GSN Spirited News: September 15th 2020 Edition

Evanston, Illinois-based Few Spirits has launched Immortal rye, a new whiskey proofed down to bottling strength with tea. The 46.5% abv whiskey is made by blending cask strength Few rye with 8 Immortals tea from Denver’s the Tea Spot. The whiskey does not contain added sugar or other additives. The whiskey’s label art showcases a dragon print that was shown at the 1893 World’s Fair. The initial release is limited—only 6,000 bottles—and is rolling out now across the U.S. for around $45 a 750-ml.

Japanese whisky maker Nikka is releasing a pair of new whiskies finished in apple brandy barrels in an homage to the company’s origins producing apple juice and other apple products before launching the first Nikka whisky in 1940. The first release is Yoichi Single Malt Whisky Finished in Apple Brandy Barrels, produced at Nikka’s founding distillery on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. The second is Miyagikyo Single Malt Whisky Finished in Apple Brandy Barrels, produced in Sendai, Japan. Both are at 40% abv and retail for $250 a 750-ml. Imported by San Francisco-based Hotaling & Co., they will be distributed in California, New York, Texas, Illinois, Massachusetts, Florida, Colorado, Washington, and Tennessee.

Benriach single malt Scotch whisky, part of the Brown-Forman portfolio, has revamped its core lineup and unveiled two new expressions. The newcomers include Smoky Ten and Smoky Twelve whiskies, retailing at $60 and $65 a 750-ml., respectively. Those offerings join the Original Ten ($54) and Original Twelve ($60) in the range, which has been repackaged and will be hitting the market in its new incarnation next month. Benriach will follow with Twenty-One, Twenty-Five, and Thirty-Year-Old single malts in the U.S. next year.

Heaven Hill has announced the 2020 iteration of Parker’s Heritage. This year’s whiskey is a 10-year-old Bourbon matured in heavily charred barrels. The spirit was distilled from a mash of 72% corn, 12% malted barley, and 10% rye, and aged in level 5 char barrels, as opposed to Heaven Hill’s typical level 3 char barrels. The whiskey is bottled at 60% abv and is rolling out now in limited quantities across the U.S. for around $120 a 750-ml. A portion of the proceeds from each bottle goes to fund research and patient care for those diagnosed with ALS.

Tequila Partida has debuted Roble Fino, a line of luxury sipping Tequilas. The new range includes a Reposado ($100 a 750-ml.), aged for a minimum of 6 months in ex-Bourbon barrels and then aged for two more months in ex-single malt, Sherry-seasoned casks; a Reposado Cristalino ($115), finished in ex-single malt, Sherry-seasoned casks; and an Añejo ($125), aged for 18 months in ex-Bourbon barrels, then finished for five more months in ex-single malt, Sherry-seasoned casks. All three Tequilas are now rolling out in New York, California, Florida, Illinois, and Texas, with additional markets to follow.

Beam Suntory has launched this year’s version of Basil Hayden’s 10-Year-Old Bourbon. The 40% abv whiskey is made from the company’s high-rye mashbill. It serves as the higher-end limited release for the brand and sits alongside the flagship Basil Hayden’s Bourbon, Basil Hayden’s Dark Rye, and other limited releases like 10-year-old rye, and Caribbean Reserve Rye. Basil Hayden’s 10-year-old is now available across the U.S. for around $70 a 750-ml.

Diageo has released Captain Morgan Sliced Apple, the latest flavored offshoot for the spiced rum brand. The 35% abv rum is made from the original spiced rum with added ginger and apple flavoring. Captain Morgan Sliced Apple is now available across the U.S. for around $16 a 750-ml.

San Francisco, California-based Gold Bar Spirits Co. has launched Rickhouse Cask Strength Straight BourbonThe whiskey is distilled from a mash of 80% corn and 20% rye and is bottled at 51.5% abv. With this new release, Gold Bar continues its partnership with the San Francisco 49ers, with Rickhouse named the official whiskey of the team’s Faithful to the Bay campaign. Rickhouse is now available in major retailers across the U.S. and on the company’s website for around $35 a 750-ml.

