Audience Reactions to “I, Whiskey”

Since releasing the new film I, Whiskey: The Human Spirit last month, we’ve had a strong response from people around the country.

We started with a sneak peek preview for our friends at the State Policy Network’s annual meeting in Nashville, Tennessee. CEI hosted an evening reception for attendees, where we introduced people to the project and raffled off three bottles of whiskey from producers with connections to the film: Catoctin Creek, Copper Fox, and Four Roses. Joe Lehman (pictured above), the president of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in Midland, Michigan, was one of our lucky winners.

Our official launch date was October 12th, and we celebrated with a film premiere at Jack Rose Dining Saloon. Co-presented with the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, the event featured remarks by Jack Rose proprietor Bill Thomas, CEI president Kent Lassman, and Distilled Spirits Council president Kraig Naasz. A capacity crowd watched the first-ever public screening of the film, fittingly, in a room filled with good friends and quality drinks.

Once we were launched, the film started getting noticed online and generating positive reviews. Author John Francis Trump wrote in the Huffington Post:

…the captivating and thirst-provoking film is entertaining and inspirational, an ode to America’s indomitable spirit and taste for ingenuity and entrepreneurship.

Beverage industry magazine Chilled told readers:

…the film interviews whiskey industry entrepreneurs as well as whiskey drinkers to illustrate how the commerce of whiskey creates human connection – from the farmers and distillers to restaurant owners, consumers, and beyond.

And Chris Wertz of The Alcohol Professor explained the film like this:

The craft spirits movement is rolling along at full force with whiskey at its fore, and so far, everyone from sot to snob has had a chance to weigh in on its merits. Isn’t it about time we heard what whiskey had to say for itself? The short film I, Whiskey: The Human Spirit was created to tell the story of this indomitable spirit from inside the barrel out by detailing the intricate network of skilled people whose work goes into making, as the film’s title suggests, ‘the human spirit.’”

The week after the release, on October 19th, we hosted our National Watch Party, during which people from across the U.S. held screening events in their homes and offices. With almost 50 parties registered, we covered a good portion of the country. For our friends in the rest of the world, our International Watch Party is coming soon.

The social media world has been supportive as well. Lots of fans Tweeted their interest and excitement with the #Iwhiskey hashtag, including Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist.

We also received several advance reviews from people who had viewed the film before its general release. Those quotes, from people like Foundation for Economic Education president Lawrence Reed, economist Deirdre McCloskey, are Learn Liberty co-founder Scott Barton, are here