GSN Spirited News: November 23rd 2021 Edition

Glenmorangie, part of the Moet Hennessy portfolio, is launching A Tale of Winter, a new innovation from the single malt Scotch whisky brand. Finished in Marsala wine casks from Sicily, the 13-year-old single malt retails at $100 and is bottled at 46% abv. 

Cognac Frapin is introducing two new offerings in the U.S., a VSOP and VIP XO. Frapin’s VSOP is made of 100% Grande Champagne Cognac, aged in limousin oak, and retails at $70 a 750-ml. The VIP XO expression, higher up the ladder, is a blend enhanced with very old Cognacs from the family cellars and retails at $250.

The Singleton is releasing a new 39-year-old single malt Scotch whisky from The Singleton of Glen Ord Distillery. Aged in a blend of casks including Port, red wine, Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso sherries, and then finished in French Bordeaux casks, the new luxury malt was bottled at 46.2% abv and retails at $2,680 a bottle, of which 1,695 are being released globally. The Singleton 39-Year-Old follows on from The Singleton 38-Year-Old within the Diageo brand’s Epicurean Odyssey Series.

Italy’s Villa Massa has launched Vermouth Giardino. The new label is debuting with two options, Vermouth Giardino Mediterranean Dry by Villa Massa and Vermouth di Torino Rosso Traditionale by Villa Massa. The former is a contemporary-style dry vermouth made with Sorrento lemon peels, at 18% abv and retailing for $25 a 750-ml. The latter is a Torino-style sweet vermouth, at 16% and the same price point. They are available now in the U.S. The vermouths join Villa Massa Limoncello and Amaretto in the brand’s lineup.

Alameda, California-based St. George Spirits is releasing its annual single malt. A yearly tradition since 2000, St. George Single Malt Whiskey, Lot 21 is blended from 26 barrels of single malt that St. George has distilled over the years, selected by head distiller and blender Dave Smith. With a 100% barley mashbill, the liquid spans batches aged 4.5 to 10 years across Kentucky Bourbon barrels, Tennessee whiskey barrels, apple brandy casks, and California Sauternes-style casks. It’s at 43% abv. The distillery produced 700 cases, with a 750-ml. bottle priced at $100 and available at fine spirits retailers nationally.

Bob Dylan’s Heaven’s Door whiskey brand has partnered with MGM Resorts International on a new exclusive bottling, 777 Blend. The new entry consists of three 7-year-old straight whiskeys: Heaven’s Door’s previously unreleased wheated Bourbon; a low rye Bourbon; and a straight rye whiskey. The 46.8% proof offering is now available at MGM Resorts’ Las Vegas properties including Bellagio, ARIA, MGM Grand, Park MGM, Mandalay Bay and The Mirage, as well as MGM National Harbor in Maryland.

Jefferson’s Bourbon, part of the Pernod Ricard portfolio, has debuted Ocean Voyage 24, the latest offering in its Ocean: Aged At Sea series. For this release, Jefferson’s whiskey traveled by boat through ports in the Caribbean and Central America, resulting in barrel exposure to high heat and tropical humidity. Retailing at $80 a 750-ml., Jefferson’s Ocean Voyage 24 is now available nationwide. Pernod Ricard acquired Jefferson’s along with the rest of Castle Brands for $223 million in 2019.

Conecuh Brands is introducing four new expressions under its Clyde May’s Whiskey label. They include: Clyde May’s Single Barrel Straight Bourbon 5-Year-Old (102 proof, $50); Special Reserve Straight Bourbon 6-Year-Old (110 proof, $60); 13 Year Cask Strength Alabama Style Whiskey (120 proof, $140); and Kentucky Straight Bourbon 15-Year-Old (112 proof, $200). 

Ireland’s Waterford Whisky, founded by industry veteran Mark Reynier, is rolling out a new bottling called Luna, made from biodynamically grown Irish barley. Luna is the latest whisky in Waterford’s Arcadian Series, which showcases rare barleys and forgotten ways of farming. Retailing at $125 a 750-ml., Luna is matured in a combination of 35% first-fill U.S. oak; 17% virgin U.S. oak; 26% premium French oak; and 22% Vin Doux Naturel oak. At 50% abv, it’s debuting in the U.S. in a supply of approximately 21,000 bottles (1,750 cases).

