Deal Focus: Whiskey Rox Keep Your Booze Cold Without Watering It Down

Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite and furthermore always carry a small snake.

W.C. Fields

The folks at Crowdfund Insider have been known to enjoy a whiskey from time to time. I’m a bourbon fan myself.

Sipping a whiskey on the rocks is problematic because the melting ice dilutes the whiskey. Some people like a little water in their whiskey, but it’s not my thing. Alas, my whiskey sits unused.

This is how the whiskey stone was born, and it’s also where the term “on the rocks” comes from. For centuries people have been using cold whiskey stones to chill booze without dilution. Now a Kickstarter campaign aims to improve upon that design by offering better stone in a more usable size at a lower cost.

The campaign is called “Whiskey Rox.” Whiskey Rox are ice cube shaped rocks made of soapstone that you can keep in your freezer and use to chill your favorite beverage, whether that be whiskey or anything else.

Creator Zach Lengell has other versions as well: Coffee Rox, Wine Rox, and Beer Rox can all be preordered as rewards for donating to his campaign. All are sized specifically for the types of containers that their respective beverages tend to be served in. Other varieties are being considered, like Scotch Rox.

The choice of soapstone is one of the differentiators for Whiskey Rox. Other whiskey stones may be made of stone like marble, but according to Lengell soapstone is a superior choice. From the offering page…

Soapstone is a non-porous, odorless and inert stone. It is tasteless and will not absorb odors from your freezer like ice cubes do. Soapstone has a high thermal mass, giving it the natural ability to retain its temperature for extended periods of time. For Centuries, people have been using soapstone to cook food and keep warm. Now we’re using these stones to keep cool.

The cubes come in a stylish drawstring bag hand-stamped with the ROX logo.

The original funding goal was $2,500. The campaign crushed that goal in less than 24 hours and just shot past $45,000 in funding today with over 2 weeks to go. It’s obvious that there was an underserved market for a product like this, myself included. I just had to back this one.

The following is our interview with Zach Lengell. Cheers!

Crowdfund Insider: Where did you get the idea to produce a better whiskey stone?

Lengell: Whiskey rocks have been around forever. According to whiskey master Richard Paterson, the term “On The Rocks” originated in early Scotland where Scots would go to the river bed and pull out cold stones to put in their drinks. Our mission with Rox was to create a better whiskey stone. The 7/8″ promised on some products out there is usually barely 3/4″ (or just a 2cm cut from China). When working with a small cube, that is a huge difference in material. We just weren’t happy with what was on the market and started a project to fix that problem.

CFI: What makes your whiskey stones better than any others on the market?

Lengell: Rox have been made available cheaper and, from what we’ve seen and sampled, at a higher quality than the competition. They’re bigger, more efficient, more affordable, and offer better craftsmanship and uniformity. That was part of our goal when we began this project. High quality to me means square stones, clean cuts, and consistency between stone size and finish. That’s just something we haven’t personally seen on the market yet.

CFI: Why did you decide to crowdfund this project on Kickstarter?

Lengell: Kickstarter is an amazing platform and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who wants to bring their project to life. It’s people helping people, and most of the time for mutual benefit. The project creator gets to see their dream realized and the backer, in turn, usually gets something cool to remember the journey. It allows anyone to take a project from a concept to a reality. Without our backers, we wouldn’t be able to bring Rox to you.

CFI: When you have this many backers the crowd tends to give some interesting feedback on the product. Have you received any surprising ideas from those that have contributed to your campaign?

Lengell: For every comment our campaign has received, we get about 50 messages. It definitely keeps us busy. We have received some excellent ideas ranging from alternate uses for our Rox, to related products, like soapstone shot glasses. We’re thinking about adding a few different Rox labels to the mix. We have had requests for “Scotch Rox” and “Bev Rox” – Bev Rox being for all other beverages not otherwise covered. i.e Soda, tea, etc. I’m sure our backers will keep us thinking.

CFI: Your original goal of $2,500 is modest compared to the $40K+ you’ve raised to date, so your marketing has obviously been very effective. How did you go about marketing this campaign to your target audience?

Lengell: We are very happy with the response we have received so far. We have done a few different things to get the word out, but most of our success we attribute to the Kickstarter community. Nonetheless, we continue to approach beer, whiskey, wine, coffee, and cool stuff blogs as well as other media outlets with our Rox.

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