GSN: Backbar Review Oct. 15-19, 2012

Diageo is prepping the launch of two new flavored vodkas under the Smirnoff brand—Smirnoff Iced Cake and Smirnoff Kissed Caramel—ahead of the holiday season. Rolling out at the end of this month and priced at $12.99 a 750-ml., the pair was first unveiled on VH1’s scripted television series Single Ladies. Iced Cake and Kissed Caramel join Smirnoff’s growing stable of confectionary and dessert-focused flavors, which includes the Whipped Cream and Fluffed Marshmallow expressions.

Perth-based West Australian Distilling Co. has released its South Sea rum to select U.S. markets. South Sea rum is priced at $29.99-$34.99 a 750-ml. and is currently available in New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Connecticut, with plans to expand distribution into additional markets. The 40%-abv rum is crafted with free-run juice from Queensland sugar cane, mixed with Australian tropical rainwater and finished in old and new American oak for at least two years. The company will also roll out its Opal Blue gin to the same four core markets in November.

Jack Teeling, former managing director of Ireland’s Cooley Distillery (which was acquired by Beam in December for $95 million), has unveiled the first whiskey from his new project, Teeling Whiskey Company (TWC). TWC is looking to engage adventurous whiskey consumers with a new line of “Hybrid Malts,” made from marrying malt whiskies from around the world to create “a fusion of styles and flavors.” Edition No. 1 in the Hybrid Malt series is a blend of single malt Irish whiskey from Cooley and a 10-year-old single malt from Scotland’s Bruichladdich, which have been married for eight years in oak. Only 1,200 (700-ml.) bottles of the non-chill-filtered Edition No. 1 (44.1% abv) were produced, and none of this first batch will make its way to the U.S. However, the company is “looking at potentially marrying Irish and American whiskies for Edition No. 2 and planning on bottling that in the 750-ml. format,” with a price between $50-$60 a bottle.

William Grant & Sons has debuted its latest Balvenie whisky in the Tun 1401 range, The Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch 6. The new offering (49.8% abv) is exclusive to the U.S. and will be available in most states nationwide beginning this month for a suggested retail price of $250. It has been matured in nine different casks—seven traditional whisky casks and two sherry butts—and finished in the Tun 1401 traditional oak marrying vessel. Billed as a blend of single malt whisky, barley sugar and vanilla, Batch 6 is sweet with hints of citrus and spices, according to the company. The limited edition Batch 6 is the second to be released exclusively to the U.S. market, following the release of Tun 1401 Batch 3.

Sazerac’s Buffalo Trace Distillery is set to release Colonel E. H. Taylor, Jr. Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey. The limited availability 100-proof Bourbon whiskey will be released in November at $39.99 per 750-ml. bottle. It’s the sixth under the E. H. Taylor, Jr. range of whiskies, following Old Fashioned Sour Mash Bourbon, Single Barrel Bourbon, Warehouse C Tornado Surviving Bourbon, Barrel Proof Bourbon and Straight Rye Whiskey. The series was launched in early 2011 to honor former distillery owner E. H. Taylor, Jr.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

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