Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen is getting into the bourbon game following his successful playing career. The 55-year-old Pippen announced on Monday morning that he’s launching a brand new bourbon and kicking things off exclusively in Chicago.
Pippen has teamed up with Dave Phinney’s distillery to create a new bourbon inspired by #33 titled “Digits Bourbon.” The five-year-old bourbon from stock Savage & Cooke is aromatic and clean with notes of caramelized apples, brown sugar, and spice. It’s a bourbon that is smooth yet a distinct taste that doesn’t have too much of a bite to it. Pippen is so confident that it would sell, that 5,000 cases were taken in by a Chicago distributor without a taste.
Check out Pippen’s story and reveal of the bourbon in this YouTube video:
The idea came about during quarantine when Pippen was in his Los Angeles home hanging out cooking with his friend and business partner R. C. Mills. After sipping on Crown Royal, the two decided that a venture into the bourbon industry should be a thing for the Hall of Famer. Food and Wine has more on the story:
During lockdown, while we were all perfecting our sourdough bread and Dalgona coffee foam, Pippen hunkered down at his LA home, cooking with chef buddy and business partner R. C. Mills. “During the pandemic we became bros,” Mills says. “There was not a day we weren’t cooking together.” They brined a capon for 48 hours and then slow-roasted it in Pippen’s Wolf range, seared some 60-day aged Wagyu, and sautéed salmon with capers and brown butter while listening to everything from Nipsey Hussle to Eric Church to the Temptations.
After dinner one night, they were relaxing and watching old Bulls highlight reels. “He’s sitting there drinking Crown Royal, and I’m thinking, That’s a freaking magazine cover right there,” Mills says. “I told him, ‘You need to have your own bourbon whiskey.'” Pippen had considered it, but didn’t know where to start. Mills, whose previous wine projects include Keyshawn Johnson’s KJ1 Cabernet Sauvignon and Gabrielle Union’s Vanilla Puddin Chardonnay, called Phinney.
Now, about a year later Pippen is set to release the special bourbon on June 24th with a tasting in Chicago to preview it.
Make sure to check out our Chicago Bulls forum for more on Pippen and other former players in the Windy City.