Minnetonka, Minnesota’s Dashfire has announced a new line of hard coffees, set to launch throughout the state at the end of the month. The 14% abv RTDs will come in three flavors—Rum Café Mocha, Rum Golden Latte, and Bourbon Cold Brew—and all will be available in individual 200-ml. cans. Southern Glazer’s will distribute Dashfire’s hard coffees in Minnesota and the company is planning for a wider release through Vision Wine & Spirits in the future.

Moët Hennessy-owned Belvedere has long looked to differentiate itself by bringing the concept of terroir to the vodka category. Now the brand is introducing its new Heritage 176 expression and a “Made With Nature” platform, highlighting its Polish origins and craftsmanship. Heritage 176 is rolling out across 20 U.S. markets, retailing at $35 a 750-ml. The new offering nods to the 19th century practice of malting rye by kiln-heating—which Belvedere says unlocks distinctive flavors in the resulting liquid—with its distillers applying fire to malt the rye before distillation. It’s intended to be served over ice with a lemon twist.

William Grant & SonsHudson Whiskey has rebranded with more mature offerings and a new, more accessible price point. The distillery’s Baby Bourbon is now Bright Lights, Big Bourbon, a 46% abv whiskey retailing at $40 a 750-ml. Manhattan Rye has relaunched as Do the Rye Thing, also bottled at 46% abv and retailing for $40. The company’s Maple Cask Rye, a whiskey finished in maple syrup barrels, has rebranded as Short Stack and will retail at around $55. The company also has launched Back Room Deal, a new rye whiskey finished in barrels used to age peated Scotch, which will retail at around $55 a 750-ml.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: August 4th 2020 Edition

Angry Orchard, part of the Boston Beer portfolio, is collaborating with Hudson Valley, New York-based Spirits Lab on a new range of cider-infused cocktails. They include an Apple Cider Old Fashioned made with Spirits Lab’s Bull’s Head Bourbon, a Basque Sangria with vodka and peach and apricot liqueurs, and a Rose Lemonade Vodka. The cocktails will sell for $9 at Angry Orchard’s and Spirits Lab’s Hudson Valley locations.

Diageo has debuted the latest offshoot to the Smirnoff Ice family of flavored malt beverages, Smirnoff Ice Zero Sugar. The 4.5% abv RTD is made without added sugar, instead using artificial sweeteners to come in at under 100 calories per 11.2-ounce bottle. The new offshoot is billed as offering the same sweet citrus flavor as the original Smirnoff Ice. Smirnoff Ice Zero Sugar is now available nationwide in 6-packs of bottles for around $9.

Brown-Forman has announced a new single barrel bottling of Jack Daniel’s celebrating country musician Eric Church. The 47% abv whiskey is bottled from barrels selected by Church and packaged with a special edition black and gold embossed label. The barrels were selected with help from master distiller Jeff Arnett from the top floor of a warehouse on Coy Hill. Jack Daniel’s Eric Church Single Barrel Tennessee Whiskey will roll out nationwide in August.

Abelha Organic Cachaça has launched in the U.S. Imported and distributed by MHW in New York and New Jersey, and Murphy in Connecticut, the brand is making its debut with two expressions, Prata and Ouro. Prata is a 40% abv offering rested for six months in open steel tanks after distillation. Ouro is the brand’s aged expression, bottled at 40% abv after maturing for three years in 65-gallon Garapeira (a variety of Brazilian ash) casks. Both releases are made without added sugar and are certified organic. The brand is a collaboration between the Responsible Trading Company and Fazenda Vaccaro Farm.

Carbonadi vodka, a luxury Italian spirit, is expanding its distribution footprint. The 40% abv vodka is distilled from organic wheat and filtered through black diamonds (carbonados), giving the brand its name and opaque black bottle. Founded by entrepreneur Ricky Miller III, Carbanadi is minority-owned and currently available for70 a 750-ml. in California, Nevada, New York, New Jersey, and Florida with further expansion on the way.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: May 26th 2020 Edition

Absolut has launched a new collection of ready-to-drink cocktails. The new releases are split into two lines, Absolut Vodka Sodas and Absolut Cocktails. The 5% abv vodka sodas come in three flavors—Lime & Cucumber, Grapefruit & Rosemary, and Raspberry & Lemongrass—all at 97 calories per serving. Absolut Cocktails include a Mango Mule and a Grapefruit Paloma at 7% abv, and a Berry Vodkarita at 10%. Absolut’s new RTDs are now in national distribution, retailing at around $13 a 4-pack of 12-ounce cans.

