ADAIR VILLAGE, Ore. -- Dawson Officer gazed up at a fifteen foot wall at 4 Spirits Distillery full of pictures bearing pride from recent and distant wars.
Some are black and white photos from the past, of the times when his father served in the Vietnam War. Others are in in color from when Officer served in the Army for Infantry 2162 in Iraq.
“Whenever you go over there, you fight next to people and when you lose them, it’s very touching and it really sticks with you. I just wanted to come back and do something meaningful,” Officer said.
That's just what he did. About a year and a half ago, Officer had the idea to create a bourbon whiskey called “4 Spirits”. The name was inspired by four soldiers and close friends who lost their life in the Iraq War during Officer's 18-month tour, which ended in 2005.
Dawson said the message behind the whiskey is what remains so important. He said the label has four silhouettes to remind people of what some service members have sacrificed while serving the country.
“That was the whole theory behind 4 Spirits…the logo is to get people to think about what our service members do and get them remembering and not forgetting the fallen,” Officer said.
Dawson said he didn’t want to get into specifics on the deaths of the four soldiers who inspired his logo, he did say they were all very close.
“That’s why I made them a silhouette because it’s not supposed to be their actual faces. For me, personally, they’re my four spirits but for other people I want them to maybe have their own,” Officer said.
Officer said his experience in Iraq was a very dark time but 4 Spirits makes him proud.
“It makes me feel good and I hope all the guys I served with and the other veterans out there are proud that I’m doing this trying to highlight the military, the veterans, and the current members. This is who this is for and this is why I did this.” Officer said.
Officer described the whiskey to have a smooth finish. 4 Spirits is set to hit shelves around Oregon this month.