GSN Backbar Review: Jan. 27-31, 2014

imagesBilled as the first gluten-free and sugar-free spirit in the U.S. market, Devotion Vodka is expanding to 49 states this year, its owner, Devotion Spirits Inc. of Red Bank, N.J., announced. The vodka, made 100% from corn and available in six flavors, recently won approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to use the “Gluten-Free” and “No Added Sugar” designations on its label.

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indexPernod Ricard is extending its Malibu rum brand with another product designed for cross-category appeal, Malibu Rum Sparkler. Hitting national distribution now, Malibu Rum Sparkler is a combination of Malibu rum and coconut water which is infused with bubbles and bottled under cork. The new entry comes in coconut and peach flavors, both 11% abv, and is priced at $16.99 a 750-ml.

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indexNext month, St. Maarten’s Old Man Guavaberry rums and liqueur will return to the U.S. after leaving the market nearly five years ago. Dangerous Import Group has partnered with Opici Family Distributing for the rollout, which will begin in February to New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland and Washington D.C., followed by Louisiana, Mississippi and Illinois, with plans to distribute nationwide within 18 months. The Guavaberry Liqueur and Guavaberry 5 Year Rum will retail at $25, while the 8 Year Rum is at $30.

indexSt. Paul, Minnesota-based Crosby Lake Spirits is extending its Kinky Blue liqueur brand into nationwide distribution. Kinky Blue, a mix of super-premium vodka with tropical and wild berry flavors, initially launched into select markets last June. The 17%-abv brand retails at $19.99 a 750-ml., in line with the flagship Kinky Liqueur, a blend of vodka with mango, blood orange and passion fruit flavors that debuted in 2011.

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indexBrooklyn-based craft distiller Greenhook Ginsmiths is planning to add a 19th century-style Old Tom gin to its portfolio this fall. Rolling out in September, Greenhook Ginsmiths’ Old Tom gin is made with a pot-distilled corn base, which is then sweetened, aged in Bourbon barrels for one year and finished in Oloroso Sherry casks. The 100.3-proof entry is targeted toward wintertime and cocktail occasions, and will be priced at around $38-$39 a 750-ml.

imagesHennessy’s 2014 innovations will include a fourth iteration of the brand’s Limited Edition VS bottle—which has previously featured artwork from contemporary artists such as Kaws, Futura and Os Gemeos, and typically retails for around $30-$32 a 750-ml.—as well as a new entry in its Privilege Limited Edition VSOP series ($50-$60 a 750-ml.) with a redesigned carafe. At the luxury end, Hennessy will also launch its Edition Particuliere label (around $27,000 a bottle) in the U.S. this year. Made with a blend of eaux-de-vie from the year 1900, Edition Particuliere will be limited to just 25 bottles globally.

indexAnchor Distilling is launching BarSol Perfecto Amor—a traditional blend of fortified grape juice from Peru—in the U.S. market. Produced by the Ica Valley’s Bodega San Isidro, the 17%-abv aperitif is made with Quebranta, Italia and Torontel varietals, each of which are juiced separately and fortified with pisco before being blended and bottled. BarSol Perfecto Amor will be available nationwide, priced at $18.99 a 750-ml.

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indexSt. Augustine Distillery has partnered with Charmer Sunbelt’s Premier Beverage to distribute and market its craft spirits portfolio across its home state of Florida. Starting this spring, Premier Beverage will begin handling St. Augustine’s super-premium range of artisanal vodka, gin, Bourbon and rum entries both on- and off-premise, with statewide availability slated for early summer. The small-batch lineup, which is made with locally-sourced ingredients, is priced between $25 and $30, with the exception of St. Augustine Bourbon, which will be priced between $45-$50 when it’s released in 3-to-4 years.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

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