Just seven months after Molson Coors introduced its first foray into spirits, a blended American whiskey called Five Trail, the brand took home double gold from the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The industry honor comes as it expands into two new markets, Kentucky and Wisconsin.
“We were confident we had a great liquid for whiskey drinkers, but the fact that it’s been validated by one of the best competitions and judges in spirits is just awesome,” says Alberto Farias, Molson Coors’ general manager for wine and spirits.
Five Trail, a 95-proof, ultra-premium whiskey made by Coors Whiskey Company, was one of eight brands to win double gold – in which every judge chose it to win gold – in the American blended whiskey category.
Made from a blend of Colorado single-malt whiskey and three bourbons, and cut to proof with Rocky Mountain water, Five Trail is sold in 750-millileter bottles and priced around $60.
The award, says David Coors, vice president of next-generation beverages, is a feather in the cap for Molson Coors and validates the company’s meticulous approach to enter a new category and find near-immediate success.
“It has been years in the making, and we went through hundreds of blends before we landed on our Batch No. 1 blend for Five Trail. While we knew we had an outstanding whiskey, it is great to have that validated with a double-gold medal by one of the most prestigious spirits competitions in the world,” he says.
Five Trail launched in four markets last fall – Colorado, Nevada, New York City and Atlanta – and is now available in two more competitive whiskey markets, Wisconsin and Kentucky, the birthplace and home of American bourbon.
“Consumers in these markets are very knowledgeable about whiskey. There’s also a great affinity for Coors brands and strong relationships with distributors,” Farias says.
Coors’ home market of Colorado has been fertile ground for Five Trail. In the months following its launch, it outperformed the segment and has performed strongly against more established whiskey brands, Farias says, citing IRI data. Today it is sold in more than 500 accounts across the state.
“For a brand-new product with a small marketing budget, we’re having some great success. We want to build this brand the right way,” Farias says. “We are transforming doubt into belief, and the double gold medal proves Five Trail is the real deal.”