GSN Backbar Review: Feb. 10-14, 2014

indexIn March, Independent Distillers USA’s Woodstock Bourbon will debut two new flavors—a premium chocolate Bourbon called After Dark and a vanilla Bourbon called Vanzilla. Said to be the first chocolate and vanilla Bourbons on the market, these latest expressions follow Woodstock’s 2012 launch of a cinnamon-flavored Bourbon called Hot Licks and honey-flavored expression Killer Bee. All of the above are 70 proof and feature 100% Woodstock Bourbon produced in Kentucky, retailing for $16.99 a 750-ml. bottle.

indexDiageo is adding a new Dark Chocolate offshoot to its Godiva liqueur line. Joining Godiva’s existing Chocolate and White Chocolate liqueurs, Dark Chocolate will launch this month, retailing around $30 a 750-ml. bottle. The dairy-free offering is being marketed as a mix-friendly cocktail ingredient to add to drinks like the Chocolate Martini and, in tandem with portfoliomate Cîroc’s Amaretto flavor and orange juice, the Dark Desire.

indexNew York’s Classic & Vintage Artisanal Spirits has added Venezuela’s Rum Diplomatico to its U.S. import stable. Aged for a minimum of two years and a maximum of 14 years, the brand’s lineup includes Diplomatico Blanco, Añejo, Reserva and Reserva Exclusiva, as well as super-premium Ambassador. The full collection is intended to be served neat or in cocktails.


indexBeam Inc.’s 2 Gingers Irish whiskey brand is officially expanding nationwide. The fast-growing label—which a year ago was still limited to select Midwest markets—will be available across all 50 states starting this month. The rollout will be supported by a launch tour led by brand founder and CEO Kieran Folliard, who plans to meet with bartenders, distributors and consumers in key U.S. markets, including Milwaukee, Chicago, Hoboken, New Orleans, Dallas, San Diego, Denver, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Indianapolis, Columbus, Ohio and Austin, Texas.

indexDiageo has officially launched its new Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Co. series, which Whisky Advocate previewed in January. The collection, which is designed to showcase old and rare whiskey stocks, will debut with Barterhouse Whiskey, a 20-year-old entry priced at $75 a bottle, and Old Blowhard Whiskey, a 26-year-old offering priced at $150. A limited supply of both expressions will be available at retail starting in March. Headquartered in Tullahoma, Tennessee, the Orphan Barrel Whiskey Distilling Co. will follow with additional releases as new stocks are discovered.

indexNew Jersey-based Opici Wines is launching a new spirits division, Market Street Spirits. According to the company, the new unit—named for the street in Paterson where Opici’s first office was opened in 1913—will focus on handcrafted premium spirits from around the world. The first members of the portfolio are Rebellion Bourbon and Brinley Gold Shipwreck Rum. Rebellion, launched informally last year, is a six-year-old, 94-proof Bourbon with a mashbill of around 70% corn and 30% rye and barley. Created by the Opici family, it’s produced in Bardstown, Kentucky. Brinley Gold Shipwreck Rum is a line of rums produced on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. Its variants include small-batch Shipwreck Spiced as well as Coconut, Mango, Coffee and Vanilla flavored offerings.

indexPatron has officially unveiled its upscale Gran Patron Piedra Tequila in the U.S. market. A limited production extra anejo Tequila, Piedra is made via the “Tahona” process in which steam-cooked agave is slowly crushed with a two-ton volcanic stone wheel called a Tahona. The resulting juice is then fermented and distilled along with the agave fiber. Piedra, retailing at $399 a hand-numbered 750-ml. bottle, was previously available only in travel retail.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily