Darius Rucker is no stranger to whiskey. The beverage, as smooth as the Southern troubadour’s voice, has found its way into several of his hits including “Whiskey and You,” the whiskey-shootin’ music video for “Homegrown Honey,” and the oft-quoted lyric from his No. 1 single, “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” — “Between the work and the hurt and the whiskey…”
Thus, it comes as no surprise that Rucker would eventually create his own signature brand of the popular spirit. Rucker’s affinity for quality whiskey led him to partner with 843 to develop Backstage Southern Whiskey, a smooth, 84.3-proof craft blend. RNDC Distributing will introduce Backstage Southern Whiskey in Rucker’s home state of South Carolina, with distribution in Georgia, Kentucky and Tennessee to follow. Like the three-time GRAMMY-winning singer and former frontman for Hootie & the Blowfish, this whiskey has a story all its own.
Rucker has publicly toasted with his beloved Elite Eight South Carolina Gamecock teams, college graduates and record label teams in celebration of his platinum records, but what many fans may not know is that prior to every show, Rucker collects his tour mates, band and any special guests backstage to raise a glass of whiskey as “good luck” to ensure a great show. Rucker thanks the other acts on the bill, he acknowledges any celebrities or friends that are in attendance, and then tells his band to “go have fun.” Over the years, the toast has become a significant tradition for Rucker and his crew.
“That toast is a vital part of our nightly routine,” Rucker says. “It’s really about celebrating the opportunity to make music together. And Backstage Southern Whiskey is now a part of that important ritual that we can share with fans.”
And where there is one toast, there is bound to be another. While Backstage Southern Whiskey enters the marketplace in South Carolina, Rucker’s bourbon brand, Forbidden, is being crafted at Castle & Key Distillery (formerly Old Taylor Distillery) in Frankfort, Ky. by award-winning Master Distiller Marianne Barnes, an impeccable force in the bourbon industry with undeniable taste and a distinguished palate.
“I am truly excited about the brands that we are building,” Rucker says. “The product and brand development process has been a lot of fun and I look forward to sharing these great spirits with everyone.”