The Boulevardier

The Boulevardier, featuring bourbon or rye, Campari and sweet vermouth, at Proof.  Stephanie Burt

Whiskey fans generally have to make a trip to Mount Vernon to sample spirits made on the property, but the site’s director of archaeology later this month is bringing a sample to Charleston.

Luke Pecoraro will pour whiskey from George Washington Distillery, along with various bourbons and ryes made elsewhere in Virginia, following a lecture on distilling in the Colonial era. In keeping with Pecoraro’s professional interests, the lecture will draw heavily on archaeological evidence of eighteenth-century distilling operations.

Washington’s distillery was uncovered by archaeologists in 1997, more than 180 years after it burned to the ground. Just before Washington died, he noted “demand … is brisk” for whiskey produced at Mount Vernon, which has again proved the case since the distillery’s reconstruction. In 2010, a crowd of 400 drinkers bought up the initial run of George Washington’s Rye Whiskey on the first day it was offered for sale.

Currently, George Washington Distillery sells three kinds of rye, ranging in price from $98-$225, as well as peach and apple brandies.

Pecoraro’s presentation at the Charleston Library Society, 164 King St., is scheduled for 6-8 p.m. Nov. 29. The event sponsored by South Carolina Humanities is free, but there’s a fee for tasting: Drayton Hall members pay $25, while non-members pay $35. Attendees are asked to register in advance at

Reach Hanna Raskin at 843-937-5560 and follow her on Twitter @hannaraskin.

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