GSN Spirited News: August 31st 2021 Edition

Islay-based single malt Scotch brand Ardbeg has announced its latest release, Ardbeg Traigh Bhan Batch 3. The 19-year-old whisky is set to hit shelves this September and is part of the distillery’s yearly limited-release of substantially aged whisky. This year’s batch comes in at 46.2% abv and features the signature of Ardbeg’s director of distilling and whisky creation, Dr. Bill Lumsden. Ardbeg Traigh Bhan Batch 3 will retail for around $300 a 750-ml.

Brown-Forman is extending Jack Daniel’s with its first 10-year-old age stated Tennessee whiskey in more than 100 years. Retailing at $70, the 97-proof whiskey will debut in limited quantities across the U.S. next month. Jack Daniel’s master distiller Chris Fletcher sourced the new offering from oak barrels that were relocated throughout the brand’s barrelhouse to extend the aging process over the past 10 years.

Washington-based Woodinville Whiskey, part of the Moët Hennessy portfolio, will unveil a special distillery-only Harvest Release whiskey on September 11, Moscatel Finished Woodinville Straight Bourbon. The new entry was finished in 200-gallon Moscatel De Setúbal barrels, a rare fortified wine produced on the Setúbal Peninsula of Portugal. Bottled at 100 proof, the special edition will retail at $70 a bottle.

An extremely rare set of single cask Japanese whiskies, named the Legend of Asama, have come to market. The whiskies were distilled in 1981 and matured for 20 years at the Karuizawa Distillery before being transferred to Chichibu Distillery. The two Karuizawa 1981 35-Year-Old Single Cask Japanese Single Malt whiskies in the set—from casks 4059 and 6183—were bottled at cask strength in 2017, when the majority of bottles were sold. Only 30 sets, encased in Glencairn Crystal glassware and lunawood casing, are available worldwide through Legend of Asama’s website.

Maison Ferrand’s Plantation Rum has announced the release of the complete Birds of Paradise series of vintage rums. Three of the six rums—Fiji 2005, Jamaica 2003, and Barbados 2011—are currently available, with two more—Peru 2006 and Trinidad 2009—launching in October, and the final release, Australia 2007, coming to market in November. All expressions in the line will retail for a suggested price of $80 a 750-ml. and are or will be available in major markets across the U.S.

Brooklyn, New York’s Widow Jane has added Lucky Thirteen, previously a private-barrel release, to its year-round lineup of whiskies. The 13-year-old Bourbon is bottled at 46.5% abv from barrels chosen by Widow Jane president and head distiller Lisa Wicker. While Lucky Thirteen will be available throughout the year, it will remain a limited offering within the Widow Jane portfolio and will retail for around $100 a 750-ml. bottle.

Lexington, Kentucky-based Town Branch Distillery has unveiled two new limited-edition Bourbons. They include Town Branch True Cask Kentucky Straight Bourbon, a cask strength 54% abv whiskey retailing at $45 a 750-ml., and Town Branch Sherry Cask Finished Kentucky Straight Bourbon, bottled at 48.2% abv and retailing at $70. The new expressions will be available for purchase at the distillery and in select markets nationwide beginning next month.

Lux Row Distillers has announced Blood Oath Trilogy Second Edition, the latest collection from the luxury priced Bourbon label. The new pack contains Blood Oath Pacts 4, 5, and 6—released between 2018 and 2020—with all three Bourbons bottled at 49.3% abv. The trio is packaged in a black display box that shows off each whiskey’s label. In September, Lux Row will release 1,400 3-packs at a suggested price of $799.

Barrell Craft Spirits has released the latest release in the BCS line of limited edition whiskies. This release—adorned with a gray label—is a blend of 15-year-old Bourbon whiskies distilled in Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee. The whiskey is bottled at cask strength, 50.2% abv, and is available in select retailers across the U.S. for a suggested price of $250 a 750-ml.

Anheuser-Busch has extended Natural Light into the spirits category with Natural Light Vodka, a new line of lemonade-flavored spirits. The line of 30% abv vodkas is kicking off with three flavors—traditional lemonade, strawberry lemonade, and black cherry lemonade—and is available in both 750- and 50-ml. bottles. 

Information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: August 10th 2021 Edition

Beam Suntory has launched Basil Hayden Toast, a new Bourbon featuring a brand new mash bill. The 40% abv whiskey swaps out rye for brown rice in the mash and a portion of the final whiskey is finished in toasted oak barrels after its initial aging period. Basil Hayden Toast is now available across the U.S. for a suggested price of $50 a 750-ml. 

Diageo has announced the second round of releases in its Prima & Ultima collection of single malt Scotch whiskies, with registration now open for collectors to indicate their interest in the bottles. This release consists of eight bottles selected from Diageo’s Scotch distilleries and only 376 full sets will be released for a suggested price of £23,500 (including tax and duty), which converts to $32,641. Whiskies in this collection come from Convalmore, Auchroisk, Lagavulin, and Brora, among others. In September, Diageo will auction off the first set of bottles from this collection through Sotheby’s, with proceeds benefiting humanitarian agency CARE International.

Hall of Fame basketball player Scottie Pippen has teamed up with Dave Phinney’s Savage & Cooke for a new Bourbon. The brand, called Digits, is a 5 year old Tennessee Bourbon with a mashbill of 75% corn, 21% rye, and 4% malted barley that is bottled at 46% abv. It’s available in the Chicago area, retailing at $70. 

Código 1530 has announced a new, ultra-aged, luxury Tequila. The 13-year-old spirit is bottled at 40% abv with part of its extended maturation taking place in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels, which, according to co-founder and co-CEO Ron Snyder, have very dense grain, allowing the Tequila to slowly soak in flavors from the wood. Before bottling, the Tequila finishes for six months in Cognac casks to impart another level of flavor. Código 1530 13-year-old will be limited to 350 bottles, with each retailing for a suggested price of $3,300. It’s available through the brand’s website and in select high-end retailers.

