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The Early Word on D.C. Distillery Cotton & Reed

“Awesome, unique botanical rums”

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R. Lopez
Tierney Plumb is the editor of Eater DC, covering all things food and drink around the nation's capital.

Cotton & Reed opened doors in mid-November, serving up its own brand of rum.

Jordan Cotton and Reed Walker—former NASA co-workers—debuted NoMa’s newest distillery in Union Market at 1330 5th St. NE.

CORE’s design was, in part, inspired by dilapidated factories of a park in Germany, Duisburg-Nord Landschaftspark, and the photography of German husband and wife duo Bernd & Hilla Becher. There’s a soft side to the space, too, with greenery and herbs. The distillery's bar sits right upon entrance, with a 17-foot, 500-gallon still reaching upwards in the back of the building. The 3,300-square-foot space was more than three years in the making and finally now makes and sells a white rum for $30 and dry-spiced rum for $35.

Read on to hear what the customers are saying about the cozy distillery, just a few weeks in:

The Yummy Rummy News: Facebook user Willian Sullivan experienced “awesome, unique botanical rums. Really cool service concept with house-made cocktails and mixes. Great atmosphere on both sides of the bar -- a one of a kind spot in DC!” [Facebook]

The Can’t-Go-Wrong News: Facebook user Dan Sutich thinks “Every drink they make is outstanding; if you're a purist and just want straight rum the spiced rum will blow you away.” Yelper Ron C. went on a date there and thought “the rum cocktails were really good and there was a nice clientele here. I'd definitely return.” [Facebook, Yelp]

The Vibe News: Bitches Who Brunch notes the “space feels like a speakeasy, probably because of its precarious location tucked among seafood delivery trucks and other wholesale warehouses in Union Market, but when you enter you’re transported to a vintage, upscale, industrial garage with a gorgeous wood etched bar, hanging crystal bottles, and copper accents.” Yelper Kristen C. says it’s a “Really laid-back vibe” with “fun island-y music.” [Bitches Who Brunch, Yelp]

The Photo-Ready News: Yelper Austin G. says “It's a beautiful space with a classy, yet approachable (and very Instagrammable) bar off to one side and wall seating on the other edge of the area.” [Yelp]

The Any Occasion News: Bitches Who Brunch say “this is a unique space great for a date or to hang out on a Friday or Saturday night after grabbing brunch or shopping at Union Market. We also noted this would be a great spot to grab a night cap after dinner at Masseria.” [Bitches Who Brunch]

The Outside the Comfort Zone News: Yelper Casiopaiea K. says, “Step away from 14th street, get out of your bubble and try these incredible (and affordable!) drinks. The Redbeard is a must, rum and ginger, lemon and other goodness.” Facebook user Arthur Howland calls it a “Classic rustic industrial pocket distillery where you can try craft rum and experimental cocktails.” [Yelp, Facebook]

The Atypical Rum Cocktail News: Washingtonian writes, the “white rum, Campari, lime, and ginger beer drink called “Redbeard” is more bitter than you would usually find with a rum cocktail. Meanwhile, the “Rum G&T” uses a housemade tonic with botanicals typically found in gin to create a cocktail that mimics a gin and tonic.” [Washingtonian]