GSN Spirited News: April 20th 2021 Edition

St. Paul, Minnesota-based Prestige Beverage Group has added two new whiskies—Tullibardine and Highland Queen—to its portfolio. Tullibardine adds a new single malt to Prestige’s range, including a variety of cask-finished whiskies as well as luxury-priced vintage offerings which can date back decades. Highland Queen is a new contender in blended Scotch for Prestige, which will market the brand’s lineup from its entry level to its luxury-priced blends.

Longmont, Colorado-based Left Hand Brewing Company is releasing Sinister Malt Whiskey in partnership with Foundry Distilling Co. The first release of the collaboration, Sinister Whiskey was inspired by Left Hand Brewing’s Milk Stout Nitro and was distilled from a similar mashbill. The liquid dates from 2019, when Left Hand stopped short of adding lactose or beginning fermentation and instead shipped the liquid to West Des Moines, Iowa, where Foundry Distilling is located. Aged two years in charred oak barrels, the whiskey is at 47.5% abv. Sinister will be available starting in May in Colorado, Iowa, and other select markets, priced at $60 a 750-ml. The two partners are planning three additional whiskey collaborations.

Denver, Colorado-based Stranahan’s has updated its flagship original release with new packaging and older liquid. The 47% abv single malt whiskey is now a blend of 4-, 5-, 6-, and 7-year-old spirits aged in charred American oak barrels. The whiskey’s updated packaging features a new label on the lower half of the bottle as well as a reimagining of Stranahan’s offset yellow label on the top half.

Ardbeg single malt Scotch whisky is introducing Scorch, a new limited edition. Matured in heavily charred American ex-Bourbon casks, Ardbeg Scorch is aimed firmly at devotees of smoky Islay malts. It’s bottled at 46% abv and will roll out June 1, retailing at $120 a bottle. 

Casa Noble Tequila has revamped its ultra-premium range, unveiling refined liquid and overhauled packaging for its Single Estate Organic Blanco ($44), Reposado ($50), and Añejo ($55) expressions. The brand’s new packaging features taller, sleeker bottles with a crest featuring Tequila cues like agave, coa harvesting blades, and a barrel. The redesigned brand, part of the Constellation portfolio, is launching nationwide. 

Our/New York, Manhattan’s first legal distillery since Prohibition, backed by Pernod Ricard, has partnered with Rethink Food to create a limited-edition basil-flavored vodka. The 35% abv spirit is distilled from corn and blended with a basil extract made using locally sourced basil by Brooklyn-based urban farm Square Roots. The new vodka is limited to 1,800 bottles that will be available to bars, restaurants, and retailers across New York City by April 22, just in time for Earth Day.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: January 26th 2021 Edition

San Diego-based Cutwater Spirits is expanding its lineup of RTDs. This month, Cutwater debuted a Mango Margarita (12.5% abv) in California, ahead of a nationwide launch in February. Strawberry and Peach Margaritas will follow in April. Additionally, Cutwater is introducing Frozen Margarita ice pops in a mixed pack featuring lime, strawberry, mango, and pineapple flavors nationally in March. The new entries join Cutwater’s existing Tequila RTDs, which include Paloma, Tequila Soda, and Margarita.

Rémy Cointreau has a launched a new limited edition bottle for Rémy Martin VSOP Cognac that hearkens back to the brand’s designs from the 1980s and 1990s. The bottle features a gold label and comes in a cardboard box with cassette tape art inspired by hip-hop and mixtape culture. The Cognac inside is Rémy’s normal 40% abv VSOP Cognac. The limited edition bottling is available now in select retailers across the U.S. for around $50 a bottle. 

Disaronno and Jack Daniel’s are teaming up with a new initiative called Velvet Fire, a cocktail created by combining Disaronno Velvet with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire in a 2-to-1 ratio. Disaronno Velvet, launched last April, is the newest addition to the brand’s lineup; it’s at 17% abv and retails for $30 a 750-ml. The Velvet Fire campaign is being supported with a dedicated release bundling a bottle of Disaronno Velvet with a bottle of Tennessee Fire. It’s available now nationwide priced at $50 for the two 750-ml. bottles.

