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Asap Rocky debuts Canadian whisky brand

Rapper Asap Rocky has teamed up with E&J Gallo to launch a blended Canadian whisky brand, called Mercer + Prince.

Asap Rocky
Asap Rocky said he wanted to launch a whisky brand for several years

By Nicola Carruthers

The American musician also partnered with Global Brand Equities (GBE) on the creation of the whisky, which has been two years in the making.

The new bottling was aged for more than four years in American white oak barrels and influenced by Japanese mizunara oak.

“I have wanted to launch a whisky for a few years, but it was difficult to find partners willing to innovate to the level I envisioned,” said Asap Rocky. “Fortunately, I found those partners in Global Brand Equities and Gallo.

“I have been learning about whisky from all over the world for the past decade and wanted to defy the rules to create something unique, while honouring and respecting industry traditions.

GBE invests in brands in ‘high-growth’ categories, including Maison No. 9 French rosé wine in partnership with rapper Post Malone, and Sunny Vodka, created by two social media influencers.

“Rocky has been a friend and someone I have always shared a creative connection with, so when he wanted to create a whisky, it was a no-brainer for us to create this partnership,” said James Morrissey, founder and CEO of GBE.

The resulting liquid offers fruit notes on the nose with ‘brown sweet whisky undertones’ that come from the ex-Bourbon barrels used in the ageing process. The mizunara oak adds ‘complexity and creates smooth dark caramel and vanilla notes layered with intense hints of baked apple and cinnamon’.

Asap Rocky
The bottle design for Mercer + Prince allows consumers to share a drink together more easily

Mercer + Prince is named after two of the rapper’s favourite streets that intersect in New York City.

The bottle comes with two cups attached at either end, allowing the purchaser to immediately pour a drink for themselves and a friend. The bottle has also been designed to be placed both vertically or horizontally.

The rapper added: “The bottle I designed is made to connect with the contemporary consumer. Mercer + Prince is smooth in taste, disruptive in packaging and close to my heart in name.

“It’s accessible to all and appeals to a diverse audience, which was very important to me.”

Mercer + Prince (40% ABV) can be pre-ordered online via Reserve Bar in participating US states and will be available in retail later this summer, priced at RRP US$29.99.

This is not Asap Rocky’s first move in the spirits sector. In June 2017, the rapper fronted a US marketing campaign for Courvoisier Cognac.

Earlier this month, New Amsterdam Vodka owner E&J Gallo Winery created a new brand to showcase the distilled arm of its portfolio: Spirit of Gallo.

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