What’s cooler than the pairing of worn-in blue jeans and a tumbler of caramel-y, rich bourbon? Well, how about those blue jeans aged in that delicious bourbon? Yes, bourbon blue jeans do exist! (And we all want a pair!)
Noble Denim has paired with Bulleit Bourbon to produce a line of small batch jeans that are actually aged in bourbon barrels. The Cincinnati-based denim company submerged 50 pairs of their high-end jeans in 5- to 7-year-old bourbon barrels for a few months to see what the effect would be.
Bulleit Bourbon was as excited to venture into this project as Noble Denim. Photo: Bulleit Bourbon
Chris Sutton, founder of Noble Denim, believes that there is a natural overlap between raw jeans and bourbon, as both undoubtedly get better with aging. A worn in pair of jeans takes on the nuances in shape of the owner’s body and begins to fade into a color that only time can develop.
The blue jeans spent several months submerged in delicious Bulleit bourbon. Photo: Noble Denim
Similarly, a smooth, developed and silky bourbon takes on the notes and characteristics found within the wood of the barrel in which it is aged. The vanilla, the caramel, the oak – all become part of the defining flavors of the spirit.
This photo shows the finished effect. Kind of cool. Credit: Noble Denim
Yes, the parallels are clear, but why combine the two? Like any DIYer, Chris wanted to see what would happen if his company did something purely for “the sheer love and passion of it.”
The lining and pockets of the Noble jeans take on a caramel hue, indicative of their bourbon bath. Photo: Noble Denim
Sutton and his business partner Jon (Jonbob) Willis explain that the sweet spot where denim and bourbon meet, is actually in the coloring. When the spirit is poured into barrels, it goes in clear and, over time, develops its dark, warm color – pulling it directly from the wood.
Raw denim on the other hand, begins its life a rich, deep blue, and with the passing of time, fades and begins to show wear marks and traces of the life the wearer leads. In both cases, time, patience and age define the product, and from that commonality, the idea for boozy blues was born.
The jeans are hung out to dry, post soak. Photo: Noble Denim
Though jeans soaked in bourbon may seem odd, and quite frankly like a company simply trying to capitalize on the current popularity of this delicious dark liquor, the result is surprisingly, well, cool.
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The denim is darker, richer and almost burnt in color, and the interior lining of pockets and cuffs takes on that caramel color we associate with the slightly sweet and always warming spirit.
The barrel-aged jeans arrive in a custom tote that is almost as cool as the jeans themselves. Photo: Noble Denim
We can only imagine that the wear of time and use will give way to an utterly unique pair of jeans. At least we hope so! Otherwise, that’s a real waste of good bourbon. And that’s something we just don’t condone.
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