The Ava Gardner™ Trust has partnered with Seven Jars Distillery, a craft distillery based in Charlotte, North Carolina, to produce the Ava Gardner Select Bourbon Whiskey. The Ava Gardner Museum was thrilled to host the official launch of the whiskey on Friday, October 16, 2020 with a Facebook Live streamed Q&A event with Seven Jars Distillery managing partner Del Ratcliffe and Ava Gardner’s great-niece Ava Thompson.
“This is an outstanding bourbon and one that Ava would be proud to represent,” said Ava Thompson, Ava Gardner’s great-niece and Trustee of the Ava Gardner Trust. “She always enjoyed top-shelf whiskey, and so our agents at Legacy Talent approached Seven Jars Distillery about a partnership. The result was not only a premium whiskey that deserves Ava’s brand, but also a rare, keepsake memento at the same time.”
Ava Gardner’s life was characterized by her beauty and talent on the screen, but her down-to-earth approach in her personal life, coupled with her independent spirit, endeared her to generations of fans worldwide. In many ways, she was a woman ahead of her time; not afraid to speak her mind, not one to follow the “status quo,” and not afraid to buck the system. The Ava Gardner Select Bourbon Whiskey reflects much of this character - smooth and flavorful, with just the right amount of “kick!”
“The opportunity to work with the brand of a Hollywood legend like Ava Gardner is a dream come true for us,” said Del Ratcliffe, Managing Partner of Seven Jars Distillery. “Our goal with Seven Jars Distillery has always been to tell the story of our parents, while sharing some really great spirits. They both adored Ava Gardner, and the synergy between Ava’s story, her history, and our heritage here at Seven Jars is remarkable.”
“We are proud to represent a timeless icon like Ava Gardner and privileged to work with her heirs,” said Melinda Morris Zanoni, founder and CEO of Legacy Talent. “We are excited about this partnership, not only for Ava’s millions of fans, but also to present the Ava Gardner legacy to a new audience through our friends at Seven Jars, who have been incredible to work with throughout this entire collaboration!”
In January 2021, the Ava Gardner Select Bourbon Whiskey was awarded a Gold medal from The Fifty Best guide. The bourbon bearing Ava Gardner’s name was released as a 101-proof whiskey on October 16, 2020. The limited release of 3,600 bottles* is packaged in individual commemorative boxes, each bearing the image of Ava Gardner in her iconic role of Kitty Collins in the classic film noir The Killers (1946). Additional releases will be available in the future, with each bearing different images of Ava Gardner and each having a unique flavor profile.
The Ava Gardner Museum hosted a virtual launch event on Friday, October 16, 2020 with Seven Jars Distillery and the Ava Gardner Trust. Since physical attendance was limited in order to follow health and safety precautions; we broadcast the event live on social media. If you were unable to join us in real time, you can still watch the event on the Ava Gardner Facebook page.
Ava Thompson has a special message for everyone who has already expressed interest in the bourbon:
"I want to express my sincere thanks for the amazing interest expressed in Ava Gardner and the new Ava Gardner Select Bourbon. I wish I could thank each of you individually, but the hundreds of responses from all over the world make it a daunting challenge. I do want to assure each of you that your individual response has been read and appreciated. The comments made on so many responses are humbling. They are kind and adoring of Ava, and she would be touched by these comments. So many have said she is your favorite actress of the Golden Age of Hollywood, and many others have said she is a role model in her courage and independence. I am also taken with the number of young admirers who are hungry for all they can learn about Ava, her life, and her career.
There are some other exciting projects on the table so stay tuned for more about Ava Gardner official products and events. Please remember that the compensation from projects involving Ava is sent out to support the beneficiaries of her Trust. The funds go to supporting The Queen Victoria Hospital Foundation Trust in the UK, St. Jude Children's Hospital in Memphis Tennessee, and the Ava Gardner Museum in Smithfield, NC. All of the beneficiaries are registered charities or non-profits selected by Ava or her family. Ava was warm, kind, and compassionate. Her generosity still exists today."
-Ava Thompson, Trustee, Ava Gardner Trust
To learn more about the Ava Gardner Trust, read this guest blog post from Ava Thompson
*Distribution of the first release of the Ava Gardner Select Bourbon Whiskey is primarily in North Carolina through local ABC stores and directly from the Seven Jars Distillery's tasting room in Charlotte, NC. If your local ABC store is not carrying the Ava Gardner Select Bourbon Whiskey, request that they stock it! If you are in or near Charlotte, visit here to reserve your bottle for curbside pickup. New markets outside of North Carolina are becoming available. If you are an Ava Gardner fan living outside of North Carolina and interested in obtaining one of the limited release bottles, visit here to arrange delivery.