GSN Backbar Review: October 27-31, 2014

indexM.S. Walker is launching the West Cork Irish whiskey range in the U.S. The new offering is produced in Skibbereen by West Cork Distillers, a family-owned distillery specializing in artisanal whiskies made with local ingredients. The brand’s U.S. lineup will include West Cork Original Classic Blend ($26.99 a 750-ml.), which is made with locally-grown grains and aged in Bourbon casks, and West Cork 10 Year Single Malt ($39.99 a 750-ml.), which is aged in first-fill, flame-charred Bourbon barrels. West Cork joins the Kennedy Irish whiskey and malt, Newfoundland Screech Caribbean rum and Grand Macnish Scotch whisky brands in M.S. Walker’s imported spirits portfolio.

indexIn a deal with Southern Wine & Spirits, Tennessee-based Sugarlands Distilling Co. will begin distributing its lineup of seven Sugarlands Shine whiskies in Illinois for the first time. Its expressions include Silver Cloud (a 100-proof Tennessee Sour Mash), Blockader’s Blackberry, Butterscotch Gold and Old-Fashioned Lemonade. Illinois will mark the ninth state for distribution of Sugarlands in an arc extending from Florida to Minnesota. The company has set its sights on extending distribution next to Texas, Colorado and California, management says. The name is derived from the sprawling forests of sugar maple trees surrounding the craft distiller’s headquarters in Gatlinburg.

indexM.S. Walker has launched Grand Macnish Scotch’s Black Edition label in the U.S. market. Made with a blend of hand-selected whiskies, Grand Macnish Black Edition is extra-aged in double charred Bourbon casks and said to offer a “bolder and darker” taste profile. The new addition is currently available, priced at $29.99 a 750-ml. Black Edition joins Grand Macnish’s 12 Year Dual-Cask, 15 Year Sherry-Cask and 150th Heritage Blend labels in M.S. Walker’s existing import portfolio. Established in 1863, Grand Macnish is one of the oldest blended Scotch brands on the market, according to M.S. Walker.

indexBoulder, Colorado-based Suerte Tequila is introducing a new limited release Single Barrel Extra Añejo this fall. The newest offering from the small-batch Tequila maker is aged five years in charred American white oak whiskey barrels, used only once for each batch. The first shipment contains less than 1,000 bottles. Bottles featuring artwork from Seattle-based tattoo artist Adam Jackson will be available in cases of six for a suggested retail price of $110 a bottle throughout New York, Colorado, Washington D.C., Maryland and Delaware. Founded in 2012, the company creates its Tequila using the Tahona process at its distillery in Jalisco, Mexico.

indexAnchor Distilling Co. is launching Hine Cognac’s limited edition Hine 250 label in the U.S. this November. Created to commemorate Hine’s 250th anniversary in 2013, Hine 250 is a Grande Champagne Cognac made with eau-de-vie from 1953 and packaged in a Baccarat crystal decanter. The luxury offering is limited to 250 bottles, with 10 bottles reserved for the U.S. market, priced at $15,000 each. Hine 250 joins Hine Cognac’s Rare VSOP, H By Hine VSOP, Antique XO, Homage, Mariage, Talent and Triomphe labels in Anchor’s portfolio.

indexRochester, New York-based Black Button Distilling has partnered with distributor Blue Print Brands to launch its craft spirits portfolio in New York City. Black Button’s current lineup includes Citrus Forward gin, Apple Pie moonshine and Wheat vodka, as well as a soon-to-be-released Black Button Bourbon label, set to roll out next year. Along with New York City, Black Button’s offerings are also available via a special order program across Pennsylvania. Black Button, which began operating this past January, says it’s also negotiating distribution deals in 10 additional states.

indexPernod Ricard’s Chivas Brothers unit has unveiled Founder’s Reserve, a new core expression within the Glenlivet single malt range. Created to commemorate the contributions of brand founder George Smith, Founder’s Reserve’s aging process features the addition of first-fill American oak casks. The new entry will be available worldwide this March, priced in line with The Glenlivet’s 12-year-old entry. Founder’s Reserve marks The Glenlivet’s sixth core member of the brand portfolio, joining its 12-year-old, 15-year-old, 18-year-old, 21-year-old and XXV.

indexDiageo has officially launched a range of new flavored whiskies under the Jeremiah Weed brand. The line includes Jeremiah Weed Spiced (70.6 proof), Cinnamon (71.2 proof) and Sarsaparilla (70.4 proof) flavored American whiskies, all retailing at $19 a 750-ml. bottle and suggested to be consumed as shots or mixed with cola. The Jeremiah Weed brand also includes Southern Style Sweet Tea Vodka and Blended Bourbon Whiskey offerings.

indexHeaven Hill Distilleries is celebrating the one-year anniversary of its Evan Williams Bourbon Experience in mid-November with events and the release of a commemorative Single Barrel Bourbon. The multimillion-dollar distillery and tourism experience on Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail attracted 70,000 visitors this year, the company says. A 2005 Vintage Evan Williams Single Barrel Bourbon will be available for purchase at the Experience starting November 10. Bottles of the 100-proof offering ($99.99) are dipped in copper wax and feature Evan Williams Bourbon Experience First Anniversary on the label with only 420 bottles available.

indexSan Francisco’s Anchor Distilling Co. has partnered with sister company Anchor Brewing to release Christmas Spirit, a new holiday entry. Featuring winter spice notes, Christmas Spirit is distilled using Anchor Brewing’s Christmas Ale, an annual beer release typically available from November through mid-January. The 45%-abv clear spirit will be sold throughout the holiday season, priced at $49.99 a 750-ml. Christmas Spirit marks the latest “beer-meets-spirit” collaboration from Anchor Distilling and Anchor Brewing, following their December 2012 launch of Hophead vodka ($29.95), made with hops from Washington state’s Yakima Valley.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

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