Wolf Spirit Distillery launched Puncher’s Chance 100% Kentucky Straight Bourbon in September 2020, mid-pandemic. Famed sports and entertainment announcer Bruce Buffer, also known as the “Voice of Mixed Martial Arts,” explains: “A puncher’s chance means that anyone has the potential to succeed, whatever the odds or circumstances, if he or she works for it.” For certain Puncher’s Chance is living up to its name: within only four full months of sales, this independent brand has already shipped more than 10,000 6-bottle cases, as well as 30 private barrels at cask strength (115-122 proof).
Wolf Spirit CEO, Bradd Levitan, says: “This is the most exciting launch I have been part of in my 27 years as a supplier. “We have partnered with some of the most discerning supply sources in the industry, including IJW and others, to build a robust pipeline of excellent quality, true Kentucky bourbon, in enough quantity to keep up with demand. We are on track to sell more than 25,000 9L cases in 2021, which will be our first full year of business; this would place us among the fastest-growing new bourbon brands from an independent producer.”
- The private barrel program kicked off with Liquor Barn, one of the leading retailers in Kentucky. Wolf Spirit is on track to ship more than 200 private barrels of Puncher’s Chance in 2021.
- Florida is also adopting Puncher’s Chance with gusto: chains such as Winn-Dixie, Norman’s, and Golden Ox all stocked the upstart brand starting on December 1st, and have already sold a combined 471 6-packs.
- The team behind Puncher’s Chance is providing much-needed entertainment and surprise during these tedious times: Bruce Buffer himself has been seen in stores such as Dale’s in Playa Del Rey. The brand is also strong in Albertsons, Vons, Pavilions, and WinCo grocery stores – a full 37 of the latter. WinCo in Arizona (7 stores) and Nevada (5 stores) are also going strong, with Washington State soon to follow.
COO Larry Margolis comments: “We just completed our 5th bottling in six months, have another bottling scheduled this month, and a seventh in March. Keeping up with demand has been extremely positive and fun, really a great problem to have.”
Wolf Spirit founder and proprietor Umberto Luchini says: “We set out to target a new bourbon consumer. We are a small, independent company competing with multinationals. We can’t afford expensive research, so our decisions come from hard won experience. The popularity of the UFC, boxing, and fighting fitness sports – plus general world circumstances leading so many to fight for what they believe in – guided our choices. We are happy to say that, so far, it seems we have made the right decisions.”