Molson Coors to release Five Trail blended American whiskey, its first entry into full-strength spirits

Molson Coors Beverage Company next month will release its first full-strength spirit, a blended American whiskey made with Coors malt and Rocky Mountain water called Five Trail.

Under the banner Coors Whiskey Co., Five Trail is slated to roll out Sept. 1 via Molson Coors’ distributor network at better liquor retailers in four markets: Colorado, Georgia, Nevada and New York.

The 95-proof, ultra-premium whiskey, was distilled, blended and bottled in partnership with Bardstown Bourbon Co. in Bardstown, Ky.  It’s made from a blend of Colorado single-malt whiskey and three bourbons, cut to proof with Rocky Mountain water. It is packaged in 750-mililiter bottles and will carry a suggested retail price of $59.99.

The whiskey is the first full-strength spirit from Molson Coors and represents the company’s latest step beyond the beer aisle, a key part of a strategy to diversify and premiumize its portfolio of beverages.

“This is not just about acquiring a brand or working with a distiller on a blend,” says Kimberli Fox, Molson Coors’ marketing manager for wine and spirits. “This is a true collaboration that marries Colorado provenance with innovative distilling techniques of pioneering Kentucky-based distillers.”

Molson Coors’ decision to begin its spirits journey with a whiskey is premised on three factors: the spirit’s unbridled growth over the past two decades, a built-in affinity of beer drinkers for a whiskey produced by a brewery, and a desire to build more premium offerings within the company’s portfolio.

“While whiskey drinkers are a very loyal group, discovery is a key theme. They love to explore, expand their collections and try new things,” Fox says. “That makes this a very interesting place for us to play as a beverage company. Within whiskey, there’s so much rich territory to explore and you don’t have to stay within the confines of a singular consumer expectation.”

That gives Coors Whiskey Co. an opportunity to deliver what Fox says are unique, limited-edition whiskeys made with high-country barley from its malthouse in Golden, Colo., and recipes that could change year-to-year.

The goal, Fox says, is to build a brand: “Five Trail isn’t planned as a one-off proposition.”