Backstage Access: The Stories Behind Musician-Crafted Wine & Spirits
By Peyton Whittington Published January 2024
With celebrities and spirits so inextricably linked these days, your favorite bottles might just be the work of your favorite musicians and you’d never even know it.
That’s why we’re shining the spotlight on chart-topping musicians who own or keep close ties to wine and spirit brands. From basslines to grapevines, these maestros excel at everything. Keep reading to uncork the stories of 15 musician-owned wine and spirit labels.
Chris Stapleton | Traveller Whiskey
Who better to kick us off than the man whose voice is as smooth as Tennessee Whiskey? Grammy-winning country music star Chris Stapleton has teamed up with Buffalo Trace Distillery’s Master Distiller Harlen Wheatley to create a premium blended whiskey. Traveller Whiskey, named after Stapleton’s first studio album, is bottled at 90 proof and characterized by notes of oak, sweet maple, tart currant and leather. In a press release about the collaboration, Stapleton said, “I believe what we’ve achieved...not only represents our shared history but also a common artistic vision and uncompromising standards of taste. I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve made.”
Bob Dylan | Heaven’s Door Whiskey
Ain’t Bobby so cool? Well, his whiskey is even cooler. Bob Dylan’s Heaven’s Door Straight Bourbon Whiskey is aged for over seven years in American oak barrels, expressing lasting notes of vanilla and baked bread. Each sip is as smooth as his divine songwriting. Every bottle of Heaven’s Door features an image of Dylan’s distinctive iron gates which he welded specifically for his studio, Black Buffalo Ironworks. From his bourbon whiskey to single barrel variation, Heaven’s Door setlist of whiskies is a delight to explore.
Kenny Chesney | Blue Chair Bay Rum
Country music great Kenny Chesney is no stranger to the island lifestyle, and he’s sharing a sip of it with the masses through his rum, Blue Chair Bay. The label’s name comes from a fictional location featured in Chesney’s 2004 song, “Old Blue Chair.” The song is about his affinity for the Caribbean islands and a portion of the lyrics are written on the front of every bottle. Blue Chair Bay Rum is made in the Caribbean and distilled from sugarcane molasses and natural ingredients. Try the rum creams, available in banana, pineapple, mocha and Key lime flavors. It’s like dessert in a glass.
Cardi B | Whipshots
It’s a Cardi partyyyyy! Rapper Cardi B changed the game in 2021 when she dropped her line of vodka-infused whipped creams, Whipshots. Spiked hot cocoa has never been the same since. You can now get your whip fix in vanilla, caramel, mocha, lime, pumpkin and peppermint flavors. Cardi didn’t come to play, either – each can of Whipshots packs a 10% ABV punch that’ll give your cocktails a boozy kick of creamy sweetness, okurrrr?
George Strait | Código 1530 Tequila
We’re going to give it to you strait, tequila lovers: Código 1530 is the next tequila brand you should be adding to your collector’s shelf. Not only does the label go way beyond your typical blanco, reposado and añejo expressions, offering a blanco rosa, but it’s also co-founded by country music legend George Strait. As is the cowboy way, Strait grew up drinking whiskey, but he says his palate has shifted toward high quality tequilas lately. He knows the celebrity tequila market is crowded, but, as he told Rolling Stone in 2022 about Código, “If it’s not your favorite, you haven’t tried it yet.”
Snoop Dogg | INDOGGO Strawberry Gin
If you’ve ever dreamt of sipping gin and juice with Snoop Dogg, INDOGGO Strawberry Gin is the closest thing. INDOGGO is a remix of seven botanicals infused with natural ingredients with a slightly sweet, strawberry and fruit finish. As ABC guest UnkleT said in a review on our website, “Snoop knew what he was doing with this gin. This is smooth to drink chilled or made into a mixed drink. Great with tonic and a splash of pineapple. So refreshing.” Fo shizzle, UnkleT.
Thomas Rhett | Dos Primos Blanco Tequila
Spanish for “two cousins,” Dos Primos Tequila was founded by, you guessed it, two cousins. Country singer Thomas Rhett and cousin Jeff Worn set out to create a tequila that blended Mexican tradition and Southern sensibility. Thus, Dos Primos was born. It’s made from 100% Blue Weber Agave from Los Altos and Jalisco with earthy, herbal notes and hints of citrus and floral hues.
