First Look: Great Jones x Jean-Michel Basquiat: Empire Edition

by Phillip Galyean

Great Jones® Distilling Co., Manhattan’s first and only whiskey distillery since Prohibition, is bringing Basquiat’s iconic artwork back to Great Jones Street. Just down the block from the site of his apartment and famous art studio in Noho, the distillery is unveiling a brand-new special edition bourbon bottle featuring Basquiat’s celebrated art. The Great Jones x Jean-Michel Basquiat: Empire Edition bottle showcases Basquiat’s “Mecca” (1982) artwork, known for helping establish Basquiat as an artist in Downtown Manhattan, featuring the New York City skyline and Basquiat’s trademark crown.

This special edition bottle celebrates New York City – its history, its agriculture, its culture and now, its whiskey. Great Jones is 100% New York Bourbon, made of ingredients grown in the Hudson Valley, distilled at the Great Jones Distillery in Manhattan, aged in New American Oak barrels, and finally cut to proof with Catskill Mountain water – the best of Great Jones street, inside and out.

In addition to the exclusive Straight Bourbon bottle, this campaign also includes a capsule collection of merchandise produced and designed by Rome Pays Off: a t-shirt, sweatshirt, and bucket hat – each piece featuring Basquiat’s “Mecca” graphic. This artwork was selected for its vivid portrayal of New York’s skyline, symbolizing the city’s energy and allure. The distinctive graphic, dating back to 1982, encapsulates Basquiat’s electrifying impact on the New York art scene and serves as a testament to his unparalleled vision and enduring influence on contemporary art with its bold strokes and arresting imagery.

“In continuing our partnership with Jean-Michel Basquiat, we are proud to align Great Jones Whiskey with a New York icon whose art represents the vibrant culture of downtown New York. With this special edition bottle release we are paying homage to Basquiat’s legacy on Great Jones Street, while also setting a new standard for craft distilling in Manhattan using entirely New York ingredients, to make our award-winning whiskeys,” said Lander Otegui, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Proximo Spirits.

Consumers can visit the Great Jones Distillery at 686 Broadway in the heart of Noho to purchase a bottle of the Basquiat-decorated whiskey or to enjoy signature cocktails inspired by Basquiat’s legacy, created by the Great Jones Head Mixologist, Collin Frazier. This special edition bottle has been created in collaboration with Artestar, a global licensing agency and creative consultancy representing high-profile artists, photographers, designers, and creatives. The Great Jones x Jean-Michel Basquiat: Empire Edition bottle is on sale now at the Great Jones Distillery and fine retailers throughout the tri-state area for $39.99 SRP. Visit the official Great Jones Distillery website for more information on the campaign and to visit the distillery and book a tour or specialty experience. Learn more on social media at @GreatJonesDistillingCo.

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