Archive for the ‘News’ Category

indexHeaven Hill Brands is debuting Raven’s Lace PeachBerry Whiskey, geared toward female whiskey drinkers, this June. The 60-proof offering combines peach and strawberry flavors with whiskey and is described as a shift away from flavored whiskies the company says are geared toward male audiences. Raven’s Lace PeachBerry Whiskey is available in 50-ml. and 750-ml. formats, retailing at $14.99 a 750-ml. Initial launch markets include Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Tennessee.

indexFlorida-based importer and marketer Imperial Brands has added Tromba Tequila and Cedar Ridge Whiskey to its stable. Founded by former Don Julio master distiller Marco Cedano, the Tromba Tequila range features Silver, Reposado and Añejo entries ($39-$47 a 750-ml.) and is currently available in New York and Illinois. Also joining the portfolio is Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery’s handcrafted whiskey collection, which will be distributed in New York and New Jersey and includes the brand’s Iowa Bourbon, Malted Rye, Wheat and Single Malt expressions ($36-$48).

imagesPhillips Distilling’s UV vodka brand is extending its flavor lineup with the launch of UV Sangria. Rolling out next month, the red sangria-flavored expression is targeted toward the cocktail occasion and priced at around $11.99 a 750-ml.

indexNew York-based Domaine Select Wine Estates (DSWE) has added French vermouth brand La Quintinye to its Classic & Vintage artisanal spirits portfolio. Produced by EuroWineGate Spirits & Wine, La Quintinye Vermouth Royal is made with a blend of white wines from southwestern France, fortified wine and a variety of botanicals. The range features three expressions, including Vermouth Royal Rouge, Vermouth Royal Blanc and Vermouth Royal Extra-Dry, and is available in 350-ml. and 750-ml. formats, priced at $21.99 a 750-ml.

indexSt. Louis-based The Legendary Hatfield & McCoy Family Brand LLC has launched a new American whiskey in key U.S. markets. Produced and bottled by Charleston distiller Local Choice Spirits, The Legendary Hatfield & McCoy Family Brand Whiskey is made with a blend of corn, barley malt, yeast and natural flavors and aged in oak. The 80-proof offering is currently available on- and off-premise across 12 markets, priced at around $39.99 a 750-ml. Expansion into nine additional markets is set to follow this summer.

indexDallas, Texas-based Zodiac vodka has entered California via a new partnership with Young’s Market Company. The move, which marks the brand’s first launch outside of Texas, leads the first phase of Zodiac’s national expansion plan, with distribution to Florida, Tennessee and South Carolina to follow shortly. For its second phase, Zodiac plans to enter Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Washington D.C. and other markets by the end of 2015. Launched in 2014, Zodiac vodka is a gluten-free potato vodka produced in Rigby, Idaho. The brand features both Original and Black Cherry expressions priced at $24.99 a 750-ml.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

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Amaretto_Bottles_4 Today is National Amaretto Day.  I’ll bet you had no idea.  Well, break out that dusty bottle from where it’s languishing in your closet and fix yourself an Amaretto Sour while I tell you a little background behind this unusual liqueur.

Amaretto Sour
2 oz Amaretto liqueur
1 oz Fresh squeezed lemon juice
½  fresh organic Egg white
2 dashes Aromatic Bitters

Dry shake (without ice) all ingredients. Add ice, shake again and strain into ice-filled glass.

Amaretto literally means “a little bitter”.  The original recipe contained bitter almond, but today’s liqueurs tend to be quite sweet.  We’ve all tasted a brand at least once.  Usually our first experience was sneaking a swig from our parents liquor cabinet.  Memorable and probably not our finest drinking moment.  “It has essence of tree nut, with elements of cane sugar”.

Yet, Amaretto has a long and distinguished heritage.  And it’s not necessarily almonds that you’re tasting.

