New family-run distillery up and running in the city

Virago Spirits’ first two releases, a rum and a port-barrel aged variant. (Mike Platania)

The latest entrant in the local booze market is pouring near The Diamond.

Virago Spirits, a distillery that’s initially producing rum, opened its tasting room last week at its 11,000-square-foot facility at 1727 Rhoadmiller St.

Owned by brothers Barry, Brad and Barton Haneberg, and Brad’s wife Vicki, Virago began production in June of its flagship spirit, Four Port Rum.

Barry Haneberg said they also recently released a variant of Four Port Rum that’s aged in ruby port barrels, with plans to release a sherry barrel-aged version as well.

After that, Barry said Virago will venture into other types of liquors.

“We’ve got about 10,000 liters of apples fermenting for an apple brandy, and have a gin on the way,” Barry said.

Virago’s rum already has found its way onto the shelves of ABC stores and behind the bar at Richmond restaurants.

Virago’s tasting room opened last week. (Mike Platania)

Barry said Virago is available as a special order at local ABC stores, and is regularly stocked at some local stores in Carytown, Short Pump and Midlothian Turnpike.

Virago also has been used in cocktails at local restaurants such as Fat Dragon, The Jasper, Mekong and Can Can Brasserie.

Barry added that they’ve been selling to some spots in Charlottesville, Virginia Beach and Northern Virginia.

“We’re looking at distribution in Illinois, but we really need to establish ourselves in Virginia first,” he said.

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