A drink with… Philip Lux, Luxco
Philip Lux is the son of MGP Board Member, Donn Lux, but he is carving out his own path in the company as brand manager of Rebel Bourbon and Dos Primos Tequila, and believes both spirits have plenty of scope for growth.
Can you tell us a little bit more about the two brands you manage?
Rebel Bourbon is a defiantly smooth wheated Bourbon with a time-honoured recipe dating back to 1849. It has a bold flavour at 100 proof, with beautiful hints of caramel and vanilla. As a whole, Rebel is an inclusive brand that strives to bring out the entirely unique and undeniably rebel side of one’s self. Dos Primos Tequila is a brand forged by two cousins, [country music star] Thomas Rhett and Jeff Worn. They came up with the idea on a chairlift while skiing. Dos Primos is Spanish for ‘two cousins’, and this brand strives to bring people together and live a little more of a slower life, enjoying things like family and the outdoors, sitting around a campfire and breathing in the fresh air.
What’s your main focus with both of these brands?
For Rebel Bourbon, our main focus is growing the Rebel 100 variant, and working to bring new unique Rebel Bourbon innovation to the market. For example, we’re currently rolling out the international-only release of Rebel 100 finished in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels. In terms of Dos Primos, our main focus is creating pull at retail. We want to get consumers tasting the delicious flavours, then go and buy a bottle at their local retail store. We utilise sampling opportunities to get liquid to lips in the off-trade.
Which markets do you see potential for growth for Bourbon and Tequila?
We’re seeing Bourbon growth internationally, with a real bump in the colder winter months. Outside of the US, we’re experiencing strong Bourbon demand in the UK, Europe, and Australia. The southeast of the US has always been a high-selling Tequila area, as it is near to the water. Tequila is great for enjoying during vacations and Spring Break, and there are also the islands below like the Bahamas – these are big Tequila markets.
With Luxco putting together the London Bourbon Experience, how do you feel about Bourbon’s popularity in the UK?
I love the growth in popularity of Bourbon throughout the UK. Bourbon as a whole is growing, but to be able to introduce a special annual finish for Rebel 100 – the Cabernet Sauvignon barrel finish – into the UK market is a unique opportunity that recognises growth and rewards fans. These special Rebel 100 international-finish Bourbons will be released annually, with each yearly release featuring an entirely unique flavour profile.
How involved is Thomas Rhett in Dos Primos? Will he be involved in any marketing efforts?
Thomas Rhett and his team are involved in the marketing, creative, and social aspects of the brand. They are also part of the media pieces, like video and photo shoots, trips to Mexico in the agave fields and distillery, and regularly have meetings with the marketing team.
How key is Dos Primos’ partnership with The Nature Conservancy to the brand?
The partnership recognises the importance of helping environments to thrive. Without the key nutrients, landscape, water and agave, Tequila wouldn’t be able to be made.
Do you plan to take Dos Primos outside of the US?
Dos Primos is available internationally in the Bahamas, and we’ll be sure to let you know about future expansion.
If you could pick one bottle from each of the two brands, which would it be?
It’s a tough choice. I’d have to go with Rebel Bourbon 10 Years Single Barrel and Dos Primos Reposado.