The Dalmore has announced The Dalmore Decades, a new collection of rare Scotch whiskies drawn from the company’s collection of ultra-aged spirits. Three sets of whiskies—Nos. 4, 5, and 6—will be released in very limited quantities, with No. 4 selling for £100,000 ($138,825.50) and No. 5 for £200,000 ($277,651). The No. 4 Collection features four whiskies from 1979 onward and the No. 5 Collection is made up of five whiskies from 1967 and later. The Dalmore Decades No. 6 Collection is the rarest of the three, featuring six bottles from 1951 to 2000, that will be auctioned off by Sotheby’s Hong Kong beginning in October.

Nashville, Tennessee’s Brown Water Spirits has launched O.H. Ingram River Aged Flagship Bourbon Whiskey, the third release in the brand family. The 50% abv whiskey is available in select locations in Tennessee and Kentucky and is the inaugural release in a new annual series. Later this year, the company plans to launch a wheated Bourbon as the fourth release in the O.H. Ingram family. All of the brand’s whiskies are matured in a floating rickhouse on the Mississippi River.

Barrell Craft Spirits has released Barrell Bourbon Batch 030, a blend of straight Bourbon whiskies. The batch includes liquid from 5-, 6-, 9-, 10-, 11-, and 15-year old barrels distilled and aged in Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, and Wyoming, and bottled at a cask strength of 117.32 proof. Barrell Bourbon Batch 030 carries a suggested retail price of $90.

El Mayor Tequila, part of the Luxco portfolio now owned by MGP Ingredients, has added a new luxury expression: El Mayor Extra Añejo Sherry Cask Aged. The 40% abv Tequila matured for 38 months in Sherry casks and was distilled from hand-selected, estate-grown agave. The new Extra Añejo retails for around $130 a 750-ml. and is a limited release with roughly 5,000 bottles allocated across the brand’s distribution footprint. The new release is the third Extra Añejo Tequila from El Mayor, joining the brand’s American oak aged version and its Rum Cask Finish Extra Añejo.

Pernod Ricard is extending the Jameson portfolio with a new orange flavor, which will roll out in the U.S. next year. Jameson Orange combines the triple-distilled Jameson Irish Whiskey with natural orange flavoring and is bottled at 30% abv. The newcomer will debut in international markets like the U.K. and Russia, retailing at £24 ($33), before coming to the U.S. in 2022.

Information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: March 30th 2021 Edition

Kentucky’s Bardstown Bourbon Co. has announced its second collaboration with California wine brand The Prisoner, set to hit shelves on April 1. The whiskey—the latest in Bardstown’s Collaboration Series—is a 10-year-old Tennessee bourbon, bottled at 50%, and finished for 18 months in barrels used to mature The Prisoner’s flagship red blend. Bardstown Bourbon Company & The Prisoner Wine Company Collaboration will retail for around $124 a 750-ml. and will be available in limited quantities in Bardstown’s distribution footprint.

Luxury Tequila player Clase Azul is introducing a new offering, Mezcal Guerrero, nationwide on April 1. The newcomer is made from 100% Agave Papalote, also known as Agave Cupreata, which is specific to Mexico’s Guerrero region and can take up to 15 years to mature. Recommended to be sipped neat, Clase Azul’s Mezcal Guerrero is packaged in a tall green decanter stylized with a number of elements evocative of Guerrero culture. The 42% abv mezcal will retail at $249 a 750-ml.

Highland Park, part of the Edrington portfolio, has unveiled a new ultra-luxury single malt. The new Highland Park 50-year-old was selected from nine refill casks originally laid down in 1968, married together in 2008, then re-racked into a handful of first-fill Sherry seasoned oak casks. Then, after a further 12 years of maturation, one of these limited casks was selected and married with a small quantity of the whisky from the last 50-year-old released by the Orkney-based distillery. Bottled at 43.8% abv and retailing at $30,000 a bottle, Highland Park 50-year-old is an extremely limited release of 274 bottles each signed by master whisky maker Gordon Motion.

Oakland, California’s Absinthia Bottled Spirits has launched Absinthia Verte, the brand’s second release following Absinthia Blanche. The absinthe is made from California grapes and distilled with wormwood, star anise, fennel seed, and coriander seed, plus Roman wormwood, anise hyssop, and lemon balm to give the Verte its green color. The spirit is bottled at 55% abv and retails for $45 a 375-ml. Absinthia Verte (and its sibling, Blanche) are available on the brand’s website and in key markets across the U.S.

Sombra mezcal, part of the Davos Brands portfolio recently acquired by Diageo, is launching Reposé, billed as a first-of-its-kind reposado made with Sombra’s Espadin mezcal, aged in Bordeaux wine barrels. Sourced from Château Léoville Poyferré, a second growth wine estate in Saint-Julien, the barrels are filled with Sombra’s Espadin mezcal and aged for up to six months. Château Léoville Poyferré is owned by the family of Davos founder Guillaume Cuvelier. Sombra Reposé is launching nationally, retailing at $50 a bottle.

Beam Suntory has released the first bottling of Booker’s Bourbon for 2021: Donohoe’s Batch. This iteration of the barrel-proof Bourbon is bottled after 6 years and comes in at 63.65% abv. Donohoe’s Batch is named for Mike Donohoe, a friend of Booker Noe and longtime top executive at Jim Beam. Booker’s Bourbon Donohoe’s Batch is now available in limited quantities across the U.S. for a suggested price of $90 a 750-ml.

