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'Nineteen70Something Bourbon' | A basement idea aims for top-shelf status

Black-owned bourbon label launches in Connecticut.

ORANGE, Conn. — Four Friends from Waterbury who have known each other since their days at Wilby High School in 1984 are now chasing a dream -- and they’ve bottled it.

During a recent tasting at Silverbrook Wines in Orange, two of the owners, Sean Dorantes and Obee Byrd, were showcasing their product called "Nineteen70Something" Bourbon.

“We’re proud of it," said Dorantes after taking a decorative bottle of the bourbon from a box. "There are limited black-owned bourbons on the market and we’re the first black-owned 'wheated' brand in the country.”

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The name “Nineteen70Something" Bourbon is a nod to the partner's favorite decade.

“When you take a sip of this, it just brings you back to that memory of 1970 something,” Dorantes said.“You may be born in the ’80s, you may be born in the ’90s, but you can still have a 1970’s soul."

Byrd said the new bourbon they have created - it’s only been on the shelves at select liquor stores throughout the state for six weeks - is all about making connections.

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 “The bourbon community is so vast and diverse,” said Byrd, “and as you can see, we are bringing even more diversity to the people.”

Nineteen70Something Bourbon is currently being distilled in New Jersey, but the team hopes that, in the future, the entire operation is moved to Waterbury.

“This represents Waterbury to the fullest, we made sure the first bottle we put in stores was sold in Waterbury," Dorantes said.

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Dorantes noted there have been three batches of the bourbon made thus far and most of the bottles have sold out.

“The response has been incredible and that’s just from the small presence on social media but word of mouth gets out," he said.

“People start talking about the quality and it’s a great thing," Byrd said.

To learn more about Nineteen70Something Bourbon click 

Jimmy Altman is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at jaltman@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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