When former Ravens great Ray Lewis visited President-elect Donald Trump last month in New York, speculation arose of what was discussed.
They talked about issues in America's inner cities, Lewis later said.
Maybe bourbon came up, too.
The first product from Lewis' new alcohol company, the North Carolina-based Daytoon Distributors, is a 90-proof bourbon called Ray's Reserve, and it will be available for purchase online starting Feb. 15, said company co-founder and president Mark Bloomquist. (Lewis is co-founder and CEO.)
But the first recipients of Lewis' whiskey are already accounted for, Bloomquist said. Lewis plans to present President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence with the first bottles of Ray's Reserve, Bloomquist said. A news release about the gifting described Lewis' intention as "a symbolic gesture of appreciation since Lewis knows that Mr. Trump does not consume alcohol."
Only 100 bottles of Ray's Reserve will be sold, and each bottle will cost $250, Bloomquist said. The bottle numbered "052," a reference to Lewis' football number, will cost $25,000. Each customer will only be permitted to purchase one bottle, according to Bloomquist.
On Feb. 15, Ray's Reserve will be available for purchase online at team52usa.com. It will either be shipped to the customer or they will need to be picked up, depending on state laws for mailing alcohol, Bloomquist said.
All profits from the bourbon's sales will fund Daytoon's nonprofit organization, It's My Time to Shine, according to Bloomquist. The profits will fund the Time to Shine Scholarship & Internship Program for Women, Bloomquist said, which will help female students pay for community college. Recipients of the scholarship will be required to work a summer internship in Baltimore or Greensboro, N.C. The organization will be fully operational in 2018, he said, and is accepting applications.
Ray's Reserve was aged for three years, and then distilled and bottled in Kentucky, Bloomquist said. (The Ray's Reserve website states the product was "Born in Baltimore" but Bloomquist clarified that meant Lewis' idea to produce bourbon began here.)
Once the 100 bottles are sold, the product run for the year is finished, Bloomquist said. A second batch of Ray's Reserve will be sold next year.