A Saturday New York Times piece about Bob Dylan’s latest venture is a portrait of an old dude living his very best life. His new project? A branded whiskey line, of course. Dylan is the latest celebrity to cash in on the craft liquor boom, and has partnered with bourbon maker Marc Bushala to create Heaven’s Door, a collection of small-batch whiskeys.
Unlike most branded stars, Dylan wasn’t content to sign over his name, pose for photos, and call it a day. Instead, he actively involved himself in creating the line of three whiskeys, basing meetings out of his metal shop and offering cryptic suggestions and side-long glances by way of critique.
Upon sampling one version of their new whiskey, Dylan told Bushala and co-collaborator Ryan Perry that the drink “should feel like being in a wood structure.” With that helpful bit of constructive criticism, Bushala and Perry went to work to make the liquor smell more barn-like, to Dylan’s approval.
By the sounds of it, they were lucky to get a full sentence out of him:
Communication was still a challenge. Mr. Bushala and Ryan Perry…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.”
That seems about right.
You can snag your own bottle of Heaven’s Door when the collection debuts next month. “This is great whiskey,” Dylan told The Times in a statement. If that’s not a truly ringing endorsement, what is?