The Significance Behind Each Bottle Of Bob Dylan's Whiskey Brand

Bob Dylan isn't just a musician. The man is an all-around artist who writes poems, paints, and sculpts. While on tour, Dylan would find inspiration from the many environments he would find himself in and use the people he met to inspire some of his work. "The highest purpose of art is to inspire," Dylan has said. "What else can you do? What else can you do for anyone but inspire them?"

Some of Dylan's paintings and iron sculptures have found themselves on the labels of Heaven's Door Spirits, a straight bourbon whiskey brand that the artist has co-founded. "I wanted to create a collection of American Whiskeys that, in their own way, tell a story," he explained. The Heaven's Door collection offers a line-up of whiskeys such as a vanilla-spiced straight bourbon called Revival, a double barrel bourbon named Revelation that delivers notes of caramel and citrus, and Refuge, a straight rye that is aged in hand-toasted barrels made from oak cigar. A series of small-batch limited releases and annual bottles called The Bootleg Series also brings fans and connoisseurs alike a taste of Dylan's charms, with ceramic bottles of The Bootleg Series showcasing some of Dylan's paintings. 

A bottle that packs more than what meets the eye

On the labels of Heaven's Door bottles, contrasting lines made from iron gates fashioned by Dylan at his metalworking shop capture immediate attention. The pieces are made from an assortment of objects — chains, wheels, farming equipment, scraps, and firearms — that have been picked up in places ranging from farms to trash yards across the United States. Dylan admits he is drawn to the image of a gate, not only for their use and symbolism, but also for the visual spaces in between. "Gates appeal to me because of the negative space they allow. They can be closed but at the same time they allow the seasons and breezes to enter and flow," he explains. "They can shut you out or shut you in. And in some ways, there is no difference."

True to a bourbon brand, the distillery is located in Kentucky, and the company has converted a local church into a music venue and has plans to open an art experience dedicated to Dylan's art pieces. Regardless of whether you can make it to visit in person, you can sample one of Dylan's spirits while admiring the artistry on each bottle from the comfort of your own home.