Rod Stewart Loves Drinking Appletinis and Believes His New Whisky Brand Was ‘Written in the Stars’

If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, Rolling Stone may receive an affiliate commission.

After more than six decades into a storied, award-winning career, Rod Stewart is finally revealing the secrets to his success: “whisky and football.”

“Most of the music I’ve been involved in has had a cocktail or two thrown into the mix,” the legendary singer tells Rolling Stone. “In Faces, we even had a bar on stage with one of our roadies, Chuch Magee, working as the barman.”

Stewart doesn’t have to look far for some inspiration to imbibe these days, as the founder of Wolfie’s Whiskey, a new blended Scotch whisky from the banks of Loch Lomond in southern Scotland. A mix of malt and grain whisky, Wolfie’s is distilled in copper stills and finished in American Oak bourbon casks. The result: a warm, soothing whisky with notes of cinnamon, vanilla and baked apple pie.

Wolfie’s Whisky

While Stewart has a catalog that spans more than 30 studio albums and hundreds of memorable songs, the singer says the new whisky endeavor was something that came about more recently — and by chance (this is where the football comes in).

“A good friend of mine, [songwriter] John McLaughlin, introduced me to [Wolfie’s CEO] Duncan Frew, who said, ‘D’you wanna start a whisky?’ And I went, ‘Course!’” Stewart recalls. “We bonded over a love of Celtic football, had a brilliant, whisky-fueled night talking about what we could do with Wolfie’s, woke up the next day and texted each other saying ‘Let’s do this’ and Wolfie’s was born.”

That initial meeting was more than 18 months ago and the time since has been spent on finding a liquid that lives up to Stewart’s reputation for excitement and class. The team eventually settled on a distinct Scotch whisky distilled from malted barley and unmalted wheat, resulting in a lightly-peated blend with a smooth and sweet palette, and finished with notes of candied citrus and subtle oak spice. As Stewart explains, “Wolfie’s is a little bit Americana, a little bit Scottish, a big bit rock and roll, and a bit of a rascal, just like me.”

Nods to Stewart’s career abound, from the packaging to the whisky itself. Printed on the label are the lyrics “Rhythm of My Heart,” a reference to the hit single from the singer’s 1991 album, Vagabond Heart. The song sampled a familiar Scottish folk melody, titled “The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond.” Now, more than 30 years later, Wolfie’s is distilled and bottled at a distillery in that same Scottish loch (“It’s like it was written in the stars,” Stewart says).

And while Sir Rod “used to fancy a tipple of two” while he was part of Faces, he says his tastes — and drink of choice — have evolved with the times. “In Faces, we rarely drank whisky straight and often mixed it with orange juice, which wasn’t the best concoction,” he admits. “After I met Duncan, I started drinking whisky a lot more and the liquid we tried was so smooth that I fell in love with it.” Stewart’s new favorite drink: “a Wolfie’s appletini.”

“It’s been a lot of hard work bringing Wolfie’s together but more importantly a great laugh,” the singer tells Rolling Stone. “This brand has been built on having fun and we hope a lot of people have fun when drinking it.”

Jonas Mohr

Up next for the entertainer, a new album that he confirms will be out early next year. “I’ve never been afraid to take risks and try new things in my music and I’m about to do that again,” he teases. “I’m very excited for people to hear it.”


As for what keeps him going after all these years, Stewart says it’s simple: “I love what I do,” he states matter-of-factly. “It’s what the good lord put me on this earth to do.”

And then, more talk of football: “I pride myself on my fitness and the strength of my voice,” he says. “Both things take a lot of working, especially the voice. The road takes a toll if you’re not fit and I’ve always kept myself fit. I haven’t joined the pipe and slipper club yet!”