Food & Spirits: The Jack Daniel’s Motorhead Scheme

c996decea33c2122fdb82a5549fb9d8c_grandeHey, Lemmy practically drank himself to death with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, so the least they could do was honor him with a special bottle, right? I was hard-pressed to find a solitary obituary or tribute about Lemmy Kilmister that did not mention his affinity for Jack Daniel’s. After all, he drank a bottle a day and his fans seem to be fascinated by that and how he even lived to be 70 years old anyway. The distillery, in mastering the moment, jumped on the cash bandwagon and announced the release of a “Limited Edition Motorhead Whiskey”. 288 bottles of Single Barrel Select have been relabeled with the Motorhead insignia and will sell for $99 a bottle. Aww, that’s cute isn’t it? Well, I have a couple of problems with this: 1) the bottles are coming slapped with a little sign wrapped around the neck (meaning there is no special label; only on the box) and 2) these are just regular bottles of Single Barrel Select, which normally sell for $49.99. The only involvement Motorhead had in this entire scheme is selecting the actual barrel it came from. This means that you are paying $99 for something you could have had $50 cheaper probably a year down the line. Of course, the 288 bottles sold out instantly through pre-order…prompting an announcement from Jack Daniel’s that there would be a second run. Does that mean the price comes down? You tell me.

Let’s see what this classic rock website has to say about this new brand of Jack Daniel’s:

Produced in an extremely limited run of 288 bottles and priced at $99 each, it “celebrates 40 years of the loudest rock band on this planet” by offering Jack Daniel’s drinkers an opportunity to sip from what was “once a privileged reserve only for the Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller – exploring the nuances of whiskey from a single barrel.” The flavor, according to the distiller, is “dark, oaky, but still some corn and sweetness with that signature Jack smooth charcoal smoky finish,” making it perfect to “raise a glass and celebrate with Motörhead and their ol’ friend Jack.”

What exactly is the big deal, again? Someone from Motorhead takes a tour of the distillery and points his finger at a barrel and suddenly fans are expected to go gaga because it brings them closer to Lemmy? The guy himself even drank regular Jack Daniel’s, which sells for around $24.99. You don’t see the company re-branding those though, do you? Case in point: this is just a regular bottle with a sign on the neck. Hell, when you finish the bottle, you can buy another regular Single Barrel Select and put the sign on that one. You will then forever have this special limited edition whiskey on your bar!

I don’t care if you’re the biggest fan of Motorhead in the world. Do not allow yourself to be swept up by this quick moneymaking scheme, because that is what this is. Normally, I would condemn a company for even wanting to make a buck off someone’s death, but Lemmy was apparently proud to be a raging alcoholic with a death wish. That’s the lifestyle he wanted and a death that was expected. Good for him, but shame on Jack Daniel’s.

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