Ardbeg is releasing a new limited edition bottling that represents its first rye cask matured offering. A non-age-stated 51.8% abv expression wholly aged in ex-rye casks, Arrrrrrrdbeg! is a tribute to distillery manager Mickey Heads, who retired late last year after 13 years at the distillery’s helm. It’s launching exclusively to the Ardbeg Committee’s 100,000 members on February 1, priced at $180 a bottle. Islay-based Ardbeg is part of the Moët Hennessy-owned Glenmorangie Co. 

Newport Beach, California-based the Cooper Spirits Company has announced a 20-year-old bottling of its Lock, Stock & Barrel rye whiskey. The 56% abv whiskey is sourced from Alberta Distillers and aged in new charred American oak barrels that were not toasted, a move the company says has allowed the whiskey to age gracefully over two decades. Only 1,000 3-pack cases have been released and the whiskey is now available at select retailers across the U.S. for a suggested price of $389 a 750-ml.

Brown-Forman has announced Woodford Reserve’s 2021 Winter Distillery Series release, set to debut tomorrow. This year’s release marks the return of Woodford Reserve Double Double Oaked, which as the name suggests, is Woodford’s Double Oaked Bourbon finished for an additional year in a heavily toasted, lightly charred new oak barrel. The whiskey comes in at 45.2% abv and will launch Wednesday at the Woodford distillery. It will also be available at select retailers in Kentucky for a suggested price of $50 a 375-ml.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: December 1st 2020 Edition

Warren, Vermont’s Mad River Distillers has teamed up with Napa, California’s Silver Oak Cellars on a new barrel finished rye whiskey. The 48% abv whiskey is distilled from 100% chocolate rye and following its initial maturation undergoes a second aging period in toasted oak barrels previously used to mature Silver Oak Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon. Only five barrels of the Cabernet-finished rye were produced. The bottling is available at Post Road Liquors in Wayland, Massachusetts and Upper Falls Beverage in Needham, Massachusetts. In addition, the rye will be available from the distillery at its Burlington and Waitsfield, Vermont-based tasting rooms.

Backbone Bourbon Company has added two new whiskies to its portfolio. The first, Backbone Uncut Decade Down, is a new 10th anniversary edition of the company’s barrel strength whisky that comes in at roughly 57% abv (depending on the batch). The company is also launching a 15-year-old extension of its Old Bones Bourbon. The new Old Bones release is five years older than the original and was distilled in Frankfort, Kentucky before bottling at 54% abv. The new Old Bones is available now in limited quantities (214 6-packs), retailing at $130. Roughly 250 cases of Backbone Uncut Decade Down will be available in the company’s 20-state distribution footprint beginning in December.

Ardbeg single malt Scotch is extending its core range at the high end with a 25-year-old expression. Bottled at 46% abv, the newcomer is presented in a gun metal bottle encased in an intricate metal cage. It will roll out globally in January, retailing at $850 a bottle. 

North Carolina’s Durham Distillery is launching Conniption Barrel Aged Gin No. 1, the first in a series of annual releases. The new offering is inspired by the botanical blend in Durham Distillery’s Conniption Navy Strength gin, complemented by 10 months spent aging in Bourbon barrels sourced from High West Distillery. (High West owner Constellation Brands has a minority stake in Durham.) Conniption Barrel Aged Gin No. 1 is currently available exclusively in North Carolina but will roll out nationally on February 1.

Jose Cuervo is extending its high-end Reserva de la Familia range with Platino and Reposado offerings. Made at the La Rojena distillery, Platino ($65) is making its return to the U.S. market after a period of absence, while the Reposado ($85)—aged in heavily toasted American oak as well as lightly toasted American and French oak—is entirely new. The new entries join the existing Extra Anejo ($189) in the Reserva de la Familia portfolio, which is celebrating its 25th year on the market.

