Building a Legend
Woodson Bourbon Whiskey continues the legacy of Charles Woodson
Charles Woodson started to build his legend on the gridiron throughout his brilliant collegiate and professional career. In the world of sports, Woodson is an analyst for Fox NFL Kickoff, which can be seen on FOX at 11 a.m. (Eastern Time) on Sundays. He brings that same dedication to his new craft spirit line, Woodson Bourbon Whiskey. With the launch of his first spirit, Woodson conveys his passion for winemaking and sustainability to his craft spirit line. He finishes all of his spirits in the same French oak wine barrels used in the winemaking process.
“The passion comes naturally,” explains Woodson. “I’m driven by being successful in whatever challenge that may come my way, and the spirits industry is no different.”
Woodson Whiskey Green & Gold Signature Series and Woodson Whiskey White & Silver Signature Series are both 6-month accelerated-aged Kentucky bourbons featuring their unique flavor. The light front end of Cabernet berries blends with a smooth bourbon middle and a long-lasting caramel finish on the back of the mouth. The mash is produced in Kentucky and then sent in barrels to a manufacturer to accelerate the aging process using ultrasonic waves. The bourbon is then finished at its San Diego distillery using French Oak Cabernet wine barrels, initially producing Charles Woodson’s Napa Valley wine.
While bourbon may be produced anywhere in the United States, most brands are made in Kentucky with a strong tradition of bourbon production.
As for its signature tastes, “I worked with my business partner Christopher Joseph who secured samples during our initial process. From there, we began to hone in on the taste profile we preferred. I also sat and tasted with friends that I know are bourbon enthusiasts. That helped me feel comfortable about what I wanted to offer.”
Each batch spent a different length of time in the wine barrels, so this signature series is essentially the fourth batch being offered. The green and gold series and white and silver label signature series are the same, but the difference comes with the initial release. The four batches represent the teams Woodson play for during his career. This includes the black label representing the Raiders, maize and blue label representing Michigan, a green and gold label representing Green Bay, and the white and silver tribute to being the fourth pick overall in the 1998 NFL draft.
Woodson’s sports career is legendary. He first played for the Michigan Wolverines, leading the team to the national championship in 1997. Woodson played both defense and offense, winning the Heisman Trophy, and is still the only primarily defensive player to win the Heisman.
On April 26, 2006, Woodson signed a seven-year contract with the Green Bay Packers winning Super Bowl XLV over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Woodson is also one of the few players in NFL history to play in a Pro Bowl in three decades (the 1990s, 2000s, 2010s). After he retired in 2015, Woodson signed with ESPN in 2016 and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2021.
Woodson entered the spirits and wine industry when “Years ago I actually wanted to release a cognac, but it was the story of bourbon being uniquely American that started me down this road. From there, I began sampling and tasting different bourbons, and I knew that was my lane.”
O’Neill Vintners & Distillers with Woodson created the Charles Woodson & O’Neill Family Wine Scholarship, offering college scholarships to California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo and Sonoma State University. The scholarships will recruit and retain high-achieving Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) interested in pursuing a career in the wine industry. In partnership with two California universities, the scholarship will cover 100% of the tuition and room and board to support recipients over their entire college career. In addition, O’Neill Vintners & Distillers will provide internships and mentors to offer hands-on learning opportunities. Woodson believes in supporting the next generation of young BIPOC with scholarships at the top universities in the heart of wine country.
Woodson is grateful and thanks all of his fans out there that have made Woodson Bourbon Whiskey successful. Future plans would include introducing a higher-proof bourbon and maybe producing rye whiskey.
Woodson Bourbon Whiskey delivers to retailers in all states in the continental United States except Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Michigan, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Wisconsin is the only state that receives green and gold label through distribution, and the green and gold label is now available for online purchase. Woodson Bourbon Whiskey is available to order online at woodsonwhiskey.com. Orders of two or more bottles of the signature series can be shipped at a flat rate of $14.99.