Molson Coors to debut a whiskey in Colorado in September

Molson Coors, a company synonymous with beer, is getting into the spirits game.

On Sept. 1, the company will release Five Trail whiskey, its first liquor, under the Coors Whiskey Co. moniker, according to an announcement. Colorado will be one of four states where the spirit hits shelves, alongside New York, Georgia and Nevada.

Five Trail is a blended American whiskey created in partnership with Bardstown Bourbon Co. in Bardstown, Ky. It features a Colorado single-malt whiskey that’s been blended with three bourbons and cut with Rocky Mountain water, the company said.

A move into the liquor aisle is Molson Coors’ latest effort to offer drinkers something beyond beer. Earlier this year, the company added a CBD sparkling water to its myriad offerings that include hard sodas and seltzers. The beverage giant also secured a distribution deal for an energy drink co-created by entertainment icon Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and, in late 2019, changed its name from Molson Coors Brewing Co. to Molson Coors Beverage Co. to underscore its shift away from beer.

The decision to launch with a whiskey was due in part to the spirit’s growth over the last two decades, Kimberli Fox, Molson Coors’ marketing manager, said in a statement. Since 2002, American-made whiskey sales have skyrocketed 227%, reaching $4.3 billion in 2020, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

“While whiskey drinkers are a very loyal group, discovery is a key theme. They love to explore, expand their collections and try new things,” Fox said. “That makes this a very interesting place for us to play as a beverage company. Within whiskey, there’s so much rich territory to explore and you don’t have to stay within the confines of a singular consumer expectation.”

Five Trail, which will cost $59.99 per bottle, isn’t expected to be a “one-off,” Fox added. In the  future, Coors Whiskey Co. is expected to release limited-edition whiskeys made with barley from its malthouse in Golden.

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