FAIRPORT — A collaboration between Iron Smoke Distillery and professional football players Rocky Bleier and his cousin Bob Bleir celebrates valor and sacrifice with a four-grain bourbon, Purple Heart Bourbon Whiskey.
The 90-proof special blend is named in honor of the Bleier family. Rocky Bleier was awarded a Purple Heart for injuries sustained while serving in Vietnam in 1969.
“Connecting with the Bleier boys and their mission to support our nation’s brave Purple Heart recipients was an incredible honor and there was not one bit of hesitation in partnering up,” said Tommy Brunett, ISD co-founder. “We share the same deep-seated commitment to our veterans and honoring the sacrifice of our servicemen and women, allowing every sip to carry the spirit of gratitude and utmost respect.”
A majority of the profits for the sale of the bourbon will go to the Military Order of the Purple Heart, an organization which promotes patriotism and provides services to veterans and their families. The Bleiers support MOPH because it is dedicated to veterans who have been awarded a Purple Heart after being wounded or killed in action.
“After I left the NFL, I devoted my time to honoring the bravery and resilience of my fellow Purple Heart brothers,” Rocky Bleier said in a news release. “I want to make sure their legacy is forever etched in the heart of our nation. So, with this bourbon, I raise my glass to their selfless service.”
Rocky Bleier suffered bullet wounds to his left leg and severe damage to his right foot from a grenade explosion. He overcame his disabilities and returned to play football with the Pittsburgh Steelers, helping his team win four NFL championships in the 1970s.
Bob Bleier was a quarterback who played for the New England Patriots during the late 1980s. He now has a wealth management firm in Pittsford.
“I have always been a big fan of Iron Smoke bourbon and its support of local charities,” said Bob Bleier. “In fact, I was picking up a barrel Tommy had donated to a fundraiser for Camp Good Days and Special Times when we started talking about creating a bourbon to support Purple Heart soldiers. Rocky drove up from Pittsburgh. Tommy took us through several tastings and everything seemed to just organically come together.”
The Bleiers tasted samples from seven barrels and picked their four favorites for this 45% ACL/VOL blend. The label created for the Purple Heart Bourbon bottle depicts the family’s crest replete with two hungry wolves and a horn of plenty. The words, “Prayer-Work-Thought-Decisions” decorate the banner above the Bleier family name and the autographs of both Rocky and Bob flank the crest. Each man personally signed every one of the 700 bottles produced.
“It’s all about relationships and doing the right thing. We appreciate the distinct steps Iron Smoke takes to craft top-notch whiskeys,” said Rocky Bleier. “What impressed me is that the Bleier Bourbon is not an off the shelf product. No mass production. It’s a unique spirit that honors our family and supports our brave soldiers.”
“Rocky and I are certified bourbon stewards. We both cherish the bourbon making process and being able to sip spirits with family and friends,” added Bob Bleier.
The Military Order of the Purple Heart provides advocacy for veterans, runs youth programs, and offers courses on Americanism.
Purple Heart Bourbon Whiskey is available only online.
For more information please visit https://ironsmokedistillery.com/