George Washington’s Mount Vernon from Trekking the American Whiskey Trail Slideshow

Trekking the American Whiskey Trail Slideshow

Alexis Korman
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George Washington’s Mount Vernon

You understood American whiskey has deep historical ties — but did you know that our first president had his hand in the business? In addition to learning about George Washington’s original mash bill (60 percent rye, 35 percent corn, and 5 percent malted barley for those counting,) visitors will learn other fun facts at the two-story distillery building in historic Mount Vernon, Va., where costumed interpreters lead visitors through 18th-century fermentation and distillation techniques tied to Washington’s own farm manager, James Anderson. Purportedly, Anderson encouraged Washington to build a whiskey distillery adjacent to his stone gristmill. It was the largest in America, producing some 11,000 gallons of whiskey in 1799. Today, the on-site distillers produce whiskey without electricity, chopping their own wood to heat the boilers. 

Fun Fact: While there is no tasting room at George Washington, its small production labels fetch hefty prices at auction.