Elvis's New Whiskey and Rye, 44 Years After His Death

Elvis's New Whiskey and Rye, 44 Years After His Death
Courtesy of Rolling Stone

There's a lot of shaking going on.

Some are now turning to revered icons who are no longer here in the physical realm as part of our oversaturated market of celebrity-affiliated spirits brands. This pair of American whiskeys, crafted by Grain & Barrel Spirits in partnership with Elvis Presley Enterprises, the entity that manages the King's estate, is the result of this partnership. According to the statement made by Grain & Barrel founder Matty Antilla, the company is based in South Carolina and has previously released Chicken Cock Whiskey, Virgil Kane and Dixie Vodka, the official vodka of NASCAR that has stuck with its problematic name for a while now, but has no plans to change it.

Essentially, what is going on here is that we are dealing with sourced whiskeys, specifically rye and Tennessee whiskey, that were blended by "a team of experts" and bottled in Tennessee, partially as a tribute to Elvis' home and partly in order to maximize efficiency, respectively. It is evident that MGP in Indiana is the perfect place for the rye to be distilled as so many brands rely on that massive distillery. There is no information about the source of the Tennessee straight whiskey, but it does specify that it was distilled in Columbia, Tenn., which means that Tennessee Distilling might be one of the likely sources for the whiskey.

With a 90 proof rating, Tiger Man is a Tennessee whiskey inspired by Elvis' nickname, Tiger Man. Based on its designation, it must have been charcoal filtered before barreling, also known as the Lincoln County Process, with 80 percent corn, 10 percent rye, and 10 percent malted barley in the mash bill. On the palate, there are some spice and fresh apple notes as well as a touch of nuttiness and vanilla, although the nose is somewhat thin and sharp.

There is one more reason MGP calls the rye The King, which is also 90 proof, because it is made from 95 percent rye. The nose is peppery and spicy, and the palate is full of notes of chocolate, espresso, and stone fruit. In terms of age, both of these whiskeys seem to be on the younger side, however, there is no age statement provided.

We now have two new sourced whiskeys with a beautiful label featuring Elvis in his prime that cost $50 each. I’m struggling to find a reason why you should drink these whiskeys, especially when they are emblazoned with “TCB,” a reference to the phrase “Taking care of business” employed by Elvis and his Memphis Mafia. They are fine, not bad made, just not really compelling or exciting in a world filled with so many other whiskeys to choose from.

Considering the price, it is particularly important to consider some more quality whiskeys if you're going to spend 50 bucks on whiskey. It is likely that this release will appeal to the nexus of whiskey and Elvis fans that must exist somewhere in the world. There is a possibility that that's true, but I would recommend directing your burning love for whiskey to other bottles unless your curiosity is really compelled to try these ones.

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