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The Rhythm and Booze with Felipe Schrieberg

Have A Look And Listen At This Guitar Made From Whiskey Barrels

Editor: This article was first published on Forbes on 22/06/2017. Find the original article here


Felipe Schrieberg

Felipe is an award-winning London-based whisky writer, tastings host, drinks competitions judge, and author. He is also a musician and co-founder of The Rhythm and Booze Project, a duo that fuses live music and whisky through gigs, tasting events and multimedia.

Follow Felipe on Twitter, Linkedin or his website.


Northern Irish whiskey distillery Bushmills, one of the world's oldest distilleries, has just teamed up with Lowden Guitars, one of the world’s top acoustic guitar makers - Richard Thompson, Ed Sheeran, and Eric Clapton have all played or play Lowdens - to release a limited edition guitar built with wood recycled from whiskey barrels.

The Bushmills x Lowden F-50 is made from whiskey barrels, bog oak, and sinker redwood. In this case, Bushmills’ contribution to the guitar is used for the 12th fret and back inlays, the bindings, rosette and head facings.

The guitar, with whisky. The still life of my dreams. Photo: Bushmills


Lowden guitars is a family operation, run by George Lowden and his sons, and it took more than 40 hours to design and build the first guitar in the range. Some artisan features of the guitar include a cross symbol formed of a cooper’s hammer and luthier’s chisel, representing the melding of the luthier and distilling crafts.

On the back, two lines echo the staves found in a Bushmills Irish Whiskey barrel, representing the passing of skills from one generation to the next.

This incredible craftsmanship doesn't come cheap, though. There's an £8,500 ($10,750) price tag on the guitar, of which only eight are available.

Bushmills has released a couple videos showcasing the guitar. One is a promo video extolling the guitar’s virtues, and the other features the instrument in action in the hands of singer-songwriter Ciaran Lavery.


This isn’t the first time guitars have been made out of whisky barrels, or even from a Bushmills barrel. Justin Vernon, better known by his stage name Bon Iver, previously crafted a guitar from a Bushmills barrel with the help of luthier Gordy Bischoff. The single guitar was auctioned for charity on eBay for $9,400.

There's also a gorgeous guitar available from Fylde in England, the Single Malt Ariel. It’s made with a mix of oak from Scotch whisky casks and Oregon pine from whisky washbacks, the huge containers for brewing beer that eventually becomes whisky. At £3,950 ($5,000) per guitar, it's a bit more budget friendly than the Bushmills edition.

As a whisky-loving guitarist, I like knowing there are guitars out there made exactly to my needs. I suspect I’m not alone drooling for the chance to play one.


By Felipe Schrieberg

Felipe is a London-based whisky writer, musician, tastings host, drinks competitions judge, and author. He writes for internationally renowned publications such as Forbes, Whisky Magazine and The Whiskey Wash. He has been awarded the Icons of Whisky Communicator of the Year award at Whisky Magazine's 2022 World Whiskies Awards.

He is the co-founder of The Rhythm and Booze Project, a duo fusing live music and whisky through gigs, tasting events, and multimedia. His past projects encompass performances at the Edinburgh Fringe of the band's own show Two Guys, Three Drams which combined live blues with whisky tasting, and building the world's first bass drum made from an entire Scotch whisky cask with a barrel of Lagavulin.

He is also a judge for the World Whiskies Awards and The Independent Bottlers Challenge. Through his online tastings hosted at The Virtual Whisky Masterclass, he has welcomed over 3,000 guests across 250+ tasting events.

His first book, London Cocktails, is now available worldwide. Follow him on Twitter/Instagram @schriebergfr, or at www.felipeschrieberg.com