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Among the most well-known marketing strategies for products is the use of celebrities as the brand's spokesperson. Stars also inspire many things, including whiskey brands!
Sometimes, people are more excited about the celebrity than the product itself. But the case is not the same with these alcohol brands. If you're a fan of both, be sure to go through each brand below and see whether your favorite celebrity is offering a worthy whiskey.
1. Sweetens Cove Bourbon — Peyton Manning, Andy Roddick, and More
Nolan, Roddick, Collins, Rivers, and Manning with a table of their bourbon - Image by insidehook.com
Peyton Manning, known as one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, was also an extremely successful collegiate quarterback who went on to play for 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. On the other hand, Andrew Stephen Roddick became the No. 1 tennis player in America by winning the 2003 US Open, and his fame went on as he remained a top-ranked professional for much of his career.
Aside from their respective sports, both athletes are also fond of golf. Together with their friends/partners, Tom Nolan, Mark Rivers, Rob Collins, Drew Holcomb, and Skip Bronson, they launched their bourbon brand, Sweetens Cove Bourbon. Subsequently, they got the help of master distiller Marianne Eaves for their new blend. Their new bourbon brand aims to recreate this experience in their bottle design and story.
Even though their bourbon is quite expensive, Sweetens Cove is delicious and will not disappoint. With notes of vanilla, banana bread, leather, and cedar on the palate, it is backed by its proof as well. It also boasts of an excellent finish with hints of candied orange peel and brown sugar; you won't be able to stop at just one whiskey glass!
2. Lagavulin Offerman Edition Single Malt — Nick Offerman
Lagavulin Offerman Edition - Image by Lagavulin
Nick Offerman is a talented actor, writer, and carpenter. He has starred in the NBC show Parks and Recreation as Ron Swanson for seven seasons. While he has a long list of television credits, it was this performance that earned him awards from both critics groups for Individual Achievement in Comedy along with nominations at the Critics' Choice Television Awards two years running.
He's also taken up the same hobby as his character Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation - woodworking! Aside from this, Nick Offerman has been a big fan of Lagavulin for years. With this, the distillery decided to honor him with his special bottle in 2019.
The nose of this single malt greets you with a smokey aroma, along with sweet malt and vanilla notes. The palate is moderately rich, and peat swirls around it in all its savory glory. Finally, there are just enough bittersweet and earthy flavors to keep things gripping without being overwhelming. It is a solid offering from Lagavulin indeed!
3. Wild Turkey Longbranch Bourbon — Matthew McConaughey
McConaughey holding a glass of Wild Turkey whiskey - Image by Wild Turkey
Matthew McConaughey's performance in the 1993 coming-of-age comedy Dazed and Confused drew attention to his acting talent, which led him to star as a lead character for John Grisham's 1996 novel A Time To Kill. With his fame, Wild Turkey Bourbon introduced McConaughey as their new face in 2016.
The award-winning actor is the commercial spokesperson for this brand and part of its creative team. Having been deeply connected to Wild Turkey's roots and story through his fascination with distilling history and being an avid fan himself, he was inspired to take on more than just acting in ads. Eventually, he became the distillery's Creative Director. After forging a collaboration with Master Distiller Eddie Russell, they created the Longbranch bourbon.
Wild Turkey Longbranch Bourbon comes with hints of corn and toasty grains on the nose. Caramel, spices, vanilla syrup, and smokiness are present in its flavor profile, along with subtle oak char. This drink presents itself as warmth in liquid form from start to finish, making it smooth for drinking neat or over ice cubes.
4. Catoctin Creek Ragnarök Rye — GWAR
GWAR holding Catoctin Creek Ragnarök Rye Bottles - Image by Catoctin Creek
Gwar is a heavy metal band created by a collective of artists known as Slave Pit Inc., which had a constantly changing roster over the years. Besides being a band, GWAR has partnered with Catoctin Creek Distilling to create a new whiskey called Ragnarök Rye.
The Ragnarök Rye, as a concoction, is an "intergalactic sipping" spirit, which means it's perfect for any alien-themed parties you might have in the future! This drink has an aggressive scent of tobacco, roasted grains, and coffee beans.
It's almost ashy on the palate, with some hints of dried plum and raisin that linger alongside dark chocolate aromas. It is tough and dry at first, but you'll eventually find its sweetness hidden in the back palate.
5. BLACKENED American Whiskey — Metallica
In the 1980s, the heavy metal band, Metallica, defined a new genre of music called speed metal. Their first album came out in 1983, and they went on to release their second one later that year, and both were deemed incredibly successful.