Bacardi is bringing back its ready-to-drink Coquito, which proved popular last holiday season. Retailing at $20 a 750-ml., the limited edition offering combines Bacardi Superior white rum with toasted spices, coconut cream, vanilla, and cinnamon, and is bottled at 13% abv. It’s rolling out to 44 states—marking an expansion of more than 30 states compared with last year’s launch.

Tequila Ocho is releasing three new Anejo expressions under its Barrel Select series. Barrel Select Tropical is a 45.8% abv Tequila aged in rum casks from Fiji, Trinidad, and Panama. Barrel Select Continental is aged in Cognac casks and was bottled at 43.1% abv, while Barrel Select Transatlantic was aged in both Cognac casks and rum casks from Fiji and Panama. All three were made in collaboration with Maison Ferrand master blender Alexandre Gabriel and retail at $90 a 750-ml.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: February 18th 2020 Edition

Zeke Bronfman and Nate Medow are partnering to launch Xed, a new canned sparkling cocktail brand. Pronounced “Crossed,” the new entry is brewed from cane sugar and comes in four 5.7% abv expressions: Vodka Soda, Gin + Tonic, Moscow Mule, and Mojito, all of which contain 1 gram of sugar, 2 grams of carbohydrates, and 120 calories a 12-ounce can. Xed is initially planning to launch in New Jersey in April in 6-packs of cans, with expansion to New York to follow. Bronfman and Medow are classmates at Williams College. Bronfman is the grandson of the late Edgar Bronfman, Sr., who for decades led drinks giant The Seagram Company Ltd.

Seattle, Washington-based Westland Distillery has unveiled Coldfoot, a new limited-edition whiskey launching in conjunction with outdoor outfitter C.C. Filson’s line of clothes and gear of the same name. The 50% abv single malt whiskey is bottled without an age statement, but the company says it “traces major components of Westland’s five-year-old stock” and that peated and Sherry cask-matured whiskies are included. Westland’s Coldfoot will be available in extremely limited quantities—978 bottles—at a suggested price of $100 a 750-ml. Westland is part of the Rémy Cointreau portfolio.

Ardbeg, part of the Moët Hennessy portfolio, is launching Ardbeg Blaaack to commemorate the 20th anniversary of its Ardbeg Committee. The Islay-based whisky maker twenty years ago formed the committee to safeguard the legacy of the brand; it now boasts more than 100,000 members worldwide who are consulted on new bottlings and expressions. Named in reference to the sheep that the distillery takes its name from, Blaaack is a limited-edition release aged in Pinot Noir casks sourced from New Zealand and bottled at 46% abv. It retails at $140 a 750-ml.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN: Backbar Review – May 27-31, 2013

imagesMoët Hennessy has launched a limited edition Ardbeg expression coinciding with the single malt Scotch brand’s annual Ardbeg Day celebrations. The new release, Ardbog, is matured in ex-Manzanilla casks and is bottled at 52.1% abv. and will retail at around $99 a 750-ml. Out of 2,500 cases produced, 1,000 will come to the U.S. In support of the launch, Ardbeg has renamed its 2013 Ardbeg Day event Ardbog Day, and will host a series of promotions, tastings and parties throughout the U.S., from May 28 through June 1. Ardbeg Day is held on the final day of Islay’s annual Festival of Malt and Music, when the Ardbeg distillery is opened to the public. The Scotch brand first launched worldwide celebrations of the event in 2012, alongside its debut limited edition Ardbeg Day offering, Ardbeg Galileo.

imagesChris Radomski and Jayson Woodbridge of Hundred Acre Wines have partnered with Ethan Wayne, son of John Wayne, to establish craft producer Monument Valley Distillers. The artisan distiller will craft small batches of Bourbon, whiskey and brandy under the brand name Duke Spirits (to honor John Wayne). The first release is a limited edition Duke Special Reserve Brandy ($350), with only a limited quantity available by waitlist. Designed to commemorate John Wayne’s birthday (May 26) and his legacy, the brandy has been aged for 24 years and was distilled in an alambic pot still.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily