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'Heaven's Door' - Bob Dylan Releases His Own Brand of Whiskey

The Heaven's Door whiskey bottles featuring Bob Dylan's ironwork designs. Image courtesy of Heaven's Door.

In his time, you imagine Bob Dylan has drunk his fair share of whiskey. Now he’s taken a step further from just drinking it (and singing about it), and has brought out his own brand. Called Heaven’s Door, it will feature an “ever-evolving portfolio of handcrafted whiskeys in collaboration with different master distillers and blenders from across the country [USA].” The “brand partnership” is in collaboration with Marc Bushala, a liquor entrepreneur.

“You don’t always find inspiration. Sometimes it finds you.” Dylan said in a press release. “We wanted to create a collection of American whiskeys that would each tell a story.”

Bob Dylan relaxing, having a drink during the recordings for his BBC concert on 1st June 1965. © Barrie Wentzell

The first collection is available now and costs around £45.00 a bottle. The batches, hand-crafted in small numbers, include a Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey, a Double Barrel Whiskey and Straight Rye Whiskey finished in oak barrels from Vosges, France, and air-dried for 3 years.

Along with that, each bottle features designs based on Dylan’s iron sculptures, the gates he welds in his metalworking studio called Black Buffalo Ironworks.

The seed of this Dylan-endorsed liquor started back in 2015 when Bushala heard that Dylan had registered a trademark for the name Bootleg Whiskey. After that Bushala sought out a meeting with the singer-songwriter, and through a mutual friend it happened. From there they decided on the idea of creating collections of craft whiskey which had Dylan’s ironwork designs on the bottles.

Bob Dylan performing onstage at the Salzburgarena, Salzburg, Austria in July 2012 as part of his Never Ending Tour. © Paolo Brillo

"Rather than make a single whiskey or work with one master distiller, we thought it would be far more interesting to work with various master distillers and blenders to make whiskeys that would each have their own unique signature," Bushala explains. "By working with different whiskey artisans for each new expression, the portfolio would be more diverse and eclectic.“

“We both wanted to create a collection of American whiskeys that, in their own way, tell a story," says Bob Dylan.  "I've been traveling for decades, and I've been able to try some of the best spirits that the world of whiskey has to offer. This is great whiskey.”

At Columbia Studios, New York 1963 Bob Dylan tunes his guitar during a recording session for his second studio album 'Free Wheelin'. © Don Hunstein

Dylan isn’t just endorsing Heaven’s Door either, but is a fully fledged partner in the company. After this collection, next year will see the company bring out The Bootleg Series, named after Dylan’s long-running boxsets of outtakes and alternate versions of his songs. And also a play on the name for illegally made whiskey. Instead of Dylan’s iron gates the bottles will feature Bob Dylan's much-praised paintings. Along with this, in 2019 the company will open a distillery, which will be open to the public for tours, in a 140-year-old church in Nashville.

You can buy the whiskey on the Heaven’s Door website. 

Bob Dylan rehearsing for a live TV show at BBC TV Studios, Shepherds Bush, London during his 'Don’t Look Back’ tour. © Barrie Wentzell

Rockarchive is delighted to be able to offer these iconic Bob Dylan images along with many more as limited edition photographic prints which you can buy here.

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