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Crafting Paradise in a Bottle: Inside the Ambitious Expansion Plans of Watertown Whiskey

What Watertown Whiskey does

Launched in June 2023, Watertown Whiskey is a coconut whiskey that blends tropical and traditional flavors. Shoot it, sip it, or mix it – it can be enjoyed in premium cocktails or on its own. Watertown Whiskey is now available for purchase online nationwide and locally in select states.

The Current Landscape

The alcoholic beverage industry is one of the most competitive industries today. However, Watertown Whiskey stands out by offering a unique flavor profile that has never before been introduced to the market. Featuring a tasteful blend of traditional rye and revitalizing coconut, Watertown Whiskey offers warm island vibes that can be enjoyed on its own or mixed in people’s favorite cocktails.

Company Birth Story

Founder and CEO Mikey Bortone found his love of coconuts and desire to travel while he was a participant on Survivor: Micronesia, also known as Fans vs. Favorites. Living on a remote island, Bortone and his cast mates had little to eat or drink other than coconuts. Fast forward to him traveling the world with his dog, he found inspiration for Watertown Whiskey during a trip to Costa Rica.

While exploring the vibrant landscapes and savoring lots of whiskey, he started to get dehydrated. Intrigued by the idea of mixing his favorite tropical hydrator with his spirit of choice, he decided to crack open a fresh coconut and mix the coconut water with whiskey. This led to a refreshing cocktail that sparked his initial 'ah ha' moment that brought the island essence to his home in Los Angeles.

After sharing his new favorite drink with buddies over the next few years and receiving great feedback, he decided to launch the coconut whiskey and name it after his hometown of Watertown, Massachusetts. Mikey partnered with two of his longtime friends and fellow entrepreneurs, Steve Ciccarelli and Mark O’Donnell to get it off the ground. It took four years of hard work to get Watertown Whiskey launched, including securing a bottle and distillery company, finding an online distributor, taste-testing for the perfect whiskey recipe, obtaining licensing to sell, and creating a brand to market.

The Solution

Watertown Whiskey is a premium brand at an accessible price point. Costing $34.99 for a 750 ml bottle, it’s loved by a diverse audience who want to enjoy a great-tasting, refreshing coconut whiskey. Watertown Whiskey is unlike any other whiskey on the market, offering a unique blend of traditional rye and revitalizing coconut flavor that invites whiskey drinkers to escape the ordinary.

Since launching in June 2023, Watertown Whiskey has successfully expanded into several SoCal markets, including Los Angeles, San Diego, and Greater Palm Beach. The brand has also sold a total of 700 cases online via its e-commerce partners Country Wine & Spirits, Keg N Bottle, and Liquor Bar.

In 2024, Watertown Whiskey seeks to continue expanding its national online retail presence as well as obtain licensing in various states. It is currently available for sale in California and Upstate New York. The brand is also looking to set up more boots-on-the-ground partnerships to support local bars and restaurants.

Founder quote

"I’m so proud of our success since launching just six short months ago. We knew Watertown Whiskey would be a hit once people tried it, so we’re excited to continue getting it into the hands of whiskey drinkers from coast to coast. 2024 will bring new markets, partnerships, and plenty of good times,” says Michael Bortone, CEO and Founder of Watertown Whiskey.

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