Dallas, Texas-based Oak & Eden has re-released Bourbon & Brew, the company’s popular collaboration with West Oak Coffee. The 45% abv Bourbon is finished in bottle with a 5-inch piece of French oak that is soaked in West Oak cold brew coffee sourced from Colombia. Bourbon & Brew is now available on Oak & Eden’s website for $60 a 750-ml. and in retailers in most of the company’s 22-state distribution footprint.

Pernod Ricard has announced new watermelon flavors for both Absolut vodka and Malibu rum. Absolut Watermelon comes in at 38% abv and will be available nationwide beginning on April 12. Malibu Watermelon is now available across the U.S. and comes at 21% abv; 750-ml. bottles retail for around $20 and 1.75-liter bottles go for a suggested price of $26.

Louisville, Kentucky’s Barrell Craft Spirits has launched a new brand, Stellum, with a pair of barrel strength whiskies. Initially, the brand is hitting shelves with a Bourbon and a rye; each is a blend of straight whiskies sourced from Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Stellum Bourbon comes in at 57.49% abv and the brand’s rye is at 58.12% abv. Both retail for a suggested price of $55 a 750-ml. and are available in select locations across 45 states. In addition to Stellum’s blended releases, the company will also offer single barrel bottlings under the brand name.

Bozal mezcal, part of the 3 Badge Beverage portfolio, is introducing Guías de Calabaza, a vegetarian Sacrificio-style mezcal from Río de Ejutla in Oaxaca. A single maguey expression made from 100% Agave Angustifolia (Espadín), Bozal Guías de Calabaza retails at $99 and carries an abv of 47%. Sacrificio mezcals are made in small batches for personal consumption as well as for fiestas with locals and neighbors. Their distillation often involves meat proteins like pork, chicken, or lamb. 3 Badge says Guías de Calabaza follows traditional sacrificio methods while eschewing the protein addition.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: March 16th 2021 Edition

Boston-based Latitude Beverage has launched Tequila Zarpado, the first agave spirit in the company’s portfolio. The release was distilled at Cavas de Don Max from 100% blue agave and will initially be available as a Blanco expression. The 40% abv Tequila will retail for around $25 a 750-ml. and will be available in Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island.

Agave Loco has announced the national release for RumChata Limón. The 14% abv liqueur is a blend of Caribbean rum and cream with added vanilla and lemon flavoring. In addition to making Limón available across the U.S., the company has added new sizes—a 375-ml. bottle ($16) and a 3-pack of 100-ml. bottles ($12)—to the roster. RumChata Limón is also available in 750-ml. bottles for around $22 at retail.

Jackson, Mississippi’s Cathead Distillery has launched Bitter Orange vodka, the first flavored innovation for the company’s Cathead vodka in eight years. The 35% abv spirit is made with Bitter Orange and Satsuma extract and bottled without any added sugar. It joins the unflavored original vodka and two flavors—honeysuckle and pecan—in Cathead’s vodka portfolio. Cathead Bitter Orange vodka is now available in select retailers across the U.S. at around $20 a 750-ml. and $27 a liter.

Bombay Sapphire gin has launched a line of canned cocktails. The new ready-to-drink offerings—Bombay Sapphire Gin & Tonic and Bombay Sapphire Gin & Tonic Light—mark the Bacardi brand’s entry into the canned cocktail space. The cocktails are packaged in 4-packs of 250-ml. cans, retail priced at $13. Bombay Sapphire canned cocktails are currently rolling out nationwide.

The Dubliner Irish Whiskey is launching The Dubliner Beer Cask Irish Whiskey. The release was created in partnership with Massachusetts craft brewer Wachusett Brewing Company. First, the distiller shipped casks used for its Bourbon Cask Aged Irish Whiskey to Wachusett to use to create a barrel aged version of its Quinn’s Amber Ale. Then the brewer shipped back the now-beer soaked casks to Dubliner for its release. Dubliner Beer Cask is now available in Massachusetts and surrounding New England markets like Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Louisville, Kentucky’s Barrell Craft Spirits has launched Seagrass, a new blend of American and Canadian rye whiskies. The release comes in at 59.2% abv and is blended from whiskies finished in Martinique Rhum Agricole casks, apricot brandy casks, and Madeira barrels. The American component of Seagrass is sourced from Indiana and no age statements were disclosed. Seagrass is now available in 45 markets across the U.S. for a suggested price of $90 a 750-ml.

County Down, Ireland’s Two Stacks Irish whiskey has launched Dram in a Can, a new 43% whiskey packaged in 100-ml. cans. The whiskey is blended from Irish grain whiskey, single pot still whiskey, and peated malt whiskey. Four-packs of 100-ml. cans are now available across the U.S. for around $19. Looking ahead, the company plans to release the canned whiskey in 750-ml. bottles alongside Two Stacks Blender’s Cut, a 65% abv brand offshoot. Two Stacks Dram in a Can is imported by High Road Spirits.

Versailles, Kentucky-based Woodford Reserve is releasing its annual high-proof expression for 2021. Woodford Reserve Batch Proof, part of Woodford’s Master’s Collection, was bottled this year at 128.3 proof (approximately 64% abv). It comes in a new bottle, which features a long neck and rounded shoulders. This limited-edition release is available in select U.S. markets for a suggested price of $130 a 750-ml. and can be purchased at the Brown-Forman-owned Woodford Reserve Distillery.

Diageo has launched Cîroc Summer Citrus, the latest flavored offshoot for the grape-distilled vodka brand. The 35% abv spirit is infused with orange and other citrus flavors, and comes packaged in a multicolor bottle meant to evoke summer. Cîroc Summer Citrus is now available for a limited time across the U.S. for a suggested price of $34 a 750-ml. Last year, Cîroc slipped an estimated 2.2% to 1.35 million cases in the U.S., according to Impact Databank.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: March 2nd 2021 Edition

Grey Goose has unveiled Essences, a new range of vodkas infused with real fruit and cold-distilled botanicals. The lineup will initially include Strawberry & Lemongrass, White Peach & Rosemary, and Watermelon & Basil expressions. The new range is at 30% abv and has no gluten, artificial ingredients, sugar or carbs. It’s aimed at the fast-growing at-home cocktail segment. Grey Goose Essences are rolling out nationwide, retailing at $30 a 750-ml.