What have they been up to besides being one of the most incredible bands? They launched their own business called Sweet Amber Distilling Company, collaborating with the late craft-distillery pioneer Dave Pickerell. When Pickerell passed away, Master Distiller Rob Deitrich took his place. BLACKENED American Whiskey is a blend of bourbon and rye whiskeys, bringing together the best characteristics from multiple distilleries.
This spirit's flavor builds with notes of honey, cinnamon, allspice, clove, and mint. There are unexpected apricot undertones layered underneath the dominant flavors, as well as hints of butterscotch taffy, maple, and honey. The finish is long and smooth with slightly creamy tones before dissipating entirely, leading to a clean aftertaste.
6. Heaven’s Door Whiskey — Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan holding a glass of Heaven’s Door whiskey - Image by rollingstone.com
Bob Dylan is considered, by many people, to be one of the best songwriters ever. He has been around for almost 60 years in the industry, and his songs are still being listened to today. He also applied his artistry in the liquor business by launching Heaven's Door to add to his artistic pursuits.
Perhaps the most recognizable thing about this brand is its incredibly unique bottles. Every bottle is designed with iron gates, developed by Dylan in Black Metal Ironworks, his metalworking shop. Overall, they are a unique blend of artistry and craftsmanship that showcases the legend behind it all: the artist himself.
Heaven's Door whiskey smells strong and sweet, with hints of cherry, sourdough bread, butterscotch, and honey. The taste has the added fullness of cinnamon cherries and brown sugar, which comes from its higher rye content, in addition to a spicy, peppery flavor.
7. DIGITS Bourbon — Scottie Pippen
Pippen posing with DIGITS Bourbon by a table - Image by foodandwine.com
Scottie Pippen was a basketball player who was part of six National Basketball Association championships with the Chicago Bulls. Pippen has joined forces with renowned wine and spirits maker Dave Phinney to introduce DIGITS, a five-year-aged bourbon whiskey. To bring this product to the market, the two used Jordan Via of Savage & Cooke as their expert distiller, and together, they blended a 5-year-old bourbon that they are very proud of.
DIGITS Bourbon stands out for being smooth and clean from the beginning to the last drop. Aromas of caramelized apples, brown sugar, and spice are quickly followed by flavors that linger on the palate before it finishes with a light touch, leaving behind subtle notes of vanilla and oak.
8. The Pogues Whiskey — The Pogues
The iconic Pogues are the pioneers of Celtic Punk, a blend of Irish folk and punk music, formed in London in 1982. They were known as "Pogue Mahone" before they gained fame from their successful album releases during the eighties and nineties.
The Celtic punk band has partnered with West Cork Distillers to create an Irish whiskey. Their creation reportedly boasts of having the highest malt content among blended Irish whiskeys. This whiskey was produced after the combined efforts of Barry Walsh and Frank McHardy, who created a unique combination for this drink.
The Pogues Whiskey will leave you feeling light and happy while enjoying each of the classic tastes it has to offer. It makes for a great drink during long days out. It smells of clover honey, artificial banana, and toasted barley. Furthermore, the flavors burst with caramel sauce, saccharin, French toast, and raw hazelnuts.
9. Brother’s Bond Bourbon — Ian Somerhalder/Paul Wesley
Ian and Paul holding a glass of Brother’s Bond Bourbon - Image by Esquire.com
Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley are famous for being the Salvatore brothers in Vampire Diaries. Though it's been years since the two actors last shared the screen as Damon Salvatore and Stefan Salvatore, they haven't missed out on any opportunities to create something new together.
Among the things they collaborated on is the creation of a bourbon company of their own. When asked about their decision to start a business together, Somerhalder and Wesley answered that they had discussed it for years, and they felt that the idea of creating bourbon came naturally due to their shared love for bourbon.
The first sip of this drink is like a smooth caress. Honey and sweet corn dance on your tongue, with hints of vanilla, caramel, and orange zest tickling the back end to round out each flavor before it disappears into thin air. Moreover, it only has four years of aging time under its belt.
10. The Sassenach Scotch Whisky — Sam Heughan
Scottish actor, producer, and entrepreneur Sam Roland Heughan shot to fame after his role as Jamie Fraser in Outlander. His portrayal of this character has made him a household name worldwide, with many fans wanting more from their favorite Scottish heartthrob!
The whiskey brand, called "The Sassenach," is part of Heughan's new business project. When interviewed by the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, he spoke about his dream to create his own spirit and how it came to fruition.
