Just in time for the Grammys, here’s a whiskey from country star Chris Stapleton

The bottle

Traveler Whiskey, $39.99

The backstory

It’s the big Grammy Awards weekend. So here at Weekend Sip, this naturally makes us think of the many artists and groups, from Jennifer Lopez to Lynyrd Skynyrd, with their own brand of alcohol.

Now you can add another name to the list: country star Chris Stapleton, who will win three awards this year. Stapleton can boast plenty of past Grammy glory: He’s won eight awards to date, including one for best country album for his breakthrough 2015 release, “Traveller.”

Traveler is appropriately the name of the whiskey he created in collaboration with Buffalo Trace Distillery, one of the most revered bourbon producers in the industry. In fact, we tried its $10,000 Eagle Rare 25 bourbon not long ago.

But Traveler is in a different category than that bottle, and not just because it retails for just $39.99. It is not purely a bourbon, but what is called a blended American whiskey. This means it can contain a little bit of everything, including a mix of bourbon and neutral spirits. In Traveler’s case, the emphasis is, well, on whiskey. The Buffalo Trace team says it pulled whiskeys from the broader portfolio of Sazerac, its parent company and the company behind renowned labels like EH Taylor and Stagg.

Stapleton said he was deeply involved in the project every step of the way, including selecting the final blend from dozens of possible blends. At a recent press event in New York, he noted that he has always been a fan of not only whiskey, but Buffalo Trace whiskey in particular (he was born in Lexington, Ky., not far from the distillery). β€œIt didn’t take a lot of effort,” he said of his decision to join forces with the brand.

As for the final product, Stapleton added that “I can’t speak in polite terms other than ‘I like it’ or ‘I don’t like it’.” Needless to say, he likes what he and Buffalo Trace have created. .

Longtime whiskey enthusiast, Chris Stapleton said it “didn’t take a lot of maneuvering” to convince him to join forces with Buffalo Trace Distillery and create Traveler Whiskey.

Traveller’s whisky

What do we think

American blended whiskey is generally not taken as seriously as a category – it falls more into the realm of value-priced drinking. But Traveler offers real pedigree for a fairly affordable bottle. Sure, it’s an easy sipper and a little sweet, with notes of caramel, oak and toasted nuts. But it’s still a real whisky, with enough fullness and complexity to give it the edge.

How to enjoy it

It’s fine to sip it on its own or enjoy what the Buffalo Trace team calls Whiskey and You (as in Traveler over ice). For something with a little more flavor, try the Country & Western – Traveler with sparkling water, agave nectar and fresh lime juice.

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