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One way to illustrate the military's
ties to spirits is the Jack Daniels buya-barrel program, in which individuals
or groups purchase an entire barrel of
whiskey, handpicked from the highest
levels of the distillery's barrelhouses.
The distillery bottles the whiskey,
and the purchaser receives the bottles
(personalized), the barrel and/or
barrelhead (also personalized), and a
plaque on the wall at the distillery.
Jack Daniels master distiller, Jeff
Arnett, told Business Insider in 2016
that the U.S. military is the largest
purchaser of this premium single barrel
whiskey. Personal barrels have been
sold to base exchanges, individual
units, and officers' clubs. Navy SEAL
teams have purchased barrels-
including, possibly, Navy SEAL Team 6
after the raid on Osama Bin Laden.
Virginia ABC has participated in
barrel programs similar to these for
years, purchasing entire barrels and


Virginia, one in every 12 Virginians
has served in the military. This number
includes the second-largest percentage
of women veterans, the largest
percentage of veterans under the age of
39 and the eighth most-diverse veteran
population among the 50 states. It has
the greatest number of veterans in the
workforce per capita and has added
more veterans to its workforce than all
other states put together.
And speaking of workforces,
Virginia ABC shows its respect and
appreciation for U.S. veterans by
employing vets among its ranks. It
also participates in the Virginia Values
Veterans (V3) Program, organized
by the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The V3 Program educates and trains
companies on why it is a good business
decision to recruit, hire, train and
retain veterans, then helps those
companies meet their hiring goals.
Virginia ABC hires an average of one
veteran every month.

Store 305's John Lockhart joined the Navy in June 1976 and served as a radioman on the USS
John F. Kennedy out of Norfolk and was also a generalist in a TV studio. He retired in July 1980
and called the Navy "the best thing that ever happened to me." After his time in the Navy, he did
logistics work for governmental entities such as the Civil Service and Department of Defense. He
retired after 37 years and after "being tired of being at home" he joined Virginia ABC part-time
as a sales associate in Mechanicsville. "It was exactly what I needed," he said. "I've been enjoying myself ever since. I have a wonderful manager and a nice staff here."


branding the bottles as such with a
unique sticker or neck hanger. Since
April 1, ABC has purchased 10 barrels
of Jack Daniels specifically for sale in
Virginia. Each barrel contains enough
bourbon for approximately 240 bottles.
Several Virginia distilleries boast
proud military connections, too. Besides
distillery tasting rooms serving regions
such as Hampton Roads that have a high
concentration of bases and services:
*	 Falls Church Distillers' founder,
Michael Paluzzi, is a U.S. Air
Force veteran.
*	 Three Brothers Distillery
owner David Reavis is a U.S.
Navy veteran and teaches
performance management for
the U.S. Army. The distillery's
product line includes a naval
strength (aka gunpowder) gin, and
Reavis explains the origin story of
this high-proof spirit on the Three
Brothers' website: In the days of
sailing ships, the drink of preference
for the officers ... was gin. ... To
prevent the crew from getting to
their gin, officers began locking the
gin in the powder room. ... However,
if gunpowder gets wet, cannons don't
fire. Therefore, the British Admiralty
passed an edict that if alcohol was to
be locked up in the powder room, it
had to be of sufficient alcohol content
to burn.
*	 Silverback Distillery's co-owner
Denver Riggleman was a U.S. Air
Force avionics technician and
commissioned intelligence officer.
His wife, Christine Riggleman,
and daughter, Lauren Riggleman
Weller, do the distilling, but
Denver was the inspiration for
the name, given his gray hair,
overprotective demeanor and
grumpy but exuberant attitude.
*	 KO Distilling founders John
O'Mara and Bill Karlson met as
classmates and cadet midshipmen
at the United States Merchant
Marine Academy (USMMA).
Upon graduation, both were



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