Derrick Lin


Design: Scott Wetzel
Project Type: Produced, Commercial Work
Client: Cassius Clay Bourbon Whiskey
Printer: Labels West
Closure Design/Manufacturer: Walsen International
Location: Snohomish, Washington, USA
Packaging Contents: Sherry Cask Finished Bourbon
Packaging Substrate / Materials: Glass Bottle, Maple and Brass Closure, Paper Label
Printing Process: Digital Print, Foil Stamping, High Build Varnish

Cassius Clay Bourbon Whiskey wanted their second offering to be extra special. This sherry cask finished bourbon has all of the sophistication, movement and layers of a Whiskey Symphony.

We started with custom lettering heavily inspired by century old symphony bulletins we saw in antique stores. We intentionally designed it to move and flow, allowing the eyes to move between playful curves and solid foundational lines. The words “Whiskey Symphony” are highlighted with a high build varnish, giving it a hand-crafted and vintage feel.

We re-created a semi-famous portrait of Cassius M. Clay by hand for the header, placing the whiskey’s proof front and center to show the drinker this whiskey is as strong and bold as it’s namesake. We completed it with custom filigrees and scroll work, as well as gold foil lines set up as a subtle nod towards the musical brand name. The neck label ensures the nod becomes a voice with a treble clef and ledger lines featuring embossed notes with a secret stanza.

The package is finished with a beautiful dark maple wood custom closure, surrounded by brass metal texture and topped with a brass finished Cassius Clay logo, completing the rich, dignified look.

This limited edition bottle is being released just in time for the Kentucky Derby and is a beautiful homage to the history and elegance of both bourbon and Cassius M. Clay’s old Kentucky home.

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What’s Unique?
Nearly every part of this label started hand drawn in a sketch pad. The hand drawn, illustrative nature of the design lends to it’s feeling of a “heritage brand”. To marry into that, we put a heavy emphasis on the tactile experience, using a heavy hand on foil to give it a natural deboss and a high build varnish to create a grittier version of an emboss.