Teeling Irish whiskey is launching a special Father’s Day edition of its single malt expression. Selling exclusively on ReserveBar through June at $60 a bottle, the limited edition is finished in five different types of wine casks. $5 from every bottle sold will go to the Raise Your Spirits campaign supporting bars and restaurants.

Brown-Forman has teamed up with Whiskey Barrel Foods to create Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Cocktail Bitters, designed to complement Jack Daniel’s flavor profile when used in cocktails. The bitters are at 46.9% abv and bring flavors of vanilla, wood, berry, ginger, and maple. Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Cocktail Bitters are now available on Whiskey Barrel Foods’ website for $15 a 3-ounce bottle.

Five midwestern distilleries have teamed to create Distiller’s Handshake, a new blended whiskey sold to benefit Iowa’s service workers during the Covid-19 pandemic. The 50% abv blend is acollaboration among Iowa’s Templeton Rye, Cat’s Eye Distillery, Cedar Ridge Distillery, Mississippi River Distilling Company, and Illinois’ Blaum Bros Distilling Company. The whiskey retails at $50, with all proceeds going to the Iowa Restaurant Association and bartenders throughout the state.

Loveland, Colorado-based craft distiller The Family Jones has unveiled Ella Jones Straight Bourbon WhiskeyThe newcomer has a mashbill of 75% corn, 15% rye, and 10% malt—all sourced from Colorado—and is a blend of whiskies with an average age of 2.8 years. Bottled at 47% abv, Ella Jones is rolling out in Colorado at a retail price of $55 a 750ml.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN: Backbar Review – November 4-8, 2013

indexMassachusetts-based M.S. Walker is introducing two new rums under the Ron Virgin brand. The first, Ron Virgin Black Spiced, marks M.S. Walker’s entrance into the fast-growing high-proof rum segment. Retailing at $19.99 a 750-ml., Ron Virgin Black Spiced is a 94-proof, heavy-bodied dark rum from the West Indies blended with exotic spices. It’s joined by fellow newcomer Ron Virgin Bold, a 70-proof coconut rum suited to tropical cocktails that retails at $17.99 a 750-ml.

blah

indexSingle malt Scotch The Dalmore Selected by Daniel Boulud is being extended into national distribution. The 44%-abv malt developed in collaboration with the renowned chef retails around $200 a bottle, of which 1,000 are making their way to market. It’s also on offer for $50 a glass at each of Boulud’s six New York City restaurants, where it first appeared in a limited rollout this spring. The Dalmore is part of the Whyte & Mackay Americas portfolio.

blah

imagesBrazil’s Avuá Cachaça has expanded its presence in the U.S. First launched in New York in April, the single-estate, small-batch brand has since entered the Boston, Washington D.C., San Francisco and Los Angeles markets. The range currently includes Avuá Cachaça Prata ($35 a 750-ml.), which is rested in steel tanks for six months prior to bottling, and Avuá Cachaça Amburana ($50 a 750-ml.), aged for up to two years in Amburana wood casks. The brand is self-imported by New York-based Avuá Imports.

Collingwood_Hand-Crafted_Blended_Canadian_Whisky_294304Brown-Forman’s Collingwood Canadian whisky brand has released Collingwood Rye 21-year-old in select U.S. and Canadian markets. Made with 100% malted rye and spring water from Ontario’s Georgian Bay, the new, 80-proof offering is matured for 21 years in oak barrels and then rested in toasted maplewood prior to bottling. Limited quantities of Collingwood Rye 21-year-old are currently available in 16 U.S. markets and Ontario starting this month, priced at $69.99 a 750-ml.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN: Backbar Review – October 21-25, 2013

indexDiageo North America is extending Johnnie Walker with a new upscale offering, Gold Label Reserve. A limited edition whisky based on the Clynelish single malt, Gold Label Reserve will retail at $87 a 750-ml.—positioned between Johnnie Walker Double Black at $42 and the recently unveiled Johnnie Walker Platinum at $110. Packaged in a reflective gold bottle, Gold Label Reserve is billed as a whisky to be served over ice or in a tall drink with soda water and fruits like grapefruit or lemon. “Gold Label Reserve provides a unique flavor for high-energy celebrations that may not have been traditionally seen as Scotch whisky occasions,” said Brian Radics, Diageo’s director of Scotch whisky, in a statement announcing the launch.

