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Queues expected for George Washington rye whiskey

Whiskey fans are expected to queue for hours outside the gift shop at George Washington’s Mount Vernon home on 4 April, as the highly anticipated fourth edition of the president’s unaged rye whiskey is released.

George Washington unaged rye
George Washington unaged rye

The gift shop is due to open at 10am next Thursday morning, but fans of American whiskey are expected to start queuing to get their hands on a limited edition bottle much earlier.

Only 1100 bottles of the unaged George Washington rye whiskey – cited as the most authentic version of Washington’s own recipe – have been produced for sale at US$95 each.

Staff at Mount Vernon have recreated the former US President’s recipe for his own whiskey from the detailed records found amongst his things.

Distillers use the same 200-year-old grain recipe (60% rye, 35% corn, and 5% malted barley), mixed and fermented in 120-gallon oak barrels, and double distilled in copper pot stills.

Master distiller Dave Pickerall describes its nose as “slightly floral, earthy, and grainy,” with a taste that is “surprisingly sweet and mellow,” but with a bit of a bite, characteristic of unaged rye.

The distillery is only in operation or seven months a year, producing two different whiskeys – the George Washington unaged rye, and a whate-based whiskey sold in unaged and three-year-old versions.

The release is just the fourth run by Mount Vernon, and is only available through its visitors’ centre.

George Washington is not the only US President to be associated with whiskey. Many a head of the US had a penchant for the spirit, or at very least a brand named in their honour. Knob Creek is named after the boyhood home of Abraham Lincoln, while Jim Beam was George W. Bush’s tipple of choice before declaring himself teetotal.

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