Kings of Leon creates whiskey lineBy Nicola Carruthers
American rock band Kings of Leon has partnered with Kentucky-based Willett Distillery to launch a limited edition Bourbon and rye whiskey collection.
The new Kiamichi Whiskey was revealed during the band’s headlining performance at Bourbon & Beyond festival in Louisville, Kentucky, last month.
The brand was named after the river where Kings of Leon, composed of brothers Caleb, Nathan and Jared Followill, and their cousin Matthew Followill, gathered for family reunions.
Bassist Jared Followill said: “I’ve been a big and long-time fan of Drew and Britt [Kulsveen, second-generation distillers and owner/operators of Willett]. Meeting Drew and discovering their whiskeys was when I started to understand the huge difference between what’s good and what’s great.
“I would bring different bottles of Willett with me to parties and back to reunions, and feel like I was bringing something really special. When we started to talk about doing our own brand, they were my first and only call. If they would have said no, we probably wouldn’t have done it.”
The limited edition Kiamichi Whiskey Collection includes a five-year-old rye whiskey, an eight-year-old rye whiskey and a 19-year-old Bourbon.
The five-year-old is a 12-barrel blend of Willett rye mash bills, aged in 24-month cured oak from Hoffmeister Cooperage. Limited to 2,780 bottles, the 54% ABV expression is priced at RRP US$149 per 750ml.
Meanwhile, the eight-year-old is a six-barrel blend of Willett’s low-rye mash bill aged in nine-month cured oak from ISC Barrels. The 55% ABV bottling is limited to 1,171 bottles, priced at US$249 per 750ml.
The Bourbon was made using a single barrel proprietary mash bill and bottled at cask strength (56.5% ABV). It is limited to 374 bottles, priced at US$1,499 per 750ml.
The ‘extremely rare’ bottling celebrates the anniversary of Kings of Leon’s first album, Youth and Young Manhood, which debuted 19 years ago.
The range is available via kiamichiwhiskey.com and will be rolled out in Oklahoma, Tennessee and Kentucky this week.
Kings of Leon is not the only famous name to enter the American whiskey category. Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane recently acquired an equity stake in American single malt Bear Fight.