indexMountain Laurel Spirits has expanded its Dad’s Hat Pennsylvania Rye Whiskey range with a new Port Finish expression. A small-batch, limited edition offering, Dad’s Hat Port Finish Rye Whiskey is aged a minimum of six months in oak casks, then matured for an additional three months in American Port wine barrels. The 94-proof entry is currently available in select markets—including California, New Jersey and Massachusetts, as well as in Pennsylvania on special order—priced at around $47 a 750-ml. Port Finish Rye Whiskey joins Vermouth Finish Rye, Pennsylvania White Rye and the core Pennsylvania Rye expression in the Dad’s Hat portfolio.

indexIllinois-based A. Hardy USA is introducing a new upscale Tequila brand, Tequila 1519. The 100%-agave label includes Blanco ($44.99 a 750-ml.), Reposado ($53.99) and Añejo expressions ($59.99), and is named for the year in which Andalusian steed horses—which became the seed stock for the Mexico’s symbolic Azteca Stallions—were first introduced to the country. The 1519 brand is produced in Jalisco by Agave Conquista.

blah

indexAfter a two-year absence, Michter’s Distillery LLC is returning its US*1 Unblended American Whiskey to the market. First shipments are scheduled to hit distributor warehouses within a week, with a suggested retail price of $45 a 750-ml. bottle. The product follows the release earlier this year of US*1 Sour Mash whiskey ($45) from Michter’s. The Unblended American carries no age statement. Its US*1 designation refers to the company’s reputed status as the first American distillery, dating to 1752 in Pennsylvania.

indexThe Cooper Spirits Co. has debuted Lock Stock & Barrel—a new, limited edition straight rye whiskey—in the U.S. Made with 100% rye, Lock Stock & Barrel is double distilled in copper pot stills and then aged for 13 years in American oak. The 101.3-proof whiskey, which is produced by Canada’s Alberta Distilleries Ltd., is priced at $115-$119 a 750-ml. Headquartered in New York and Philadelphia, Cooper Spirits is best known for launching the St-Germain liqueur brand.

blah

indexJim Beam’s latest offering, its “Signature Craft” series, marks an attempt to connect with whiskey aficionados.  The first products in the line are Jim Beam Signature Craft 12-Year Bourbon and Jim Beam Signature Craft Rare Spanish Brandy, both 43%-abv and priced at $40 a 750-ml., more than double the average retail price of Jim Beam’s core White Label. The 12-Year Bourbon is a permanent addition to the Jim Beam family, while Rare Spanish Brandy is an “extra-aged” offering that will be replaced by a new limited Signature Craft edition next year.

indexBrown-Forman’s Tequila Herradura has introduced the latest entry in its small-batch Coleccion de la Casa range, Reserva 2013 Cognac Cask Finish Reposado. The limited edition offering is initially aged in American oak for 11 months, then transferred to French oak casks from the Cognac region for an additional three months. Rolling out next month, Coleccion de la Casa, Reserva 2013 Cognac Cask Finish Reposado will be available at select retail outlets, priced at $89.99 a 750-ml. The entry follows the April launch of Herradura’s first Coleccion de la Casa expression, Reserva 2012 Port Cask Finish.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN: Backbar Review – October 7-11, 2013

indexWilliam Grant & Sons is releasing a new Balvenie single malt expression exclusively for the U.S. market. Tun 1401 Batch 9 ($250) is a 49.3%-abv whisky sourced from 11 traditional whisky casks and three sherry butts, whose ages span a number of decades. It rested for several months in Tun 1401, one of the distillery’s unique “marrying vessels,” which also produced the previous limited releases Batch 3 and Batch 6. The Balvenie Tun 1401 Batch 9 will be distributed in limited supply beginning this month.