Find citrus, almonds, vanilla, and butterscotch notes on the palate with a rich aroma and a distinctly exceptional smoothness as it has been matured in casks that used to hold Madeira wine. There's also the unique combination of flavors from peaches, honey, and oranges, which make for an exceptional overall experience!
11. Haig Club — David Beckham
David Beckham has played with the big boys for nearly two decades and is an all-time great soccer player. He has played for some of Europe's most storied teams like Manchester United and Real Madrid.
Beckham's newest venture, however, is a light and sweet grain liquor called Haig Club. His Haig Club creations promise to win over anyone who has yet to be won over by the charms of whiskey. It got its name after John Haig, the founder of Cameronbridge distillery, which is where the liquor is made!
Enjoyable on ice or in whiskey cocktails, David Beckham's latest project is something that should not be missed.
The Haig Club whiskey tickles the palate with a medley of flavors, including toffee, vanilla, oak, banana, nougat, and honeycomb pieces. The finish includes praline and cinnamon, with ginger hints at the end, bringing it all together for one final flavorful taste.
12. Mulholland Distilling — Walton Goggins
Goggins posing with a bottle of Mulholland Whiskey - Image by whiskyadvocate.com
Walton Sanders Goggins, Jr. is a multi-talented American actor who has appeared in many films and television shows throughout his career. As the executive producer for the short film, The Accountant, he won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film.
Aside from being an actor, Walton is also known as the co-owner of Mulholland Distilling with his friend, Angeleno Matthew Alper. As a brand, Mulholland Distilling is well-known for producing innovative, premium spirits that reflect the vibrant culture of Los Angeles. The name itself pays homage to a visionary who brought water from across California to help grow LA's population throughout history.
This whiskey line offers a fresh scent of vanilla bean, sweet corn, and maple, blended with a hint of baking spice. The first taste is full of flavor but not cloying as you would have expected, making you think there was oak wood added in with dried fruit and an herbal rye flavor.
13. Virginia Black Whiskey — Drake
Drake is a Canadian actor and rap star who earned fame after playing Jimmy Brooks in 'Degrassi: The Next Generation.' He has become one of the world's most successful musicians, with hits including "Take Care," "One Dance," and "Hotline Bling."
Drake has partnered with Elegance Brands to distribute his Virginia Black whiskey in Australia. He created the line of whiskeys together with Hocking, founder of Deléon Tequila, and released this brand back in 2016. The blend comprises two, three, and four-year-old Bourbon with a high rye mash bill for unique taste profiles.
This bourbon displays a deep, tawny hue and smells like raisins. The scent is sweet with hints of dried figs, vanilla, honeyed cherries, toffee orange peel, and baking spice. This high-rye drink tastes similar to cognac because it's smooth and has notes of oak finishing long.
14. Bradshaw Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey — Terry Bradshaw
Terry Paxton Bradshaw is famed for being a former American football quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the National Football League (NFL). After retiring from his professional career, Terry became an analyst and co-host on Fox NFL Sunday before engaging in the liquor industry.
Bradshaw Bourbon is a collaborative effort between Bradshaw and Silver Screen Bottling Company, which is quite famous for bottling liquors made by celebrities. This bourbon was released at an ABV of 51.9% to reference his career's passing completion percentage.
The bourbon has a light touch of caramel and vanilla blend with new oak scents to create a sweet yet spicy sip. The first hints you taste are cinnamon bark and the distinct flavor of rye grain, but it quickly turns spicier as the drink progresses.
Aldean, Hubbard and Kelley having a toast - Image by Wolf Moon Bourbon
Jason Aldean is a country music singer, songwriter, and producer. Despite their diverse musical backgrounds, Florida Georgia Line is also a country group formed in 2010 by Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley. Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line are among the country music's most celebrated stars, which is why their collaboration on a bourbon brand called Wolf Moon was not only unexpected but also widely anticipated.
The two have toured the world together with great success, so when they decided to create a product together, they made something that people from all over the world could enjoy.
At 80 proof, Wolf Moon is a bourbon distilled from grains and aged for four years in new oak barrels. The whiskey's flavor profile has a mix of caramel, honeyed sweetness with hints of fruitiness, and spice, balanced by notes of oaky spiciness that give the drink its edge.
16. Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey — Conor McGregor
Conor McGregor is a well-known Irish fighter who excels in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). He's an excellent and multi-talented athlete and businessman, and he is the founder of Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey. His creation, the Proper No. Twelve Irish Whiskey is a unique blend of liquor inspired by the team's passion and connection with Ireland.