Louisville, Kentucky-based Michter’s will release another edition of its Barrel Strength Rye in March, the first barrel proof rye released since April 2019. The 2021 release comes in at an average abv of 55.15% and will retail at around $100 a 750-ml. This limited release will sit alongside Michter’s core US*1 portfolio and the company’s higher-end age-stated releases, all of which are currently allocated to help manage supply.

Crested Butte, Colorado-based Montanya Distillers has partnered with Louisiana-based Three Roll Estate to help meet rising demand. Under the partnership, Montanya will bottle a 50/50 blend of the Three Roll rum with Montanya Oro and Platino for a short period of time until Montanya replenishes its inventory after its distillery expansion. To introduce Colorado whiskey finishing notes, the blends will first age in Laws Whiskey House barrels. The new blends and bottles should start to hit stores in March.

Fort Collins, Colorado’s Old Elk has launched its first limited release of 2021: Sour Mash Reserve. The whiskey is distilled from a mash of 51% corn, 34% malted barley, and 15% rye and was distilled in New York. The first batch consists of 5,040 bottles that will be distributed in select markets by Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. It will retail for a suggested price of $90 a 750-ml.

Welsh whisky maker Penderyn Distillery has announced two new single cask whiskies exclusive to the U.S. market, set to hit shelves on March 1, just in time for St. David’s Day, the national day of Wales. First up is Penderyn 15 Year Old Bourbon Matured Single Cask, a 59% abv whisky that matured in an ex-Buffalo Trace barrels. A very limited supply will be available for around $170 a 750-ml. The other new whisky is Penderyn 13 Year Old Rich Oak Single Cask, a 58.1% abv whisky matured in Buffalo Trace barrels before finishing in a European oak cask that was shaved, toasted, and re-charred. This whisky will retail for $150 and is also rolling out in very limited amounts. The whiskies are available in select states across the U.S.

Bumbu Rum Company is introducing Bumbu Créme, a new line extension joining its existing Bumbu Original and Bumbu XO expressions. Retailing at $35 a 750-ml., Bumbu Créme is a 15% abv blend of rum, spices, and real dairy cream and is recommended to be served chilled straight, on the rocks, or in cocktails.

Barrell Craft Spirits has launched Batch 028, the company’s latest Bourbon whiskey. The new release is a blend of 10- and 11-year-old whiskies distilled and matured in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana before blending and bottling at cask strength by Barrell. Batch 028 comes in at 54.43% abv and will retail for a suggested price of $90 a 750-ml. Barrell’s whiskies are currently available in 46 states across the U.S.

Mezcal El Silencio is entering the Tequila category with the introduction of a Cristalino expression called Dahlia. Retailing at $40, Dahlia is a 100%-blue agave Reposado Tequila, which is filtered through activated charcoal. Constellation acquired a minority interest in El Silencio for an undisclosed sum in 2019. The brand is known for its core Ensamble and Espadin mezcals.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: December 22nd 2020 Edition

Precept Wine has launched A.G. Perino Dry and Sweet Vermouths. Retailing at $10 a 750-ml., A.G. Perino is made by winemaker Hal Landvoigt and uses premium wines and natural flavors to produce vermouth in a classic Italian style. Both the sweet and dry varieties are recommended to be served on the rocks or in a variety of cocktails. The vermouth category was up 35% in dollar terms in Nielsen channels over the 26 weeks through November 28.

Kentucky’s Bardstown Bourbon Company has announced three releases—including two new editions of its “Series” labels and the return of a previous collaboration. Bardstown’s Fusion Series 4 ($60 a 750-ml.) is a blend of 13-, 4-, and 3-year old whiskies bottled at 47.45% abv, and its Discovery Series 4 ($130) is a blend of 15-, 13-, and 10-year old whiskies bottled at 57.5% abv. The third release is the Phifer Pavitt Collaborative Series ($125), a 50% abv Tennessee Bourbon aged 10 years and finished 18 months in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels. All three releases will be available across Bardstown’s distribution footprint.

Jefferson’s Bourbon has added a new single barrel release to its portfolio. The 50% abv offering marks the first time that Jefferson’s has marketed a single barrel whiskey, and it comes in at a higher proof than the company’s flagship releases. Jefferson’s Reserve Single Barrel is now available in select retailers across the U.S. for around $60 a 750-ml. 

Compass Box has announced the February 2021 launch of Magic Cask, a new blended malt whisky. Bottled at 46% abv, Magic Cask’s creation was inspired by a particular cask of Sherry-matured Scotch, which was blended with whiskies from the shuttered Imperial Distillery. The 2021 iteration of Magic Cask is an extremely limited release, with only 1,800 bottles available across the U.S. at $175 a 750-ml.

Nashville, Tennessee-based Brown Water Spirits is releasing O.H. Ingram River Aged Straight Rye. It’s the second in the company’s River Aged Series and follows the October debut of O.H. Ingram River Aged Straight Whiskey. Both expressions are aged in a floating rickhouse moored on the bank of the Mississippi River in Ballard County, Kentucky, creating constant motion during the aging process. River Aged Rye ($80) is at 49% abv and is currently available in Tennessee, with additional markets coming as inventory allows through R.S. Lipman and Vintage Point. Brown Water Spirits was founded in 2015.

