GSN Spirited News: May 11th 2021 Edition

Spanish liqueur brand Licor 43 is releasing its first line extension in the U.S. The new spinoff is Licor 43 Horchata, a blend of Licor 43 Original and traditional horchata, made with tiger nut, sugar, cinnamon, and citrus. It’s at 16% abv and will be available nationwide for a suggested $28 a 750-ml.

Svedka vodka is introducing a new Cherry Limeade flavor. A blend of cherry and limeade flavors with a hint of citrus, the new entry is launching nationwide, retailing at $15 a 750-ml. and $16 a 1-liter. It joins Blue Raspberry, Strawberry Lemonade, Mango Pineapple, and others in the Svedka flavor portfolio.

Tia Maria has added a new liqueur to its U.S. portfolio: Tia Maria Matcha. The new release is made with Japanese matcha extract and is lightly caffeinated and bottled at 17% abv. The new liqueur is rolling out now across the U.S. with a suggested price of $25 a 750-ml. 

Intrepid Spirits is launching Cocalero Negro, a new botanical spirit, in the U.S. The 29% abv, South American-inspired offering is infused with a proprietary blend of botanicals and herbs, and is billed as a spicier take on the original Cocalero expression. It’s rolling out now in select markets, retailing at $30 a 700-ml.

Iowa’s Templeton Distillery has expanded its core lineup, adding a new 10-year-old whiskey. The new whiskey is an extra aged single barrel variant of the company’s standard rye, bottled at 52% abv and retailing for around $85. In addition to launching the new core offering, Templeton has refreshed the packaging for its entire line—including the 4- and 6-year old flagships—with the new packaging showing the whiskey’s age on the neck and a new label set low on an embossed bottle. 

Diageo is launching Johnnie Blonde Blended Scotch Whisky, billed as a sweeter, smoother expression of the Johnnie Walker brand aimed at introducing new audiences to Scotch whisky. Debuting initially in the Houston market, Johnnie Blonde is at 40% abv and retails at $25 a 750-ml. To support the launch, the brand has partnered with Houston-based public art consulting firm UP Art Studio on a Big Walls Big Dreams mural-painting festival that will refresh public art in Houston neighborhoods.

Beam Suntory has launched Old Overholt 114 nationally. The 57% abv rye whiskey is aged for four years and non-chill filtered. It joins the brand’s 43% abv release and more recent Old Overholt Bottled in Bond brand extension. Previously the high-proof variant was exclusive to Ohio and Pennsylvania but is now rolling out across the U.S. for around $33 a 750-ml. 

Heaven Hill Brands has expanded Carolans Irish Cream, adding a new cold brew coffee-flavored expression to brand’s lineup. The 17% abv liqueur blends coffee, chocolate, and the brand’s original Irish Cream for a new creation aimed at fans of both coffee and sweet liqueurs. Carolans Cold Brew is rolling out now across the U.S. for around $16 a 750-ml.

Angel’s Envy has announced a new, limited-edition whiskey hitting shelves in time for Father’s Day. For this special edition—the third in the distillery’s Cellar Collection—Angel’s Envy finished the whiskey in Madeira casks before bottling at 50% abv. Only 3,360 bottles are launching in all, with 400 bottles set aside for sale at the company’s distillery and 600 for sale to members of Angel’s Envy 500 Main club. The remainder will be available in select retailers in Kentucky, New York, California, Florida, Tennessee, Illinois, and Texas at a suggested price of $230 a 750-ml.

Actor Nick Offerman and Diageo-owned Lagavulin Single Malt Scotch Whisky have extended their partnership, with the distillery releasing a new Lagavulin Offerman Edition for Father’s Day 2021. The 11-year-old whisky spent four months finishing in Guinness barrels from Maryland’s Open Gate Brewery before bottling at 46% abv. Lagavulin Offerman Edition: Guinness Cask Finish will retail at around $80 a 750-ml. and will be available for a limited time nationwide. 

