey Still for Reconstructed George Washington Distillery

September 18, 2003 08:00 PM
CLERMONT, KY, Sept. 19 — Historic Mount Vernon, the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) and a team of some of America’s greatest master distillers today unveiled the first replica 18th-century whiskey still that will eventually be housed in the reconstructed George Washington Distillery near the first President’s Virginia mansion. The event took place at the Jim Beam Distillery here during the media reception at the annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival. The 30-Gallon copper pot still, painstakingly crafted by the Vendome Copper and Brass Works Company of Louisville, Kentucky, is virtually an exact replica of a late 18th-century still in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of American History. “The company took detailed measurements of the Smithsonian’s still and fabricated it so Mount Vernon can experiment with 18th century distilling methods that Washington would have used,” said Mount Vernon chief historian Dennis Pogue. That still was confiscated by the U.S. Treasury Department in the 1940’s, where it was found operating in the backwoods of Fairfax County, Virginia, near Mount Vernon, and could have belonged to Washington. “While the original ownership remains something of a mystery, oral history suggests that it was used at Mount Vernon, and it is consistent with the type of still Washington would have owned,” Pogue added. The nation’s first president became a highly successful distiller after he left public office, producing 11,000 gallons of whiskey in 1799, yielding a profit of $7,500 — a fabulous sum for the time. George Washington’s distillery, currently an archaeology site, is being excavated and reconstructed by Historic Mount Vernon through a $1 million-plus grant from the Distilled Spirits Council. “The Vendome still represents another installment of our commitment to Mount Vernon and the nation,” said DISCUS senior vice president Frank Coleman. “This helps rekindle interest in George Washington as entrepreneur and highlights the important role distilling played in American history.” Master Distillers Will Make Historic American Whiskey at Mount Vernon October 21st A star-studded cast of Master Distillers, who helped unveil the still, will gather at the site of George Washington’s Mount Vernon distillery on October 21st to produce an historically authentic American Whiskey in the replica 18th-century still. The vintage 2003 product will be aged in multiple two-gallon new oak barrels, and will eventually be bottled and auctioned to support Mount Vernon’s education mission. The Task Force includes Master Distillers: Dave Backus (George Dickel and IW Harper); Jerry Dalton (Jim Beam); Joseph Dangler (Virginia Gentleman); James Graf (McCormick Distilling); Chris Morris (Woodford Reserve); Gary Nelthropp (Cruzan Rum); David Pickerell (Maker’s Mark); and Jimmy Russell (Wild Turkey). Others represented are: Ken Pierce (Very Old Barton) and Willie Ramos (Bacardi). CONTACT: Frank Coleman Telephone: 202-682-8840 SCROLLER Publication Name: Publication Author:
 

Back

 
© 2011 Distilled Spirits Council of the United States
1250 Eye Street, NW, Suite 400, Washington, D.C. 20005
(202) 628-3544 www.discus.org