GSN Backbar Review: January 5-9, 2015

indexCampari America has expanded its bitter liqueurs stable with the addition of its Italian parent company’s Averna and Braulio brands, as well as Cinzano 1757 vermouth. Averna (58 proof, $30 a 750-ml.) and Braulio (42 proof, $35) are Amaro herb-based bitter liqueurs. Averna is available nationally while Braulio will initially be distributed in New York, California and Illinois. Cinzano 1757, a new small-batch vermouth paying homage to the Cinzano brand’s founding in that year, is based on the traditional Cinzano Rosso recipe and enriched with an infusion of specially-selected herbs. The 32-proof 1757 is in national distribution, retailing at $30 a 1-liter.indexBack Bar Project LLC has released a special edition Crème de Rose liqueur under the label Speed Rack Black Rose ($34.99). Produced by France’s Giffard and Bigallet Liqueurs, the new offering was created in partnership with the Speed Rack all-female bartending competition, and net proceeds will support breast cancer research and education. The 20%-abv liqueur’s formula includes Moroccan Rosa Damascena petals macerated in neutral beet spirit with sugar and water added. The label features Speed Rack’s black-and-pink logo. Black Rose is available in all Speed Rack competition markets, including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois, Texas, California, Washington and Colorado, among others.

indexPhiladelphia’s Dock Street Spirits has launched Vicio Mezcal, a new artisanal mezcal made with 100% agave. Priced at around $45 a 750-ml., Vicio is currently distributed in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Vicio Mezcal marks the first entry in Dock Street’s craft spirits lineup.

indexUntil now, no major Canadian whisky distillery has ever released a single barrel whisky. Crown Royal became Canada’s first major brand to do so. Each hand-selected barrel is bottled at a healthy 51.5% abv. Coffey Rye begins with a high-rye mash bill rather than a single grain. It is distilled to low abv in an ancient copper Coffey still that was brought in from the defunct Waterloo distillery. Master blender Andrew MacKay leaves the Coffey Rye spirit in virgin oak bourbon barrels for seven years. Rollout began in late November, in Texas, where liquor stores snapped up the first 519 barrels. Each barrel is exclusive to a single retailer. While there are no barrel numbers on the labels, if you are looking for a particular batch, a medallion around the neck of each bottle notes the retail outlet it was bottled for. Distribution will expand to include 14 states beginning in February. The suggested retail price for Crown Royal Single Barrel Whisky (the label says “Hand Selected Barrel”) is $55.

indexCampari America has extended its Skyy Infusions vodka range with the launch of Texas Grapefruit and Pacific Blueberry flavors. Made with natural ingredients, both 70-proof offerings will be available nationwide in 50-ml., 750-ml., 1-liter and 1.75-liter formats, priced at around $18.49 a 750-ml.

indexSingle malt Scotch distiller Balblair is set to release four new vintages in the U.S. Rolling out this month, the new additions include Balblair 2003 and 1983, which are aged in American oak ex-Bourbon barrels, and Balblair 1999 and 1990, which are both matured in American oak ex-Bourbon barrels, with an addition of Spanish oak Sherry butts. Balblair 2003, 1999, 1990 and 1983 will be available across key U.S. markets, priced at $70, $90, $140 and $330, respectively.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily