Monday, April 19, 2021

CEO Spotlight

Profile- Business of Stars: Bob Dylan and the story of Heaven’s Door Whiskey

The American brand Heaven’s Door whiskey is well-known for many reasons. After the US, Heaven’s Door recently entered the UK market, while there is in progress a project for a new distillery in Nashville, including a boutique hotel. The new distillery will be housed in a 160 year old church.

In 2018, Heaven’s Door, a collection of American whiskeys, was launched at the USA market, as a result of Bob Dylan’s collaboration with some of the most famous distillers. After several years of preparation and testing, a trilogy of flavors and aromas was presented. The trilogy includes the Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey, the Double Barrel Whiskey and the Straight Rye Whiskey. The Straight Bourbon Whiskey, aged for a minimum of 6 years, is smooth and lasting with notes of baking spices and vanilla layered over a bed of toasted oak. The Double Barrel Whiskey keeps a balance between the complexity of its flavor and notes of caramel, oak, citrus and spice. Lastly, the Straight Rye Whiskey is a smoother, more approachable rye with notes of orange peel, coriander and spice. It is worth mentioning that the Heaven’s Door whiskey is produced in oak barrels from the Vosges of France. Each bottle is a masterpiece as it depicts the iron gates of Bob Dylan, which he created in his metalworking workshop, the Black Buffalo Ironworks.

Do you know the whole story of the famous musician’s new venture? It all started in 2015, when a name that no one expected to hear appeared in the press of the spirits industry. Of course, it was Bob Dylan’s name.

An application with the brand name “bootleg whiskey” was filed on behalf of Bob Dylan. Among those who noticed the news was Marc Bushala, a businessman in the spirits industry and a fan of Bob Dylan. Marc Bushala was the owner of the bourbon brand, Envy’s Angel, which sold for 150 million dollars. In an interview Bushala said that when he heard the news was obsessed and he spent weeks thinking about what might be like a whiskey created by Dylan.

After several attempts he managed to contact Bob Dylan by phone, proposing him to work together in order to produce small batches of whiskey. However, there was a problem. The name “bootleg”, was not the best for a top drink. So, they immediately changed it. The Heaven’s Door brand was a dream that became true. After all, one of the biggest successes of Bob Dylan is the hit “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” which was released in 1973. So, the connection between the new brand and Dylan’s discography was not so hard to find.

Bob Dylan is one of those celebrities who decided to get involved in the spirits industry. It is no accidental that in the last years, the sales of American whiskey increased by more than 50%. In 2019, the sales volume of whiskey in the United States amounted to just under 70 million liter cases, according to Statista. The number of cases sold has increased with each consecutive year since 2010.

It should be noted that Bob Dylan in this business he has not simply given his name. He participates as a partner with all the obligations and commitments, having managed to raise 35 million dollars from investors at the beginning of the deal. “We wanted to create a collection of American whiskeys that tell their own story,” admitted Bob Dylan in an interview for the New York Times, adding that “I have tasted some of the best whiskeys while travelling. The whiskey we created is equally important”.

Lastly, it is worth mentioning an exceptional review by Spirits Expert, Heather Greene who wrote that “the Heaven’s Door Whiskey range is a full sensorial celebration of art, music and palate – in other words, life. There is clear intent, passion and skill behind the making of these bottles – from the beautiful packaging to the liquid inside. I guess Bob Dylan can add yet another achievement to his insanely impressive resume”.

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Maria Gourtsilidou
Maria Gourtsilidou is Senior Editor of Research and Data Analytics at the CEOWORLD magazine. She is responsible for driving thought leadership, using data analytics to showcase the company’s products and services, and fostering knowledge sharing between CEOWORLD magazine and client organizations. She studied Public Administration (Economics Of The Public Sector) in Greece and holds a Bachelor’s in Public Administration from the Panteion University of Political & Social Studies. Follow Maria Gourtsilidou on Twitter. Write at
CEOWORLD magazine