George Washington’s Distillery and Gristmill are part of George Washington’s Mount Vernon. The Distillery was reconstructed on its original location after extensive research and archaeological excavations. The original distillery was constructed in 1797-1798, right after Washington retired from the Presidency. It became Washington’s most productive and lucrative endeavor, with almost 11,000 gallons of rye whiskey produced in 1799. Following Washington’s death in December 1799, his nephew continued the business a few more years, but a fire destroyed the original structure in 1814. Our reconstructed distillery is unique as the work of making spirits is done using 18th century methods. All grains for the rye whiskey are ground in Washington’s reconstructed Gristmill, which uses a 16-foot diameter waterwheel and wooden gears to turn the millstones. Washington’s same mash bill is used today in the Distillery: 60% rye, 35% corn and 5% malted barley. The mash is set in wooden 120 gallon barrels, then distilled on 5 direct wood fired pot stills. All our rye whiskey is double distilled. Here at Mount Vernon, we also make small batches of peach and apple brandy. We’ve done specialty runs as well, most recently rum was produced in early 2018. In 2012 a special production of single malt whisky was completed.
The Distillery and Gristmill site is open for tours April 1 through October 31, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The tour cost is included in your admission ticket to George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Our site is a special experience, as the visitor can step back in time and learn about the entrepreneurial efforts of our first President.
The whiskey production runs usually take place while the site is closed to visitors in March and November. We don’t offer regular tours during production, but occasionally we offer specialty tours during some production runs. The brandy distilling is usually done during the April through October timeframe.
George Washington’s Rye Whiskey
George Washington’s Straight Rye Whiskey
George Washington’s Peach Brandy Eau de Vie
George Washington’s Apple Brandy
George Washington’s Peach Brandy
3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, Virginia 22121
HOURS: 10 AM - 5 PM daily, April - October