indexDiageo is introducing two new flavors to Smirnoff vodka’s range this fall—Wild Honey and Cinna-Sugar Twist. Both are now in national distribution, priced at $15.99 a 750-ml. The flavors join Smirnoff’s existing Confections portfolio, which also includes Root Beer Float, Iced Cake, Kissed Caramel, Whipped Cream and Fluffed Marshmallow.

blah

indexBeam Inc.’s Laphroaig single malt Scotch brand has reintroduced Laphroaig Triple Wood, its limited edition fall seasonal, in the U.S. Triple Wood, a 96-proof whisky, is matured three times, using ex-Bourbon barrels, 19th century-style quarter casks and European oak Oloroso Sherry casks. The returning entry will be available in limited quantities nationwide, priced at around $59.99 a 750-ml. Laphroaig Triple Wood is joined in the Laphroaig portfolio by the brand’s 10-year-old, 10-year-old Cask Strength, Quarter Cask, 18-year-old, 25-year-old, QA Cask and Càirdeas offerings.

imagesBrown-Forman has added a new seasonal variant to Jack Daniel’s, Winter Jack. A blend of apple cider liqueur, Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Tennessee Whiskey and holiday spices, the new product is suggested to be served warm and touted as “reminiscent of apple pie complemented with Tennessee whiskey and seasonal spices, with a finish of toasted oak and vanilla.” Winter Jack is hitting 30 U.S. states and Canada this month.

blah

indexSidney Frank Importing Co. has expanded its Bärenjäger honey liqueur brand with a pair of new offshoots—Bärenjäger Honey & Tea and Bärenjäger Honey & Pear. Bärenjäger Honey & Tea features notes of sweet black tea and honey, while Bärenjäger Honey & Pear offers a blend of honey and pear brandy sourced from Germany. Both entries are currently available nationwide in 50-ml., 375-ml. and 750-ml. formats, priced at around $28.99 a 750-ml. The Honey & Tea and Honey & Pear variants are joined in the Bärenjäger portfolio by the brand’s original Bärenjäger honey liqueur and its Honey & Bourbon label, which launched last year.

indexGlenmorangie is set to introduce a very limited offering of what it calls the “world’s first extra-matured single malt,” Glenmorangie 1963. Packaged in a commemorative bottle including its original label, 1963 was extra-matured in Spanish Oloroso Sherry casks for almost two years prior to its original release in 1987. Glenmorangie says it recently uncovered 50 bottles of the historic whisky in its Highland warehouses. Twenty of them will be made available for purchase in the U.S. through high-end stores at a suggested price of $2,600 each.

indexFort Worth, Texas-based Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co. has launched its flagship T-X blended whiskey brand in Louisiana. Currently available in the state both on- and off-premise via Glazer’s, T-X is a blend of select whiskies priced at around $35 a bottle. Louisiana marks brand’s first expansion outside of its home market of Texas. A craft whiskey distillery established in 2010, Firestone & Robertson is planning to debut a straight Bourbon made with locally-sourced corn, wheat and yeast as the second offering in its portfolio.

indexPernod Ricard is returning its Pernod absinthe to its original recipe. The brand’s revamped formula was reconstructed in a two-year process from records that show how it was made in the 1800s, prior to the U.S. ban on absinthe from 1912-2007. Changes include a move from neutral grain to neutral wine spirit for the base, with grapes sourced from Languedoc as specified; the usage of grande wormwood sourced from Pontarlier, the historical home of the brand where the original factory was founded in 1805; and natural coloration through the maceration of green nettles, instead of added dyes and artificial colors. The remade Pernod (136-proof) will first appear at several leading New York City retailers, priced at around $68 a bottle.

