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From Baseball to Bar: Derek Jeter Launches New Whiskey Brand

The MLB all-star talks about his new straight bourbon whiskey release with Bespoken Spirits, which comes on the heels of his other new arrival: a baby girl

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Risa Weaver-Enion

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Derek Jeter is taking his talents from the baseball field to the bar as an investor in Bespoken Spirits. And the former MLB all-star says the brand’s latest release is perfect for reconnecting with family and friends this holiday season.

Jeter has teamed up with Bespoken Spirits on the release of a straight bourbon whiskey. Bottled at 94 proof, the new expression features notes of mocha, pumpernickel and sweet spices — perfect to enjoy with Christmas dinner or as a New Year’s Eve treat.

bespoken spirits

Bespoken

Buy: Bespoken Straight Bourbon Whiskey at $35.49

Jeter, who retired from professional baseball in 2014 and is now part-owner of the Miami Marlins, says he was excited to explore other passions and opportunities after his playing career was over. As a longtime fan of whiskey, Jeter says working with Bespoken was a no-brainer. “I look at Bespoken Spirits as an innovative tech investment that has a lot to offer in changing its industry in a very positive way and helping it grow even further,” Jeter tells Rolling Stone.

The newly-minted whiskey entrepreneur cites Bespoken’s “sustainable” production methods, which the company touts as one of its selling points. Bespoken, who produces its bourbon whiskey in the U.S., says it uses less than 3% of the wood and less than 1% of the energy and water that’s usually required by traditional barrel aging.

“Bespoken’s process uses less wood, less water and less electricity than traditional maturation — all in a fraction of the time it usually takes to create a premium spirit,” Jeter explains. “The technology is fascinating, and the team has put a lot of thought and effort behind it.”

The latest release is a straight bourbon whiskey that offers a well-balanced mouthful with a smooth and subtle finish. Released just a few months ago, the drink has already been awarded Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and is sold out online, though Jeter, a five-time World Series champ and Hall of Fame inductee, says it’s not about the accolades this time around.

“I don’t view my position in the spirits industry as one to compete with,” he says, citing other successful spirits launches from celebrities like The Rock and LeBron James. “I value the ability to take ownership of what you personally create.”

“What’s unique about Bespoken,” Jeter adds, “is they can partner with an individual to create their own line of spirits, which means that my investment could essentially fund the next celebrity line of spirits.”

For now though, Jeter is focused on the new straight bourbon whiskey release with Bespoken, and on his other new arrival: a baby girl, born December 2.

Jeter says he’s looking forward to spending time with his wife, kids and extended family again for the holidays, after more than a year of Covid restrictions. “As with everyone, quarantine was a challenge at first,” he admits, “but as the world adapted, I took advantage of the time at home and was able to reconnect.” It’s important, he adds, to “stay connected to the people who matter most to you.”

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