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Matthew Lillard’s new DnD project is a Critical Role whiskey

After producing several successful whiskeys inspired by D&D, Matthew Lillard’s drinks company announces a new Critical Role partnership.

A photo of Matthew Lillard, with an image of his new Critical Role whiskey in the background

A Critical Role whiskey is in the works, created by Find Familiar Spirits, the fandom-focused drinks company co-founded by actor Matthew Lillard. Sandkheg’s Hide is a custom-blended small-batch bourbon, based on the fiery beverage of the same name from Critical Role’s first campaign. Lillard tells Wargamer he’s “thrilled” to bring the drink to the Critter community.

The bottle for Sandkheg’s Hide remains as faithful as possible to the source material. According to a press release from April 18, it comes in green glass, with a wax seal and a coin medallion around its neck. The whiskey also comes in a box with a map and journal, written from the perspective of the Exandrian maker of Sandkheg’s Hide.

The press release says Sandkheg’s Hide has “base bourbon notes of baked apple, brown spice, shortbread cookie, and oak blended with whiskey finished in herbaceous notes, and whiskey finished in sherry barrels for dried red fruit and a hint of smoke”. It sounds delicious – which is a surprise, considering what Sandkheg’s Hide is actually made from in the Critical Role universe.

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A Sandkheg is an enormous insect-like creature, and brave brewers use its acidic bile to create Sandkheg’s Hide. In episode 65 of Critical Role’s Vox Machina campaign, the party partake. The acidic, vinegary liquid is so potent that it numbs body parts (and, naturally, gets everyone pretty sloshed).

“The thing that we liked about Sandkheg’s Hide is that it made for a very interesting challenge”, Lillard explains. “In episode 65, [when the characters drink it] they can’t feel their lips and their tongues, and everyone immediately gets drunk.” “We thought it was charming and funny, and there was a rich opportunity for us to build a world around the drink”, he adds.

Sandkheg’s Hide is a limited edition drink, so it’s only on sale between May 2 and 23. There will also be a pre-sale for Find Familiar Spirits’ newsletter subscribers, starting April 30. You can buy a bottle from the Quest’s End website, the dedicated Sandkheg’s Hide website, or the distributor Seelbach’s.

Matthew Lillard's Critical Role whiskey, Sandkheg Hide

Thursday’s press release doesn’t include a price, but Lillard tells Wargamer to expect a price of $99.99. When discussing the pricing, Lillard says “it was important that we made this very premium whiskey approachable”.

“Building products with passion first instead of profit first is what makes us [Find Familiar Spirits] different”, he continues. “We are more interested in building a community than being a whiskey brand.” “We’re never going to compete with the Jack Daniels’ of the world”, Lillard adds, “and that’s not our goal”. “Our goal is to provide people who adore something with something built for them that they can cherish and love.”

How much you love the new drink will be down to the Critical Role cast themselves, it turns out. “We’re doing a tasting this week”, Lillard explains, “and [the cast] are going to choose the final blend”. “We’re curating four different versions that we’re really happy with, and the crew will decide which one we actually end up producing.” “So if you don’t like it, blame Mercer.”

Find Familiar Spirits art of a Critical Role Sandkheg, the inspiration behind Matthew Lillard's new DnD whiskey

This is Find Familiar Spirits’ first licensed product, but the company has already established an RPG-inspired whiskey brand. Quest’s End clearly takes notes from Lillard’s love of Dungeons and Dragons, but it has its own distinct identity. Like Sandkheg’s Hide, it also has its own story, with each bottle accompanied by a piece of fantasy writing.

“When we launched the [Quest’s End] brand, we immediately started talking about partnerships and who we can work with”, Lillard tells Wargamer. “Critical Role, being the juggernaut in our space, made absolute sense.”

Apparently, Find Familiar Spirits won’t stop at just one fandom-friendly drink. “We have multiple different fandom launches coming,” Lillard says. “This is the first collaboration, but we have other things in the works we’re excited about.” “This October, our hope is that we’re launching our next iteration of a community-based spirit”, he adds.

If you’d like to learn more about Matthew Lillard’s love of D&D, check out our interview about his recent comedy actual play show, Faster, Purple Worm! Kill! Kill! And if you’re looking to play a game yourself, here’s everything you need to know about DnD classes and DnD races.