DISCUS

Media Preview George Washington Peach Brandy at George Washington’s Distillery

November 10, 2014 02:54 PM

 

MOUNT VERNON, VA – International journalists gathered at George Washington’s Distillery this morning to observe 18th Century-style distilling techniques and preview taste a limited edition George Washington Peach Brandy Eau De Vie. 
 
Eight hundred bottles of the Peach Brandy Eau De Vie will go on sale at Mount Vernon on Friday, November 14.  Each 375ml bottle retails for $150.  Image of Peach Brandy Eau De Vie
 
“There’s no better place to learn about George Washington’s entrepreneurial genius than at his whiskey distillery.  Washington started the distillery in order to capitalize on the growing demand for rye whiskey, but he also used it to make liquors to serve to his guests,” said Curt Viebranz, President of George Washington's Mount Vernon. 
 
According to Washington’s records, Peach Brandy was distilled in limited quantities but was very popular for entertaining at the Mount Vernon mansion.  Washington’s financial accounts revealed he sold only eight gallons of Peach Brandy in 1798, and a distillery ledger entry from 1799 shows 60 gallons of Peach Brandy was sent to the “Mount Vernon house” for entertaining.
 
Two of America’s leading brandy distillers assisted Mount Vernon’s Master Distiller Steve Bashore in making the new Peach Brandy Eau De Vie.  Ted Huber of Huber’s Starlight Distillery in Indiana procured five 55-gallon drums of very fine peach juice, and Thomas McKenzie of Finger Lakes Distilling in New York assisted Bashore in the production and bottling of the brandy.  According to McKenzie, the tasting notes include candied peaches, peach cobbler and even a hint of cinnamon.
 
“George Washington was one of the most successful distillers of his time and symbolizes everything American distillers stand for today: responsibility, moderation and quality,” said Peter Cressy, President of the Distilled Spirits Council.  “The reconstruction of George Washington’s Distillery has helped to showcase America’s fascinating distilling heritage and energize the American whiskey renaissance.”
 
George Washington erected the 2,250-square-foot distillery in 1797, making it among the largest whiskey distilleries in early America.  In 1799, Washington produced 11,000 gallons of whiskey, worth the then-substantial sum of $7,500.  In 2000, Mount Vernon began the excavation and restoration of the $2 million distillery project with a grant from the Distilled Spirits Council.  In Fall 2006, the distillery was dedicated by Britain’s Prince Andrew, and in March 2007, it officially opened to the public.  The reconstructed distillery marks the only historic site in the country capable of showing the early American distilling process from seed to still.
 
 

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