From the moment you approach this beautifully rustic building, you’re greeted with a very warm welcome and a great sense of comfort.
Located on the James River at the very end of Downtown Newport News, The Ironclad Distillery is definitely something to look forward to. We had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with Kara King, who has an undeniable pride and appreciation for the fine craft of bourbon. Along with her brother Owen (the bourbon brain), these two are on a mission to create and distribute a four-grain bourbon from the great city of Newport News.
With 3-stories and 30,000 sqft of the historic brick structure, Ironclad has some stellar plans in place. The first floor will feature a Tasting Room with the feel of an old-school gentleman’s sitting room. The King’s already have the plans and some of the furnishings for the Tasting Room. They have pending proposal’s with the city and hope to have it ready for patrons later this year or early 2017.
The second floor will be utilized for special events, creating an awesome ambience for anything from corporate events to a pop-up art gallery. Because the Virginia heat is crucial in opening the oak barrels that age the bourbon, there are talks of the third floor being reserved for storing barrels.
Ironclad is partnering with Anderson’s Showplace in order to create the “Cocktail Garden,” a specifically dedicated area out-back where you can enjoy a hand-crafted bourbon concoction. In the garden, you will be able to find an array of herbs and spices that will be used to enhance the cocktails along with outside seating. Mixologist Robert Gregory of Fin Seafood is assisting to develop incredibly enticing cocktails that will be served.
A really cool feature is the Barreltag Program. Each and every bottle of Ironclad has a carefully hand-written barrel number on the label. You can register the barrel number at www.ironcladdistillery.com and follow the barrel’s journey after it helped produce the bourbon from your specific bottle. Destinations can range from a cidery, to a brewery, or even made into furniture or home decor. In any case, you will receive an email informing you of your barrel’s voyage. Some of the very first barrels are currently being used to create a Porter beer at Oozlefinch, a brewery located in Hampton.
Ironclad Bourbon is now being sold in your local ABC stores in Newport News, soon to hit shelves in about 40 others any day now. We look forward to the official grand opening date later this year or early next!