Texas distiller Still Austin has released a cask strength bottling of its Bourbon whiskey to retailers throughout the Lone Star State. The 59% abv whiskey—like the company’s lower-proof Bourbon—is made from a mash of 70% corn, 25% rye, and 5% wildfire-malted barley, with all grains sourced from Texas. The new whiskey is a limited release, with 1,100 cases available now and another 1,100 cases to be released in September. Still Austin Cask Strength Bourbon will retail at $65 a 750-ml.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: November 3rd 2020 Edition

Bacardi-owned Angel’s Envy has announced the 2020 iteration of its Cask Strength Kentucky Straight Bourbon whiskey finished in Port barrels. This year’s whiskey comes in at 60.2% abv and will launch—for the first time—in select retailers in all 50 states on November 1. As always, this is a limited release and only 17,400 bottles will be available, for a suggested price of $200 a 750-ml.

Volcán de mi Tierra Reposado

Moët Hennessy is extending its Volcán de mi Tierra Tequila brand with a Reposado expression. The 100%-blue agave Tequila is rested for 135 days in new casks made of American and European oak. The newcomer is rolling out in select states, retailing at $55 a 750-ml. A collaboration between Moët Hennessy and the Gallardo family, Volcán de mi Tierra’s other offerings include Blanco and Cristalino Tequilas.

Heaven’s Door Spirits, the partnership between Bob Dylan and Spirits Investment Partners, is launching Bootleg Series Vol. II, a new luxury Bourbon expression. A cask strength 15-year-old Straight Bourbon finished in 30-year-old Jamaican pot still rum casks and bottled at 104.6 proof, Bootleg Series Vol. II comes in a handmade ceramic bottle featuring Bob Dylan’s painting, Sunset, Monument Valley, and is housed in an ornate leather journal that is individually numbered. It’s rolling out in an edition of 3,000 bottles, selling at $500 apiece.

Lawrenceburg, Kentucky’s Wild Turkey Distillery, part of the Campari portfolio, has launched Russell’s Reserve 2003, its newest limited edition vintage release. The 44.75% abv whiskey matured for 16 years and is the last Wild Turkey juice barreled at 107 proof (today the company’s whiskies enter the barrel at 115 proof). Only 3,600 bottles of Russell’s Reserve 2003 will be available across the U.S. for a suggested price of $250 a 750-ml. The whiskey joins Russell’s Reserve 10-year-old Bourbon, 6-year-old rye, and their respective single barrel variants in the brand portfolio.

Chopin Imports is bringing Ron Carúpano rum to the U.S. Beginning this month, the Venezuelan brand is introducing its Ron Añejo portfolio and its Prestige Collection, including expressions from Ron Carúpano 6 to Ron Carúpano X.O., and Ron Carúpano Legendario, which range in price from $20 a 750-ml. to $500. RNDC and other distributors will make the brand available in 12 states including California, Florida, and Colorado.

Quintessential Brands is launching a selection of whiskies from the Dublin Liberties Distillery in the U.S. The Liberties Irish Whiskey range focuses on single malts and unique cask finishes. The U.S. selection is composed of one blend and three single malts. The blend is called Oak Devil, aged five years in oak casks and retailing for approximately $45 a 750-ml. The single malt range includes Copper Alley 10-year old ($60), Murder Lane 13-year-old ($90), and Keeper’s Coin 16-year-old ($160). The whiskies are debuting at select retailers in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Colorado, Washington, Michigan, and Minnesota.

Saint Michaels, Maryland’s Gray Wolf has introduced an eponymous rye whiskeyThe 46.5% abv whiskey is distilled from a mash of 60% rye and 40% malted barley and aged in a solera system that uses three cask types. The whiskey starts off in charred new American oak before progressing to Port barrels and American white oak. The first batch of Gray Wolf rye will be available at the distillery and farmers’ markets throughout the state. Home delivery begins on November 2.

Tequila Partida is launching an Añejo Cristalino as the latest addition to its lineup. The expression is distilled from Blue Weber agave that’s cooked 24 hours, then aged a minimum of 18 months in American white oak medium toast ex-Bourbon barrels before being filtered through activated carbon. The filtration removes most of the liquid’s color but leaves aromas and flavor intact; the liquid is then diluted with demineralized volcanic spring water to bring it to 40% abv. Añejo Cristalino launches nationwide in November, retailing for $60 a 750-ml.

