Don't Call It A Celebrity Bourbon - Peyton Manning Teams Up To Create Classic Tennessee Bourbon

21 May, 2020

I happen to be in Vegas on a Sunday a long time ago. In a “why not moment” I made one of my first big sports book bets on the Colts to cover. If the colloquialism “good quarterbacks win, great quarterbacks cover” has any merit then that day Peyton Manning become a great quarterback for me. Since then, I’ve just liked the guy, from Budweiser post Super Bowl celebrations to silly Nationwide commercials. And now he’s apart of something more dear to most of our DME hearts, bourbon.

It’s not solely Peyton Manning’s Bourbon, this is not another celebrity liquor brand. This is a collection of talents putting what we can attest to is a solid line of bourbon with a great story and great names behind it.

Sweetens Cove Bourbon

This story starts in early 2019, when Manning, tennis great Andy Roddick, and sports announcer Jim Nantz joined a small ownership group that purchased Sweetens Cove Golf Club, thus the bourbon namesake. The rural public course, just outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee, is said to be a hidden treasure. It has developed a cult following amongst in-the-know golfers. Costing a mere $25 fee, it’s the only nine-hole track on Golfweek’s Top 100 course rankings. Though, with a gravel parking lot, and no locker room or clubhouse, just a prefabricated shed from Home Depot, it's lacking in the expected amenities. As real estate developer Mark Rivers, a fellow co-owner, told me, “It’s Field of Dream meets Tin Cup.”

The group acquired a stash of a hundred barrels of 13-year-old Tennessee bourbon and tapped acclaimed master distiller Marianne Eaves to blend it. She was still pregnant with her daughter earlier this year when she began sampling (and spitting!) each barrel, and was a new mom hunkered down in quarantine by the time she had blended together the final batch at her kitchen table just a few weeks ago.


No stranger to the spirits industry or creating and growing one-of-a-kind premium spirits, Marianne will forever hold a place in history as Kentucky’s First Female Bourbon Master Distiller since Prohibition. She was recognized by Whiskey Advocate Magazine as “the Next Generation” of the bourbon industry; honored by Forbes in their 30 under 30 list in 2015; named as one of America’s Top 40 under 40 Tastemakers by Wine Enthusiast Magazine; and, was identified as one of the top “Southern Women” by Garden & Gun Magazine in 2019.

It is no wonder that she was recruited to serve as Master Blender of the first Sweetens Cove release. Read an interview with Marianne Eaves here.

Just 500 bottles will be available for sale of the inaugural Sweetens Cove Tennessee Straight Bourbon Whiskey. And only available in Tennessee, to begin.  According the website, “we’ll see how it goes and make some more available – in Tennessee and beyond -- very soon. “

By June, the $200 product is expected to surface in Georgia and other markets. At a proof of 102.18, this is definitely a bourbon meant for connoisseurs, not just Peyton fan-boys. “This was never a vanity product, a celebrity product,” says Rivers. Indeed, Manning (and Roddick) are barely in the marketing materials I’ve seen so far. But, even if it isn’t your typical “celebrity bourbon.”

But be it a Colts fan or Bronco’s fan or even a Tiger/Peyton vs. Phil/Brady fan, we can help but think Peyton’s southern draw and charm won’t help bring good bourbon to great celebrations. And if you find yourself in Tennessee looking to get a beautiful 9-holes of golf in for only $25, hit the beautiful and only Top 100 ranked 9-hole golf course Sweetens Cover!