Even after plugging in in the 60’s, embracing Christ in the 70’s and various dis-and-re-appearing acts over 50-some years, Bob Dylan still has the power to surprise us in 2018.
The legendary singer just announced a new brand of whiskey to be sold under the name Heaven’s Door, a partnership between the celebrity and Angel’s Envy, who managed to convince Dylan that naming it after his “Bootleg” album series wasn’t the shrewdest marketing call for a small-batch spirit.
Currently available online and in some stores nationwide, Heaven's Door comes in three varieties: a Tennessee bourbon aged for 6 ½ years, a straight rye finished in Vosges oak barrels and a Double Barrel Whiskey, a 100-proof blend of three whiskies finished in new American oak.
Dylan’s own passion for ironwork inspired the bottles’ facades. The songwriter has a metalworking shop called Black Buffalo Ironworks and each bottle bears a framework of metal gates with the hard cast silhouettes of agricultural bric-a-brac like crows and chains and axes and picks and guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children.
A Nashville distillery is also in the works, according to the NY Times, along with a special “Bootleg” edition that comes in a ceramic bottles covered in the singer’s own paintings.
And of course the big question likely on every fan’s mind is whether this means Dylan, the people’s bard and onetime heir to Woody Guthrie’s and Pete Seeger’s battle cry against corporate abuse, who Angel’s Envy owner reminds us “has great authenticity,” is selling out to the spirits industry.
It’s a similar question to the one they asked after his Chrysler commercial during Super Bowl XLVIII. And after his Escalade commercial in 2007. And after his Victoria’s Secret ad in 2004. And really, ever since the man turned his back on folk and plugged in.
If only someone had said something at the time.