Fairport, New York — Legendary guitarist John Petrucci is rocking the world with his first signature bourbon, Rock the Barrel, generated from an exclusive collaboration with Iron Smoke Distillery. The craft bourbon whiskey comes in at a full 120 proof, ready to blow the mind.
“As soon as I tasted Iron Smoke’s Cask Strength, I knew I wanted to partner with this distillery,” said Petrucci, widely considered to be one of the greatest guitar players of all time. “I take a craftsmanship approach with everything I do – whether it’s my guitar playing or the people I surround myself with. I care about details and caring to the fullest is what makes something great. Iron Smoke takes the same approach and that is why we forged what we consider the perfect relationship.”
Petrucci is a founding member of the two-time Grammy-nominated progressive metal band, Dream Theater, and is also a bourbon whiskey aficionado. He personally drove five hours to the Finger Lakes region to taste-test Iron Smoke’s Cask Strength. John then hand-picked each of the barrels which were combined for this kick-ass bourbon blend.
“The name, Rock the Barrel, is perfect because it gives you a sense of the experience you will have when this smoky goodness slides over your taste buds,” notes Petrucci. “Being from New York myself, I love how they go to family farms to get ingredients and age their bourbon in barrels from our great state.”
Rock the Barrel bourbon joins Iron Smoke’s collection of award-winning bourbon whiskeys created by Master Distiller, Drew Westcott. In 2018, Iron Smoke was rated a 95.5 in Jim Murray’s Whiskey Bible and in 2019 was listed in Forbes Magazine as one of the “10 Best Bourbons Beyond Kentucky.”
Alongside Petrucci, Iron Smoke CEO and founder, Tommy Brunett, conceptualized this special release to complement the legendary guitarist’s unique taste profile.
“We take the craft of making whiskey just as seriously as John takes appreciating a truly good bourbon. This collaboration is proof of that—120 proof!” exclaimed Brunett.
Tommy Brunett is an accomplished musician in his own right, having played guitar for Modern English in the 1980’s. He has written and produced several albums, and regularly performs with the Tommy Brunett Band when he’s not making whiskey. He feels it is destiny that brought John Petrucci and Iron Smoke together for this collaboration.
“To join an award-winning distillery with one of the world’s greatest guitarists—it’s an amazing combination. There’s nothing like the age-old combo of bourbon and rock n’ roll! They go together like Elvis on velvet and we are more excited than a pack of weasels in a hen house!” exclaimed Brunett.
Petrucci grew up on Long Island, and so connecting with a New York State farm distillery was important to him. Many ingredients are grown by farmers within a crow’s flying distance. Locals get to savor the smell of apple wood when the Iron Smoke crew uses the handmade smokin’ machine to cure the grains.
“For me, it’s all about the experience—how the bourbon is made, where it is made, what it smells like, what it tastes like, and even how you talk about it when you are enjoying the moment,” said Petrucci. “I can’t wait for the world to enjoy a Rock the Barrel bourbon moment!”
Starting on May 3, 2021, Iron Smoke’s small-batch edition of Rock the Barrel is available for online purchase at ironsmokedistillery.com. Each 750ml bottle, priced at $200, is personally autographed by John Petrucci himself, and the label features an iconic photo of Petrucci holding his signature Ernie Ball Music Man guitar. Customers also receive an All-Access laminate which entitles them to join a live on-line tasting event with John Petrucci and Tommy Brunett.
All purchases come with a coupon for 20% off a Rock the Barrel t-shirt emblazoned with the stylish aesthetic of the bottle’s artwork.
Rock the Barrel bourbon and t-shirts are also available for in-person purchase at Iron Smoke Distillery’s World Famous Spirit Factory, Watering Room & Side Show in Fairport, New York.
About Rock the Barrel:
Pure and unfiltered, this cask strength, 120 proof bourbon whiskey bridges strength and smoothness with a whisper of apple wood smoke sweetness. Created by Iron Smoke Distillery in Fairport, New York, in partnership with John Petrucci, this is a distinctly flavorful four grain bourbon with apple wood smoked wheat. Rock the Barrel is bottled as a limited-edition, small-batch craft bourbon whiskey.
About John Petrucci:
An American guitarist, composer, and producer best known as a founding member of the two-time Grammy-nominated progressive metal band, Dream Theater. On April 16, 2021, John Petrucci released Liquid Tension Experiment 3 with Jordan Rudess, Mike Portnoy and Tony Levin. Petrucci has two solo albums, Suspended Animation (2005) and Terminal Velocity (2020). He is designated as “arguably the most versatile and proficient player in his realm” by Guitar World Magazine, and is regarded as “one of the most celebrated guitarists alive” by Premier Guitar.
About IRON SMOKE DISTILLERY:
Based in a 21,000-square foot facility in Fairport, NY, Iron Smoke Distillery produces distinct world-class bourbons and whiskeys that can be enjoyed neat or in classic cocktails. Iron Smoke is winner of the prestigious Double Gold in the 2019 North American Bourbon & Whiskey Competition, recipient of a 95.5 rating in the 2018 Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible and is named one of the “10 Best Bourbons Outside of Kentucky” by Forbes Magazine. Their products include Iron Smoke Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Iron Smoke CASKet Strength, Iron Smoke Single Barrel Special Reserve, Rattlesnake Rosie’s Apple Pie Whiskey and Rattlesnake Rosie’s Maple Bacon Whiskey.
As a New York State small-batch farm distillery, Iron Smoke uses local ingredients from Finger Lakes family farms within a 50-mile radius. The stripped mash from production is returned to the farms to be used as feed for their livestock. Iron Smoke’s tasting room, the “Watering Room and Sideshow” features a fully licensed bar with all New York State Wines, Beers, and Spirits as well as weekly live music and world-class entertainment.
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