Interestingly, the world’s best-selling brand DiSaronno contains no almonds, but rather uses a blend of seventeen herbs, fruits and most importantly apricot pits.  In fact, this recipe has been around since 1525, so who’s to say whether the product is supposed to be almond or apricot pit flavored?

Lastly, Portland bartender extraordinaire Jeffery Morganthaler claims to have perfected the world’s best Amaretto Sour.  You can check out his version here.

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indexAnCnoc single malt Scotch whisky, part of the International Beverage portfolio, is introducing a new expression in its Limited Edition Peaty Collection, called Cutter. Following Rutter and Flaughter in the Peaty series, Cutter is a peated Highland malt produced at the Knockdhu Distillery. It is the most heavily peated expression in the range to date, with a phenol content of 20.5 parts per million (compared with 11 to 15 parts per million for Rutter and Flaughter). AnCnoc Cutter (46% abv) is launching this month at a retail price of $85 a bottle.

imagesImporter Southern Starz is debuting a new luxury gin, Los Apostoles, to the U.S. market. Crafted by Argentine mixologiest Tato Giovannoni, Los Apostoles is billed as a gin that is representative of the flavors of South America and mixes well with tropical ingredients. Retailing at $35 a bottle, it’s initially launching in Illinois, Texas, California, Florida, Connecticut, New York, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

indexPrivate Cask Imports and CNS Imports have joined forces to launch Hong Kong Baijiu (HKB) in the U.S. market. Developed in 2013 by entrepreneur Charles Lanthier, HKB is billed as an “entry point” baijiu, created to introduce Western palates to the Chinese spirit. The 43%-abv offering, which is distilled in Sichuan, China, using sorghum, glutinous rice, rice, wheat and corn, is currently available throughout New York and California, priced at around $50 a 750-ml.

indexCampari America is augmenting Skyy vodka’s range with the launch of Skyy Barcraft, a new cocktail-inspired flavor line. Making its debut with three 60-proof expressions, Barcraft features Watermelon Fresca, Margarita Lime and White Sangria entries. According to Campari, the lineup is designed for use in simple, two-ingredient cocktails, created by mixing each Barcraft flavor with club soda. The trio will be available in 50-ml. (Watermelon Fresca and Margarita Lime only), 750-ml. and 1-liter formats, priced at around $18.49 a 750-ml.

indexBeam Suntory is extending its Cruzan rum portfolio with a new Blueberry Lemonade flavor, which is rolling out nationally. A blend of Cruzan rum with blueberries and citrus, the Blueberry Lemonade offering ($15 a 750-ml.) joins 14 existing flavors in the Cruzan stable. The Cruzan brand line also includes Single Barrel, Estate Diamond Aged Dark, Estate Diamond Aged Light, Aged Dark, Aged Light and Black Strap rums.

indexLuxco is targeting the high-end Bourbon market with a new brand proposition, Blood Oath. The franchise’s first product, Blood Oath Pact No. 1, is a blend of three Kentucky Straight Bourbon whiskies ranging in age from six to 12 years. The blend, which is bottled at 98.6 proof and retails at $90 a 750-ml., is available nationally in limited quantities. Blood Oath will follow up its inaugural product with a new “Pact” offering each year.

indexPhiladelphia-based New Liberty Distillery is entering four new markets. This month, the craft distiller’s Kinsey 7-year-old whiskey and Kinsey Rye whiskey labels will be available throughout South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland and Washington D.C., via Republic National Distributing Co. Inspired by post-Prohibition-style whiskies, Kinsey 7-year-old and Kinsey Rye both retail for $39.95 a bottle.

index Louisville’s Copper & Kings American Brandy Co. has released a range of vapor-distilled absinthes. The new Copper & Kings absinthe lineup includes Ginger, Lavender and Citrus expressions, each flavored via a vapor distillation process using chopped ginger, lavender petals and citrus peels, respectively. Priced at $60 a 750-ml., the 130-proof trio will be available at select bars and retail locations across 10 markets throughout the South and Midwest. Copper & Kings’ Citrus Absinthe, Ginger Absinthe and Lavender Absinthe join the distillery’s flagship Absinthe Blanche ($54.99), Craft Distilled Brandy ($34.99) and Immature Brandy ($29.99) labels.

