Diageo has added to Crown Royal’s portfolio with the nationwide release of Northern Harvest Rye, its first-ever blended rye whisky. “With rye whiskies serving as integral components of the Crown Royal Deluxe blend for more than 75 years, it was a natural and authentic extension to provide our loyal fans a rye offering,” said Yvonne Briese, vice president of marketing, Diageo North American Whiskey. The 90-proof offering’s suggested retail price is $29.99 a 750-ml. bottle.
Diageo is also expanding availability of its Crown Royal Hand Selected Barrel whisky into new U.S. markets following an initial limited release in Texas. Featuring Crown Royal’s base Coffey Rye whisky, the 103-proof single barrel liquid is produced at the brand’s Coffey Rye still in Gimli, Manitoba. It marks the first national rollout of a barrel program by Crown Royal, allowing retailers to purchase an entire barrel, with every bottle ($54.99 a 750-ml.) produced from a barrel featuring a personalized medallion naming the retail location.
Zeiler Spirits’ Coldcock whiskey is entering the Massachusetts market via M.S. Walker and Kansas via Standard Beverage in June, bringing its distribution footprint to 25 states. The American “herbal” whiskey brand, which retails at $20 a 750-ml. bottle, has also expanded its chain business of late, including multiple major chain placements in Southern California, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico.
Beam Suntory is planning to launch a new whisky under its Hibiki brand in the U.S. later this year, called Japanese Harmony. Suntory Holdings has made it known it sees ample opportunity to expand the presence of its Japanese whisky brands—which also include Yamazaki and Hakushu—in the States.
E.&J. Gallo has rolled out the latest addition to it Viniq shimmering liqueur line, Viniq Ruby, nationwide. A blend of vodka, Moscato and flavors of strawberry, red berry and orange citrus, Ruby joins Viniq’s original Premium Shimmery Liqueur offering that debuted nationally earlier this year after an initial test launch in seven markets last May. The 40-proof offering is targeted at Millennial consumers and intended to be consumed on the rocks or in cocktails. Viniq Ruby retails in 750-ml. bottles for $19.99 and in 375-ml. bottles for $12.99.
Bacardi Ltd. has officially launched Dewar’s Scratch Cask, an innovation from the blended Scotch whisky brand intended to serve as a bridge from the Bourbon category. Borrowing a technique from Bourbon-making in which barrels are scratched after charring, Scratch Cask is a blend of up to 40 single malts and single grain whiskies matured in oak casks in Scotland for a minimum of four years. The blend is then married in American oak casks, both Bourbon and virgin oak, that are heavily charred and scratched to alter the flavor before finishing. The limited release is available beginning this month for about $25.99 nationwide.
Portland, Oregon-based Indio Spirits has released Snake River Stampede 100 Year Anniversary, a new 10-year-old barrel-aged whiskey. Snake River Stampede 100 Year Anniversary is a commemorative offering, created to mark the 100th year of Nampa, Idaho’s Snake River Stampede Rodeo. The 40%-abv whiskey—which was aged for eight years in Bourbon barrels and two years in rye barrels, then finished for six months in Sherry casks—will be available for a limited time across Oregon, Idaho and Washington, as well as at Total Wine & More locations nationwide. Priced at around $39.95 a bottle, Snake River Stampede 100 Year Anniversary joins the James Oliver whiskey, Cricket Club gin, Red Island and Barrel Room rum and Indio vodka brands in Indio Spirits’ craft portfolio.
Diageo is officially launching its next play in the high-end Bourbon segment with the unveiling of its Blade and Bow Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey brand, created at the Stitzel-Weller Distillery in Louisville, Kentucky. Inspired by the “five keys” symbol found throughout the distillery (and named for the two parts of a skeleton key), Blade and Bow is available in two offerings—Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (91 proof, $49.99) and 22-Year-Old Limited Release Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (92 proof, $149.99). The former is made from some of the oldest stocks to be distilled at Stitzel-Weller before it closed in 1992 and matured using the solera aging method. The 22-Year-Old Bourbon includes whiskies distilled in Louisville and Frankfort, Kentucky, and was most recently aged and bottled at Stitzel-Weller.
Italian spirits producer Contratto is adding two new additions to its portfolio in the U.S., Contratto Aperitif and Contratto Bitter. Using recipes that date to 1933, both offerings are made from Barbera grapes from Piedmont, macerated with botanicals and herbs. Contratto Aperitif (13.5%-abv) is positioned to compete with Aperol, while Contratto Bitter is aligned in the same competitive segment as Campari. Both retail at $29.99 a 1-liter, and follow Contratto’s U.S launch of its boutique vermouth range in 2013.
All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily