Meet the Man behind Den of Thieves Whiskey, Jason Armstrong

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

When he's not playing his sax, watching sports, or reading a comic book with his dog nearby, Jason Armstrong is enjoying a cigar and a serving of whiskey - Den of Thieves whiskey, to be precise. After serving in the United States Air Force Reserves, with a background in massage therapy and fitness, it was life abroad in Italy that began his journey into the wine and spirits industry.

Whiskey is a distilled alcoholic beverage, typically aged in charred oak barrels and made of a variety of grains. If your whiskey contains at least 51% corn, then you have yourself bourbon. The distinguishing flavor arrives from the barrel the whiskey is aged in. "I learned how to make whiskey by looking on YouTube (you can learn almost anything on YouTube) and once I got into this, I learned that I had a family history of bootleggers and moonshiners in the hills of Georgia. So I guess in a way I'm honoring them too," Jason casually stated.

Photo Credit: Jason Armstrong, Den of Thieves

Jason found himself at a crossroads in life, desiring a change, and in doing so, he began to do the things he loved. One of those things was bartending. "Being a bartender was one of the BEST times of my life so I decided I wanted to get into spirits. It started out with importing one of my favorite wines from Italy. Then on a trip to Kentucky with one of my best friends to visit some distilleries, Den of Thieves was born," he explained.

Photo Credit: Jason Armstrong, Den of Thieves

Den of Thieves isn't Jason's only venture. As a cigar aficionado and family man, this Brookly native wanted to explore his other interests. "Brooklyn Born Vices is the parent company for everything we do. We believe in giving back so we will have a non-profit division called Great A.P.E, Tristan Lee cigars, Den of Thieves Whiskey, Nock Tequila and Mezcal (as in when opportunity nocks), and Round Table 12 Spirits [will also be] launching."

He continued, "There is a synergy in the brands being that they are all vices that are balanced by virtues. We believe heavily in giving back, inclusion, standing together as well as working and playing together. Den of Thieves and Round Table 12 Spirits (inspired by the Knights of the Round Table, yes I'm a HUGE nerd) is about inclusion but only [for] those whose honor earned them a seat at the table...or entrance into The Den. Tristan Lee cigars is a collaborative effort with my older brother. It's named in honor of his son and our older sister [who] passed away. Each has its own unique qualities but they complement each other in the fact that there's something there for all to enjoy, You just have to be brave enough to dive into something new and you'll discover something great."

Den of Thieves is a very approachable spirit for anyone relatively new to whiskey or if you enjoy mixed cocktails and craft spirits. This brand is available in 3 flavors - Straight Bourbon, Ginger Vanilla, and Chocolate. The demographics is 25 to 40-year-old drinkers relatively new to whiskey or that enjoy mixed cocktails, craft spirits or just looking to move on from overproduced call brands. It’s a very approachable spirit. That’s the overarching demographic, given the range the vanilla ginger and chocolate have seen a mix of men and women, enthusiasts and beginners. We’ve found some love them as after-dinner drinks, and others to start off in an interesting Old Fashioned. The chocolate really does well with cigar smokers.

"The brand as a whole plays on inclusive exclusively, meaning we embrace the inclusion of those who are bold enough to reject the status quo and embrace honor, taking risks and living on the edge... it represents going into places that most people fear to go or CAN'T because they don’t have the guts, the clout, or caché."

Photo Credit: Jason Armstrong, Den of Thieves

Den of Thieves Straight Bourbon is everything you're looking for in a premium bourbon. It's matured in charred oak barrels giving it hints of smokiness and a sweet nutty finished with high notes of a vanilla caramel finish. Perfect for special occasions, any time and EVERY time. Den of Thieves Chocolate whiskey is a premium bourbon, turned up with notes of cacao, smokey oakiness, and hints of dark roasted vanilla coffee. This gives the spirit a unique versatility to please social drinkers and whiskey connoisseurs alike. You will easily replace your old whiskey. Den of Thieves Vanilla Ginger is a premium bourbon infused with natural vanilla and hints of ginger. This makes it the perfect spirit to drink neat, on the rocks, or used to shake up your standard whiskey-based cocktail. It's best with ginger ale and a twist of lime.

Den of Thieves is guaranteed to carve out its own space in your collection as a favorite and go-to drink. Whether enjoyed alone or with friends, each flavor is sure to be a hit. The Straight Bourbon is best served with seafood or lightly spiced foods. Pair the Vanilla Ginger with fruits and cheeses; it's also great in steeping teas. The Chocolate is complimentary when served with savoring aged cheeses and foods that tend to be salty or buttery.

The Master Key Series will be a singular cocktail experience for those brave enough to enter the Den of Thieves, an exciting contest Jason is proud to announce. The Master Key Series will be a celebration with Den of Thieves friends and spirits enthusiasts willing to share their love of DoT with a personal recipe and feelings on the whiskey. The contest will be open to the public and the winner will be rewarded $250 for their Den of Thieves recipe. The winning recipe will be shared on social and alongside the Master Key recipes on the Den of Thieves website. Winners will be announced live just before Christmas.

Photo Credit: Jason Armstrong, Den of Thieves

"I've learned that nothing is as easy, or as difficult as it may initially seem. To be truly successful, you need a team around you that can work with you and that knows how to occasionally disagree with you so that you can work through challenges. Having other perspectives are important."

Jason has more in store for whiskey enthusiasts. Expect a Banana Honey infused whiskey, an eight-year-old 90 proof reserve bourbon, as well as a Den of Thieves tequila/mezcal line in the spring of next year. This will be followed by whiskey-infused ice cream and ready to drink cocktails near the end of 2021.

If you are interested in meeting Jason and sharing a glass of Den of Thieves, be sure to visit the website and follow the brand on social media for tasting times and locations. "As soon as we are able to come together again we will have a huge launch...The Brooklyn"

Connect with Den of Thieves on Facebook and Instagram.


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