Making exceptional spirits is not just a process; it's an art fueled by unwavering passion. By sourcing their grains from the Northern Neck, oak barrels in Roanoke, and malted barley in Sperryville, MurLarkey Distilled Spirits is crafting a legacy unique to Virginia.
The MurLarkey team brings everything together back home to Prince William County and ages their products outside in humid summers and chilly winters—bringing Virginia alive in every sip.
After celebrating 10 years in business, the company’s journey has evolved into creating an unparalleled experience for patrons. This year the company will relocate and expand to a 25,000 square foot production facility and restaurant at the heart of Innovation Park on the Farm Brew LIVE campus in Manassas.
Opening a barrel of aged whiskey is an unmatched experience – the aroma of caramels, cherries, and tobacco notes filling the air. Unlike the traditional scotch smoke, MurLarkey whiskey bears a different profile – a testament to the rich, seasonal Virginia temperature cycles.
"In the summertime, it can be 150 degrees in [our] metal shipping container," says Kevin Szady, head distiller. "The pores in the wood open and the whiskey goes deep through the char into that oak. When it gets cold, those pores close and push that whiskey out. By having those extreme cycles of hot to cold, we get very complex flavors."
But the attention to craft does not stop at the barrel top. The MurLarkey tasting room provides an atmosphere of camaraderie, where George "Papi" Zwetkow, master distiller, can often be found making infusions and artisanal drinks for patrons.
"When we started out this business, our goal was to create quality spirits and to be a top Virginia producer," says Jim Larkin, co-founder and COO. "What it evolved into is truly an experience for folks to come in and to enjoy some craft cocktails and the warmth of the family business."
A few years ago, the team started to see the horizon on their growth. They looked for opportunities to expand and found a partnership with the Farm Brew LIVE campus, marking the next step in their journey.
“This is more than just a second career for us; it's our namesake and it’s our legacy,” says Tom Murray, co-founder and CEO. “We want MurLarkey to be the basecamp for the Virginia Spirits trail. This is a very strategic location, and we have some fantastic craft distilleries here in Virginia.”
In January 2024, Governor Youngkin selected Murray for the Virginia Spirits Board. Murray's role on the board is poised to elevate the state's spirits landscape, fostering ongoing excellence and innovation in the production and promotion of Virginia-made spirits.
"You really need to love what you’re doing when you’re crafting a great spirit,” says Szady. “If you don’t have passion, it is not going to come through in the end product.”
Established in 2013 by brothers Mike and Jim Larkin and their cousin Tom Murray, MurLarkey Distilled Spirits is a family-owned business that exclusively uses Virginia-grown corn, rye, and barley to produce award-winning spirits, reflecting the founders' Irish heritage. They embrace sustainable practices through its Farm to Flask® initiative, sourcing 100% of raw materials from Virginia growers and providing spent grain to local farmers for livestock feed, thus reducing waste and supporting the local agricultural community.
Since its inception, MurLarkey Distilled Spirits has challenged conventions in the spirits industry. Pioneering an all-natural method which has become the standard-bearer for the craft industry, MurLarkey Distilled Spirits consistently delivering a diverse range of handcrafted, award-winning spirits.