Barrell Craft Spirits has released Barrell Bourbon Batch 027, a blend of Straight Bourbon whiskies distilled and aged in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana. The new bottling features a selection of five-, six-, eight-, nine-, 13- and 15-year-old barrels. Retailing at $90 a 750-ml., it was bottled in Kentucky at a cask-strength 115.7 proof. Barrell Craft Spirits has a distribution footprint of 45 states.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: November 24th 2020 Edition

Stoli Group USA has introduced the latest releases for Kentucky Owl: Rye Batch No. 4 and Bourbon Batch No. 10. The brand’s latest rye release, called “The Last Rye” is a blend of 10- to 13-year-old whiskey bottled at 56.4% abv. Kentucky Owl Bourbon Batch No. 10 is a 60.1% abv non-age-stated blend of whiskies that, according to the company, marries some of its oldest and oakiest whiskies with younger, fruitier spirits. Both are now available across the U.S. at a suggested price of $300 a 750-ml.

Louisville, Kentucky’s Barrell Craft Spirits has announced the Private Release Bourbon Series, a new line of limited editions. The releases are blended from four Bourbons—sourced from Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana—of varying ages combined to make 49 different recipes. Each offering is bottled at cask strength and will retail for around $110 a 750-ml. Only 150-180 bottles will be available for each batch and a list of retailers is available on Barrell’s website.

Newport, Oregon’s Rogue Ales & Spirits has launched the Single Barrel Project, a new collection of one-off whiskey releases. The series will consist of four releases per year and will be exclusive to retailers in Oregon. The first release is a 6-year-old single malt finished in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels from North by Northwest Wines in Washington State and bottled at 48% abv. The second release, coming in January 2021, is an 8-year-old Oregon rye whiskey finished in a second-use Zinfandel barrel. The third release is an Oregon single malt finished in cherry wood and will be released in March 2021.

Appleton Estate, part of the Campari America portfolio, has announced a new collection of rare pot still rums, set to launch in early 2021. The Hearts Collection consists of three vintage-dated rums, aged between 21 and 26 years. This collection marks the first time that Appleton will release a series of rums entirely composed of pot still spirits. The three vintage releases—1994, 1995, and 1999—will be available in extremely limited quantities; only 3,000 bottles of each will be distributed worldwide.

Diageo has released the 2020 Distillers Edition Collection of Scotch whiskies to retailers across the U.S. The six releases cover a wide range of Scotch styles and vintages, bringing new whiskies from Oban (2006, 43% abv, $95), Talisker (2010, 45.8%, $85), Lagavulin (2005, 43% abv, $110), Cragganmore (2008, 40%, $85), Dalwhinnie (2005, 43%, $90), and Glenkinchie (2008, 43% abv, $85) to market. The Cragganmore bottling underwent a second maturation in Port casks, while the other five entries saw a second maturation in Sherry casks.

Oregon-based Westward Whiskey is launching a new permanent line extension, Westward Oregon Pinot Noir Cask ($90), into national distribution, after a limited rollout in its home state. Pinot Noir Cask joins the original Westward American Single Malt ($70) and Stout Cask Finish ($90) offerings in the core range. Along with the new whiskey, Westward has unveiled a new bottle design and logo that pays homage to its Northwest provenance. Diageo’s Distill Ventures took a minority stake in Westward in 2018.

Tennessee whiskey brand George Dickel, part of the Diageo portfolio, has introduced a new single barrel expression. The new whiskey is aged at least 15 years in new American oak casks, ranges in abv from 40%-52.3%, and will be available to purchase via the barrel or the bottle ($60 a 750-ml.). George Dickel Single Barrel is currently available in California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas, with more markets to come in January.

San Diego, California-based Cutwater Spirits, owned by Anheuser-Busch, has added a new Añejo Tequila to its spirits lineup. The Tequila is distilled at Tequila Orendain (NOM 1110) and, following distillation, matured for over a year in Cutwater’s whiskey barrels. Cutwater Añejo Tequila is bottled at 40% abv and packaged in a bottle made entirely from recycled glass. The spirit is now available at select retailers for around $50 a 750-ml.

Wilderton, a new non-alcoholic botanical spirit alternative, has launched in the U.S. with two zero calorie, gluten free offerings. Wilderton Earthen is made with peppercorns, pine-smoked tea, and patchouli, among other botanicals; and the brand’s Lustre is made with lavender, bergamot, rose, and lemongrass, among others. Wilderton retails for $33 a 750-ml. and is currently available on the brand’s website, with product available on Amazon and in other retail locations soon.

Minnesota-based Tattersall Distilling has introduced two bottled-in-bond Bourbons: High-Rye Bourbon and Wheated Bourbon. According to the company, these are the first bottled-in-bond spirits made in Minnesota since before Prohibition. Both Bourbons are made from local grains and have been aged in Minnesota white oak barrels between four and five years, with suggested retail pricing at $50 a 750-ml. Tattersall’s new entries will be distributed to select Minnesota retailers.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: October 20th 2020 Edition

Newport, Oregon-based Rogue Ales & Spirits is launching an addition to its line of canned cocktails. Rogue Ginger Lemon Whiskey Mule is the first in the series to use whiskey as its base spirit, joining three vodka-based offerings and a Gin Fizz. It’s at 7.5% abv and contains a blend of Rogue Spirits whiskey aged between 4 and 6 years along with ginger, lemon, simple syrup, and sparkling water. It is available nationwide now, retailing in 4-packs of 12-ounce cans.

Cincoro Tequila, the brand founded by Michael Jordan and other NBA owners, has released a limited number of 1.75-liter bottles of its Añejo Tequila. Each bottle is individually numbered and will be available for purchase on Cincoro’s website. Interested consumers can register now for a chance to buy. The 1.75-liter bottles will be available in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Nashville, Dallas, and Houston.

