#NewWork: Toast to Tradition: 44º North Vodka Honors USS Idaho with Special Edition Packaging

In addition to creating unique vodka expressions representing the state of Idaho, 44º North® Vodka is also about honoring the rich heritage of its home state. This year, in a special tribute to Idaho’s naval history and the courageous men and women who have served, we’re excited to introduce a new limited-time package for Mountain Huckleberry Vodka. This edition is inspired by the USS Idaho SSN 799, a Virginia-class submarine and the fifth U.S. Navy vessel to bear the name of our state.

Our vision for this project was clear from the beginning: to create visually stunning packaging that resonates with the spirit of the USS Idaho and the vodka’s premium essence. The new design celebrates the naval legacy and the submarine itself, recognized for its stealth and strength. By doing so, we aim to honor Idaho’s substantial contributions to naval warfare and salute the enduring spirit of exploration and excellence.

The design journey was influenced by a blend of patriotic pride and the premium essence of the product. Drawing inspiration from Idaho’s significant naval history—such as the advanced acoustic stealth technologies developed at the US Navy’s Acoustic Research Laboratory in Bayview, and the valiant service of the USS Idaho battleship in both World Wars—our packaging echoes these narratives. Central to the design is the depiction of the submarine, not just as a vessel but as a symbol of protection and strength, ensuring that the key visual of the submarine was prominent, in line with the directives from the USS Idaho Commissioning Committee.

To further elevate the exclusivity of the packaging, we incorporated “Batch 799” and “The Gem of the Fleet” into the labels, reflecting the submarine’s unique identity. We combined our current screen-printed branding with full paper labels to provide more coverage and a tactile, premium feel. Our lead art director crafted several options, ensuring each met the stringent ATF and TTB review standards. The final design is compliant and scalable, even for the most miniature 50ml PET bottles intended for gifting.

We also had the honor of designing a unique version of this bottle for the christening ceremony on March 16th, 2024, at the General Dynamics Electric Boat shipyard in Groton, CT. This exclusive edition not only showcased our patriotic and premium design but also contained water from all four of Idaho’s major lakes: Henrys Lake, Lake Pend Oreille, Payette Lake, and Redfish Lake, symbolizing the deep connection between the USS Idaho and its home state.

We are honored to share this work with 44º North’s® customers, offering them a chance to toast to heritage and heroism with every sip, encapsulating the essence of Idaho and its storied naval past.

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