Molson Coors brewing will get into the hard stuff, debuting Five Trail whiskey, the company announced August 1. Debuting under the new Coors Whiskey Co. moniker, Five Trail will roll out September 1 at liquor retailers in four markets: Colorado, Georgia, Nevada, and New York. It’s one that the beverage company intends whiskey lovers to actually drink and enjoy, as opposed to stashing away.
Created in partnership with Bardstown Bourbon Co. in Bardstown, Kentucky, Five Trail is a 95-proof, Colorado single-malt whiskey that combines three bourbons blended with Colorado’s crystal, alpine water. (A single malt is produced by a single distillery using only malted barley.)
The “ultra-premium” whiskey is Molson Coors’ first full-strength spirit, meaning that Five Trail will hit the retail market in a limited supply, with prestige in mind.
“While whiskey drinkers are a very loyal group, discovery is a key theme. They love to explore, expand their collections and try new things,” Molson Coors marketing manager Kimberli Fox said in a statement. “That makes this a very interesting place for us to play as a beverage company.”
This release represents the company’s latest venture beyond the beer cooler since it changed its handle from Molson Coors Brewing Co. to Molson Coors Beverage Co. to underscore a shift away from beer.
Five Trail represents another key part of a strategy to diversify its potent portfolio. Earlier this year, the company added CBD sparkling water to its many hard sodas and seltzers. The beverage behemoth even scored a distribution deal for an energy drink co-created by entertainment icon Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
The decision to wade into whiskey was due in part to the spirit’s growth over the last two decades, Fox said. According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, American-made whiskey sales have skyrocketed 227% since 2002, reaching $4.3 billion in sales in 2020. Aligning with its roots, Coors developed this with the Rocky Mountains and Kentucky Bluegrass in mind.
“This is not just about acquiring a brand or working with a distiller on a blend,” Fox said. “This is a collaboration that marries Colorado provenance with innovative distilling techniques of pioneering Kentucky-based distillers.”
Coors Whiskey Co. is expected to release the limited-edition whiskeys at $60 per bottle.
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