index35 Maple Street, the spirits unit of Sonoma-based The Other Guys, has released two new limited-edition versions of its Masterson’s whiskey brand. Masterson’s 12-Year-Old Straight Wheat Whiskey ($79), at 50% abv, is made from Canadian wheat and glacial water, distilled in a copper pot still and aged in white oak casks. Masterson’s 10-Year-Old Straight Barley Whiskey ($79), at 46% abv, is made from Canadian barley and glacial water, double-distilled and also aged in white oak casks. Some 2,337 cases (14,022 bottles) of the 12-Year-Old Wheat and 1,954 cases (11,724 bottles) of the 10-Year-Old Barley will be available. The Other Guys, run by August Sebastiani, launched 35 Maple Street in 2011 with Masterson’s Rye ($79) and has since followed with Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin ($35-$40) and Kirk & Sweeney Dominican Rum ($40).

indexSouth Carolina-based High Wire Distilling Co. has made its debut in its local Charleston market with the launch of Hometown vodka and Silver rum. Initially rolling out into retail outlets this week, the pair will also be available at local bars and restaurants in the near future. Priced at $27.99, Hometown vodka is a gluten-free offering made with 100% corn, while Silver rum is produced using Barbadian molasses and will retail for $23.99. High Wire, which bills itself as Charleston’s first distillery since Prohibition, distills its spirits using a handmade German copper still.

indexSeveral new limited-edition malts are joining the Campari America portfolio across the Bowmore, Auchentoshan and Glen Garioch brands. Bowmore is welcoming a new addition called The Devil’s Cask, named for a local Islay legend in which the devil stows away in a barrel of Bowmore bound for the mainland. A 10-year-old Scotch aged in Oloroso Sherry barrels, Devil’s Cask is at 56.9%-abv and will retail at around $90, with 1,302 bottles coming to the U.S. starting next month. Atop the pricing ladder, Bowmore is introducing a 50-year-old, retail-priced at around $20,000 a 750-ml. It’s replacing a 40-year-old that was priced at $15,000. Devil’s Cask and the 50-year-old join Bowmore’s recently added Dorus Mor (55.1%-abv), a 10-year-old priced at $120, of which 2,400 bottles were imported. Meanwhile, Bowmore stablemates Auchentoshan and Glen Garioch, from the Lowland and Highland regions respectively, are being extended with small-batch Virgin Oak expressions. Auchentoshan’s is 46%-abv and will retail at around $130 with 2,100 bottles headed to the U.S. Glen Garioch’s is 48%-abv, retails at $110 and is available in an allocation of 1,038 bottles.

indexProximo Spirits will expand the Jose Cuervo line with the launch of a cinnamon-infused silver Tequila called Cinge. The new expression will roll out nationwide this fall, priced at $17.99 a 750-ml. bottle, and will also be available in 50-ml., 200-ml., 375-ml., 1-liter and 1.75-liter sizes.

blah

blah

imagesPernod Ricard’s House of Martell is launching a new Cognac—Martell Caractère. The new variant, available exclusively in California and retailing at $34.99, is meant to pay tribute to Martell founder Jean Martell. Caractère (40% abv) is produced using grapes sourced from the company’s own vineyards in the Domaine Jean Martell, distilled twice without lees and aged in French oak.

imagesWilliam Grant & Sons has introduced a new variant, Phoenix, to the Tullamore D.E.W. Irish whiskey range. Phoenix, priced at $54.99 a 750-ml., will be an annual limited edition release, with only 2,500 nine-liter cases now available in the U.S. market. The triple-distilled whiskey (55% abv) is finished in Oloroso Sherry casks. Phoenix joins Original, 12-year-old Special Reserve and 10-year-old Single Malt in the brand’s lineup.

indexFairfield, New Jersey-based Jersey Artisan Distilling has debuted the first entry in its premium craft spirits range, Busted Barrel dark rum. Made with all-natural molasses sourced from Louisiana, Busted Barrel is aged with a handful of vanilla beans in American oak casks for three months. The 80-proof spirit will be available at New Jersey retail outlets starting next week, priced at around $34.99 a 750-ml. Jersey Artisan Distilling, which bills itself as the state’s first licensed distillery since Prohibition, is also gearing up to launch an eponymous vodka and gin range, as well as Busted Barrel Bourbon and whiskey offerings.

All information courtesy of Shanken