What celebrity hasn’t launched a brand yet? But given the sheer number of launches, especially in the alcohol category, it got us thinking…just because a brand is backed by star power doesn’t automatically make it worth drinking. So to save you from a bad drink, we’ve highlighted the 8 celebrity alcohol brands that are actually worth trying.
When HOV is around, we switch up to that D’USSÉ. Featured in so many of Beyonce’s husband’s songs and referenced throughout R&B, Hip-Hop, and Rap Jay-Z’s cognac brand, D’USSE is almost synonymous with modern rap culture. Released in 2012, the top-shelf dark liquor is more than just a pretty bottle. D’USSE is a great-tasting cognac.
The dark brown liquor goes down super smooth with soft flavors reminiscent of caramel, figs, and honey. We like it as a mixer (with cranberry juice is my favorite) but it is equally great to sip on. The smoothness can be equated to a velvety finish, but it still tastes like alcohol, so you know that you’re drinking a premium cognac.
In this house, we love a gin and tonic, so when I heard that the world’s highest-rated gin is Ryan Reynolds’s brand, Aviation Gin (97% on Wine Enthusiast), we had to give it a try. The Canadian-American actor and Deadpool star is not actually the original founder of the brand launched in 2002. Aviation Gin had been around for almost half a decade before he joined the company as the face in 2006. It’s distilled in small batches right here in Portland, Oregon.
Aviation is a clear gin made from highly refined spirits and tastes fantastic. There are rye and spice flavor notes, with hints of lavender and anise. The star of anise spice is what gives it a peppery and smoky flavor. On the nose (which means when you smell it) you even get a hint of orange citrus. It’s a perfectly balanced gin for beginners and creates amazing cocktails.
Another iconic actress and celebrity with their alcohol brand is Kate Hudson. She has been known to be a huge dirty martini fan (who isn’t?), so it’s no surprise that she launched her own vodka brand. The actress and Fabletics co-founder launched King St. Vodka after realizing that there were no vodkas on her bar cart at home founded by women. She immediately remedied that oversight and named her new brand of vodka after her former home on King Street in New York City.
In an epic partnership with David Kanbar, the co-creator of Skinnygirl Cocktails, so you know the booze tastes excellent too. King St. Vodka is non-GMO and gluten-free. When you first open the bottle, it’s super clean and almost odorless except for a slight vanilla aroma. I never thought I’d be saying this, but the taste is of creamed corn (stay with me here), sweet lemon, and vanilla. This unusual flavor profile gives it a soft mouth feel with a bright lemon peak of flavor as you sip it. Kate Hudson, I buy your leggings, and I will certainly buy your vodka.
Even if you’re not a huge rum fan, Bruno Mars’s brand is called SelvaRey, and they have been marketing to more casual drinkers – so it’s the perfect one to try. Bruno Mars launched his Panamanian rum brand in the summer of 2021 with four core flavors, white rum, chocolate, coconut, and Owner’s Reserve. The fact that SelvaRey is Panamanian is essential, as it’s distilled differently than other Caribbean rums.
First, it’s molasses-based and distilled in columns vs. barrels (like they do in Jamaica). We’re not sure how significant that difference is too casual rum drinkers, but we do know that it tastes sooooo good. I wasn’t able to get my hands on the coconut variety to try it, but we did review the other three flavors below. (Fedora) hats off to Bruno Mars on SelvaRey.
- The White Rum is aged and filtered and smells slightly sweet of vanilla sugar. With notes of toasted marshmallows, this flavor of rum could pass as a vanilla-infused vodka.
- The Chocolate flavored Rum is infused with natural chocolate, but the very chocolatey flavor hits you over the head as soon as you open the bottle. Not my favorite, but not a dealbreaker for Bruno.
- Lastly, the Owner’s Reserve is a heavily aged (15-25 years) blend. The flavors are more subtle than the chocolate but still contain sweet notes. We detected caramelized plantains and a nutty finish not unlike sherry. You can taste the molasses origins in the Owner’s Reserve.
Post said it best when he said, “rosé is for when you want to get a little fancy.” Good thing he can get fancy whenever he wants now, since creating his own brand of rosé called Maison No. 9, which was released in June 2020. Maison No. 9 is a rosé from the French Riviera region (super fancy) and has notes of Mediterranean wine.
The packaging is very pretty and reminiscent of Post Malone’s tattoos. The Olde English font and rose dagger look just like the art on his body, and I think it’s a great nod to his personal style. Aesthetics aside, let’s talk about the taste. Their website claims that the rosé is “clean, dry, and crisp,” but I tend to disagree. The flavor was fruity and not too sweet, but it wasn’t dry. Despite the bubbles, it went down smoothly, and when I burped, I tasted a hint of lemon. Overall a solid rosé from a solid rapper.
Mariah Carey (whoops, I mean Christmas) season is upon us! In honor of the holiday queen herself, we’re including her cream liqueur brand on this list – Black Irish Liqueur, launched in 2021. Mariah’s father was Black and Venezuelan, and her mom was Irish, so it’s named for her mixed heritage and is Christmas magic in a glass. Think: spiked hot chocolate drizzled over ice cream!
Black Irish Liqueur is on the sweet side, and I would classify it as a dessert beverage, but I’m sure you can drink this any time your heart desires. We tried a few flavors, the first being Salted Caramel Irish Cream Liqueur. It was not overwhelmingly sweet but had buttery notes of caramel and salt. Super rich and creamy. The Black Irish White Chocolate flavor looks like creamy eggnog and tastes sweet whisky and cocoa flavors. This one was my favorite because of the vanilla finish. All I want for Christmas is Black Irish!
I’m not ashamed to admit that I 100% keep up with the Kardashians. So you know I had to add this one to the list. Luckily, it belongs with the rest of the brands in this crowd, as it’s a great-tasting tequila. Launched in May 2021 after Kendall Jenner’s 3.5-year journey to find the best-tasting tequila to sip with her friends. 818 offers three different varieties: 818 Blanco, Reposado, Añejo, and Eight Reserve.
- 818 Blanco smells like cream soda, which is surprising for tequila but sticks with me. It’s very easy to drink, with hints of vanilla, and you can for sure taste the agave sweetness as well. The vanilla flavor is potent, so I don’t recommend it for margaritas, but it tastes great on the rocks if you’re a new tequila drinker or looking to try something different.
- 818 Añejo is aged even longer and sits in the oak barrels for 12 months. This is where the wood flavoring from the barrels shines through, as well as notes of honey and a slightly spicy finish. Not sure that Kendall knows how to chop up a cucumber properly, but she’s doing something right with 818.
Last but certainly not least is the King himself, Lebron James. In 2020 he entered the spirits market and backed his independent brand, Lobos Tequila. Lebron James doesn’t half-ass anything, and his tequila is no different. Unlike 818, the Lobos 1707 Tequila is so good they say not to mix it with anything or make a margarita. Just for sipping? I will be the judge of that.
There are four varieties: Mezcal, Joven, Reposado, and Extra Ańejo. We tried two of them. Lobos 1707 Joven is more complex than a standard Blanco, and that’s because its final aging is done in Pedro Ximénez wine barrels from Spain. It’s a very elevated Spanish white grape that makes an intensely sweet dark sherry, that flavors the tequila that’s perfectly in an elevated margarita (IMHO). The Extra Añejo is excellent too, with notes of wood, citrus, tobacco, and even coffee. I know LBJ has recently been accused of capping, but the quality of his tequila is not a lie!
We love when talented people use their work ethic and star power to create delicious products. Let us know if you’ve tried a celebrity alcohol brand that deserves to be on this list!