indexSeattle’s Westland Distillery, part of the Anchor Distilling portfolio, is adding two new expressions to its whiskey range, including a Peated American Single Malt and a Sherry Wood Single Malt. Both newcomers are 46% abv and retail at $70 a 750-ml. bottle. They join Westland’s flagship American Single Malt in the brand line.

indexOregon-based Hood River Distillers is introducing a limited edition variant of its Pendleton whisky brand, which will raise funds for wounded or fallen American military veterans and their families. Launching next month, Pendleton’s 2015 limited edition retails at $27 a 750-ml. bottle. Hood River will donate a portion of the proceeds from the product to the Wrangler National Patriot program, supporting active military personnel and veterans. A Canadian whisky offering, Pendleton sells more than 150,000 cases in the U.S. market annually.

indexSyosset, New York’s Star Industries has entered the flavored whisky segment with a cinnamon-flavored product, Wild Flame. Made of blended whisky with cinnamon flavor, Wild Flame is 66 proof and retails at $15 a 1-liter. The new brand is now being distributed across the New York tri-state area.

indexTexas-based Garrison Brothers Distillery is releasing its Single Barrel Bourbon nationally after an initial launch in its home state. The three-year-old, 94-proof offering joins the company’s flagship Garrison Brothers Texas Straight Bourbon Whiskey and is made from organic Texas Panhandle corn, soft red winter wheat, two-row malted barley and rainwater. The family-owned company says each barrel features a different flavor profile and retailers can sample and select one of 342 15-gallon barrels to be bottled for purchase. The barrels will first be made available in Texas, with the remainder sold outside the state. The bottles feature a silver star and include customizable silver labels featuring the buyer’s name, with Garrison Brothers printing the labels following a barrel reservation. The suggested retail price of Garrison Brothers Single Barrel is $109.99 a bottle and the cost of a barrel ranges from $5,300 to $8,900, depending on how much Bourbon it yields, which can range from 48–81 bottles.

indexSan Diego-based Old Harbor Distilling is hitting the market with its first product, San Miguel Southwestern Gin. Branded under the name originally given to San Diego in 1542 by Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, San Miguel Southwestern Gin is bottled at 94 proof and retails at $26 a 750-ml. bottle. Initially, the gin will be available in the San Diego area with wider distribution planned over the course of this year. Old Harbor plans to gradually increase its spirits portfolio in the months ahead, with new additions to include Ampersand, a coffee liqueur, and Barrelman, a 114-proof, navy-strength rum that will also be released in a barrel-aged version.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

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indexNew Jersey-based importer Vision Wine & Spirits LLC is releasing the latest offering in its Bitter Truth range, Cucumber Bitters. Bitter Truth Cucumber is available in a 200-ml. format and retails for $19.99. Cucumber Bitters marks the 10th entry for The Bitter Truth, with the lineup also featuring Old Time Aromatic, Jerry Thomas, Chocolate, Grapefruit, Orange, Lemon, Tonic, Celery and Creole. The Bitter Truth was founded in 2006 by German mixologists Stephan Berg and Alexander Hauck. In addition to its line of bitters, the company also produces boutique spirits, liqueurs and waters for classic cocktails such as Pink Gin, Pimento Dram and Elderflower Liqueur (all $34.99).

indexHeaven Hill Brands is extending its Admiral Nelson’s Rum brand with a black spiced offering, Admiral Nelson’s Black Patch Rum. Bottled at 94 proof, the latest release was filtered through charred American white oak and features a more robust style of rum, the company says. Black Patch Rum will be supported by retail point-of-sale items with the “Admirably Smooth. Mysteriously Dark.” messaging. It is available in 50-ml., 750-ml., and 1.75-liter formats, retailing for $10.99 a 750-ml.

