Ladies and gentlemen — PBR whiskey is a thing. And this is what you need to know.
First, Pabst Blue Ribbon jumped on the millennial beverage bandwagon by introducing its Stronger Seltzer and Hard Coffee. Now, the celebrated 175-year old brand has come out with its very first spirit — and the people of Denver get to be the first to try this questionable creation. Meet Blue Ribbon Whiskey, “a five-second aged whiskey” which is set to be released in select US markets this fall. Hipsters rejoice — you may now hit the hard stuff while maintaining that renegade identity the iconic Pabst Blue Ribbon label promotes.
So, why whiskey? It is believed that Jacob Best, the German-American brewer who founded the brewery that would eventually become Pabst Brewing Co., tried his hand at distilling prior to creating the beloved PBR beer. Furthermore, over the past two years, Pabst has been quietly working on the production of Blue Ribbon whiskey with craft distilling partners at New Holland Grand Rapids. The result of this grand experiment is a clear spirit utilizing ingredients that it is believed Best would have had available to him during his initial distilling pursuits. So, what is in this unique mash, may you ask? The answer is 52% corn, 28% malted barley, 17% wheat and 3% rye. This concoction is aged for five-seconds — essentially making it moonshine — and there you have it, Blue Ribbon whiskey is born.
Recently, a private tasting party was held at Denver’s ReCreative gallery, celebrating the launch of Blue Ribbon whiskey. PBR whiskey-infused doughnuts were provided by Habit Doughnut Dispensary and talented mixologists whipped up tasty whiskey cocktails highlighting the new spirit. An unapologetically hip crowd of PBR enthusiasts sipped and mingled within the space whilst showing off a striking amount of PBR-themed apparel, eccentric tattoos and and liquor-laced grins.
“We’re incredibly proud of what we have made with our distilling partners at New Holland. We have done our best to create an amazing mixable, drinkable and shareable white whiskey that can be mixed, shot or transformed into a cocktail,” said Matthew Bruhn, general manager at Pabst Blue Ribbon. “We created this whiskey to be drunk, not judged, just like our beer.”
As one may imagine, the spirit itself doesn’t possess a particularly complex flavor profile with a haughty description or woody undertones. Blue Ribbon whiskey truly is the high-ABV sibling of straightforward PBR — except, well it’s liquor. Perhaps you could already consider it a well liquor. It mixes well in cocktails and may provoke you to grimace after enduring a shot. However, please — for the love of whatever you find sacred — do not sip it. After all, this whimsical white whiskey isn’t striving for sophistication. That simply is not what the Pabst Blue Ribbon brand is about.
Look out for Blue Ribbon Whiskey in select stores this fall. Proceed with cautious optimism.