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Whiskey By George

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By Michael Pope

Build it, and they will chug. George Washington knew it was true, now you can too. Starting tomorrow, visitors to the general's newly reconstructed whiskey distillery can purchase rye whiskey from the general’s own recipe, which was heavier on rye than today’s corn-based bourbon.

Mount Vernon vice president Dennis Pogue says it’s a premium boutique product won’t be putting Jack Daniel’s out of business anytime soon.

“We’re an educational operation, you know. There are a lot of nice people in Kentucky who make very good products and we never envisioned ourselves as jumping into the alcohol business. But it’s something that people are naturally interested in," says Pogue.

A lot of people. Ever since the reconstructed distillery opened in 2007 people have been clamoring to taste Washington’s own recipe.

“It’s not as sweet as corn whiskey, it’s a little bit spicier, a little bit more distinctive. Again, it was very popular 200 years ago, partly because rye was a cheaper grain,” he says.

Don’t expect this version to be cheap. Each of the 471 bottles that go on sale Thursday will retail for $85.

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