indexPark City, Utah-based High West Distillery has added American Prairie Bourbon to its craft whiskey portfolio. Named for Montana’s American Prairie Reserve wildlife preserve, the new 46%-abv entry is made with a blend of two-, six- and 13-year-old straight Bourbons. A portion of American Prairie’s profits will be donated to the 305,000-acre preserve. American Prairie Bourbon will be available across 42 U.S. markets, joining High West’s existing Rendezvous Rye, Bourye, Double Rye and A Midwinter Nights Dram whiskey labels, among others.

indexE.&J. Gallo has extended New Amsterdam vodka with a new Mango flavor. Rolling out nationally, the new Mango entry retails at $15 a 750-ml., in line with the core brand. New Amsterdam also counts Red Berry, Peach, Citron, Coconut, Pineapple and Orange vodkas within its flavor portfolio.

indexBeam Suntory, one of Canadian whisky’s biggest players via its Canadian Club and Windsor Supreme brands, has introduced a new upscale offering to the category in the U.S. market—Alberta Rye Dark Batch Whisky. Produced by Beam Suntory-owned Alberta Distillers, Alberta Rye Dark Batch is a 90-proof product featuring a blend of 91% rye whisky, 8% Bourbon and 1% Sherry. The brand has previously been available in Canada, where it’s often consumed in a variety of whisky cocktails. Alberta Rye Dark Batch retails for around $30 a 750-ml.

indexHeaven Hill’s Evan Williams Bourbon has extended its flavored lineup with the launch of Evan Williams Peach. A 70-proof entry, Evan Williams Peach is intended to be served as a shot, on the rocks or in a cocktail. The new offering will initially be available across Texas, South Carolina, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, New York, Ohio, Arkansas and California starting May 1. Peach marks the fourth flavor in Evan Williams’ flavor range, joining Honey, Cherry and Cinnamon.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

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indexBrown-Forman’s Old Forester Bourbon has launched Old Forester Mint Julep, a new ready-to-drink cocktail intended to be served over crushed ice. Rolling out at retail across roughly 35 U.S. markets this month, Old Forester Mint Julep (60 proof) is packaged in a commemorative Kentucky Derby-inspired bottle and priced at around $25 a 1-liter.

indexBilled as gluten-free, SX Liquors barrel-aged products are produced in Jalisco, Mexico and packaged in hand-blown and painted bottles. The range includes SX Negro Vodka, Blanco Vodka, ChaChaCha Tequila, Cafedoble Tequila, Mojito Rum and Samba Rum. SX Liquors retail for $29.99 a 750-ml. and $39.99 a 1-liter bottle.  The brand’s line of liquors is launching nationwide.

indexConnecticut-based Barrell Craft Spirits, LLC has added to its line of small-batch craft whiskies with Barrell Bourbon Batch 004. The company’s fourth Bourbon offering (116.7 proof) is both distilled and aged for more than six years in Kentucky. With a mash bill of corn, rye and malted barley, Batch 004 features flavors of spices and peach butter for a finish of saddle leather and tobacco, the company says. It follows the successful launches of Bourbon Batches 001, 002 and 003—with the company saying it sold out of all 500 cases made available for each—as well as January’s release of Barrell Whiskey Batch 001 ($55). Batch 004 retails for about $79.99 a 750-ml., with about 1,000 cases available.

indexHeaven Hill Distilleries’ Burnett’s vodka has added two new flavors to its lineup. Available nationwide starting next month, Burnett’s Cherry Limeade and Apple Berry will bring the brand’s flavored portfolio to a total of 36 entries. Both offerings will be available in 50-ml., 750-ml., 1-liter and 1.75-liter formats, priced at around $10.99 a 750-ml.

indexBeam Suntory’s Pinnacle vodka has extended its flavor range with the launch of Pinnacle Cucumber. Featuring notes of cucumber and vanilla, the new 70-proof offering is priced at $12.99 and brings Pinnacle’s lineup to a total of 48 flavored vodkas.

