While Jack Daniels has long been the whiskey most synonymous with rock music – we’ve all seen the iconic backstage photo of Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page swigging straight from the bottle – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s new Motor Oil whiskey might just give JD a run for its money in terms of sheer rock ’n’ roll purity.
In order to celebrate the 21st anniversary of their outstanding debut album – an album this writer incidentally has an original hand-signed vinyl pressing of – BRMC have collaborated with Few Spirits to create their own signature blend of three whiskeys. The trio of releases sees Few Bourbon finished in rum barrels, Few Bourbon finished in vermouth barrels, and a mesquite-smoked wheat whiskey.
Few Spirits describes the result as ”full-flavoured and complex – grassy and sweet from the rum barrel; herbaceous, bitter and vegetal notes from the vermouth barrel; and heavy mesquite smoke that evokes winding back roads, long stretches of highway, and pit stops at roadside barbecue joints of West Texas. The blend was proofed & bottled at a very rock n’ roll 101.”
According to BRMC’s founding member and bassist Robert Levon Been, “We’d always joke around about how someday we should make our own whiskey called ‘Motor Oil’ that’s so painful nobody would be able to actually drink it. It would basically be jet fuel in a bottle, just pure pain. But then we met Paul Hletko and he said, ‘Yeah that’s cool, but that’s illegal.’ So after brooding for a bit, Paul took the next year to properly school us in how it’s really done, dialling in what somehow eventually became a legitimate incredible whiskey blend, which is crazy, and we’re still mostly surprised we didn’t blow up the barn.”
The undeniably cool bottle – of which there will be just 1,800 – is emblazoned with BRMC’s signature pirate logo, which substitutes the crossbones for pistons. Discussing how he and the band developed the bottle’s contents, Hletko said, “Creating a new whiskey is a lot like working on a song. What are you trying to say? What do you want it to feel like? I was picturing riding on a motorcycle through backcountry roads and Route 66 – from one end of the ‘Mother Road’ in Chicago, to the California coast where the band began. But what does that sound like, and taste like, and what kind of feelings are evoked by that ride?”
Levon Been shared his pride at what the collaboration had achieved: “This project went so far beyond anything we had in mind. I’m still pretty sure it can power your car, but it’s also a really great whiskey. So it’s like a win-win, and I defy anyone to prove that to be untrue. The tasting part – don’t actually put this in your car. That’s on you, don’t do that.”
Only shipping within the USA, BRMC’s Motor Oil will be available from Few Spirits on July 1st for USD$59.99.