Palm Bay International is launching Drumshanbo Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey. Retailing at $65 a 750-ml., the newcomer is triple-distilled from a blend of malted Irish barley, unmalted Irish barley and Irish barra oats. It was aged five years in first use ex-Kentucky Bourbon and ex-Oloroso Sherry casks and was bottled at 43% abv. Rolling out nationwide, it joins Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin in the Drumshanbo range.

Herradura Tequila, part of the Brown-Forman portfolio, is introducing a new permanent extension to its range. Herradura Legend is an Añejo Tequila matured for 14 months in heavily charred, new American White Oak barrels. Herradura makes its own barrels and deeply grooves them to expose the Tequila to more layers of toasted oak. Legend will initially be available in select markets, including New York, New Jersey, Colorado, Oregon, California, Texas, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina retailing at $125.

Boston, Massachusetts-based Latitude Beverage has added a new Bourbon to its Wheel Horse Whiskey brand, following the launch of Wheel Horse rye earlier this year. The 50.5% abv whiskey is aged between two and four years from a mash of 70% corn, 21% rye, and 9% malted barley. The whiskey was distilled at the Owensboro Distilling Company in Kentucky and is now available in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Tennessee for around $28 a 750-ml.

Bacardi is debuting three new offerings from its Exceptional Cask series of single malt Scotch whiskies: Aberfeldy 18 Years Old ($120, 43% abv), Aberfeldy 20 Years Old ($200, 43% abv), and Craigellachie 24 Years Old ($300, 52.2% abv), all of which are rolling out this month. Each expression in the Exceptional Cask series is hand-selected by malt master Stephanie Macleod.

Sweet Amber Distilling Co. has announced a new cask strength program for the Blackened American whiskey line. The whiskey, called Batch 106, is a blend of Bourbon and rye that’s bottled at 55.35% abv. According to the company, the whiskies in the blend are an average of eight years old. Like the wider Blackened release, Batch 106 is finished by playing music through the spirit, in this case Metallica’s S&M2 collaboration with the San Francisco Symphony. Blackened Batch 106 is available for around $55 in Kroger Supermarkets in Kentucky and in Tampa, Florida at Luekens Wine & Spirits.

Constellation Brands has extended Svedka with a new range of canned Vodka Soda cocktailsThe new offerings, made with real fruit juice and natural flavors, are at 8% abv and come in Strawberry Lemonade, Black Cherry Lime, and Mango Pineapple flavors. They’re rolling out now, retailing at $13 a 4-pack of 12-ounce cans, and $3 an individual can.

Beam Suntory has launched Suntory World Whisky Ao, its first global blend of whiskies, to 16 travel retail markets. The 43% abv blend is assembled from Beam Suntory’s Scottish, Canadian, American, and Japanese distillers by fifth generation Suntory chief blender, Shinji Fukuyo. This marks the first international launch for Ao, which was previously released in April 2019 as an exclusive for the Japanese market. Suntory World Whisky Ao retails for around $71 a bottle.

Lucas Bols USA has launched a new, non-alcoholic version of its Damrak gin, called Damrak Virgin 0.0. The spirit alternative is made with citrus peels, lavender, and coriander seeds, among other botanicals, and aims to mimic the flavor of Bols’ alcoholic Damrak gin. It’s now available nationwide in retail channels as well as online via the brand’s website and Amazon.

Frankfort, Kentucky’s Pinhook has announced its 2020 Vertical series whiskies. The new releases are Bourbon War 5 Year, bottled at 52% abv, and Tiz Rye Time 4 Year, bottled at 48.5%. Both whiskies are sourced from MGP. Pinhook will release new editions each year until the Vertical series gets to 12-year-old whiskies. The whiskies retail for $50 and $45, respectively, and are now available in 25 states and through Breeze, the company’s text message-based e-commerce channel that allows fans to text a photo or description of one of Pinhook’s whiskies to a personal shopper who then sources the spirit.

Louisville, Kentucky’s Barrell Craft Spirits has introduced a new addition to its BCS (Barrel Craft Spirits) line, a 15-year-old Bourbon. The whiskey is blended from straight Bourbons distilled in Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee, and bottled at 52.45% abv. Barrel’s BCS Bourbon is rolling out now in limited quantities—only 12,000 bottles will be released—and will retail for around $250 in select stores across the company’s 45-market distribution footprint. In addition to this new release, the BCS line also includes another whiskey and a rum.

Compass Box has announced the Peat Monster Arcana, the latest whisky celebrating the company’s 20th anniversary. The 46% abv whisky is made from a base of cask strength Peat Monster that aged for an additional two years before blending with malt whiskies from the Talisker, Miltonduff, and Ardbeg distilleries. The Peat Monster Arcana is rolling out this month in limited quantities across the U.S.; only 3,900 bottles will be available for a suggested price of $95 a 750-ml. This is the third celebratory whisky the company has released for its 20th anniversary, following Hedonism Felicitas and Rogues’ Banquet.

Elenita, a new brand of sparkling mezcal cocktails, is debuting across California. The 5% abv range includes Cucumber Lime Basil and Pineapple Jalapeno offerings and retails at $36 an eight-pack of 12-ounce cans on the company’s website. In addition to online, Elenita is available at select Total Wine and BevMo outlets among other on- and off-premise locations. The brand’s mezcal base is made from 100%-Espadin agave and distilled in Oaxaca.

Brooklyn, New York-based Widow Jane has announced the next batch of Decadence, the company’s maple syrup cask-finished whiskey. The 45.5% abv Bourbon starts as Widow Jane’s standard 10-year-old whiskey before finishing in casks used to age Crown Maple Syrup. This iteration of Decadence is rolling out now in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, and Texas, and will retail for around $80. Each batch of Widow Jane’ Decadence comes in at around 3,300 bottles of whiskey.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: October 13th 2020 Edition

Lansdale, Pennsylvania-based Boardroom Spirits is introducing a new Vanilla vodka ($27 a 750-ml.), along with two vodka-based ready-to-drink bottled cocktails, the Blueberry Blush and the Spiced Vanilla Peartini (both $38 a 750-ml.). The Vanilla vodka is made with Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans and bottled at 32% abv, while the cocktails are at 21% abv. In addition to both bottled and canned cocktails, Boardroom’s range includes gin, Bourbon, rum, vodka, liqueurs, and flavored spirits.

