Why Two Worlds Whiskey Celebrates March 26, 1777

On March 26, 1777, the Marquis de La Fayette, just 19 years old, set sail in secret for America.

A look back at the beginning of a unique transatlantic alliance – and its unexpected link to Two Worlds Whiskey. 

Inaugural Voyage

A historic painting depicting Washington and Lafayette on horseback at Valley Forge
Bordeaux, March 1777. Against the orders of his king and under threat of arrest, the young Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette, is about to cross the Atlantic. He embarks on La Victoire – a ship he has chartered at his own expense and outfitted with a crew and weapons. La Fayette set sails for America. His goal: to fight for freedom alongside the American revolutionaries.
This voyage is the first stepping stone to what will become a political, economic, cultural and historical alliance between France and America. It was also the key inspiration for the launch of Two Worlds Whiskey.
Lafayette arrived in America in June, after a seven-week journey. In France, his departure caused a great stir. Many admired the young marquis’ ardor and courage, his perseverance and his passion for liberty. Lafayette’s dedication even steered France’s position, with France officially backing the Americans in the Revolutionary war from 1778 on. 

William Downard

Flame inside barrel causing charring
This same year, my ancestor William Downard joined the revolution, which continued for several more years. With France’s  support, the “Patriots” were finally victorious. The war ended finally in 1783 with the Treaty of Paris. 
After the war, William Downard started in the whiskey business. In 1795, he moved to Kentucky, where I would be born several generations later. Here, two French brothers began creating a new style of whiskey aged in charred oak barrels – a technique used to age cognac for centuries. This new style of whiskey became very popular with the French living in New Orleans, where it became known as “bourbon whiskey.”
My family has proudly honored the French American alliance in the centuries since La Fayette. Whether it was my grandfather landing on Omaha Beach in 1944, or working for the U.S. State Department in the 2010s, working hand-in-hand with France on critical issues such as climate change or Middle East peace negotiations.

La Victoire

On March 26, 1777, the courageous act of a young Frenchman would forge an alliance that forever changed the destiny of my country, my family, and my passion: American whiskey. So it was only natural that I chose to pay tribute to La Fayette’s inaugural voyage to American through the first edition of Two Worlds Whiskey.
An edition created specifically for America’s first ally: France. An elegant, complex, and balanced straight bourbon whiskey. A small batch of only 11 carefully selected and blended barrels. A decadent whiskey with notes of toffee, tarte tatin, pastry cream, fresh pear, apricot, nutmeg, and clove spice that pairs beautifully with dessert and excels as a digestif. it’s name? La Victoire, after La Fayette’s first ship.

Discover the full story of Two Worlds Whiskey at twoworldswhiskey.com