Musicians are partnering with spirits-makers for your drinking pleasure.
Williams recording his one-of-a-kind song.
Can extraordinary cognac save the world? How about one great song? Pharrell Williams thinks so. And though the 10-time Grammy winner is widely known as an optimist—happy, even—he may have a point. This past winter, Williams partnered with Louis XIII Cognac to produce “100 Years—The Song We’ll Only Hear If We Care.” He wrote it, offered one performance, then placed a single recording of the tune onto a disc made of clay drawn from the Cognac region. It sits there now in a safe at ground level; the idea is that if we don’t prevent the ice caps from melting, the area may be submerged and the unique work will be destroyed.
Pharrell’s fragile recording with a bottle of Louis XIII cognac.
“Louis XIII thinks a century ahead,” says Williams. “We should all do the same for the planet. We have a common interest in preserving nature for the future. Each bottle is the life achievement of generations. It’s all about legacy.”
Though he’s likely the one with the loftiest intentions, Williams isn’t the only player drawn to the power of spirits. Nobel laureate Bob Dylan recently entered the game with a small collection of whiskeys—bourbon, rye and a so-called double-barreled whiskey. The appealing labels pay homage to Dylan’s ironwork sculptures, making for a true blend of iconic Americana. As you might expect, Dylan’s assessment of the bottlings is straightforward. “I’ve been able to try some of the best spirits that the world of whiskey has to offer,” he says. “This is great whiskey.”
Bob Dylan’s new line of Heaven’s Door whiskeys.
And then there’s Jeezy. A major figure in Atlanta’s rap scene, the Grammy-nominated artist name-checked Tequila Avión in some lyrics and caught the ear of the brand’s founder, Ken Austin. They met; a friendship was formed; and Jeezy now not only sings about the spirit—made exclusively from ranches in Jesús María, Jalisco, which makes it the tequila equivalent of a single-vineyard wine—but also does bottle-signing appearances. At the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, the stuff was voted the world’s best-tasting tequila, which, no doubt, was music to Austin’s ears.