A new bourbon whiskey has come to market, this from Steven Grasse, the man behind Tamworth Distilling’s Crab Trapper and brands Hendrick’s Gin and Sailor Jerry Rum.
Dunce Whiskey is a book-themed bourbon and Grasse’s newest spirit brand, and was released along with his new book Brand Mysticism: Cultivate Creativity and Intoxicate Your Audience on Nov. 8th (National Dunce Day).
In a prepared statement, Steven Grasse said that while researching for his new book, which lays out the techniques to create a true, authentic brand, he stumbled across the forgotten teachings of John Duns, Medieval Scottish priest, professor, philosopher, theologian, and origin of the Dunce Cap.
The tale of the dunce cap, the tall, cone shaped hat traditionally shown as a symbol of shame and ignorance, strays from the origins of the man the notable cap is named for.
Grasse explained that it was believed the sky-reaching pointy hats attracted divine energy from the heavens above.
On to the creation of Dunce Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Grasse explained (tongue-in-cheekly) that the same divine energy was channeled producing this spirit.
A key chapter in Brand Mysticism is called “You Refuse to Listen to Me and Wanna Create Yet Another Sourced Bourbon Brand?” And with Dunce whiskey, Grasse turns his back on his own lesson, while lampooning it in the process.
Dunce Straight Bourbon Whiskey clocks in at 40% ABV, and Grasse said the liquid was sourced from Midwest Grain Products in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. As he explained, “that’s the same place so many ‘craft’ brands source their whiskey from … while never admitting it.”
Then came the actual whiskey aging process. And that’s where a bit of trolling comes in.
“My thought was, what if we took the conical caps and rested them on the barrels the whiskey is aged in?” Grasse said. “I talked to my distiller, to a biochemist, several historians, and I even talked to a wiccan, and the answer was repeatedly, why not? By placing the Duns cone hats on the barrels, we channeled the metaphysical secrets of the universe into the whiskey, the same way John Duns and his followers channeled the same truth into their minds.”
The distiller’s notes show that Dunce Straight Bourbon Whiskey features a vanilla and apple combination, with notes of kettle corn on the nose. The higher rye bourbon mash bill sees peaks of cinnamon and cherry alluding to the rye spice.
The new whiskey is available nationally via Seelbachs.com for $40, and can be found on shelves in New Hampshire via New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlets, and in Pennsylvania via Philadelphia’s Art in the Age.
“We have founded the company on metaphysical and esoteric teachings, yes. We believe in science, but we believe in esoteric possibilities as well,” Grasse added. “By complete coincidence, when our book and bourbon launch date was delayed due to supply chain issues, Nov. 8th was chosen arbitrarily as the new date, which happens to coincide with National Dunce Day. Is this a result of the hand of John Duns? You decide!”
For more information on Dunce Whiskey or the book Brand Mysticism, check out www.brandmysticismbook.com and www.tamworthdistilling.com.