Mount Vernon, VA – A team of Master Distillers, representing America’s most celebrated spirits brands, in collaboration with Mount Vernon’s historian, gathered today at the archaeology site of George Washington’s Distillery to distill historically authentic, 18th-Century whiskey for the first time in 200 years. Under special license from the Federal Government and the State of Virginia, the distillers’ “Dream Team” used the Founding Father’s own recipe and an 18th-century copper pot still over an open fire to distill Washington’s whiskey – a recipe consisting of 60 percent rye, 35 percent corn and 5 percent barley. “Using this still to replicate 18th-century distilling methods is a major step forward for us in our efforts to reconstruct and interpret George Washington’s whiskey distillery,” said Mount Vernon Chief Historian Dennis Pogue. “It is likely that we are the first ones ever to attempt to faithfully duplicate all the steps of the whiskey distilling process as it was carried out in the days of George Washington.” At the event, distillers prepared the grain bill, fermented the sour mash and double distilled the whiskey, which will be aged for several years in special hand-crafted Port casks, then bottled and sold at auction to benefit Mount Vernon’s educational programs. Media and other attendees were invited to taste the historic 18th-Century spirit. The Master Distillers who participated in the event were: Joseph Dangler-Virginia Gentleman; Chris Morris- Jack Daniels; Lincoln Henderson-Woodford Reserve; David Pickerell- Maker’s Mark; Jerry Dalton- Jim Beam; Ken Pierce- Very Old Barton; Dave Backus- I.W. Harper and Geo. A. Dickel; James Graf- Platte Valley; Jimmy Russell- Wild Turkey; Gary Nelthropp and Tom Valdes- Cruzan Rum; Willie Ramos and Brad Hiltz- Casa Bacardi. “Today’s historic event brings together the greatest distillers in modern American with the greatest distiller in colonial America,” said Frank Coleman, Senior Vice President of the Distilled Spirits Council. “The Distilled Spirits Council and its members are proud to have been able to sponsor this historic event in conjunction with Mount Vernon.” The 30-gallon still, painstakingly crafted by the Vendome Copper and Brass Works Company of Louisville, KY, is virtually an exact replica of a late 18th-century still in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution. That still was confiscated by the U.S. Treasury Department in the 1940s, where it was found operating in the then-backwoods of Fairfax County, Virginia. The port casks being used to age the George Washington whiskey were hand-hewn to 10-gallon size by the Independent Stave Company of Lebanon, MO. Washington became the region’s most successful distiller after he left public office, producing 11,000 gallons of whiskey in 1799, yielding him a profit of $7,500 – a fabulous sum for the time. The Distilled Spirits Council is supporting the $1 million-plus restoration of the distillery near Mount Vernon. The Council will also host an industry reception, dinner, fireworks and auction on the mansion lawn tonight beginning at 6:30 p.m. featuring numerous members of Congress, diplomats, and other notables. At the event, commemorative bottles of spirits being aged at Mount Vernon will be up for auction with all proceeds benefiting Mount Vernon’s educational programs. The event is expected to raise $200,000. -30- Photos of today’s distilling event are available upon request.