MOUNT VERNON, Va.–You might think you know everything there is to know about our first president. But, you may have to think again.
It turns out that George Washington, a founding father, was into a different kind of spirit that has nothing to do with patriotism. A few years before his death, the former president got into the whiskey making business. It was a business that did very, very well.
Wednesday at Mount Vernon, a recreation of the old distillery brought back old memories and little bit of the profits as well.
“I hope that if Washington walked in the door today that he would recognize this as his building,” said Dennis Pogue, the Vice President of Mount Vernon’s Preservation.
It all began after Washington’s farm manager, a Scottish immigrant, proposed the idea. A few years later, in 1799, the distillery’s output jumped to 11,000 gallons, making it highly profitable, according to Steven Bashore, manager of the distillery.
For the past couple of years, the distillery has been selling some of its product. Currently rye whiskey is available for sale, but the modern day distillers are now preparing apple brandy to sell after it’s been allowed to age for a few years.
“We really didn’t have any intention of being an operating distillery…But people are so interested in it that we’ve gone ahead and done that,” Pogue said.
Three-hundred bottles of the whiskey will go on sale to the public on Saturday, October 22nd at 10:00 a.m. Each 375 milliliter bottle will sell for $185. Last year, all of the available bottles were sold in just two hours.