He's a singer, a songwriter, a business owner, a philanthropist, and now a whiskey maker. John Rich has launched his own brand of whiskey, appropriately called Redneck Riviera whiskey, in partnership with Eastside Distilling.
"For me, for Redneck Riviera, this is a brand that I've been working on, approaching two years," Rich told PopCulture.com at a recent media event. "Redneck Riviera is the phrase everybody knows. When people say, 'I can't afford to go to the French Riviera so where do wee go? We go to the Redneck Riviera.' To me Redneck Riviera was always kind of a state of mind. It's for people that work hard, they play hard, and they got that little bit of extra money, where are they going to spend it?"
The Big & Rich frontman wasn't going to just attach his name to a bottle and claim it as his own. Instead, he spent several months working with the Oregon-based distilling company to find a taste and blend that worked for him.
"I said, 'I want the smoothest pour of whiskey that exists. That's what I'm looking for,'" Rich recalled. "I want something that basically anybody would like it, but especially me. I'm the first customer. So we went back and forth for seven or eight months. I could show you the bottles that we went through -- they were sending me these tiny little bottles and you would line them up and take a teaspoon and you would taste a little bit and go, 'I don't like that.'"
Redneck Riviera whiskey not only is unique because Rich chose every detail of the taste, but also because it is an American-blended whiskey, bottled in American glass.
"[It] does not exist anywhere else in the world except for in this bottle," Rich shared. "This is a proprietary blend. It's the only one out there like it. The whiskey is all made in America, and even the glass that it's bottled in is made in guess where? America. Even the glass."
Rich's Redneck Riviera brand, which also includes restaurants and apparel, is an important mindset for Rich to share with his fans, because it's something he personally believes in.
"Redneck Riviera's a great phrase," explained Rich. "It's a funny phrase but it also has a lot of soul to it. It is blue collar America, work hard play hard. But just because we work hard and we may stretch a dollar every now and then, doesn't mean we want to drink the cheap stuff. We still want to drink the good stuff. So if I give them the good stuff, at the lower price, and at the good price, we've got ourselves a home run ... I'm proud of it."
A portion of the proceeds from each bottle of Redneck Riviera whiskey will go to Folds of Honor, which provides educational resources to spouses and children of those who have been killed or disabled while serving in the military.
Rich predicts Redneck Riviera whiskey will be available in liquor stores all over the country by the end of 2018. To find out where it will be available, visit RedneckRiviera.com.
Photo Credit: Instagram/JohnRichOfficial