Joseph A. Magnus & Co is located next door and above Atlas Brew Works so give yourself ample time to visit both. The distillery is based upon Jimmy Turner finding a hundred year old bourbon produced by his great grandfather Joseph A. Magnus. A new found interest in his family's distilling past led to a with to a partnership with "former Woodford Reserve distiller and Whisky Advocate Lifetime Achievement Award winner Dave Scheurich, American Distilling Institute Director of Research and whiskey blending pro Nancy “The Nose” Fraley, former Buffalo Trace Distillery VP and General Manager Richard Wolf, and Brett Thompson a co-owner of Alexandria’s Pork Barrel BBQ. (See this City Paper article.) Along with The Gin Goddess, Nicole Hassoun, this team currently produces five spirits: one vodka, two gins, and two bourbons.
Republic Restoratives Distillery is located right on New York Avenue NE with an inviting open air tasting bar where they stress a facility is just as much a craft cocktail bar as a distillery. Co-founders Pia Carusone and Rachel Gardner hired Master Distiller, Rusty Figgins to focus on bourbon but also leverage the Ivy City Gin phenomena. But first there's the Civic Vodka ($29, 80 proof), a corn-based vodka that is charcoal polished, a filtration process that provides a smooth and clean spirit. The Borough Bourbon ($55, 88 proof) is a Kentucky born whiskey (sourced until their own whiskey is ready) but then finished at the distillery in Sauvignon Blanc barrique casks. The result is a very smooth whiskey, drinking neat nicely with a little vanilla. My favorite. Finally, the Rodham Rye ($79, 90 proof) - guess who its named after - is sourced one-year-old rye and three-and-a-half-year-old rye from Tennessee. The distillery then cuts the whiskey to proof using Adirondack Mountain spring water from a maple syrup farm in upstate new York. The spicy rye expresses itself clearly, there's also a chewiness and long, complex finish. And enjoy a cocktail, mine was a concoction of honey, lime juice, and Borough Bourbon. Cheers.