'Washington's Whiskey' On Tap at Homewood House
At 6 p.m. on Friday, June 17,
Homewood House Museum will again strike the perfect
balance between libations and learning at its ninth annual
Evening of Traditional Beverages. Now a Baltimore
tradition, the event is held on Homewood's lawn (Glass
Pavilion in case of rain) and combines sophisticated
historical content with a cocktail party.
This year, Dennis Pogue, who is directing the
research, archaeology and reconstruction of George
Washington's Mount Vernon distillery, will lecture on
"Washington's Whiskey" and lead a tasting of rye and
bourbon followed by an hors d'oeuvre reception. Andy
Bienstock, WYPR-FM's program director, jazz guru and host
of The Signal, will serve as the evening's emcee. Admission
is $25, and reservations are required.
Pogue is an authority on Washington's transition from
tobacco to grain farmer and his role as one of the
country's largest whiskey producers. Associate director for
restoration at Mount Vernon, he began the excavation of the
property's distillery five years ago and is now preparing
for its reconstruction to begin in the fall.
Washington's distillery was a uniquely ambitious
operation, Pogue says. "It was founded in 1797, and though
there were hundreds, maybe thousands, of distilleries built
during the time, Mount Vernon's is the largest whiskey
distillery we know of from this era." In 1799 — the
height of the distillery's production under Washington's
ownership — 11,000 gallons of whiskey were produced.
The whiskey would have been made of 60 percent rye, a
far greater percentage than is currently used. In addition,
Pogue says, "Washington's whiskey had a distinctive flavor
and was clear, not brown from aging."
For tickets or more information, call 410-516-5589.
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