Booze | September 23, 2021 2:06 pm

Peyton Manning Is Personally Calling Liquor Stores So They’ll Stock His Bourbon

Admittedly, his Sweetens Cove brand makes pretty good whiskey

Master Distiller Marianne Eaves and Peyton Manning with a bottle of Sweetens Cove bourbon (which Manning co-owns)
Master Distiller Marianne Eaves and former QB Peyton Manning discussing Sweetens Cove bourbon.
Sweetens Cove

Even Peyton Manning has to make cold calls.

The former Colts and Broncos quarterback, currently earning raves as a co-host (with his brother Eli) of ESPN’s MegaCast during Monday Night Football, recently told the Indianapolis Star he has been making calls to Indiana liquor stores so they’ll stock Sweetens Cove, the bourbon brand he co-founded a few years back with Andy Roddick, among others.

“I do at least kind of get a response and call back,” Manning admitted. “But the bourbon has to do it after that. It has to be good.”

Surprisingly, just having a big name (or names) behind a spirits launch doesn’t automatically equal success. I spoke with Steven Soderbergh a few years back about his Singani 63 launch, and he talked about all the little things he had to do to get publicity (including talking to media like myself). As the director told me: “I picked Dan Aykroyd’s brain about [his vodka] Crystal Head. He said, ‘If you’re not going to show up, don’t do it.’ You gotta go to general sales meetings, you have to go to bars, you have to go out with writers.”

Sweetens Cove is currently available in Texas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Colorado, South Carolina and now Indiana. “Obviously, it’s exciting to me because of my connections there,” Manning told the Star. “Indiana was always on our radar. It has a great bourbon history and … it’s something I was pushing for to have it in Indiana.” (According to the paper, only a few thousands bottles will be released in the state, and they’ll cost $200 each.)

The second release of Sweetens Cove arrived this summer. Overseen by Marianne Eaves (Kentucky’s first female master distiller), the new iteration of this blend was sourced from multiple distilleries and includes three different ages (4, 6 and 16 years) of Tennessee bourbons. Cinnamon, spices, berries and honey dominate.