Maison Ferrand has announced Ferrand Cognac Légendaire, a new luxury-priced annual release containing some of the oldest Cognacs in the house’s library. The spirit draws from reserves up to 100 years old, and the final blend is finished in a zebra barrel—a barrel with the staves gradually replaced as the Cognac matures, imparting new tannins without overwhelming the spirit in the barrel, according to the company. Beginning this month, Ferrand Cognac Légendaire will be available in extremely limited quantities—only 500 bottles will be released each year—for around $2,800 a 750-ml.

Brooklyn-based Widow Jane Distillery is launching You’ll Never Walk Alone, a 10-year-old Bourbon aimed at raising funds for the USBG National Charity Foundation and CORE: Children of Restaurant Employees. Widow Jane will donate 100% of the proceeds from sales of You’ll Never Walk Alone to Covid-19 relief and guarantees a minimum donation of $50,000. A total of 550 cases of the 100-proof Bourbon are rolling out across California, Washington D.C., Florida, Illinois, New York, and Texas.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: August 25th 2020 Edition

The Dalmore single malt Scotch has unveiled a new ultra-luxury rare whisky collection in the U.S. The Dalmore Rare & Aged Collection includes 35-, 40-, and 45-year-old expressions retailing at $6,000, $8,800, and $14,600 respectively. Made from exceptional casks selected by Dalmore master distiller Richard Paterson, the Rare & Aged series is packaged in bespoke Baccarat crystal decanters featuring a solid silver stag created by silversmiths Hamilton & Inches, holder of The Royal Warrant. The luxury whiskies will be available at select U.S. retailers.

St. Louis, Missouri-based Luxco has announced a new limited edition of its El Mayor Tequila. The new release is an extra añejo expression aged for at least three and a half years before finishing in rum casks. The 40% abv spirit will retail for around $130, with 6,000 bottles available across the U.S. beginning in September.

Wolf Spirit Distillery is launching a new Bourbon label, Puncher’s Chance. A marriage of 4-, 5-, and 6-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbons, Puncher’s Chance is at 45% abv and retails at $35 a 750-ml. The brand has initially rolled out in nine states—counting Southern Glazer’s, Badger, Atlantic Beverage, and Empire Distributors among its distribution partners—with further expansion on the way.

Angel’s Envy has announced a new Bourbon finished in Mizunara oak casks. Launching in celebration of the brand’s 10-year anniversary, the 48.9% abv whiskey is a 50/50 blend of 4-year-old and 9-year-old Bourbon that married in the Japanese oak for an additional two years. Members of the company’s 500 Main club can now preorder the whiskey online and, following the presale, the remaining bottles (out of a total of 1,200) will be available at the Angel’s Envy distillery and in select Kentucky retailers for $350 a 750-ml.

Tanqueray is entering the booming canned cocktail segment. The Diageo-owned brand’s new Crafted Gin Cocktails include a Gin & Tonic, Rangpur Lime Gin & Soda, and Sevilla Orange Gin & Soda, all at 6% abv and retailing at $15 a 4-pack of 12-ounce cans. The new range is debuting next month in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Illinois, Ohio, and Washington.

Beam Suntory has released the latest batch of Little Book Bourbon, Chapter Four: Lessons Honored. The whiskey is bottled at 61.4% abv and is a blend of three whiskies aged for at least four years: a 4-year-old Bourbon with brown rice in the mash bill, an 8-year-old high rye Bourbon, and a 7-year-old Bourbon made from a more traditional mash bill. Little Book Chapter Four: Lessons Honored is now available across the U.S. in limited quantities for around $125 a 750-ml.

San Diego-based Cutwater Spirits has added a Long Island Iced Tea to its canned cocktail portfolio. The 13.2% abv cocktail includes Cutwater’s Vodka, Rum, Gin, and Tequila, as well as citrus flavors and a splash of cola. It’s now available nationwide, retailing at $13 a four-pack.

Donegal, Ireland’s Sliabh Liag Distillers has launched the Silkie line of Irish whiskies in the U.S. Through a partnership with Preiss Imports, the Legendary Silkie and the Legendary Dark Silkie are now available in 21 states across the U.S. The Legendary Silkie is a 46% abv blended whiskey made with double and triple distilled malt whiskies, grain whiskies, and a small amount of peated malt whiskey. The Dark Silkie is a made with a high proportion of peated malt whiskey matured in Sherry casks and is also bottled at 46% abv. The whiskies are now available for around $40 and $43, respectively.