Jon Bon Jovi and Jesse Bongiovi | Hampton Water Rosé
“Born in France. Raised in the Hamptons,” is the tagline of Hampton Water Rosé, a collaboration between singer-songwriter Jon Bon Jovi and his son Jesse. This father-son duo sought to respect the tradition of French rosé winemaking, but with a more laid-back, vacationing in the Hamptons vibe. The result is a wine that’s fruity and fresh with a balanced acidity, light minerality and a long, dry finish. Keep an eye out for this one when you’re in ABC stores; you never know when a certain wanted man may pop by.
Jennifer Lopez | Delola
With the premixed cocktail and celebrity spirits markets taking off, it was only a matter of time before the stars aligned for a celebrity premixed cocktail. (And of course, JLo was the one to do it, savvy businesswoman that she is.) Delola offers a trio of premixed bottled spritzes, including a Paloma Rosa Tequila Spritz, Bella Berry Vodka Spritz and L’Orange Amaro Spritz. Next time you get on the floor, just pour one of these deliciously refreshing spritzes over ice and enjoy.
Metallica | BLACKENED Whiskey
BLACKENED Whiskey is truly a music lover’s drink. The gods of rock, AKA the band members of Metallica, didn’t just want to slap their name on a spirit bottle and call it a day, they wanted to create something truly inspired by the music. That’s why BLACKENED is made using the BLACK NOISE™ process. BLACK NOISE™ is a sonic-enhancement process that produces low hertz sound waves, causing the whiskey to reverberate at a fast rate, interacting with the oak staves of the barrel and measurably releasing wood compounds and flavors like toasted coconut, vanilla, butterscotch and caramel. If we do say so ourselves...that is METAL.
Adam Levine & Behati Prinsloo | Calirosa Tequila
You heard it here first: rosa tequila is a must-try on 2024’s drink menu. Made by resting blanco tequila in red wine barrels, rosa tequila has a gorgeous pale pink color and floral, fruit-forward taste that was made for the girlies. Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine and wife Behati Prinsloo were one of the first to dip into this category with their tequila brand, Calirosa. It tastes the way listening to Songs About Jane for the first time made you feel. Don’t miss out on the reposado and extra añejo bottles, either – with a bottle of Calirosa in hand, you can’t go wrong.
Midland | INSÓLITO Tequila
It seems like country musicians and tequila go together like...well, tequila and lime. Country band Midland is no exception to the rule. INSÓLITO Tequila is additive free, twice distilled at high altitudes and blended from a mix of highland and lowland agaves. The brand says it’s born to stand out: “Hell, we’re a flamingo living in the desert,” the website boldly states. Cheers to that, brothers. Try the blanco, reposado or añejo expressions for a rare tequila tasting experience.
Zac Brown | Z. Alexander Brown Wines
You may like your chicken fried and a cold beer on a Friday night, but might we suggest pairing it with a lovely cabernet? Yup, Zac Brown of his eponymous band has his own wine label with some of the juiciest California reds you’ve ever tasted. The cab has strong tannins and mouth-filling flavors of ripe blackberry, black currant and chocolate covered cherry. The red blend is just as big and bold with commanding aromas of blueberry, cassis and cedar. Whatever it is, Z delivers.
Discover the meaning behind the label here.
Post Malone | Maison No. 9 Rosé Wine
Postie doesn't just drink Bud Light; as he puts it, “Rosé is for when you want to get a little fancy.” American rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer Post Malone and a few friends worked closely with winemaker Alexis Cornu, winner of fifteen gold medals and seven 90+ point rosé wines, to create a new blend of premium rosé that blew their minds. Thus, Maison No. 9 was born. The clean, dry, crisp finish is balanced and round with a texture that is mouthwatering and savory, perfect for drinking on its own or with a variety of dishes. Maybe it’s the glass crown stopper, the pale blush pink hue or the rose and sword on the bottle, but we’re pretty sure this is the perfect bottle of wine to pop on Valentine’s Day or a special anniversary.
deadmau5 | CoCo Vodka
If this isn’t the most perfect cocktail to crack open before raving at EDC, we don’t know what is. DJ and electronic dance music producer deadmau5 is a co-owner and brand ambassador for CoCo Vodka, a premixed cocktail that blends triple-distilled vodka with fresh coconut water. If it’s deadmau5 approved, it’s an immediate rave staple.