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KO Distilling Aligns With Independent Distributors Network (IDN) On New Market Expansion

MANASSAS, Va.— KO Distilling, a craft distiller based in Manassas, Virginia, is aligning with the Independent Distributor Network (IDN) on a strategic expansion.

Since 2017, KO Distilling’s bourbons, whiskeys and gins have been available in Virginia, as well as in Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia through Prestige Ledroit Distributing. As a result of new relationships recently forged with IDN members, KO’s award-winning spirits are now available in Massachusetts (Ruby Wines) and Connecticut (Slocum & Sons). More states will be added later this year.

“When crafting our portfolio of artisan spirits, we work with care and skill to create something of meaning and value.  In doing so, we aim to pay tribute to all spirit lovers out there who are doing the same,” said Bill Karlson, Co-Founder and CEO. “We are confident that the recognized high quality of our spirits will resonate with consumers in our new markets, and we are excited to work with the talented IDN team to drive future sales in those states.”

“IDN was established to revolutionize the way wine and spirits are distributed in the United States,” said Mark Harmann, National Sales Director. “Our hyper-local approach creates more opportunities to bring the best small batch and craft brands like those of KO Distilling to new markets. Through the efforts of our IDN members, buyers have better options and consumers enjoy broader choices.”

“We recently received our first order from KO, and we already have one customer who wants to order a full barrel’s worth of Bare Knuckle Cask Strength High Rye Bourbon.  It’s a great way to kick off our relationship,” said Morgan Mason, Spirits Portfolio Manager, Ruby Wines.

“When we tasted the KO Distilling portfolio, we knew it would be appreciated by Connecticut consumers,” said Scott Randall, Portfolio Manager, Slocum & Sons. “The founders have ties to both New England and the Atlantic Ocean with their U.S. Merchant Marine Academy background. KO Distilling’s craft spirits are simply delicious, and early sales results are proving us right about the quality of their offerings.”

KO Distilling will be offering several of its most decorated expressions in the new markets:

KO Distiller’s Reserve Bottled-in-Bond Straight Bourbon Whiskey

  • 4-Year-Old; 100 Proof
  • Distilled by KO Distilling in one distilling season
  • Hand-crafted from Virginia-grown grains (70% corn, 20% wheat, and 10% malted barley)
  • SRP:  $69.99 (750mL)
  • Double Gold Medal 2021 San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 94 points, 2021 Ultimate Spirits Challenge

KO Distiller’s Reserve Bottled-in-Bond Straight Rye Whiskey

  • 4 years old; 50% ABV
  • Distilled by KO Distilling in one distilling season
  • Hand-crafted from 100% Virginia Rye
  • SRP:  $74.99 (750mL)
  • Double Gold Medal, 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 92 points, 2022 Ultimate Spirits Challenge

Bare Knuckle High Rye Bourbon

  • 6 years old
  • 75% Corn, 21% Rye, 4% Malted Barley
  • Distilled in Indiana, aged in Virginia
  • Single Barrel (45% ABV) SRP:  $59.99 (750mL)
  • Cask Strength (~63% ABV) SRP:  $72.99 (750mL)
  • Gold Medal, 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Competition (Cask Strength)
  • 96 points, 2022 Ultimate Spirits Challenge (Cask Strength)

Bare Knuckle Straight Rye Whiskey

  • 4 years old
  • Hand-crafted from 100% Virginia rye
  • Cask Strength (60% ABV)
  • SRP: $65.99
  • Double Gold Medal, 2019 San Francisco World Spirits Competition
  • 92 points, 2019 Ultimate Spirits Challenge

“As we expand outside of the Mid-Atlantic, we will not only have an increased footprint, we also are reserving inventory for future 8-year, 10-year, or older offerings,” said Karlson. “It has been 402 years since the first American Whiskey was crafted right here in Virginia.  At KO, we are honored to help keep that tradition going.”

About Independent Distributor Network

IDN was established in late 2019 with the goal of overcoming industry consolidation by offering a new model for wine and spirits distribution. IDN provides a sales, marketing, and distribution solution for mid-to-large scale wineries and distilleries seeking a fair and equitable opportunity for national sales and distribution services, through a combination of brand building, local market expertise, and proven growth strategies.

About KO Distilling

Founded by long-time friends and U.S. Merchant Marine Academy classmates Bill Karlson, “K,” and John O’Mara, “O,” KO Distilling is a craft producer of clear unaged spirits, including three gins and a white whiskey, and aged small-batch whiskeys.  Produced in Manassas, Virginia, at a state-of-the-art distillery, KO spirits are currently available online, at retail outlets in Virginia, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Minnesota, as well as at VA package stores for the U.S. Coast Guard.

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