John Wayne, also known as “The Duke” to his family and friends, was a legendary craftsman who loved and perfected his craft as an actor.
He dedicated his life to his love for being a father, an adventurer and an unabashed American patriot. He was a loyal friend to many and was passionate about sharing a good drink with loved ones.
The Duke was a true craftsman of film and carried this devotion, patience and quest for excellence to his other favorite endeavors including boating, mining and above all, creating his own whiskey and tequila line.
He sought out the greatest American whiskeys, the finest scotch, the smoothest tequilas and wines of true merit from the most prestigious regions.
The Duke was often quoted as saying that if he was going to have a drink, “it had better be a good one.”His son, Ethan Wayne, remembers his father describing his dream to create his own liquor lines. Naturally, they would be aged to perfection and crafted authentically to be enjoyed in the finest clubs, gourmet restaurants, around the campfire, on a fishing boat or after a hard day of shooting for the silver screen.
The Duke’s dreams will forever live on through Ethan, as he saved his father’s writings, scripts and everything else of importance that had been boxed away for 30 years. In his findings, he discovered a crate waiting to be opened where his father left an archive, a message and a reserve of bottles dating back to 1962. Literally, a message in a bottle.
Ethan showed us to this wooden vault where we found his father’s favorites and tasted everything he left behind in unmarked bottles. From this moment on we knew we had to move forward. We consulted the greatest master distillers about how to craft DUKE spirits so that they would surpass the Duke’s expectations, in a forgotten style from the 1950s and 1960s.
We tasted, blended and worked hard to make DUKE Spirits resemble the bottles The Duke, himself, left us. Naturally, our quest started in the green rolling hills of Kentucky, where our distillery lies today.
Here’s to The Duke. We hope and trust you are proud. None of your dreams are ever forgotten.
Ethan Wayne, Christopher Radomski