The world of spirits is quite saturated, with countless brands offering every liquor imaginable under the sun. Yet, in spite of the array of timeless “classics” on the market, a Virginia-based craft distillery has gained a cult following on the east coast. MurLarkey Distilled Spirits is a family-run operation that has been racking up national and international awards for its small-batch artisan spirits since its launch in 2016. The distillery pays homage to its Irish roots, while applying sustainability, innovation, and unmatched passion to its diverse line of spirits. We caught up with Co-Founder and CEO, Thomas Murray, to find out what makes the “triple-threat” of the craft spirits world so darn irresistible.
Q: Tell us about how MurLarkey Distilled Spirits was formed?
Tom: In 2013, my cousins Mike and Jim approached me with the idea of starting a family business—specifically a distillery. The more I looked into it, the more excited I got, because I realized that craft distilling was coming on strong to the scene at the time. Seeing where the market was going, and that this could really be something extraordinary. I jumped in with both feet. And our family business was born.
Q: How did you come up with the company name?
Tom: We were playing around with combining our family’s last names. We are maternal cousins on the Kelly side—our moms are sisters. One Kelly girl married a Murray, and the other a Larkin. We added our surnames and got MurLarkey, which in Irish coincidentally means “good times” or “foolishness.” It can also mean “BS,” depending who you talk to…[laughs].
Q: What sets MurLarkey apart from others in the industry?
Tom: There is a certain magic to MurLarkey, as we like to say. Part of that is the fact that we didn’t want to pigeonhole ourselves in one direction. Afterall, we started the company to have fun with it—we know what we like, and we have a pretty discerning palate. So, we offer an array of products—whiskey, including several infused craft whiskeys, gin, and vodka—all of which have won awards. To the best of my knowledge, there’s no other craft distillery out there that has won gold in all three categories. We didn’t set out to do this, but when we decide to do a product in a particular category, we do it extremely well.
Q: What do you attest your impressive success to?
Tom: I attribute it to our incredible attention to detail and craftsmanship—there are no shortcuts to greatness at MurLarkey. We’re very honest and candid when it comes to a new product, and because of that nothing goes out the door before it meets our incredibly high standards.
Q: What is the pervading attitude of your brand and its audience?
Tom: “Good, quality fun,” pretty much sums up MurLarkey. We jokingly call our loyal customers and fans the “MurLarkey Army,” for their dedication to us. People are loyal to the brand because it’s real, authentic, and exceptional.
Q: What key product do you want consumers and fans to recognize you for?
Tom: There’s no other craft distillery that has such a broad product line as ours, which myriad medals for every product we’ve ever made. Our infused whiskeys help liven up a party—they’re all incredible craft-cocktail makers. It’s honestly hard to pick a favorite, because we really have something for everybody depending on what you drink.
Q: Any exciting future ventures to look out for?
Tom: Our next product will be a premium aged bourbon. We’re aging it right now, with the hope that it’s met with the same high praise as our other products.
(Syndicated press content)