At the start of 2020, Reddish was at the very beginning of its relationship with Kentucky Owl, an award-winning, small batch bourbon maker. Unique among craft spirits makers, Kentucky Owl’s whiskies aren’t distilled or aged on site, but rather are masterfully blended from Kentucky’s rarest stocks.
Just as we were gearing up to bring the brand’s story to whiskey fans everywhere, the global pandemic hit. With it came a plummeting demand for luxury goods. And so with a price point of $1,000 a bottle for its signature new bourbon release—Dry State—Kentucky Owl was forced to reimagine what a spirits launch could look like.
It turns out those constraints bred creativity. Inspired by the story of Dry State, which pays homage to the 100th anniversary of Prohibition (when the nation went “dry”), Reddish saw an opportunity to nod to the brand’s storied past, while doing a bit of good to ensure a better future.
To help support the hardworking men and women affected by the closing of bars and restaurants across the country, Reddish initiated a relationship between Kentucky Owl and world-renowned auction house Christie’s to auction off a handful of bottles of Dry State, with proceeds directly benefiting the National Restaurant Association’s Employee Advancement Fund.
With a starting bid of $1,920, a nod to the year Prohibition went into effect, the online auction was held during National Bourbon Heritage Month, grabbing the attention of high-end whiskey connoisseurs, collectors and media.
The auction received national media attention, landing in Robb Report, Yahoo! Entertainment, Departures and Whiskey Advocate, among other print, online and broadcast outlets, garnering more than 707 million earned media impressions in all. Most importantly, it raised more than $10,000 for the National Restaurant Association’s Employee Advancement Fund.
Everyone says they’re different, but Kentucky Owl backed up their promise, with a brilliant act of generosity—in a year that really needs them.