Chris Stapleton / X
Considering the country star with an extensive repertoire of songs centered around whiskey — “The Bottom,” “Whiskey and You,” “Tennessee Whiskey,” and more—it’s certainly a surprise that Stapleton hasn’t ventured into creating his own branded alcohol until now.
During the pandemic peak, Chris Stapleton often found unlabeled whiskey bottles on his doorstep, discreetly delivered by his bass player, J.T. Cure. Later in the day, Stapleton, Cure, and their friends conducted blind taste tests over Zoom.
“That was our social activity,” Stapleton revealed. “It would inevitably end with a bunch of guys cackling on Zoom, but it was fun.”
Little did Stapleton know then how crucial the tasting experience would be as he sampled prototypes of his new whiskey, “Traveller.”
This modern blended whiskey, crafted in collaboration with Buffalo Trace Distillery—a renowned establishment on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, situated not too far from Stapleton’s hometown of Lexington—has been officially released nationwide this month.
In the quest for the highest quality whiskey, more than 50 blends were tasted before settling on Blend No. 40 as the selected combination. Tasting notes for Blend No. 40 feature intricate aromas of vanilla, aged fruit, and buttery shortbread, complemented by caramel and a hint of oak.
Named after Stapleton’s acclaimed 2015 breakout album, Traveller is the result of a partnership between the singer and Harlen Wheatley, the master distiller at Buffalo Trace.
Despite numerous previous offers to enter the celebrity alcohol business, Stapleton reveals that it never felt right until now.
“I’ve had people push me to do the ‘slap your name on the bottle’ kind of thing and I’ve had no real interest,” he says during a Zoom with both Wheatley and Rolling Stone. “I wanted it to feel authentic, and beyond that, I just wanted it to be good.”
“I think the word ‘sober’ got used in an interview, and it’s probably a disservice to sober people to call me sober — certainly as we’re sitting here talking about drinking,” he shared. “I don’t drink as much as I used to. I’m a 45-year-old man who has a lot more responsibilities and a lot less time for leisure than I used to have. But I do enjoy it. The first room you walk in at my house, there’s probably 200 bottles of bourbon there.”
Numerous individuals have shared their perspectives on Chris Stapleton’s latest whiskey, crafting their own reviews, including Those Bourbon Guys, who brand themselves as, “Just a couple of guys who love bourbon.”
Here are a few comments they had to share about it:
“That smells amazing! It’s really sweet on the nose.”
“It’s almost like you drizzled honey over top of fruit.”
“It starts out very sweet…candy sweet.”
Watch their full review of Chris Stapleton’s new whiskey below!