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Fior Scotch

If there is any spirit that conjures intense debate in the adult beverages world, scotch is almost certainly near the top. Realizing this, Eric Dominijanni, the founder and CEO of Fior Scotch, created his whisky brand with this in mind and managed to create a product that should satisfy most palettes.

We had the pleasure of speaking with Eric Dominijanni, a retired major in the United States Marine Corps. Dominijanni’s veteran status makes his Fior Scotch brand the first American veteran and Black-owned scotch brand in the world. In our chat, Dominijanni, in his charming fashion, Dominijanni shared with us his journey into scotch, some of the hurdles along the way, and bearing the responsibility of being a pioneer.

Eric Dominijanni

“I came into this through a good friend of mine,” Maj. Dominijanni began. “I won’t say I came into through luck because I am a chef, I have a sensitive palette, I like what I like. So it’s very new to me as I am the CEO, founder, creator and face of the brand. I won’t say it was happenstance either. I have a great staff, thanks to my buddy and it feels great to have things in place.”

Dominijanni explains that the idea for his scotch brand stemmed from building an “infinity bottle,” a concept in which someone takes the end corners of their liquor, typically whisky or whiskey, and creates a brand new blend.

“This all started as an infinity bottle or legacy bottle,” Dominijanni explains. “I developed a love of scotch over the years. But given my chef background and the fact I make a lot of my own things at home, I began tasting scotches and some were too smoky, peaty, or briny and I wanted to create something that took the best of those flavors into one.”

He continued, “I thought if I could get those extreme flavors tone down so that the average person could appreciate it, it would work. Every time I would speak to someone about scotch, they had the same complaints about the bold flavors, which were usually either the smoke or the peat. I would say to them ‘That’s like saying I don’t like Italian food because I don’t like tomato sauce’ and I would explain that tomato sauce is southern Italian. You may not like those dishes, but there’s the rest of the country.”

Eric Dominijanni x Fior

Dominijanni, who is also of Italian descent, used that analogy to explain that all the various regions of Scotland that produce whisky — Highland, Lowland, Speyside, Islay, and Campbeltown— all have their own flavor profile. It was there that Dominijanni brought his point to the head.

“So when you talk scotch and the person says all they like are single malts. That’s like saying you only eat Italian food from one specific region in Italy and if you deviate from there, it’s no longer what it is,” Dominijanni shared. “The great thing about having a blended scotch is that I can create a balance of flavor that satisfies everyone no matter what their favorite flavor profile is.”

Regarding the name of his brand, Dominijanni gave the lion’s share of the credit to his business partner Jim Landis (of Hpnotiq fame), who went through a series of names that were inspired by Scottish Gaelic and they landed on the words “fior ghlan” and was told that the world “fior” translates to “pure and clean.” From there, the base of recreating Dominijanni’s was formed and thus gave way to the product in the bottle today.

We later asked Dominijanni about the dearth of Black-owned brands in the adult beverage space and if he feels any of the pressures associated with that designation. Further, we dove into why we don’t see many young Black people drinking whisky period.

Eric Dominijanni x Fior

“I have to say that I’m quite used to it by now,” Dominijanni said. “During my duties in the military, you had to be a very good swimmer, and not many people looked like me and I’ll leave it at that. I won’t say I’m totally comfortable but I also have heard it all.”

He added, “It’s been said that “we,” and that’s a broad term here, don’t enjoy scotch because it’s associated with older males, 35 and up. Also, if you come from a particular socioeconomic background, you might not be able to afford scotch. Also, we drink what we were raised on or whatever you could afford then, you develop a love for it. You almost have to graduate to enjoy scotch.”

We at Spirit.Ed can safely say that Fior Scotch is nothing one should feel they need to prepare deeply for. In our first sip, we found the nose to give off the warming scents of baked apple, a bit of peat, buttered bread, and even grilled steak. The initial taste reminded us of our first time having bulgogi, but then it transformed into sweet citrus, and the finish, while short, was lively. It was not a daunting experience in the least.

Fior Scotch Product Shot

Source: D.L. Chandler

Find out more about Fior Scotch and its creator, Eric Dominijanni by clicking here.

Photos: Fior/Stephen Blackmon/Nick Garcia Photography/D.L. Chandler