Monday, January 11, 2010

Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka.

Just before Christmas, there was a shindig at the new Wick’s Pizza location in New Albany (above; photo by Mike Kopp).

Golfing great Fuzzy Zoeller, a native New Albanian who now competes professionally on the Champions Tour (formerly the Senior PGA Tour), came to Wick’s and spent the evening bartending in a promotion to tout his new brand of vodka.

It’s called Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka.

Although Fuzzy was involved with creating the vodka that bears his name, and it's difficult to imagine John Daly not being along for at least a part of the research and development process, he does not own the distillery that produces it. Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka is an example of what is known as a private label spirit, one commissioned by a marketing company created for the purpose. One on-line spirits rating site ventures the guess that a distillery based in Oregon is the source.

According to this and other accounts, Fuzzy's Ultra Premium Vodka is distinctive for being filtered ten times and aged in oak. It’s certainly an attractive package, and a fascinating brand extension that begs the question: How many professional athletes in general, and golfers in particular, have put their names on a beer, wine or spirit? There can't be very many.

In case you’re wondering, I’ve only met Fuzzy Zoeller once, and I’m fairly sure he would not remember the occasion. In 1979, Fuzzy won the Masters in his first appearance in Augusta (only two other golfers have done it), and in 1984, he scored another major with a win in the U.S. Open, after which the city of New Albany staged a parade in honor of its hometown boy made good.

A parade ran down Spring Street, ending around the corner from my nighttime employer at the time, Scoreboard Liquors. Surprisingly, a few minutes after the celebration ended, into the store came the honoree, who asked me to fetch a cold case of Miller Lite in cans.

This anecdote has nothing to do with Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka, and little to do with beer. Perhaps there’ll come a day when the vodka is made at a distillery right here in New Albany. Until then, it's at Wick's, and also at the Knights of Columbus on Main Street in downtown New Albany, which Tom Zoeller is working hard to put back on the map.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Fuzzy is the BEST!