George Washington’s Distillery reopened for the 2014 season on Friday at Historic Mount Vernon. George Washington’s Peach Brandy will be going on sale tomorrow (4/1), and CNBC ran a nice package noting the history of the distillery. You can see the video here.
The unique Peach Brandy was recreated at the distillery in 2010 by a team of Distilled Spirits Council small distillers using 18th century techniques. The Brandy was double-distilled in copper pot stills heated by wood fires and was aged for two years in toasted oak barrels.
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.
In a related development, a rare original piece of Washington’s correspondence about the distillery will be going on exhibit at Mount Vernon’s Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center on March 24.
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 industry. In Fall 2006, the distillery was dedicated by Britain’s Prince Andrew, and in March, 2007 it officially opened to the public. The limited edition of 471 bottles of the first Rye Whiskey produced at the distillery sold out to the public in two hours in 2010.