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Wolfie’s Whisky from Sir Rod Stewart launches in the US 

British rock star Sir Rod Stewart CBE has created his own blended Scotch whisky – now available in the UK and the US. Anna Maria Giambanco DiPietro catches up with him during his latest US tour to find out more.

British rock singer and songwriter Sir Rod Stewart CBE has ventured into the spirits business with the creation of Wolfie’s Whisky After two years of extensive research and development, the whisky launched in the UK in May and has now been rolled out to the US.

Stewart worked with business partner and beverage industry veteran, Duncan Frew, to create a blended Scotch whisky. They partnered with Loch Lomond Distillery, whose history dates back to 1772.

‘Loch Lomond Distillery is one of the oldest and most prestigious distilleries in Scotland, and we only wanted to work with the best,’ said Stewart. ‘Thankfully, they were also very generous in allowing us to do dozens of tastings – for professional purposes, of course.’

Singer Rod Stewart in a whisky barrel room

Sir Rod Stewart in the barrel room at Loch Lomond Distillery Credit: Jonas Mohr

The distillery

Whisky fans may be familiar with the famed Highland distillery, which has produced an array of respectable, single malt brands over the years. They include Inchfad, Craiglodge and Old Rosdhu. The facility is located in Alexandria, on the banks of Loch Lomond, where Master Blender Michael Henry and his team work their magic.

In addition to copper pot stills, column stills and a Coffey Still, the distillery uses its own ‘Lomond stills’. Invented in 1955 by chemical engineer Alistair Cunningham of the Hiram Walker Group, they incorporate a rectification column composed of three perforated plates, giving the distiller an option to produce different styles of spirit using the same still. This range of stills allows for the creation of myriad styles of whisky.

Since 1994, Loch Lomond has also built and charred its own casks at an on-site cooperage.

Hands holding a bottle of whisky and a glass

Wolfie’s Whisky Credit: Jonas Mohr

Rock n roll whisky

An amalgam of Stewart’s passion for Scotland, his love for America, and his irrefutable music legacy, Wolfie’s is a 40% abv blend of malt and grain whiskies. After blending, the whisky is then aged in American oak bourbon casks. It’s made with water from Loch Katrine, the fictional setting of Sir Walter Scott’s The Lady of the Lake.

Tipping a hat to the singer’s Scottish heritage and reputation as ‘the Cockney Scotsman’, Wolfie’s was inspired by Stewart’s early rock n roll hell-raising days with The Faces.

‘I’ve got Scottish roots on my father’s side and have always been very proud of that. Scotland has been my home away from home for decades,’ said Stewart. ‘I’ve got a huge passion for the country, and you don’t get a more Scottish drink than whisky!’

Over a glass of Wolfie’s on the rocks, Frew added: ‘Wolfie’s was inspired by Rod’s own experience breaking into the rock n roll scene back in the 1970s. Think of it as a young British rockstar who makes it big, heads to Hollywood and is raising hell and having fun while he’s at it. It’s a rascal of a thing, much like Rod himself.’

The decision to go with a blend was an easy one, as Stewart tends to enjoy his whisky in a cocktail rather than on the rocks. ‘At Edinburgh Castle, I think we drank the bar dry of Wolfie’s Appletinis,’ quips Stewart. Frew adds: ‘That’s why we went for a blend to start with for Wolfie’s – it’s the perfect base for a mixed drink.’

A cocktail and a bottle of whisky

The Oh La La cocktail made with Wolfie’s Whisky Credit: Jonas Mohr

A matter of taste

So how does Wolfie’s Whisky taste? Stewart and Frew wanted to create a versatile, balanced blend that would work both neat and in cocktails. ‘Wolfie’s is based on Rod’s favourite flavours: cinnamon, vanilla and apple. On top of them, you also have a delicate taste of sweet peat and syrupy pears before a candied citrus peel finish and a gentle oak spice,’ said Frew.

As for ageability and serving suggestions, Stewart has some tips. ‘My advice is: life is too short—crack it open, crank up the music and enjoy yourself with your mates!’ He continues: ‘I’ve created my own playlist on Spotify of all my favourite songs to enjoy while having a night in with your pals—songs that have inspired me or that I just love.’ He plans to create new playlists on an ongoing basis and encourages his fans to follow along on social media and Spotify.

This is a fun, whimsical whisky that’s meant to be enjoyed in the present moment. Frew summed up: ‘It’s that nostalgia and sense of fun and energy that we’re bringing to life.’

Wolfie’s Whisky is available in the UK: £34.99-£38.95/70cl, Craft 56, Hard to Find Whisky, The Tipple Cellar, Wolfie’s Whisky

It is available in the US: $44.99/70cl, Wolfie’s Whisky 

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