indexDaily’s Cocktails is launching a new line of fruit-flavor carbonated drinks this spring under the name Spiked Sodas. The 5%-abv offerings will be available in 12-ounce slim cans in four flavors: Cherry Cola, Raspberry Ginger Ale, Lemon Lime and Blood Orange. Spiked Sodas are geared toward women as a slightly sweet, low-alcohol beverage with no malt aftertaste, the company says. They are currently available in select markets throughout the Southeast, with additional distribution expected in Texas, California and Michigan this spring. The suggested retail price is $1.99 a 12-ounce can.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

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0403-whiskey-battle-970Whisk(e)y is such a ubiquitous spirit that it is hard to imagine cocktail culture without it.  Think of all the iconic drinks from the Old-Fashioned to the Manhattan to the Sazerac to the Penicillin.  And there are nearly as many countries known for their own particular take on the “water of life”.  Scotland, Ireland, Canada, America, Japan are just the major epicenters of distillation.  Then, you’ve got a variety of styles.  Single malt, single grain, blended, unaged, aged in a plethora of different wood barrels.  It is truly amazing.

So, on this day, toast with a glass of your favorite either neat, straight up, on the rocks, or mixed into a cocktail.  Without whiskey, our lives would be lacking a little joy.


The Editorial Staff

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jamesbeardawardfb. James Beard Foundation has announced the finalists for the 2015 James Beard Awards at the James Beard House in New York City (the semifinalists were announced last month). The Book, Broadcast and Journalism Award winners will be announced on April 24. The winners in the chefs and restaurant categories will be announced on Monday, May 4 at the Lyric Opera House in Chicago.

2015 James Beard Foundation Book Awards


Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails, with More than 500 Recipes
Alex Day, Nick Fauchald, and David Kaplan (Ten Speed Press)

Liquid Intelligence: The Art and Science of the Perfect Cocktail
Dave Arnold (W. W. Norton & Company)

Sherry: A Modern Guide to the Wine World’s Best-Kept Secret, with Cocktails and Recipes
Talia Baiocchi (Ten Speed Press)

Wine, Spirits, and Other Beverages

“In New Orleans, Terrific Cocktails Never Went out of Fashion”
M. Carrie Allan

“Into the Vines”
Gabrielle Hamilton
The Washington Post

“OMFG it’s the PSL!”
Allecia Vermillion
Seattle Met

Outstanding Bar Program

An establishment that displays and encourages excellence in cocktail, spirits, and/or beer service.

Arnaud’s French 75 Bar, New Orleans

Bar Agricole, San Francisco

Maison Premiere, Brooklyn, NY

Trick Dog, San Francisco

The Violet Hour, Chicago

Outstanding Wine Program

A restaurant that displays and encourages excellence in wine service through a well-presented wine list, a knowledgeable staff, and efforts to educate customers about wine. Candidates must have been in operation for at least 5 years.

A16, San Francisco

Bern’s Steak House, Tampa, FL

FIG, Charleston, SC

McCrady’s, Charleston, SC

Spago, Beverly Hills, CA

Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional

A winemaker, brewer, or spirits professional who has had a significant impact on the wine, beer and spirits industry nationwide. Candidates must have been in the profession for at least 5 years.

Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, DE

Ron Cooper, Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal, Ranchos de Taos, NM

Ted Lemon, Littorai Wines, Sebastopol, CA

Rajat Parr, Mina Group, San Francisco

Harlen Wheatley, Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, KY

2015 James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America Inductees

Allan Benton
Pork Producer and Purveyor
Madisonville, TN

Dale DeGroff

Wylie Dufresne
Chef and Restaurateur

Nathalie Dupree
Cookbook Author and Television Personality

Maricel Presilla
Chef, Restaurateur, and Cookbook Author
Hoboken, NJ

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