Whiskey aficionados sat up and took notice when Cleveland Whiskey
hit the market last March. Founder Tom Lix’s “radically different” approach to making whiskey -- pressure aging the whiskey for a superior quality in a short period of time -- has been met with enthusiasm and praise.
“I think, if anything, we just had an incredible reception,” says Lix. “The support has been phenomenal, especially when we are doing things untraditionally.”
Cleveland Whiskey sold 50,000 bottles in 2012 and now employs 12 people. Today, Lix is producing 4,000 bottles a week. The company started selling in Illinois and Tennessee last year, has begun selling in Virginia, and is about to start distribution in Michigan.
“We want to make sure we can keep up with demand at our Cleveland home base,” says Lix. “We want slow growth, but our mission is to sell nationally and eventually overseas.”
During the holidays, Cleveland Whiskey released its Christmas Bourbon and is about to launch a new whiskey – 87 – a slightly lower proof version of the original. “It still has the same bold flavors but it's a little less strong,” explains Lix.
The Cleveland Whiskey group will contribute to a float in Cleveland’s St. Patrick’s Day parade
that will feature Celtic band CRAIC. The team will host an after-parade party at McCarthy’s Downtown with another concert by CRAIC and, of course, some whiskey.
Source: Tom Lix
Writer: Karin Connelly