Calirosa Tequila, produced in Jalisco, Mexico, is launching a limited-edition Extra Añejo expression in the U.S. The newcomer is made with 100% blue agave and aged three years in California red wine barrels. Joining Calirosa’s existing lineup of Rosa Blanco and Añejo, Extra Añejo is at 40% abv and is priced at $200 a 750-ml. It’s available to pre-order now on ReserveBar. Calirosa is backed by Maroon 5 singer Adam Levine and his wife, model Behati Prinsloo.

Denver-based Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey has launched the second edition of Mountain Angel, the distillery’s 10-year-old, limited edition single malt whiskey. Batch 2 is bottled at 47.3% abv and matured entirely in new charred American oak casks. The whiskey carries a suggested retail price of $130 and is available in very limited quantities (roughly 600 bottles for this release) at Stranahan’s distillery and in select retail locations. It joins the company’s original expression and sits alongside other limited releases like Snowflake.

The Whistler Irish Whiskey has announced the annual release of its Imperial Stout Cask and Calvados Cask whiskies. This year’s version of The Whistler’s Imperial Stout Cask Finish—dubbed Batch 002—was made in collaboration with O’Hara’s Brewery in Bagenalstown, Ireland. It’s a blend of 50% wheat whiskey, 35% malt whiskey, and 15% grain, aged six months in casks from O’Hara’s that originally housed sherry, and bottled at 43% abv. Calvados Cask Finish is a continued collaboration with Chateau du Breuil composed of 35% malt whiskey and 65% grain whiskey, aged 15 months in the Chateau’s Calvados casks and also bottled at 43%. Only 3,000 bottles from Batch 002 will be available in the U.S. for a suggested $40.

American Liquor Co. Vodka has expanded distribution into Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa, on the heels of its successful initial launch in Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. American Liquor Co. Vodka is a four-crop blend made from locally-grown Midwest winter wheat, light rye, Rio Grande potato, and white corn, and was co-founded and blended by master blender Chris Montana, who is also the owner of microdistillery Du Nord Social Spirits in Minneapolis. The brand retails at $24 a 750-ml.

Texas-based Marfa Spirit Co. has launched its inaugural product, Chihuahuan Desert Sotol. Led by entrepreneurs Josh Shepard, Seth Siegel-Gardner, and Morgan Weber in partnership with master sotolero Jacobo Jacquez, who is based in Janos, Mexico, the company aims to bring awareness to sotol with its debut product, which is distilled in Mexico and then processed and bottled in Marfa. Chihuahuan Desert Sotol (45% abv) is now available across Texas, retailing at $49 a 1-liter bottle.

Diageo has announced Johnnie Walker Masters of Flavour, a new ultra-limited release celebrating the vast stores of rare whisky available to master blender Jim Beveridge. The whiskies in the blend are all at least 48 years old and come from ghost distilleries like Glyn Albyn, Port Dundas, Brora, and Glenury Royal, as well as Cameronbridge, Blair Athol and Dalwhinnie. The release, one of Beveridge’s last before retiring at the end of the year, is bottled at 41.8% abv, and is limited to 288 bottles, priced at £20,000 (roughly $27,000).

Georgetown, Kentucky’s Blue Run Spirits has announced three holiday releases. First up is Blue Run’s Holiday Rye, available both as an individual bottle and as a gift set. The whiskey is a 53% abv special bottling of the company’s recently released Golden Rye, bottled at a higher proof (up from 47.5% abv) and retailing for $140 across Blue Run’s distribution footprint. Additionally, Blue Run will release a gift set version, with two tumblers from Aged & Ore, through online service Seelbach for $230. Finally, on December 1, Blue Run will kick off 12 Days of Single Barrel High Rye Bourbon, a series which will see bottlings from different barrels released each day. These will be available through Blue Run’s website and will retail for $140.

Casa Lumbre has launched Lost Irish, a new, internationally-minded Irish whiskey, that’s rolling out now in New York, Illinois, Texas, and California. The 40% abv whiskey is a blend of grain, malt, and pot still whiskies partially matured in six different cask types from around the world: South African brandy, Japanese Mizunara oak, European Sherry casks, Bourbon casks, North American rum casks, Australian Tawny Port casks, and South American rum casks. 

Information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: October 26th 2021 Edition

Código 1530, known for Tequila, is entering the mezcal category. Its newcomers include an Ancestral Mezcal (43.1% abv) and an Artesanal Mezcal (42.2% abv), retailing at $180 and $65 respectively. The Ancestral expression is notable for the fact that no machines or automation are involved in its production, with the agave mashed by hand using a wooden stick, fermentation done in a leather vat, and the distillation taking place in clay pots, according to the company. The Artesanal offering includes wild tobalá agave and is rested in Sauvignon Blanc wine barrels. Both are available at retail and on Código 1530’s website.

