You may have been excited about Wu-Tang Clan’s new vodka , but if your spirits and Spotify preferences lean toward the acoustic end of the spectrum, Bob Dylan’s new whiskey might be more your pace.
Don’t think twice — just accept that Bob freakin’ Dylan is now in the whiskey business.
In partnership with Spirits Investment Partnership (SIP), the iconic singer-songwriter has created Heaven’s Door Spirits. This won’t look like your standard whiskey line, though. Indeed, times they are a changin’, because instead of creating one type of whiskey with one master distiller, Heaven’s Door Spirits is set up to be an evolving portfolio of small-batch whiskeys in collaboration with multiple renowned distillers.
“By working with different whiskey artisans for each new expression, the portfolio would be more diverse and eclectic,” says Marc Bushala, CEO of SIP.
Bushala is the man who was able to convince The Voice of a Generation to get into the whiskey biz after learning that Dylan had a registered trademark application for “Bootleg Whiskey” in 2015. They met via a mutual friend and got to talking about art and craft.
Heaven’s Door Spirits marks Dylan’s first consumer brand partnership in over 50 years. (At 76 years old, maybe it was the last road he needed to walk before he could be called a man?) So yeah, it’s safe to say Dylan is not only excited about distilling new whiskies, but more of an expert than we might think.
“I’ve been traveling for decades, and I’ve been able to try some of the best spirits that the world of whiskey has to offer,” Dylan says. “This is great whiskey.”
Dylan is talking about Heaven’s Door’s inaugural portfolio, which includes:
- Straight Tennessee Bourbon that uses 30 percent “small grains” to complement the character imparted from spending almost seven years in new American Oak barrels.
- Double Barrel Whiskey, a distinctive blend of three different whiskeys, finished in new American Oak barrels for a secondary aging worthy of another year’s wait.
- Straight Rye Whiskey finished in “cigar” barrels from Vosges, France.
Ryan Perry, who leads whiskey development for Heaven’s Door, says, “We weren’t restricted by deadlines, budget, or a particular taste profile. Working with master distillers like Jordan Via enabled us to establish creative collaboration as a foundational principle of the brand.” Zimmy might be the only musician we’d trust to make a premium whiskey, which has already taken home medals from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and Ultimate Spirits Challenge.
Bob Dylan’s artwork is featured on the packaging of each whiskey (you didn’t know he’s an artist?). Iron gates, found farm objects, and pieces from scrapyards bring Dylan’s Americana folk vibe to the forefront, which preps you for a similarly themed taste inside the bottle. In 2019, Heaven’s Door Spirits will release something called “The Bootleg Series” showcasing Dylan’s paintings on rare whiskey stocks and special blends. As expected, these will be very limited.
Also in 2019, Heaven’s Door will open a distillery in a 140-year-old Nashville church. Trip to Nashville, anyone?