You’re not imagining it: Growing numbers of celebrities, sports figures and pop culture icons are launching their own liquor brands.
Some say they are doing it for the love of the spirit. While they’re not involved with distillation, many have some input into the final flavor profiles. Others have partnered with well-known distilleries or master distillers to build their brands.
And of course, some see promotional or investment opportunity. In the wake of celebrities like George Clooney selling Casamigos and Ryan Reynolds selling Aviation Gin for around $1 billion and $610 million respectively, both to Diageo, it’s no wonder more big names are thinking about getting into the game.
So which celeb spirits ventures are worth a pour? Here are 10 bottles from well-known stars that we rated 90 points or higher.
Also known as “The Rock” from his days as a pro wrestler and heavyweight champion, Johnson is an actor with film credits including Jumanji, multiple installments of the Fast & Furious franchise and Central Intelligence, among others. In 2020, he cofounded the Teremana Tequila brand.
Teremana Añejo Tequila, $40, 93 points. The newest expression from the brand backed by Dwayne Johnson offers zesty jalapeño and vanilla aromas. Honey and butterscotch coat the palate, enlivened by bracing clove, cayenne and white pepper on the exit. The overall impression suggests a butter cookie rolled in spices. Best Buy.
After a breakout role in the 1993 film Dazed and Confused, in the 2000s McConaughey became known for romantic comedies such as The Wedding Planner and How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. In 2016, he stepped into the role of creative director at Kentucky’s Wild Turkey, where he collaborated on Longbranch Bourbon with master distiller Eddie Russell.
Longbranch Bourbon, $40, 92 points. Mellow aromas of maple, vanilla and a hint of dried cherry entice. The palate echoes those flavors, bringing in a light flurry of clove and cinnamon spice. Adding water softens the profile to vanilla cookie dough flavor, sprinkled with ginger and allspice. It was filtered through Texas mesquite charcoal.