USA: Molson Coors to enter category of full-strength spirits

Molson Coors Beverage Company next month will release its first full-strength spirit, a blended American whiskey made with Coors malt and Rocky Mountain water called Five Trail.

Under the banner Coors Whiskey Co., Five Trail is slated to roll out Sept. 1 via Molson Coors’ distributor network at better liquor retailers in four markets: Colorado, Georgia, Nevada and New York.

The news came just a few days after the American Beverage giant announced to discontinue 11 economy beer brands, including Milwaukee’s Best Premium, Mickey's Fine Malt Liquor, Henry Weinhard’s Private Reserve, Keystone Ice, Hamm’s Special Light, Keylightful, Icehouse Edge, Magnum, Miller High Life Light, Steel Reserve 211 and Olde English HG 8000. (, 29.07.2021)

Molson Coor's new offering, the 95-proof, ultra-premium whiskey, was distilled, blended and bottled in partnership with Bardstown Bourbon Co. in Bardstown, Ky.  Bardstown Bourbin is the largest new whiskey distillery in the United States founded in 2016 with the first-of-its-kind collaborative whiskey, bourbon, and rye distilling program. In November 2019, after the passing of Peter T. Loftin the company’s founder and chairman, Colonel (ret.) Mark W. Erwin became the president and CEO.

It’s made from a blend of Colorado single-malt whiskey and three bourbons, cut to proof with Rocky Mountain water. It is packaged in 750-mililiter bottles and will carry a suggested retail price of USD $59.99.

The whiskey is the first full-strength spirit from Molson Coors and represents the company’s latest step beyond the beer aisle, a key part of a strategy to diversify and premiumize its portfolio of beverages.

“This is not just about acquiring a brand or working with a distiller on a blend,” says Kimberli Fox, Molson Coors’ marketing manager for wine and spirits. “This is a true collaboration that marries Colorado provenance with innovative distilling techniques of pioneering Kentucky-based distillers.”

Molson Coors’ decision to begin its spirits journey with a whiskey is premised on three factors: the spirit’s unbridled growth over the past two decades, a built-in affinity of beer drinkers for a whiskey produced by a brewery, and a desire to build more premium offerings within the company’s portfolio.

“While whiskey drinkers are a very loyal group, discovery is a key theme. They love to explore, expand their collections and try new things,” Fox says. “That makes this a very interesting place for us to play as a beverage company. Within whiskey, there’s so much rich territory to explore and you don’t have to stay within the confines of a singular consumer expectation.”

That gives Coors Whiskey Co. an opportunity to deliver what Fox says are unique, limited-edition whiskeys made with high-country barley from its malthouse in Golden, Colo., and recipes that could change year-to-year.

The goal, Fox says, is to build a brand: “Five Trail isn’t planned as a one-off proposition.”

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