Now that 2021 is in the rearview mirror, I thought it would be a good time to revisit one of the team's favorite experiences from the past year – our road trip to visit KO Distilling in Manassas, Virginia, during Bourbon Heritage Month.
Back in September, Pops and Brent hit the road for a 12-hour drive to learn more about KO Distilling after they invited us out for a visit. Having been cooped up for months on end due to the pandemic, it was the perfect opportunity to get out and stretch our "whiskey legs". While the drive was a bit long, it was well worth the effort as the folks at KO Distilling couldn't have been more welcoming.
Day one of our visit was spent getting to know the team and then spending time with a behind-the-scenes tour of the distillery, which we were fortunate enough to have captured on video for everyone to see. KO's Virginia Sales & Marketing Director, Peter Mowery, was our guide, and he did a wonderful job of educating us on the distillery's history, operations, and distilling philosophy. I've been on a lot of distillery tours, and I've got to say that Peter was one of the best in regard to his knowledge, transparency, and ability to be down-to-earth and easy to understand. View his tour video below, and you'll see what I mean.
After we completed our tour, we sat down with Co-founder Bill Karlson for a one-on-interview to learn more about the early days of the distillery and where he sees KO Distilling heading in the future. Bill is thoughtful, and intentional, and prefers to put the spotlight on his team. I'm honored that he allows us to spend some time with him to dig a bit deeper and share the distillery's story in his own words. I'm sure you'll agree that he's put his heart and soul into the distillery.
We started the second day of our visit with a podcast recording session that included Bill, Peter, and Ryan Hendricks, KO's Head Distiller. Despite the early morning hour, it seemed only fitting to start the podcast off with some mugs of bourbon instead of coffee. We spent the next 90 minutes exploring KO Distilling and enjoying bourbon-fueled banter. You can listen to the full podcast below.
After lunch, our Cocktail Editor, Erin Petrey, joined us and crafted some amazing cocktails featuring KO Distilling's products. Make sure to view those cocktail videos below to learn not only some new recipes but also tips and tricks to improve your Cocktail IQ.
We finished the day by joining KO Distilling's staff and distillery friends for dinner, celebrating their 6th Anniversary. It was a fitting celebration for a team that has done a fantastic job over the past six years to create a distillery and products worth getting to know better. I hope you'll take the time to check out the content below and learn more about KO Distilling. As always, after you've done so we'd love to get your feedback in the comments.
And make sure to check out our reviews of KO Distilling's whiskeys as well as you get to know KO Distilling.
- KO Distiller's Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey Review
- Bare Knuckle High Rye Cask Strength Bourbon Review
- KO Distiller's Reserve Bottled-In-Bond Straight Rye Whiskey Review
BEHIND THE SCENES TOUR & CO-FOUNDER INTERVIEW
While we encouraging everyone to visit KO Distilling, we know that's not possible for everyone. That's why we created the next best thing – a behind-the-scenes video tour and a one-on-one interview with Co-Founder Bill Karlson. The tour video will give you a complete view of the distillery's operations and unique insights into its distilling philosophy and approach to bringing products to market. The interview with Bill Karlson will allow you to learn more about the early days of the distillery as well as his view on the future of KO Distilling. We invite you to join us for this special one-on-one interview to learn more about the past, present, and future of KO Distilling.
KO DISTILLING COCKTAILS
During our visit to KO Distilling, we were joined by Bourbon & Banter's Cocktail Editor, Erin Petrey. Erin spent some time with KO's team learning about their spirits, and then crafted three amazing cocktails to highlight the flavors of their whiskey. We invite you to spend some time with Erin learning how to craft three amazing cocktails. And if you're thirsty for more, make sure to check out Erin's YouTube series, It's 5 0'Clock Here – Getting Cocktail Curious with Erin Petrey.
VISITING KO DISTILLING PODCAST
During our visit to KO Distilling, Pops and Bob sat down with the team at KO for an in-depth look at the growth, operation, and future of their distillery. They’re joined by Bill Karlson (co-owner), Ryan Hendricks (head distiller), and Peter Mowery (Virginia Sales & Marketing Director).
We hope you enjoy this special edition podcast as we look behind the scenes of a working craft distillery that we think you’ll be hearing a lot more from. Listen below or visit the official podcast episode page for additional information.
KO DISTILLERY VISIT PHOTO GALLERY
Enjoy some of the candid photos captured during our KO Distillery visit.