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The Georges Love Their Whiskey

It's a big night at Mount Vernon, historic home of George Washington: The folks who have re-created his old rye whiskey, distilled at the Potomac River plantation, are auctioning off one of the first bottles produced just a year ago. And it comes with a remarkable endorsement: Former President George H.W. Bush, who still imbibes a bit, signed the fifth bottle produced.

It's being auctioned at a huge shindig at the plantation tonight. The money raised will fund education programs at historic Mount Vernon, which has undergone a remarkable rehab in recent years, capped with the construction of the first president's distillery.

The effort has been aided by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, which seized on the historic nature of the bottle signing.

"This is a truly historic opportunity for a connoisseur, a collector, or a history buff to own one of the first 24 bottles produced at the reconstructed George Washington's Distillery in 200 years," said council President Peter Cressy.

"This bottle comes with a unique twist in that it has been signed by another president, George H.W. Bush. This has never occurred before in American history."

By Paul Bedard