Fargo, Boogie Nights and, of course, Shameless. William H. Macy has had many memorable roles in his career, but his current gig is "spokesdude" for Woody Creek Distillers, which is based in Basalt.
Macy — who prefers to be called "Bill" — now lives in Woody Creek full-time and happens to be neighbors with the distillery's founders, Mark Kleckner and Patrick Scanlan, so the partnership came about naturally.
In December, the distillery released William H. Macy Reserve "Bottled in Bond" Straight Rye Whiskey, made from barrels that the actor personally selected. It's sold in a box with a photo of Macy standing in a chilly mountain creek and holding a glass of the spirit.
On February 8, Macy was in Denver for an event largely attended by employees of Southern Glazer's, the distribution company that carries Woody Creek. Last year, Macy had joined some friends on a motorcycle ride across Europe, one of whom was Sean Kenyon, the owner of Williams & Graham as well as the more low-key Occidental, which is where the gathering was held.
Cocktail in hand, Macy mingled with guests before taking the small stage to play some songs on his ukulele, including one he'd written just a week before.
"Some of you bartenders might take offense," he prefaced, before launching into the tune:
I love a true Old Fashioned, not a new Old Fashioned,
I'm an old, old-fashioned guy.
If you make it right, I'll stick around all night
Raise a glass, here's mud in your eye.
You put some cubes in a glass, and don't laugh,
And make sure your ice is cold.
A shake or two of Angostura
But not before you pour a little sugar so it's sweet and bold.
If you don't muddle the fruit,
it's like wearing a suit without putting on a tie,
Use a fine old bourbon,
If I could put a word in,
You might try my Woody Creek rye.
His other songs used backing tracks, and after a little trouble with the sound, Macy performed a few more ditties, including one about aging like a badass and another about Basalt: "Mark would start distilling, so I could be filling a few glasses with Woody Creek Rye," he crooned. "I love that Woody Creek rye."
After several cocktails and a pour of Macy's special rye, I asked him for a photo and he kindly obliged — and apologized several times for the performance snafus. "We love you in ER," my partner said.
"ER?" Macy replied.
Laughing, I explained that we'd recently started rewatching the ’90s-era hospital drama. "I've been doing this a long time," Macy told us before heading off into the night.