Photos by Nicholas Karlin, Words by Jose Lopez-Sanchez
It’s hard to keep track of the number of distilleries and breweries in town: it feels like there’s a new one opening every week. For all of the issues related to market saturation, displacement, and gentrification, having more locally made goods is generally a good thing. District Distilling Co. opened their doors in late 2016, and they’ve been gradually adding to the range of spirits on offer at their 14th and U facilities, located in a former rowhouse. They recently finished building out their tasting room, located on the ground floor, and offer tours and tastings for just $10 – a nice complement to the solid dining options available in their restaurant upstairs.
Excitingly, the distillery recently began giving patrons the opportunity to bottle some of their C&O Tradesman Whiskey – a blend of several young whiskeys from the American Southeast and Midwest that work quite well together. Although none of these whiskeys are distilled on the premises (they’re still in the process of making their own), they have been aged and finished according to District Distilling’s vision, with two variants of the C&O available for bottling: one aged in barrels that previously held apple brandy, the other in former rum barrels. Each version has its own distinct character despite sharing a similar origin – the apple brandy batch has lingering notes of tartness and a hint of apple on the finish, while the more rounded sweetness of molasses and sugar shines through on the whiskey aged in rum barrels, as does a slightly richer caramel coloring.
For just an extra $5 above the regular retail price, you’re able to fill a 750ml bottle with the whiskey variant of your choosing. The coolest part is probably the chance to affix the labels and handwrite the details about your bottle yourself – including space for a dedication or a personalized note. The labels themselves are gorgeously textured and quality-made: there’s some American Psycho level attention to detail on the eggshell coloring and feel of the paper the logo is printed on. It’s the perfect gift for the casual whiskey or bourbon drinker in your life, and is a pretty damn great way to express support for local business without breaking the bank.