William Grant & Sons has announced the latest release in the Balvenie Tun 1509 series, Batch 7. The 52.4% abv whisky is assembled from 21 casks—10 refill Sherry butts, 4 refill barrels, and 7 Sherry hogsheads—that were blended and left to marry for three months before bottling. Balvenie Tun 1509 Batch 7 is now rolling out across the U.S. for around $410 a 750-ml.

Brooklyn-based Kings County Distillery is launching a 7-Year Single Barrel BourbonDistilled in July 2013 and bottled at 107 proof, this barrel was reduced by a 34% angel’s share and was matured in the “greenhouse-like upstairs aging room” in the company’s Brooklyn Navy Yard distillery. This release will be sold only at the distillery, but future offerings from Kings County’s Single Barrel series will be distributed to key accounts in New York and beyond.

Rumson, New Jersey-based Penelope Bourbon has launched Rosé Cask Finish, a new limited edition. The 47% abv whiskey is blended from three different mashbills using four grains before finishing in barrels previously used to mature French rosé made from Grenache grapes. Penelope Rosé Cask Finish joins a Straight Bourbon whiskey and a barrel proof offering in the brand’s portfolio. Penelope sources its whiskies from Lawrenceburg, Indiana’s MGP Ingredients. Only 2,400 bottles of the new whiskey will be released and it will retail for around $65 a 750-ml.

Diageo is launching a new line of limited whiskies from its Tullahoma, Tennessee-based Cascade Hollow Distilling Co. Cascade Moon Edition No. 1 is an 11-year-old whisky at 42% abv, which is being promoted via the tagline “Mellow as Moonlight.” It’s rolling out in Tennessee, California, and Texas, retailing at $90. Cascade Hollow general manager and distiller Nicole Austin blended the whisky to feature similar tasting notes to those found in a gose-style beer. A second release from the Cascade Moon series will follow later this fall.

Louisville, Kentucky-based Barrell Craft Spirits has introduced Barrell Armida, a blend of three straight Bourbon whiskies finished separately in Pear Brandy, Jamaican Rum, and Sicilian Amaro casks. Armida was bottled at 56.06% abv and is available at select retailers within the brand’s current 45 U.S. markets and online via the BCS website. A limited run of 3,700 750-ml. bottles is rolling out, retailing at $90. An independent blender and bottler of aged, cask-strength sourced whiskey and rum, Barrell Craft was founded by former marketing and tech entrepreneur Joe Beatrice in in 2013.

Portland, Oregon’s Freeland Spirits has introduced a new canned French 75 cocktail. The 15.5% abv cocktail is made with Freeland gin, lemon juice, and Inox Unoaked Chardonnay from Chehalem Winery. The combination is carbonated and packaged in 8.4-ounce cans. Four-packs are now available at Freeland’s tasting room and in retailers in Oregon, Washington, California, Florida, Illinois, and New York for around $17. Freeland’s French 75 joins American gin, Bourbon, Genever-inspired spirit Geneva, and a canned Gin and Tonic in the distillery’s portfolio.

Chopin Imports has launched a selection of spirits from Ireland’s Hinch Distillery in the U.S. For the initial rollout, Chopin has released Hinch Small Batch whiskey (matured in Bourbon casks and retailing for $30), Hinch 5 Year Old Double Wood (ex-Bourbon and new American oak, $40), Hinch 10 Year Old Sherry Cask ($55), and Ninth Wave gin ($30.) These spirits are now available in 11 states with national distribution (and an expanded lineup including Single Malt and Pot Still whiskies) to follow in February 2021.

Nashville, Tennessee’s Brown Water Spirits has launched O.H. Ingram River Aged Straight whiskeyThe 46% abv whiskey matured in a floating rickhouse in the Mississippi River in Ballard County, Kentucky. This is the first release from Brown Water Spirits, and the company says the next offering in its River Aged series, a straight rye, will follow in November. O.H. Ingram River Aged Straight whiskey is now available in Tennessee with expansion into other markets coming as more of the whiskey becomes available.

Luxury Tequila brand PaQui has debuted across six U.S. states, including New York, California, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The new brand includes 100%-blue agave Silvera ($50 a 750-ml.), Reposado ($60), and Añejo ($70) expressions and is made by master Tequilero Gilberto Jasso in Jalisco, Mexico. PaQui means “to be happy” in the Aztec language, and its bottle design is inspired by an Aztec pyramid. Founder John Chappell is a veteran of Banfi, Boston Beer, and Labatt USA.

Edrington’s The Glenrothes has announced its oldest whisky so far, a 50-year-old single malt distilled in November 1968. The whisky matured in ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry casks before bottling at 48% abv. Each bottle is sold in a lacquered black case and the whisky comes in a numbered crystal decanter. Only 50 bottles will be available globally, retailing at $35,000. Buyers will be invited to the Glenrothes estate (typically closed to the public) and enrolled in a 50-member club with the other buyers, offering the chance to purchase exclusive malts in the future.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: June 2nd 2020 Edition

Louisville, Kentucky’s Barrell Craft Spirits has launched a Private Release Whiskey SeriesEach batch in the series features a unique blend based around Barrell’s 18-year-old stocks of Kentucky whiskey, which were then finished in a secondary barrel or cask. Current selections include whiskies finished in Sauternes, Tokaji, Amaro, Port, Rum, Sherry, and Madeira barrels, among others. Each offering yields 150-180 750-ml. bottles, carrying a suggested retail of $109 apiece.

