Barking Irons: The original american spirit

With the rising trend of craft and brown spirit consumption in the U.S and worldwide, we identified an opportunity to awaken a sleepy category and revive the original American spirit – Applejack.

Co-owned by Elliott Phear and Casey McGrath (Phear Creative's co-founders and CEO and CCO, respectively), and supported by the agency's great understanding of and passion for the spirits industry, Barking Irons was brought to market in October of 2015.

We collaborated with upstate NY-based Black Dirt Distillery to produce a 100 proof, premium craft applejack made from the Northeast’s most readily available resource, apples, then we aged our spirit in charred oak barrels at Van Brunt Stillhouse in Brooklyn.

The Barking Irons brand is rooted in Five Points history and today, carries on the spirit of Old New York.  Launching into market in the fall of 2015 with Batch No. 1, we developed a distribution strategy that leveraged trial and built brand equity on-premise in some of New York’s top mixology bars, while educating consumers and shifting volume off-premise.

Batch No. 2 is on shelves as of Fall 2016 and Batch No. 3 is planned for 2017. 

We think our product speaks for itself but it's not the only one talking... we've garnered over 100MM editorial impressions since launch as well as a Bronze Medal in the San Francisco International Spirits Competition for our liquid, a Silver Medal for our packaging and silver medals in both the New York World Wine & Spirits Competition and in Tastings' annual ratings.

“…what everyone should be drinking…” – FOOD & WINE

Warming maple and oaky vanilla, with a hit of clove and cinnamon heat on the finish. It’s 100 proof; try it mixed with grenadine and citrus in a Jack Rose or in other cocktails.” – BLOOMBERG

Made with 100% New York apples, this newly released spirit, akin to a fine brandy with a beautiful apple nose and finish, may soon be the “it” drink poured across the country. If you can find a bottle, get it!” – HUFFINGTON POST

…think of this as a trip to go apple picking in a glass.” – WALL STREET JOURNAL

“Although the drink eschews grain in favor of the Empire State’s number one fruit, it still goes down surprisingly similarly to a bourbon….A sip of the 100-proof applejack is subdued in its sweetness, revealing notes of pepper, caramel, and cocoa in the finish. It’s sensational neat, or as a substitute for bourbon or rye in a Manhattan cocktail.”  – VILLAGE VOICE

“Is applejack poised to become the next rye or bourbon?” – MARKETWATCH

“..a lightly spicy and definably apple spirit that’s not too sweet. Ultimately, it’s a successful modern take on an old idea.” – PASTE

“Barking Irons Applejack feels like it’s right out of a 1920s speakeasy and it certainly possesses some of that notorious NYC attitude.” – THE DIELINE

The Barking Irons name comes from our dear friends at Barking Irons clothing, Daniel and Michael Casarella. Phear Creative co-founders Elliott Phear and Casey McGrath produced a number of music videos for the brothers' apparel line and those booze-soaked nights on the Lower East Side were where the inspiration first struck to bring Applejack to market.