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A group of whiskey experts from around the country is coming together to launch a new distillery in D.C. called Joseph A. Magnus & Co., named after one of the most successful pre-Prohibition producers of bourbon and other spirits.
Magnus’ great grandson, Jimmy Turner, is behind the distillery, which will be located above Atlas Brew Works in Ivy City. Turner has partnered with an all-star team, which includes Pork Barrel BBQ co-founder Brett Thompson, former Woodford Reserve distiller and winner of the Whisky Advocate Lifetime Achievement Award Dave Scheurich, American Distilling Institute director of research and whiskey blending pro Nancy “the nose” Fraley, and former Buffalo Trace Distillery VP and General Manager Richard Wolf.
“I jokingly refer to these guys as our whiskey dream team,” says Thompson. “It’s going to be exciting for D.C. to have people of these talents helping bring back this heritage.”
Although Turner is originally from Missouri and lives in Florida, he felt D.C. would be a great place to launch Joseph A. Magnus & Co. because of the burgeoning brewery and distillery scene.
It’s safe to say the distillery will produce bourbon, but the team isn’t yet sharing what else they have planned. Like Magnus once did, the distillery will have a number of extremely rare and limited releases—sometimes under 100 bottles.
“We expect that they will likely sell out often before they ever even get a chance to get to market,” Thompson says. Anyone who wants a first shot at these limited releases can enter their names and emails at josephmagnus.com. The distillery aims to launch sometime this year.
“I think that it’s going to be a brand—given its history and the team that’s a part of it—that’s going to have strong nationwide demand,” Thompson says. “But we’re excited to really get the focus on the D.C. market.”
Photo courtesy Joseph A. Magnus & Co.