Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley launch ultra-premium Brother’s Bond Bourbon.
For fans of The Vampire Diaries, Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder played vampire brothers Stefan and Damon Salvatore, personifying passion, desire, and the depths of emotion.
The same can be said for their recently launched Brother’s Bond Bourbon, embodying their love of bourbon. After eight seasons and 171 episodes, while drinking bourbon on the screen, the two decided to develop their own line of premium bourbons. Wesley and Somerhalder were not interested in just endorsing a product but aimed to develop a bourbon completely hands-on to create a legacy for all who love the spirit.
“If you could see my desk, it is covered with everything bourbon, including samples. This is our baby,” explains Somerhalder.
Wesley and Somerhalder took different paths to discover their own love of bourbon whiskey.
“I was not a big bourbon drinker until I moved to Atlanta about 12 years ago,” says Wesley. “On the show, since our characters drank bourbon, it became a subconscious desire with me, and I would develop a love for it. So now I don’t drink anything else.”
“Another funny aspect is that we drank so much iced tea to mimic bourbon,” adds Somerhalder. “During season 1, we would get shaky, and we couldn’t understand what was going on. We discovered we were both drinking 600 milligrams of caffeine daily since we would both drink espressos and other caffeinated drinks as well as our fake drinks during 16-hour days. Neither one of us could sit still, so we switched to decaf.”
Somerhalder grew up in Louisiana and, as a child, would cut pieces of sugar cane in the fields and enjoy the flavor. Bourbon reminds him of those days and, as he states, “Bourbon is the culture in Louisiana as well as food, music, family, and football.”
Wesley is a first-generation American with roots in Poland, and both have an appreciation of European spirits. They agree that the flavor of European whiskeys is so different, while bourbon is a true American spirit. While whiskey can be distilled globally, bourbon can only be made in the United States.
Brother’s Bond Bourbon is elegant and exceptionally smooth, complex, and balanced with a touch of sweetness and spice. The four-grain, high rye bourbon has a mash bill of 65 percent corn, 22 percent rye, and the wheat and barley percentage are not disclosed. The bourbon is then aged for a minimum of four years in virgin American oak barrels, the barrel staves with #4 char, and the barrel heads with #2 char. Its ABV is 40 percent offering 750ml bottles at SRP $39.99.
The third co-founder is Vincent Hanna, CEO of Brother’s Bond Bourbon. His background was in wine for over 20 years before partnering with Wesley and Somerhalder.
“Vincent [Hanna] has such vast knowledge in this industry, and we were inexperienced in this area,” says Wesley. “We have an incredible team, including our CMO, who also offers years of experience and knowledge. Our bourbon, including the mash bill, bottle, label, and name, was designed by Ian and myself, and our team. We could do this because of our great team, who took our vision and made it happen. This is why we are so passionate about it because we built this bourbon from the ground up.”
They are also committed to sustainability and believe that farming is moving into a new realm with regenerative agriculture. Wesley and Somerhalder trust that new methods of regenerating can help with the ongoing global climate crisis.
“This is not a polarizing issue but about providing safety for our future,” states Somerhalder. “It is about family, food, agriculture, and healthy eco-systems. Paul and I are incredibly grateful for regenerative farming.”
They believe the shift is coming to the agricultural industry as a generation of farmers retire, and a new generation of farmers will be multicultural as the new face of the industry. As a result, new energy is coming, and Somerhalder and Wesley see it as an exciting time to be part of this change and anticipate a significant shift with excellent results.
Somerhalder co-executive produced the film, Kiss the Ground, now streaming on Netflix. “The film really shines a spotlight on what we are doing and what we want to accomplish with this company. We are working hard to build the world’s first regenerative spirits company,” he states.
Along with working on their tan (as they both laugh), the next bourbon to be launched will be a cask-strength bourbon that will range from 116 to118 proof targeting the niche bourbon drinker searching for a high-proof bourbon.
“This bourbon is still unbelievably smooth even at cask strength,” says Wesley.
“This flavor profile of the cask-strength is magical,” adds Somerhalder. “This is very pure for the bourbon drinker who wants a taste of power. Our 100 proof version of the cask version is out of this world. We are working on our eight-year bourbon, which is one year in the barrel for every year Paul and I worked together and the sign of the infinity. Eventually, we want to launch an 11-year bourbon for the two brothers, the twin numbers.”
Their bourbon embraces escapism, whether sitting by the fire or poolside. Brother’s Bond Bourbon is meant to inspire and invigorate as well as be a calming influence. Wesley and Somerhalder want every drinker to know that they worked hard to offer quality.
“If Ian and I had a baby, Brother’s Bond Bourbon would be our baby,” says Wesley.
The brand is now available in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
For more information, visit brothersbondbourbon.com and follow on Instagram and Facebook @brothersbondbourbon and Twitter @brothersbond.
- Elegant and exceptionally smooth, complex & balanced taste with a touch of sweetness & spice
- Strength: bottled at 40% ABV/VOL (80 proof)
- Color: Sunset Gold
- Nose: Baked banana bread, ripe tree fruit, walnuts, orange honey, warm rye spice
- Body: Balanced, round, and velvety smooth
- Taste: Toasted cereal grain, honeysuckle, dried fruit, black tea, spice
- Finish: Fresh cut oak
- Length of Finish: 1:30 min
- Empty Glass: Beeswax