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Abstract Wine Bottles, No-nonsense Rum, and a Badass Whiskey Designed for Metalheads, by Metalheads

It’s the last Friday of the month, and you know what that means. It’s time for Happy Hour, our monthly toast to the best in booze branding. This time around we’ve got a variety of bottles for you—from illustrated wine labels to no-nonsense rum branding. There’s a little something for everyone, so imbibe with moderation.

Luminous Design: Limnos wine

We love a bottle of wine that doubles as art, and this new design from Greek studio Luminous studio fits the bill. Its simple, graphical bottle for Limnos Wines looks, at first glance, like a plain blue block. In fact, the label is a patchwork of differently hued blue lines that the designer says are meant to refer to the vineyards and their dark grapes. Understatedly complex—just how we like our vino.

Jones Knowles Ritchie: Blackened whiskey

Blackened whiskey is a perfectly on-brand bottle of booze. Made by the rock group Metallica in partnership with a distiller, the bottle is sleek, dark, and moody. In other words, it is the band’s music personified in a bottle. Design agency Jones Knowles Ritchie worked with the band to craft a bottle that looks “Metallica.” Instead of cribbing from the band’s signature typeface, the designers use a white sans-serif typeface that runs across the center of the bottle on top of a jagged stretch of black ink. It looks equal parts terrifying and classy, which is really a feat when you think about it.

Marios Karystios: microvintifications

On the other end of the wine spectrum is Vouni Panayia Winery, whose new microvinication (translation: small scale, experimental) wines come with descriptive, illustrated labels that are designed to tell the story of the individual bottle’s blend. Designer Marios Karystios enlisted a series of illustrators to craft the wines’ narratives, and each has a lush, slightly off-kilter style that helps distill the wine’s story and flavor, from blooming mushrooms to a Pinocchio-nosed man eating a strawberry.

Butterfly Cannon: Cut rum

Rum comes with some aesthetic strings attached. As the go-to booze for tropical tippling, the packaging often matches. You know the bottles when you see them: palm trees, pirates, vaguely maritime themes. Not the case with Cut rum, a new booze brand designed by the studio Butterfly Cannon.

The designers say they wanted to cut the bullshit with origin stories and brand myths. Instead, they wanted the packaging to be a straightforward representation of what’s in the bottle. Each of the three rum varieties leads with a bold sans serif typeface that reveals the bottle’s flavor. The designers printed on natural paper stock and added a metallic band around the neck because, at the end of the day, booze is still supposed to be fun.

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Happy Hour