This time last year, Bob Dylan announced his plans to launch a new whiskey company, Heaven’s Door Spirits. Dylan revealed new details about the upcoming new venture in a news release issued on Tuesday, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of his ninth studio album, 1969’s Nashville Skyline.
According to the news release, the new distillery will open in Nashville, TN in 2020. Heaven’s Door Spirits will “transform the 160-year-old Elm Street Church into the Heaven’s Door Distillery and Center for the Arts, featuring the distillery, a whiskey library, a restaurant and a 360-seat live performance venue. … It will also feature Dylan’s paintings and metalwork sculptures.”
The company is a partnership between Dylan and Marc Bushala, a lifelong fan and liquor entrepreneur. According to a 2018 feature in The New York Times announcing the venture, Heaven’s Door will sell a collection of three whiskeys including a straight rye, a straight bourbon and a “double-barreled” whiskey, retailing for $50 to $80 a bottle. Notes the Times, “They are Mr. Dylan’s entry into the booming celebrity-branded spirits market, the latest career twist for an artist who has spent five decades confounding expectations.”
“We both wanted to create a collection of American whiskeys that, in their own way, tell a story,” Dylan told The New York Times. “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.”
“Dylan has these qualities that actually work well for a whiskey,” Mr. Bushala said. “He has great authenticity. He is a quintessential American. He does things the way he wants to do them. I think these are good attributes for a super-premium whiskey as well.”
The Times story went on to explain the characteristically Dylan-esque nature of Bob and Bushala’s partnership on Heaven’s Door:
Mr. Bushala said that over four or five meetings — always at Mr. Dylan’s metalworking studio in Los Angeles — and a number of phone calls, he had learned that his partner has a sophisticated whiskey palate. … Yet communication was still a challenge. Mr. Bushala and Ryan Perry, the chief operating officer, struggled to interpret Mr. Dylan’s wishes. Often they came in the form of enigmatic comments or simply glances.
“Sometimes you just get a long look,” Mr. Bushala said with a laugh, “and you’re not sure if that’s disgust or approval.” … He and Mr. Perry recalled Mr. Dylan’s tasting a sample of the double-barreled whiskey and saying that something was missing. “It should feel like being in a wood structure,” he said.
Stay tuned for further updates on Bob Dylan’s Heaven’s Door Distillery and Center for the Arts in Nashville.
[H/T AP News]