GSN Spirited News: February 23rd 2021 Edition

Diageo has launched a new, lower-calorie brand extension for Baileys Irish Cream. The release, Baileys Deliciously Light, comes in at 16.1% abv and has 40% fewer calories and 40% less sugar than the original Baileys. To kick off the launch, Diageo has partnered with Cocktail Courier, a home mixology-focused e-commerce platform, to create four cocktail kits showing off the new liqueur. Baileys Deliciously Light is now available nationwide for around $25 a 750-ml.

Chopin Vodka is partnering with fashion designer Vera Wang on a limited edition release. The vodka collaboration is called Vera Wang x Chopin and was distilled using a special variety of young potato that Wang personally selected, which is grown near Chopin’s distillery in Krzesk, Poland. Wang was also involved in designing the bottle, which maintains Chopin’s standard shape but features a matte black and white color scheme and a poem on the back written by Wang. The new edition will have select availability throughout the U.S., retailing at $100 a 750-ml.

Agave spirits brand Puntagave is introducing a new line of Tequila-based hard seltzers, including Grapefruit Peach, Meyer Lemon Ginger, and Blood Orange flavors. Made in Mexico, the range is at 5% abv and retails at $14 a 4-pack of cans. Concurrently, Puntagave is debuting an Artisanal Double Barrel Tequila retailing at $90. Artisanal Double Barrel is aged in used American oak for one year, then split between new American oak and new French oak for further maturation.

Edrington’s the Macallan has announced a new series of ultra-limited whiskies, celebrating British artist Peter Blake. The rarest whiskies, called Anecdotes of Ages, were all distilled in 1967 and are packaged in 13 handblown bottles with collages created by Blake. One bottle will be auctioned by Sotheby’s to support the Guggenheim museum’s diversity and inclusion initiatives. The distiller will also release 322 bottles of the same 1967 vintage whisky—called Anecdotes of Ages: Down to Work edition—that will be available globally for around $83,000. The collaboration also resulted in An Estate, A Community, and A Distillery, a more widely available (yet still limited) whisky that will retail for around $1,200.

MGP Ingredients has announced plans to roll out Green Hat gin throughout its distribution network over the next few months. Green Hat, created by Washington, D.C.’s New Columbia Distillers, was acquired by MGP in March 2020 and is the first commercially available gin from the Indiana-based contract distilling giant. The company will make four varieties—Green Hat’s original gin, a navy strength variant, Citrus Floral gin, and Summer Cup Cordial—available across the U.S. with suggested retail prices of $30 for the original and two flavored releases, and $33 for the navy strength release.

Saison Rum is introducing a new Sherry Cask expression, imported by the Craft Spirits Cooperative. Retailing at $45 a 750-ml., the new entry is a blend of 60% Trinidad and 40% Barbados rums, aged for five years in ex-Bourbon barrels. It is then transferred to ex-Cognac casks for a year before a final three-month finishing period in Pedro Ximenez barrels. Saison Sherry Cask (42% abv) is handled directly by Craft Spirits Cooperative in California and by Vintus NY in New York.

Tia Maria, part of the Disaronno International portfolio, has unveiled a new ready-to-drink cocktail, the Iced Coffee Frappé. The 4% abv offering is available nationwide in 200-ml. 4-packs retailing at $10, with single 200-ml. cans positioned at $2.30. Meanwhile, the core Tia Maria coffee liqueur ($28 a 750-ml.) has received a new bottle design that emphasizes its cold brew method and ingredients of 100% Arabica coffee beans and Madagascar vanilla.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

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