Sagamore Spirit Straight Rye Whiskey, the debut product from Under Armour founder Kevin Plank’s distillery, has quickly made its presence known in the area. Now it’s expanding its reach to New York City, said Brian Treacy, the company's president.
The brand's expansion is "maybe a little ahead of schedule," Treacy said on the phone Tuesday from New York, where he was meeting distributors and celebrating the launch. Sagamore's thinking, he said, was to get to New York as soon as possible because the market is so competitive.
"We figured we should get started sooner than later," he said. "To make progress here, it's going to take some time."
The spirit can be found on select shelves of New York bars and restaurants, including Gotham Bar and Grill, Locanda Verde, the William Vale and more, according to a Sagamore Spirit spokeswoman. Later this fall, the brand will continue its expansion with launches in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
In May, Sagamore Spirit debuted the whiskey, its first and only product to date. As of today, the spirit can be found in nearly 1,500 bars and restaurants throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, according to the spokeswoman.
The spirit is the brand’s attempt to bring rye whiskey — a spirit synonymous with pre-Prohibition Maryland history — back to prominence in the alcohol industry. The spirit, though, is still being distilled in Indiana, while labeling and bottling occur in Baltimore.
That should change come January, Treacy said, which is when he hopes Sagamore's Port Covington distillery will be in full operation. The brand broke ground on a five-acre distillery there in October 2015. Sagamore plans to offer public tours of the facility in the first quarter of 2017, Treacy said.