Bon Iver Lead Singer Creates Whiskey Guitar for Charity

Justin Vernon teams up to craft a guitar made from Bushmills Irish Whiskey barrels.

"The 1608," one of four guitars made by Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and instrument maker Gordy Bischoff out of whiskey barrels.

Justin Vernon of Bon Iver knows how to mix business with pleasure. The frontman of the popular indie folk group recently paired with his friend and renowned instrument maker Gordy Bischoff to craft a custom guitar made from — what else? — Bushmills Irish Whiskey barrels.

The guitar, affectionately called “The 1608” after the year Bushmills started in the whiskey business, is made almost entirely from original white oak wood taken from the company’s whiskey barrels. The guitar features volume and control knobs made from the whiskey bottle caps; Bischoff also added a splash of the whiskey itself to the guitar humidor to give the guitar an authentic scent.

The 1608, one of four guitars crafted through the partnership, is being auctioned off online with all proceeds going to the Confluence Community Arts Center in the band’s hometown of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. “The goal is to put art back on the map in Eau Claire,” said Vernon. “Far too many artists from this area have had to leave because what we want to do with our lives just isn’t possible here. That’s what the Confluence Project is: to build a center that can be a nucleus for art here in Eau Claire.”


The auction will close on November 1, with the bidding currently at $8,100. We might have to resign ourselves to buying Bushmills whiskey instead.