Never Say Die Bourbon Barrel Strength is believed to be the first-ever Bourbon to make the transatlantic journey from Kentucky where it is distilled, across the ocean to be matured in barrels at White Peak’s Distillery in Derbyshire, England to give it a uniquely British character.
Never Say Die Bourbon Whiskey was inspired by the legendary tale of the namesake racehorse, and the brand tells BourbonBlog.com about the launch of its highly anticipated inaugural batch, which will is now available in the UK market only.
It is the brainchild of a transatlantic team of founders, led by US businessmen Pat Madden and Brian Luftman, alongside world-class Bourbon distillers Pat Heist and Shane Baker.
About the Bourbon
This Kentucky Bourbon distilled in Danville, Kentucky, is made with a mash bill of 75% corn, 21% rye and 4% malted barley and limestone filtered water rich in minerals from the deepest aquifer in Kentucky.
The brand tells us that the exposure to the ocean air during its 6-week maritime journey, combined with the continued ‘in barrel’ aging in the colder UK climate results in a wholly unique flavor profile, with lively spice and citrus note that melt into vanilla, leather, and caramel, concluding with a lasting smooth finish.
With production beginning in 2017, its long-awaited launch was only made possible when crippling 25% whiskey tariffs on US imports were reversed as a result of the campaigning efforts of the team and the Bourbon Alliance which was co-founded by Never Say Die directors, David Wild and Martha Dalton.
The Inspiration Behind the Bourbon
Never Say Die was inspired by the infamous racehorse of the same name, which was born in 1951 on Hamburg Farm in Lexington, KY, which is the family farm of co-founder Pat Madden. Following a traumatic birth, the foal’s life was in danger due to poor breathing but was revived with a shot of whiskey.
Three years later and at odds of 33-1, Never Say Die became the first American-born horse in 70-years to win the Epsom Derby in front of 250k spectators, which included Queen Elizabeth II and Sir Winston Churchill.
At the same time, on a daring leap of faith, a Liverpudlian woman named Mona Best had fallen in love with the story of Never Say Die and pawned all of her jewelry to literally “bet it all” on the victorious Epsom Derby Race. With her new fortune, she founded a new music venue, Casbah Coffee Club, which was where an at the time unknown band now famously known as The Beatles played their very first gigs, shaping rock and roll history forever. (image of The Beatles performing at Casbah Coffee Club below)
The unique bottle was designed by Stranger & Stranger and draws on the colors of the jersey that jockey Lester Piggott wore when he rode Never Say Die to victory in 1954.
Pat Madden, the co-founder of Never Say Die tells BourbonBlog.com:
“After six years in development, it is fantastic to see the very first bottlings of Never Say Die come to fruition.
“Kentucky is the mecca of Bourbon and horse racing, so we are really excited to be marrying the two. Never Say Die is our opportunity to immortalize our namesake racehorse and celebrate the fascinating story that saw him not only overcome adversity on our family farm in Kentucky to go on and win Epsom Derby in front of Queen Elizabeth II and Sir Winston Churchill but also help shape rock and roll history as we know it”.
“Like the racehorse Never Say Die, our Bourbon has made the trailblazing journey across the Atlantic and is our interpretation of the American Dream, celebrating the special relationship between the US and UK.
Pat Heist, Never Say Die’s Master Distiller tells us, “Our philosophy is to only produce the best and most interesting whiskey possible for drinkers around the world. As such, Never Say Die is made using only the finest ingredients. Our custom mash bill has been designed to highlight the essence of the small grains with consistency, using carefully selected local grains. It is a pioneering sweet mash that results in a smoother, more flavourful whiskey. We also use high-quality, mineral-rich limestone-filtered water sourced from the deepest aquifer in Kentucky.
“We add our Bourbon whiskey to well seasoned, charred American Oak barrels and tuck them away to mature to perfection for up to four years in Kentucky before it embarks on the final leg of its journey across the ocean to the White Peak Distillery in Derbyshire to finish”.
Never Say Die Bourbon Barrel Strength is available to order now for the on and off-trade via N10 Bourbons and is available to buy from Whiskey Exchange from 30th September.