Huzzah! George Washington’s Distillery Wins Silver at American Craft Spirits Awards

George Washington’s Rye Whiskey®, the official state spirit of the Commonwealth of Virginia, received a silver medal at the 2019 American Craft Spirits Association Awards earlier this year—a top award among white (unaged) whiskies nationwide.

The unaged rye whiskey was made from Washington's original recipe using 18th-century methods and equipment. Mount Vernon's historic trades staff grinds the grains in Washington's water-powered gristmill, sets the mash in 120-gallon wood fermentation vats, and runs wood-fired copper pot stills, holding true to the techniques used in the late 1790s at Mount Vernon.

"It is rewarding for the historic trades team to receive this recognition," said Steve Bashore, Mount Vernon's director of historic trades. "We have made much progress since our first production run in 2009, and the changes in fermentation methods and the operation of our stills implemented in 2016 led to this award. I also want to express our thanks to our consulting Distiller, Lisa Wicker, for her expertise and teaching us how to improve our production runs."

Medalists were hand-selected among a pool of nearly 500 entrants from 38 states and the District of Columbia across the country in six main categories: Whiskey, Gin, Rum, Vodka & Grain Spirits, Brandy, and Specialty Spirits. In addition to a Best of Show and the Best of Class Distinctions, the judging panel awarded 8 Gold, 68 Silver, and 171 Bronze medals. Recipients were honored during the Awards Dinner as part of the Sixth Annual ACSA Distillers Convention and Vendor Trade Show.

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