Brian McKenzie (right), co-founder and co-owner of Finger Lakes Distilling in Burdett, Schuyler County, will be one of a half-dozen distilling team leader working on a revival of George Washington’s original peach brandy next Wednesday, October 6.
Using 18th Century techniques, the distillers will create a unique brandy at the Mount Vernon Distillery on the grounds of Washington’s Virginia estate. It eventually will be be sold to the public to benefit Mount Vernon’s educational programs.
Washington’s distillery product was almost entirely rye whiskey, but he did make the peach brandy as a special sideline for entertaining at Mount Vernon, according to Washington’s own records. The modern-day distillers are hoping it will do as well as a recent limited-edition rye did, with the entire 471-bottle run selling out in two hours this past July.
The other distillery team leaders involved in the October project led by chief Mount Vernon historian Dennis Pogue:
• Ted Huber, Huber Starlight Distillery, Indiana
• Lance Winters, St. George Spirits, California
• Scott Bush, Templeton Rye Spirits, Iowa
• David Pickerell, WhistlePig Whiskey, Vermont
• Joe Dangler, A. Smith Bowman Distillery, Virginia
George Washington’s Distillery was recreated in 2007 from his original plans and diary entries on its original site at 5514 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway (SR 235), three miles south of the Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens main entrance. The complex is open to the public. You can read my first-hand report from that opening day by clicking here.
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