John Wayne, the Man and the Legend, was a hard-working craftsman who loved and perfected his craft as an actor.
The DUKE, as he was affectionately known, was also a loving father, a fisherman, horseman, hunter, adventurer, and an unabashed patriot of The United States of America.
To his credit, he was a loyal friend to many, believed in equality amongst Americans, and was passionate about sharing a good drink with his friends and coworkers.
John Wayne was a true craftsman of film and he carried this devotion, patience and quest for excellence to his other favorite endeavors, mainly boating, creating his own whiskey and tequila, and interestingly enough mining.
He sought out the greatest American Whiskeys, the finest Scotch, the smoothest Tequilas, and Wines of true merit from all the great Wine regions. Nothing was too good for his friends and he was often quoted as saying that if he was going to have a drink, “It had better be a good one.”
John Wayne’s son, Ethan Wayne, remembers his father telling him about his dream to create his own Whiskey, his own Scotch and, of course, his very own Tequila.
Naturally, they would be aged just right and crafted in a no holds barred authentic style that could be enjoyed in the finest clubs and restaurants, around the camp fire with a big steak and roast potatoes, on a boat while fishing, or after a hard day of shooting for the silver screen.
Ethan never forgot his father’s dreams, and, when asked by his older Brother Patrick to take the helm of the Estate he proudly accepted.
He saved his writings, he saved his scripts, he saved everything of importance, and, naturally, he left crated up for over 30 years his favorite drinks and his tumblers standing still in time and waiting for his son to open the crate and let all of the words come back. He left an archive, a message, and a reserve of bottles dating back to 1962. Literally, a message in a bottle.
We went to the wooden vault with our friend, Ethan, unsealed it after so many decades, and then we picked up the tumblers he had left for us and tasted the DUKE’s favorites. His favorites and many unmarked bottles.
Ethan joined with us as he said his Father would have, no business plan, no projections, just a mission to make it right for the DUKE.
We decided right there and then to go forth, to consult with the greatest Master Distillers on how to craft the DUKE for the DUKE, exactly the way it was before Man had ever thought they could land on the moon. In a forgotten style from the 1950’s and 1960’s.
We tasted and blended, we worked hard and sweated bullets to make the DUKE just like the bottles he left us, just like time itself had stopped. All of the years crafting the finest Napa cabernets and world-renowned brandy and port put to the test.
Naturally, our quest started in the green rolling hills of Kentucky where so many men headed out West to settle our great land.