Brown-Forman-owned single malt Scotch whisky The GlenDronach has announced its latest rare, luxury release, the Kingsman Edition 1989 VintageThe whisky commemorates the upcoming release of the King’s Man movie by 20th Century Pictures and Marv Films. The 29-year-old single malt was matured in Oloroso casks and finished in Pedro Ximénez casks before being bottled at 51% abv. The Kingsman Edition 1989 Vintage will be available in limited quantities across the U.S. market for around $1,300 a 750-ml. This is the second collaboration between The GlenDronach and the Kingsman series.

A new upscale Tequila brand, YaVe, is rolling out in New York this month, distributed by Empire Merchants. YaVe launched in New Jersey in July via Allied Beverage, and a Connecticut debut is in the works as well, expanding on the brand’s existing footprint, which also includes California and Colorado. YaVe includes an unflavored Blanco at 40% abv, as well as Mango- and Jalapeno-infused flavored Tequilas bottled at 35% abv. All three expressions retail at $40 a 750-ml.

Kentucky’s Bardstown Bourbon Co. (BBC) and Copper & Kings American Brandy Co. have teamed up for another entry in Bardstown’s Collaborative series. The new release, a 9-year-old Tennessee Bourbon finished for 18 months in Copper & Kings’ Destillaré orange curaçao barrels, is bottled at 50% abv and is rolling out across BBC’s 13-state distribution footprint in limited quantities. The sixth collaboration between these two distilleries, Bardstown Bourbon Company/Copper & Kings Destillaré Orange Curaçao retails for around $125 a 750-ml.

Baileys has introduced a limited edition Apple Pie Irish Cream Liqueur. To back the launch, the brand has partnered with home delivery service Cocktail Courier and celebrity pastry chef/TV personality Zac Young to curate a Baileys Apple Pie “Friendsgiving Kit,” with which consumers can create the label’s signature “Apple of My Chai” cocktail. Baileys Apple Pie retails at $25 a 750ml.

Ketel One vodka, part of the Diageo portfolio, has entered the premixed cocktail market with a new line of Botanical Vodka SpritzesThe new low-abv drinks come in the same three flavors as the brand’s original Botanicals offshoot—Peach & Orange Blossom, Cucumber & Mint, and Grapefruit & Rose—and all are at 3.6% abv per serving. They have 73 calories per can and contain no carbs, sweeteners, nor added sugars. The Ketel One Botanical Vodka Spritzes are launching in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Ohio, Washington, and Illinois on September 1, retailing at $15 a 4-pack and $4 per individual can.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Review: Angel’s Envy Bourbon

flagshipOne of the more distinctive bottles of recent years is Angel’s Envy.  Created as a tongue-in-cheek nod to the 5% of spirit lost each year in aging, known as the “angel’s share”, Angel’s Envy is what is left behind according to Lincoln Henderson, former Master Distiller for Woodford Reserve.  Lincoln himself joined the angels just a few years after his new bourbon debuted in 2011.  His spirit lives on however using his original recipe which calls for 5-7 year old bourbon finished in ex-Port barrels for an additional 3-6 months.

Angel’s Envy (86.6 proof)
Visual: Medium golden brown.
Nose: Elegantly luscious with a perfect balance of caramel, chocolate and vanilla bean.  The nose is so fine that a few inhalations is akin to actually sipping.
Taste: A lot more of the vanilla comes through on the palate with an oak forward depth that makes for a solid canvas upon which the other elements hang.  Some tree fruit, baking spice, sea salt and pepper, fresh tobacco and fresh whole grain bread.  An absolute knockout of a bourbon.
Finish: Long with all parts diminishing in equal timing.  Not one element is left at the end, just a whisper of sweet lanolin.
Overall: A truly fine bourbon which deserves a wide audience.  Perfect neat either on a large cube of ice or at room temperature.
GSN Rating: A+

For more information go to: Angel’s Envy