Wild Turkey has introduced Master’s Keep Bottled-in-Bond, a new limited edition offering. The 17-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon whiskey was aged in Wild Turkey’s Camp Nelson rickhouses and bottled at 50% abv. The new upscale entry is rolling out to select U.S. retailers in a supply of 14,400 750-ml. bottles (1,200 cases), retailing at $175 apiece.

Jack Daniel’s has debuted a line of whiskey-based canned cocktails. The new lineup includes Jack & Seltzer, Jack & Cola, and Jack, Honey & Lemonade offerings, all of which are made with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey. While the Jack & Cola and Jack, Honey & Lemonade cocktails are each canned at 7% abv, the 97-calorie Jack & Seltzer is at a slightly lower 5% abv. The new Jack Daniel’s Canned Cocktails are available across the U.S. at a retail price of $13 a 4-pack of 12-ounce cans.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: March 10th 2020 Edition

Louisville, Kentucky’s Barrell Craft Spirits has launched two new whiskies, the latest in its numbered series of luxury-priced cask-strength blends. First up is Barrell Bourbon Batch 023, a 53.89% abv blend of 10-, 12-, and 15-year old straight Bourbon sourced from Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana. Barrell has also announced Rye Batch 003, a 58.35% abv blend of ryes from Indiana, Poland, Tennessee, and Canada. Both whiskies will be available in limited quantities across the company’s 43-state distribution footprint for around $90 a 750-ml.

El Mayor Tequila, part of the Luxco portfolio, is launching a new look including an updated logo and packaging. The new bottle features an embossed agave leaf design around the neck as well as written embossing at the base and is stopped with real cork. The new logo features the brand’s name in readable cursive script. The revamped look will apply to all El Mayor expressions, including Blanco, Reposado, Añejo, and Extra Añejo, and will be available nationally this summer.

Woodford Reserve has released a commemorative 2020 Kentucky Derby bottle as part of its role as presenting sponsor of the event. The special packaging features art by Richard Sullivan, a local artist and former player for the Atlanta Braves. The watercolor label illustration depicts horses racing toward the finish line of Churchill Downs. At 45.2% abv, 1-liter bottles of the Derby edition are now retailing for $50 across the U.S. and on e-commerce site Reserve Bar.

Looking to capitalize on the lower-alcohol spirits trend, Constellation Brands is extending Svedka with a new line called Pure Infusions. Bottled at 30% abv and retailing at $15 a 750-ml. and $16 a 1-liter, Svedka Pure Infusions are launching in three flavors: Strawberry Guava, Ginger Lime, and Dragonfruit Melon.

Bacardi has launched Dewar’s Ilegal Smooth, a new blended Scotch whisky finished in mezcal barrels. The 8-year-old whisky is blended from up to 40 malt and grain whiskies before finishing for an undisclosed amount of time in ex-Ilegal mezcal barrels before bottling at 40% abv. This new whisky follows last year’s Dewar’s Caribbean Smooth, a rum barrel finished expression.

Palm Bay International has added mezcal label Gracias a Dios to its import portfolio. Made by 4th-generation mezcalero Oscar Hernandez and his nephew, Milo Jimenez, Gracias a Dios includes six different mezcal expressions—Espadín Blanco ($40 a 750-ml.), Espadín Reposado ($50), Tobalá ($86), Tepextate ($86), Cuishe ($86), and Pechuga ($106)—as well as an agave gin ($53) that’s infused with 32 botanicals, representing the 32 states of the Mexican Republic.

Bacardi-owned Cazadores has added an Añejo Cristalino to its lineup. The new entry ages for over two years in small oak barrels and is then filtered through activated charcoal and stripped of its coloring while maintaining its oak-aged profile. Retailing at $40 a 750-ml., Cazadores Añejo Cristalino is rolling out to select retailers nationally.

Johnnie Walker has launched Master’s Ruby Reserve, a new limited edition offering dedicated to master blender Jim Beveridge’s 40-year career. The ultra-luxury bottling includes whiskies from the “ghost” distilleries of Cambus, Carsebridge, Pittyvaich, and Port Ellen, which are balanced with aged expressions from Talisker, Royal Lochnagar, Glendullan, and Cragganmore. All of the whiskies included are at least 40 years old. Packaged in a golden-red Baccarat crystal decanter, Johnnie Walker Master’s Ruby Reserve is bottled at 43% abv, retails at £15,000 ($19,700), and is limited to 398 bottles globally.

Beam Suntory has announced a revamp for Old Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey. The new Old Overholt ($18 a 750-ml.) will come in at 43% abv, an increase from the previous from 40% abv, and the new label will feature a “grumpier” rendering of brand founder Abe Overholt. In addition, Old Overholt will now be bottled with non-chill filtering, a move that brings the brand more in line with its pre-Prohibition history. Later this year, the company plans to launch a high proof (57% abv) 4-year-old bottling and a 46.3% abv 11-year-old bottling. Old Overholt Bottled-in-Bond will remain on the market unchanged.

Redbreast Irish whiskey, part of the Pernod Ricard portfolio, is adding a 27-year-old expression to its permanent range. Redbreast 27-year-old joins 12-, 15-, 21-year-old, and Lustau offerings in the existing lineup. It’s a cask-strength whiskey bottled at 54.6% abv after aging in Bourbon, Sherry, and Port casks. Retailing at $500 a 750-ml., Redbreast 27-year-old is launching in 23 U.S. markets.

Disaronno is introducing a new Velvet offshoot in the U.S. market. Billed as a gluten-free cream liqueur having notes of apricot with touches of almond and vanilla, Disaronno Velvet is at 17% abv and is rolling out nationally at $30 a 750-ml.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily