Back before the term “plant-based” was on-trend, dairy-free margarine brands like Country Crock had already snatched up a sizable share of the butter market. But now, with a public that’s more aware of all things plant-based, Country Crock has been doubling down on its non-dairy cred — and to hammer home their commitment to farmers, the brand has teamed up on another oft-overlooked “plant-based” product… whiskey.
Cover Crop Whiskey is the only spirit with Country Crock’s official seal of approval, and named to bring awareness to the use of cover crops as a sustainable farming practice. Among the buttery spread’s ingredients are soybeans, including those sourced from farms in the brand’s home state of Kansas. However, Country Crock states some farmers struggle with soil fatigue from repeated harvests, resulting in erosion and a lack of nutrients.
“Country Crock recognized an opportunity to help educate farmers and the public on a sustainable solution: cover crops, like cereal rye, are plants grown in between harvested crops to improve soil health by returning nutrients, minimizing pests, and increasing water retention,” the brand wrote in the announcement. “This has proven to be a sustainable way to keep the land healthy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by returning carbon to the soil as a nutrient.”
The brand’s resulting Cover Crops Project provides these local farmers with the money and training necessary to plant cover crops. And Cover Crops Whisky was developed by the ad agency Ogilvy as a way to further promote this initiative.
For the spirit, Country Crock teamed up with Kansas City’s J. Rieger & Co. distillery on a limited-edition blend that includes “a touch” of whiskey distilled with cereal rye that had been planted locally as a cover crop. The tasting notes on the 46.5 percent ABV results insist that the blend is, of course, “oh so buttery smooth.”
“Cover crops are a game-changer for maintaining healthy farmlands,” Chris Turner, Ogilvy’s executive creative director, said in the announcement. “We were thrilled that Ogilvy could help raise awareness for sustainable farming practices through this limited-edition Cover Crop Whiskey.”
Meanwhile, if you want to score Country Crock’s Cover Crop Whiskey, it’s being sold exclusively by Mash & Grape. As of this writing, bottles — of which only 500 were produced — are still available at $40 a pop.
Source: Food and Wine