Boss Shepherd’s hosted a Catoctin Creek whiskey dinner on Tuesday night, March 31st, with owners and distillers Becky and Scott Harris. Chef Jeremy Waybright crafted a 4-course feast, all paired with a Catoctin Creek cocktail or dram, and Scott spoke with guests about the distillery and their spirits, how they first got started in 2009, and some of the latest news and accolades they’ve received.
The dinner was hosted in part to celebrate Boss Shepherd’s private barrel of Catoctin Creek. Named Catoctin Creek Boss’s Selection, the personally picked barrel (#304) was bottled at 100 proof.
Catoctin Creek uses 30-gallon barrels, in this case from Black Swan Cooperage, and Boss’s Selection yielded 154 total bottles. Assuredly, after the event there were quite a bit fewer remaining in that stash.
Boss Shepherd’s managing partner Daniel Mahdavian actually made a small supply of the bottling available to DC’s Ace Beverage though. That means that if you act (very) quickly you may even be able to snag a bottle of the Roundstone Rye Boss’s Selection at the retailer for $48.99.
The meal began with a seafood duo, including a wonderfully light, fresh Maryland crab salad topped with picked mustard seeds and fried collard greens, and blood orange scallops served atop a chicharon. The course was paired with a Mosby’s Rye Saratoga Blanc Cocktail, made with Catoctin’s unaged Mosby’s Spirit, featuring cardamom bitters which brought the refreshing drink to life.
Next came a Smoked Trout dish, with each diner receiving a half trout, in my case head and all, topped with pecan gremolata, served over a preserved lemon-chevril buttermilk sauce and served with grilled mokum carrot. The course was paired with a straight pour of Boss’s Selection. The impressive, immersive smoke of the trout went well with the hearty, spicy Boss’s Selection poured neat.
Round 3 showcased a bone-in Pork Loin, served with fried bread bites, grilled romaine, dried cherries and a lobster bisque sauce. The cherries reappeared in the cocktail pairing with the Boss Manhattan. The Boss Manhattan is one of the restaurant’s signature drinks, and is made with Roundstone Rye 92 proof, Carpano, Fee Brothers Orange and Cherry Bitters, and a Luxardo cherry.
Finally, diners enjoyed a honey cake with salted caramel ice cream and honey powder. The decadent dessert may have stolen the show, edging past the pork loin as the dish of the evening. It was paired with a Pear Brandy Short Hill beverage served over crushed ice, and made with Catoctin’s Pearousia. By happenstance, the brandy made from the pear wine of Fabbioli Cellars was actually the first spirit Catoctin Creek ever distilled on their equipment.
Good food and good whiskey go hand in hand at Boss Shepherd’s, and the evening was a fitting tribute to both.