To capture this feeling, Conor McGregor searched for an old distillery on the island, where he found his expert distiller, who helped him create this special spirit. However, McGregor recently sold a major part of his company to Proximo Spirits.
This drink fills the nose with floral notes, fresh-cut grass, and hints of straw. The taste, however, might be surprising because it smells even hotter than what the 40% ABV would suggest. There are hints of green apple flavors, immediately followed by toasted sunflower seeds and wet sticks. Surprisingly, there are no vanilla or caramel undertones like many Irish whiskeys have.
17. BSB-Brown Sugar Bourbon — Jamie Foxx
Jamie Foxx is a critically acclaimed actor, singer, and comedian who has won three awards for his performance in the biographical film, Ray. Foxx later expanded his career by taking over a flavored whiskey company. His creative direction and entrepreneurial spirit would later influence this new venture, guiding the brand towards future growth.
The packaging of BSB has been updated to reflect its position in the industry, making it perfect for enjoyment at any event with a sophisticated style. Brown Sugar Bourbon is a sweet bourbon with distinct notes of brown sugar and cinnamon that make it an excellent sipping drink.
18. Old Camp Peach Pecan Whiskey — Florida Georgia Line
Hubbard and Kelley holding a bottle of Old Champ Bottle - Image by Old Camp Whiskey
Two best friends and country music stars, Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley formed the Florida Georgia Line in 2010. They created the Old Camp Peach Pecan Whiskey, the innovative new addition to the world of spirits and the brainchild of these two friends.
As the owners of a whiskey-manufacturing company, the two stars wanted to make something that was easy-sipping but had an interesting mix of flavors from both states represented by each partner's hometown. Their product is a two-year-old American whiskey that has been aged in charred new oak barrels. It then gets infused with essences of peach and pecan to create the final product.
Their whiskey is fruity and sweet, but the taste took a strange turn. There were notes of peach candy in the beginning, though it eventually evolved into watermelon hard candy towards the middle. The finish is very complex, with hints of pecan for an overall full-bodied experience.
19. Backstage Southern Whiskey — Darius Rucker
Darius Rucker is an American musician best known for his band Hootie & the Blowfish. He was born in Charleston, South Carolina, and he first started playing music at a University of South Carolina college party with Mark Bryan, Jim "Soni" Sonefelde, and Dean Felber. Like the other celebrities already mentioned above, this country singer also created a whiskey brand named Backstage Southern Whiskey.
The name is a reference to the tradition of his band to give him a toast before each show. He then shares his drinks with them backstage as they mingle and prepare for their performance. Initially, the Backstage Southern Whiskey was only available around South Carolina. But due to its increasing popularity, it has now spread into other states, including Georgia, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
Backstage Southern Whiskey is the artist's choice. It features aromas of a dark, earthy brown sugar flavor and dry vanilla tones. The smell of chocolate, brown sugar, vanilla, and rye bread make it easy on the palate. Backstage whiskeys are great for whiskey lovers looking to quench their thirst in high style.
20. Old Whiskey River - Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson is a famous musician who was one of the most popular country singers in America. He grew up playing music with family and friends at local dances. Because of his talent and influence, Heaven Hill distillery has made a small batch of bourbon in honor of the famed singer.
This batch of whiskey is all about the man himself. The name alone pays homage to Willie Nelson. It even comes with a sticker of his guitar strap on top of the bottle seal, so you can't miss it. Old Whiskey River bourbon has all the components of classic American whiskey. It features an oak, caramel, and vanilla flavor with hints of spice in its aroma. It finishes from sitting on the shelf for 30 years while aging.
21. Slipknot No. 9 Iowa Whiskey — Slipknot
Anyone who's a fan of heavy metal knows the band, Slipknot. Aside from their aggressive style in music, they are also known for their iconic, albeit quite terrifying disguises or stage persona. When they're not making music, they are busy with their line of whiskey.
The band has collaborated with the acclaimed Cedar Ridge Distillery to create the No. 9 whiskey. Both them and the distillery are from Iowa, and they used their roots as inspiration for this drink.
One of the band’s founders, percussionist Shawn "Clown" Crahan, formulated the fantastic blend. Its main component is corn from Iowa and is blended with rye. It finishes bold at 90% proof while also delivering a balance of sweetness and spiciness that's worth every sip!
When celebrities endorse or create a product, people are drawn to it because they like that person. But what if there were no famous individuals attached to these whiskeys? Would we still buy them? Of course, as long as they're good!
These whiskeys deserve recognition for being excellent even without any celebrity endorsement. So the next time you're in the market for some new whiskey brands, try out this list and see which ones suit your palate best.