Ragged Branch Distillery, a farm-to-glass whiskey distillery in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, announces the launch of a special bourbon celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Secretariat’s historic Triple Crown win.
“A lot of people think that Secretariat was a Kentucky horse because he won the Kentucky Derby, but he was actually from Virginia,” says Alex Toomy, founding partner and head distiller at Ragged Branch Distillery. “The best racehorses can come from here, and so can the best bourbon.”
In 1973 at just three years old, Secretariat won racing’s greatest hat trick: the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont Stakes. His Triple Crown victories set records that have never been broken, and his legendary performance remains one of the greatest sports stories ever. In honor of this hometown hero, Ragged Branch Distillery used corn grown on the farm where Secretariat was born, earmarking it for a special bourbon to honor “Big Red.”
“Both Secretariat and Ragged Branch represent Virginia excellence. They’re truly top of the line,” says Kate Chenery Tweedy, daughter of Penny Chenery, who raised Secretariat. “We had no idea back in 1973 that Secretariat’s records would never be surpassed and we’d still be talking about him fifty years later as the best of the best.”
Ragged Branch Secretariat Reserve was made from a mash bill of corn, rye, and malted barley. Aged for over five years and Bottled-in-Bond, the bourbon is priced at $99.99 MSRP. It will launch on April 22nd in Virginia ABC stores and at the Ragged Branch Distillery, with limited availability to follow in several mid-Atlantic markets and a few select online retailers. The commemorative bottle features unique art by New York-based artist Eric Helvie. Concurrent with the bourbon’s debut, a new larger-than-life-size statue of Secretariat will be erected in Ashland, Va., following a “Triple Crown Tour” that will bring it to racecourses throughout the 2023 season.
Online entry forms will be available March 29 through March 31, and Virginia residents ages 21 and up are eligible. Winners will be selected in a random drawing.
More details are available on the Virginia ABC site.
On April 22, Virginia ABC will release unsigned bottles. Each retail location will receive one case (six bottles), and customers will be limited to one bottle each. The Ragged Branch Distillery store in Charlottesville will also have limited quantities.