Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Catoctin Creek. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.
I’ve said this before but I’ll repeat it for those in the back: One of the things I love about reviewing whiskies is that it allows me to sample brands I might have never come across. Catoctin Creek is one of them.
Geographically, that makes sense: They’re on the other side of the country from our HQ in Portland: Catoctin Creek Distilling is located in Purcellville, Virginia, about an hour from Washington, D.C. (According to their website, Catoctin is a regional name, pronounced Ka-TOCK-tin, and comes from the Native American name “Kittocon” which is said to mean “place of many deer.”)
It was founded by Becky and Scott Harris in 2009 as the first legal distillery in Loudoun County since before Prohibition. They run solar. Their whiskies have won a bevvy of awards. Catoctin’s Roundstone Rye is considered their flagship product but they also put out gin and brandy. We’ve already reviewed their Rabble Rouser Rye.
Catoctin has a barrel select program with area restaurants which allows them to bottle and sell custom-made whiskey from more experimental barrels. However, when COVID-19 shut down things and restaurants had to close and/or take a hit, they couldn’t sustain the barrels they had chosen. Catoctin Creek took that whiskey back and blended it to make this batch, #InThisTogether Barrel Select Rye Whisky.
Forbes reports that #InThisTogether was divided and aged in a number of different barrels—American Chardonnay oak cask, an apple brandy cask and an American imperial stout cask from Virginia’s Stable Craft brewery. It’s an Infinity bottle that helps others. Proceeds from sales of this whiskey are going to area charities supporting the food and beverage industry: a creative way to support those struggling in the pandemic.
Tasting Notes: Catoctin Creek Infinity Barrel #InThisTogether Rye Whisky
Vital stats: Blended, 100% rye, 80 proof, bottle 531/547, aged in barrels including those that held Chardonnay, apple brandy, and stout, about $45.
Appearance: Desert sand at sunset. Burnt umber.
Nose: Interesting. Complex. Some rye spice reaches out, but it’s faint. It’s got more of a bourbon nose to me, carrying more texture and sweetness. Raspberries. Cornbread, hot out of the oven. And strangely and not unpleasantly, the smell of a clean dish fresh from a hot, sterilized dishwasher.
Palate: Honey. Wonderful. Like how mead has always been described to me, versus how it actually tastes (i.e., mead is disgusting). But this is not. This is fantastic. It marries together all sorts of weird influences and makes it work, like a beautiful child from sexy parents. All the genetics of this whiskey are there and the outcome is marvelous. The mouthfeel is thinner than some but not at all tinny.
It is really delicious. I could drink this, neat, over and over again. It doesn’t need a damn thing. I want to try more of their whiskeys under better circumstances and it’s evident why they have received so many accolades. Well done.
This tastes well above its price point, At $45, it’s a steal; it’s worth double that. I’m so happy the proceeds from this are supporting others who have been hit hard from the pandemic. It’s a dark time for all of us, and it’s not going to change anytime soon. You can feel good about drinking this whiskey because it does good and it’s also really, really, really good.
User Review4.67 (3 votes)
A decade ago, I traded a 5th floor walkup in Hoboken, NJ for a house in SE Portland and remain grateful for the swap. Portland’s a great whiskey town: It fits the weather and my general mood (even improves it sometimes). I enjoy exploring the many shades of brown liquor...