Shoreham, Vermont’s WhistlePig has announced the eighth edition of the Boss Hog: LapuLapu’s Pacific. This edition is a 17-year-old rye whiskey aged in American oak before finishing twice in heavily toasted Philippine rum casks, with the first finishing cask previously holding 7-year-old rum and the second 10-year-old rum. The whiskey is bottled at barrel proof with bottles ranging from 52.4% to 53.3% abv. The Boss Hog VIII: LapuLapu’s Pacific is rolling out now in limited quantities to select retailers across the U.S. for a suggested price of $500 a 750-ml.

Beam Suntory has released Bardstown Batch, the third bottling of Booker’s Bourbon for 2021. The release, named for the home of distiller Booker Noe, among other Beam family members, aged for six years and five months before bottling and comes in at 62.75% abv. Booker’s Bardstown Batch is now available in limited quantities across the U.S. for a suggested price of $90 a 750-ml. 

Beam Suntory’s Tres Generaciones has kicked of the Legacy series, a new collection of limited-edition Tequilas, with Cenobio’s Batch PlataThe 45% abv Tequila celebrates the first generation of the Sauza family and is named for Don Cenobio, who purchased the Sauza distillery in 1873. Cenobio’s Batch Plata is now available across the U.S. for $70 a 750-ml. In addition to launching the Legacy series, Tres Generaciones has updated the packaging for its entire portfolio, with the new bottles featuring three lines gradually increasing from rough to smooth to represent the distillation process. 

Wyoming Whiskey has released another batch of its Single Barrel Bourbon, the first since November 2020. The 48% abv wheated Bourbon is aged for at least five years and made from locally sourced grains from the Bighorn Basin. The limited release is now available in Wyoming, Illinois, California, Colorado, New York, Georgia, Arizona, New Mexico, Maine, Idaho, Florida, and South Carolina, as well online via the brand’s website and other e-commerce channels, for a suggested price of $99 a 750-ml.

Graton, California’s Redwood Empire Whiskey, part of Purple Brands, has launched its first two bonded whiskies: Rocket Top Straight Rye and Grizzly Beast Straight Bourbon. The 50% abv whiskies were distilled in spring 2016 by distiller Jeff Duckhorn. The rye is made from a mash of 87% rye, 7% malted barley, and 6% wheat; and the Bourbon from 69% corn, 22% rye, 5% malted barley, and 4% wheat. Only 500 cases of each expression are available and both carry a suggested retail price of $80 a 750-ml.

Canada’s Alberta Distillers has announced the 2021 edition of Alberta Premium Cask Strength Rye. This year’s whisky, which ranges in abv from 63% to 67%, is the second edition of Alberta’s barrel proof whisky to reach American shelves. The whisky is distilled from 100% Canadian rye and made with Rocky Mountain water. The Beam Suntory release will be available in select markets across the U.S. for a suggested price of $75 a 750-ml.

Hotaling & Co. has expanded Hirsch Selected Whiskeys with a new single barrel Bourbon. The first single barrel release from the brand, the initial bottling consists of 57 barrels bottled at 62% abv. The barrels aged for at least six years and the Bourbon was made from a mash bill of 72% corn, 13% rye, and 15% malted barley. Hirsch Single Barrel Kentucky Straight Bourbon is now available in select retailers across the U.S. for a suggested price of $90 a 750-ml. Beginning November 1, a limited number of bottles will also be available through ReserveBar.

Scotch producer Compass Box Whisky has announced another installment in its limited edition series No Name. The final release of the series, No Name, No. 3, is a blended malt whisky based on liquid from the Laphroaig Distillery aged in recharred hogsheads, augmented with additions from Bowmore Distillery and the Compass Box Highland Malt Blend. Compass Box will market 10,794 bottles worldwide. No Name, No. 3 is at 48.9% abv and will be available from spirits retailers beginning November 1 for $130 a 750-ml.

Mount Gay Rum, part of the Rémy Cointreau portfolio, has unveiled the newest expression in its limited edition Master Blender Collection: Andean Oak Cask. The fourth offering in the series, Andean Cask is available nationwide, retailing at $195 a 750-ml. Made by master blender Trudiann Branker, the new rum was double distilled in a traditional copper pot still, aged for 14 years in ex-Bourbon barrels, and then finished in Virgin Andean Oak, an evergreen tree that grows across the mountains of the Colombian Andes.

