Brothers Osborne Partner With WhistlePig on Whiskey Collab: ‘It Just Aligned With Who We Are Spiritually’
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Grammy-winning country duo Brothers Osborne may sing about not being for everyone, but their new whiskey is. The WhistlePig PiggyBack Legends Series: Brothers Osborne Barrel is a single barrel, limited-edition 100 percent rye whiskey, created for and selected by whiskey lovers John and TJ Osborne. It all started with what may seem like a carefully orchestrated Taylor Swift-style Easter egg when WhistlePig was prominently featured in the band’s 2021 music video for their hit “I’m Not for Everyone.”
“[The relationship] started with the video and from there we started having conversations about doing something in the future,” says TJ. “When they came to us with the idea of a collaboration we were stoked.”
“It was an accidental [Easter egg],” laughs John, alluding to the foreshadowing cameo. “Even a broken clock is right twice a day.”
Fortunetellers or not, the “Younger Me” singers have remained famously true to themselves throughout their country music careers — even when doing so wasn’t easy. John has been open about his mental health struggles, and TJ came out as gay in 2021. And despite the genre’s widely conservative audience, he hasn’t been shy about showing affection toward his boyfriend Abi Ventura at award shows and on the red carpet. So when it comes to brand partnerships, the brothers are careful to align themselves with products that share their ethos.
“The mantra of the brand has to resonate with our own mantra, which is just about being yourself, being unique, and being okay with being the underdog and having a lot of pride in what you do,” says John. “WhistlePig comes from a small farm in Vermont and all the people that work there have such pride for the WhistlePig name. It just aligned with who we are spiritually.”
That alignment included a shared love of great-tasting whiskey, and the Brothers Osborne Barrel was nothing short of a group effort.
“Our goal — as was theirs — was for us to choose the finishes, the toast and the length that it was aged so we would have something we would love to drink,” TJ says. “The finished product is really good and we’re really proud of it. It’s absolutely something I’ll pull out of my whiskey collection to sip or to mix. I love how it turned out.”
The second iteration in WhistlePig’s single barrel PiggyBack Legends Series, the Brothers Osborne Barrel is aged in American oak barrels for no less than six years before finishing its journey with high toast custom barrel heads. The PiggyBack 100 percent rye whiskey is bottled at 96.56 proof, with a balance of sweet, spice and smoke.
“I always go for something with more of a butterscotch or caramel finish to it,” John says. “We tried a light, medium, and a char [toast] and we both agreed on this one. Which is a miracle that we both preferred this one because it’s impossible to get my brother and I to agree on anything, but this one stood out as very special to us and we both immediately fell in love with it.”
Brothers Osborne have plenty to toast these days. They won the CMA Award for Vocal Duo of the year earlier this month. That same day, John announced that he and his wife, singer Lucie Silvas, are expecting twins.
“My wife is pregnant. I can’t say ‘we’re pregnant’ because she is carrying the children, whereas I am just suffering from the symptoms of fatigue, crankiness and being hungry,” he laughs.
But that’s not the only delivery the Osbornes have planned for 2023. TJ says they’ve been working on new music and that their next album is nearly ready.
“It’s probably about 70 percent complete and we’re hoping to have new music out at the beginning of the year,” he says of the follow-up to 2020’s Skeletons. “We’re going in a little bit of a different direction. We’ve been working with a different producer, Mike Elizondo, and it’s been a fun process.”
And as they look to the future, they can’t help but think back on the project that introduced them to WhistlePig in the first place: The “I’m Not for Everyone” video, which starred their close friend, Leslie Jordan. Jordan, the beloved comedian known not only for his acting roles but also for his social media presence and angelic voice, passed away in a car accident in October at the age of 67.
“As much as we would love to have him with us, his legacy is clearly still lasting. The more I started watching videos of him and seeing people post about him, I was laughing more than crying,” TJ says.
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“I think it is a reminder to never take our time with people that we love for granted,” TJ continues. “I thought we would have plenty more years with Leslie and amazing laughs and collaborations in the future. But I am very grateful that I did have time with him. I spoke to him only a week or two before his passing and I was very grateful for that. At the end of the day, when you pass, what do you want the memories of you to be? It’s sad to lose Leslie because he gave so much of himself to everyone all the time. But that’s part of why he’s so lovely — we’re still left with the laughs and great feelings that he’s still giving to people now even when he’s not here.”
The Brothers Osborne Barrel retails for $49.99 and is available for purchase online and in select stores across Texas, Tennessee, and Illinois this fall. Plus, 100 bottles autographed by Brothers Osborne will be available for preorder for $225, in honor of Deuce & a Quarter, the Brothers’ original family band with their father. Proceeds from the sales of each bottle will benefit Rogers Behavioral Health and their foundation, Mission Possible Fund, raising funds to provide free mental health treatment to low-income patients.
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