After soft-launching their Kiamichi whiskey line with revered Kentucky distillery Willett at the Bourbon & Beyond festival in Louisville, Ky., last month, Kings of Leon have now made the products officially available for purchase. They comprise 5 and 8-year-old ryes and a rare 19-year bourbon, the latter commemorating both the 19th anniversary of Kings Of Leon’s 2003 debut album Youth and Young Manhood and Willett owners Drew and Britt Kulsveen joining the family business.
The whiskey collection is named after the Southeastern Oklahoma river near where the Folowills and their extended family gathered for reunions every Memorial Day weekend. “Our childhood was rather nomadic as far as traveling around with our dad all the time on the road, so for us, the family reunion was about the only thing in our lives that we knew was a constant,” Nathan says. “Now we’re able to tie this into something that not only we get to enjoy, but our families can enjoy as well, and see a piece of our family history forever immortalized in these beautiful bottles and this amazing whiskey.”
Drew Kulsveen has been friends with Kings of Leon bassist Jared Folowill for nearly a decade and jumped at the chance to collaborate with the band not only on “something unique for Willett, but also something we weren’t currently doing. The five-year is very different from our traditional Willett family estate rye. We’re using barrels from a producer that’s no longer in business. The wood is cured for two years before we put the whiskey in it. The eight-year is a blend of both our rye whiskey mashes. We do the higher-proof strength because it’s fuller flavor. You get a lot more out of it, and there’s no balancing with anything other than the whiskey. The 19-year-olds are ridiculous. They’re insane.”
Bottles of all three Kiamichi expressions will be available starting this week wherever Willett is normally sold, and delivery is available in certain states via KiamichiWhiskey.com.
Click here for more Bottle Releases.