Tanteo Tequila is launching a limited edition seasonal expression. Tanteo Navidad is an ultra-premium Añejo Tequila rested for 18 months in American oak barrels, then hand-infused with pequin chilis, nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, ginger, and cocoa beans. Retailing at $60 a bottle, it will be available exclusively on Tanteo’s website. 10% of profits will go towards Un Salto Con Destino, a charity providing essential medical services to underprivileged members of Tanteo’s Mexican community.

Georgetown, Kentucky’s Blue Run Spirits has launched a new high-rye Bourbon, the first release overseen by former Four Roses distiller Jim Rutledge. The 55.5% abv whiskey is made from a mash of 65% yellow corn, 30% rye, and 5% malted barley, and was distilled at Castle & Key. The new bottling was assembled from 100 barrels and carries a suggested retail price of $90 a 750-ml. Blue Run Kentucky Straight High Rye Bourbon Whiskey is now available in select retailers in Kentucky, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington, D.C., Maryland, Delaware, Illinois, Colorado, California, Florida, and New Jersey.

Princeton, Minnesota’s Phillips Distilling Company has reintroduced its Revel Stoke line of flavored whiskies, with new flavors and a new design philosophy. The whiskies, which come in 12 flavors, now feature irreverent names like SonofaPeach and Lei’d Roasted Pineapple, for example, and matching artwork. The brand, aimed at men aged 21-34, will also be supported by a marketing campaign centered around the tagline “Stoke Your Wild.” The redesigned Revel Stoke is now available across the U.S.

Information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: July 13th 2021 Edition

Houston, Texas-based Yellow Rose Distilling has launched Harris County High Rye Bourbon. The 46% abv whiskey is distilled from a mash that includes 25% rye and matured for 30 months before bottling. All grains used in Harris County’s production are sourced from Texas. The new whiskey joins Premium American, Rye, and Outlaw Bourbon, alongside limited releases, in the distillery’s portfolio. Yellow Rose Harris County is rolling out this month in Texas, California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Florida through Southern Glazer’s and will retail for around $45 a 750-ml.

Bacardi rum is launching Bacardi Tropical, a limited-edition flavored expression. The new white rum boasts a flavor profile of pineapple, coconut, and guava. It’s made from a base of Bacardi white rum and infused with natural fruit flavors, ending up at 100 calories per ounce. Bacardi Tropical is at 35% abv and is available now for $13 a 750-ml on Drizly and at select retail locations nationwide for a limited time through the end of summer. It’s the eighth installment in Bacardi’s flavored lineup, which also includes Lime, Dragonberry, Raspberry, and Mango, among others.

Kentucky’s Blue Run Spirits has launched its 14-year-old Small Batch Bourbon in select retailers across the U.S. The whiskey (retailing at $200) is bottled at 56.5% abv and was approved by Jim Rutledge, Blue Run’s liquid advisor and former Four Roses distiller. Looking ahead, Blue Run is planning to launch a rye in September and a high-rye Bourbon in October as well as lay down their own Rutledge-distilled whiskey at Bardstown Bourbon Company.

Atlanta-based Blue Ridge Spirits & Wine Marketing has unveiled Fleur Charmante, a new French liqueur. Produced in the Saint Sauvant in the Saintonge area of France, Fleur Charmante is made with a maceration of blackcurrant, raspberry, and cherry fruits followed by a petite bouquet of natural violet, lavender, and jasmine essence. Currently distributed in Florida, Georgia, and New York with more states on the way, Fleur Charmante is 23% abv and retails at $37 off-premise and for $40 online.

Sonoma-based 3 Badge Beverage Corp has introduced Benjamin Chapman 4-Year Corn Whiskey. With a mashbill of 80% corn, 11% rye, and 9% malt, Chapman 4-year is an American whiskey bottled at 45% abv and retails at $36 a 750-ml. Aged four years in Bourbon-seasoned barrels, the new bottling joins a 7-year-old Canadian whiskey in the Benjamin Chapman portfolio.

Information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: October 27th 2020 Edition

Palm Bay International and Buffalo, New York-based Tommyrotter Distillery have collaborated on Tommyrotter Napa Valley Heritance Cask Straight Bourbon Whiskey, a 95-proof, four-grain Bourbon consisting of corn, wheat, rye, and malted barley, finished in Cabernet Sauvignon casks from Napa Valley for three months. A permanent addition to the Tommyrotter range, Napa Valley Heritance Cask is launching across New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, retailing at $50 a 750-ml.

San Francisco-based Hotaling & Co. is introducing Hine Antique XO 100th Anniversary 1920-2020 Cognac. A rare cuvée blended with a 100-year-old eau-de-vie from vintage 1920—with the balance of the blend featuring Grande Champagne Cognacs aged a minimum of 20 years—the luxury offering is limited to 270 hand-numbered decanters in the U.S., priced at $300 apiece. Made by cellar master Eric Forget, it commemorates the first blend of Hine Antique XO in 1920 by Georges Hine.

Gonzalez Byass is launching Fundador Light in the U.S. Debuting in California, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, Washington, New York, and Oregon, the 28% abv brandy-based spirit retails at $14 a 750-ml. and is intended to appeal to “current Fundador consumers and a new generation looking for a lighter option to traditional Spanish Brandies,” according to Nicolas Bertino, CEO and country manager of Gonzalez Byass USA.

Manassas, Virginia’s KO Distilling has announced Bottled-in-Bond Distiller’s Reserve Straight Bourbon whiskey. The 50% abv spirit is distilled from a mash of 70% corn, 20% wheat, and 10% malted barley, all sourced from Virginia. The new whiskey is KO’s first bonded release and joins the company’s portfolio alongside Battle Standard 142 gin and the Bare Knuckle whiskey line, which includes unaged, rye, wheat, and Bourbon whiskies. KO Distilling’s new bottled-in-bond whiskey will be available in November in Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland for around $70.

Diageo has announced the latest release in the Singleton line of single malt Scotch whiskies. The new release was distilled at Glen Ord and matured for 38 years in a combination of ex-Bourbon, ex-Sherry, and new American oak casks before bottling at 49.6% abv. This limited release was drawn from eight casks and is rolling out now around the world for a suggested retail price of roughly $2,760 (£2,100.) 

Former Four Roses master distiller Jim Rutledge has partnered with Blue Run Spirits to introduce Blue Run 13-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Retailing at $170 a 750-ml., the newcomer is at 113 proof and is rolling out to the Kentucky (RNDC) and Georgia (Savannah Distributing) markets this month in an edition of 2,600 bottles. Rutledge will have more whiskies coming under the Blue Run banner, a new company formed by former Nike and Facebook veterans, among others.

Edrington has unveiled the latest expression in The Macallan Fine & Rare Collection—a vintage Scotch distilled in 1993. The new whisky matured for 27 years in Sherry-seasoned American oak and is bottled at 50.2% abv. Only 256 bottles are available worldwide, retailing at a suggested price of $18,000 a 750-ml. The Fine & Rare Collection now includes 57 vintages from 1926 to 1993.

Diageo has expanded Smirnoff Spicy Tamarind into 15 new markets across the U.S. The 35% abv vodka is sweet and spicy, according to the company, and initially found popularity in Mexico before expanding into the U.S. It retails for around $13 a 750-ml. and will be a permanent addition in Texas, California, Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, and New Mexico; and a limited release in Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, New Jersey, Massachusetts, North and South Dakota, Louisiana, Maryland, Wisconsin, Vermont, Georgia, and Nevada.

Chicago-based cocktail mixers company Zing Zang has unveiled a range of spirits-based RTD cocktails across 20 U.S. states, with further distribution to follow. Including Bloody Mary, Margarita, and Bourbon Whiskey Sour expressions, the Zing Zang RTDs are at 9% abv and retail at $13 a 4-pack of 12-ounce slim cans.

Woody Creek Distillers of Basalt, Colorado is launching a Limited Edition Wheated Bourbon. The new label has a mashbill of 70% Colorado corn, 15% Colorado barley, and 15% Colorado wheat aged 6 years in 100% American oak barrels. The Limited Edition Wheated Bourbon will be available in Colorado and a few other select markets for the holiday season, retailing at $60 a 750-ml. Woody Creek’s spirits portfolio includes a Potato Vodka, Roaring Fork Gin, Colorado Bourbon, and Colorado 100% Straight Rye.

Niche Imports, part of Marussia Beverages, is now the importer for Finnish vodka Koskenkorva. The 40% abv spirit is distilled from barley in its namesake village in Western Finland. The Koskenkorva distillery is run 100% on bioenergy, primarily provided by barley husks. Koskenkorva vodka will be available across the U.S. and will retail between $20 and $23, depending on the market.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily