GSN Spirited News: November 10th 2020 Edition

Saint Luna, an ultra-premium moonshine, is expanding distribution to five new markets. The brand has partnered with Vintage Imports to launch in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey; Fireside Distributing in Nashville, Tennessee; and Clare Rose on Long Island, New York. Created in 2018 by entrepreneur David Suk, Saint Luna is made with molasses and rye and charcoal filtered. It is at 50% abv and, in addition to its retail footprint, is available through Caskers and ReserveBar, where it’s priced at $50 a 750-ml.

Purcellville, Virginia-based Catoctin Creek Distilling Company is releasing a highly limited whiskey expression. The craft distillery produced approximately 540 bottles of Peach Barrel Select Rye, which was aged in charred new oak barrels and then finished for over a year in peach brandy barrels used to produce its Short Hill Mountain Peach Brandy. It’s at 40% abv and retails for $46 a 750-ml., available beginning November 16 through Catoctin Creek’s online store for Virginia residents and at liquor stores throughout the company’s 24-state distribution footprint.

Nikka Whisky is releasing a new version of its Taketsuru Pure Malt in the U.S. this month. Named for Nikka founder Masataka Taketsuru, the expression is a blend of 100% malt whiskies showcasing the balance between liquid from Nikka’s two distilleries in Yoichi and Miyagikyo, Japan. This reformulation of Taketsuru has strengthened the Yoichi side of the blend for increased smokiness. It also features a new label design. The release is at 43% abv and retails for a suggested $80 a 750-ml.

Brown-Forman-owned The GlenDronach single malt Scotch whisky has launched a new Port-pipe finished expression across the U.S. The GlenDronach Port Wood is bottled at 46% abv, non-chill filtered, and is first matured in Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso Sherry casks before its Port finishing. It’s now available in select retailers nationwide at a suggested price of $90 a 750-ml.

Irish whiskey brand Writers’ Tears is getting a packaging refresh across its full line. All six expressions of Writers’ Tears now feature a cork and foil closure. The brand’s tall, Victorian-style bottle now also features an embossed teardrop above the label and debossing on the Writers’ Tears name on the glass base, and the bottle is 2mm wider and slightly heavier than before. The main labels have also been redesigned and feature additional writerly elements, like expression-specific “chapter numbers” denoting the order in which each release was originally created. Writers’ Tears is produced by Carlow, Ireland-based Walsh Whiskey, which also produces whiskey line The Irishman.

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 6th 2020 Edition

Biddeford, Maine’s Round Turn Distilling has launched Bimini Coconut, a new flavored gin. The 47% abv gin is made with juniper, grapefruit, and hops, before fat washing with coconut to naturally infuse the gin. Bimini Coconut is available in California, Maine, New York, and Massachusetts for around $35 a 750-ml. The new spirit sits alongside Bimini gin, Bimini Barrel Reserve No.-1, and Bimini Overproof in the distillery’s lineup.

Minnesota-based Phillips Distilling Co. announced the release of Douglas and Todd Small Batch Bourbon Cream Liqueur. As the name implies, the new product is made from the company’s Douglas and Todd Bourbon, aged a minimum of four years in new charred oak barrels, then blended with cream and vanilla bean flavors. It’s available now as a limited release retailing for $35 a 750-ml. at select retailers and coming soon to online sales. The Phillips Distilling portfolio also includes UV Vodka, Prairie Organic Spirits, and Revel Stoke Whiskies, among others.

Proximo Spirits has launched Bushmills 28-Year-Old Single Malt Cognac Cask, the first in the brand’s new Rare Casks series. The 46.7% abv whisky first aged in Bourbon and Oloroso Sherry casks for 11 years before spending an additional 17 years in Cognac casks. Fewer than 500 bottles of the whiskey will be available, exclusively in the U.S., for a suggested retail price of $500 a 750-ml.

Mystic, Connecticut’s Prima Barista has launched a new ready-to-drink hard coffee, made with vodka. The 12.5% abv drinks come in two flavors—Mocha Hard Iced Frappé and Vanilla Hard Iced Latte—and contain roughly the same amount of caffeine as a 1-ounce shot of espresso per 200-ml. bottle. Prima Barista’s coffee cocktails are now available in Florida and Indiana at retail for around $19-$20, and for direct shipping to over 30 states across the U.S.

Edrington-owned Highland Park single malt Scotch whisky has launched Cask Strength No.-1, the first release in its new cask-strength collection. This edition comes in at 63.3% abv and matured in Sherry-seasoned American oak casks for a range of years before blending and bottling. The non-chill-filtered whisky will be released yearly. Highland Park Cask Strength No.-1 retails for around $90 a 750-ml. and will be available online and in specialty retailers across the U.S.

Kahlúa is extending with a new Blonde Roast Style liqueur. Made with medium roast coffee and hints of caramel, toffee and citrus flavors, Kahlúa Blonde Roast Style is at 20% abv and suggested to be served with tonic or coconut water. Pernod Ricard-owned Kahlúa posted 6% growth in NABCA channels in the 12 months through June. 

Dan Aykroyd and John Alexander’s Crystal Head vodka has launched Onyx, a new vodka distilled from Blue Agave. The new brand extension is bottled at 40% abv in an opaque black bottle. The agave for the spirit is sourced from a single farm in Mexico and the final product is bottled without additives or sweeteners. Crystal Head Onyx will retail for around $55 a 750-ml. and joins the brand’s original release, made from Canadian corn, and Aurora, made from English wheat, in the full-time lineup.

High West, part of the Constellation portfolio, has introduced two bottled whiskey cocktails, Barrel-Finished Manhattan and Barrel-Finished Old Fashioned. Both are made using a blend of Bourbon and rye, then finished in rye barrels. The Old Fashioned is at 43% abv, while the Manhattan is at 37% abv. Rolling out nationwide, High West’s new bottled cocktails retail at $50 a 750-ml. (containing 12 cocktails) and $30 a 375-ml.

Mount Gay Rum, part of the Rémy Cointreau portfolio, is launching a new limited edition, Master Blender Collection: The Port Cask Expression. Created by master blender Trudiann Branker, the new bottling is a blend of rums distilled in a traditional column still and aged for five years in Tawny Port casks, together with rums double distilled in a copper pot still and aged for 14 years in American whiskey casks and finished in Tawny Port casks for one year. Retailing at $175 a 750-ml., Mount Gay’s new luxury Port Cask expression is a cask-strength at 55% abv and is limited to 2,100 bottles in the U.S.

Código 1530 Tequila is releasing a new limited-edition extra añejo expression, the George Strait Origen. The new expression aged over six years in French white oak barrels that previously held Napa Valley Cabernet. The 40% abv spirit will retail for $350, with only 1,200 bottles available nationwide. The six barrels used to create the Tequila were hand-selected by Código co-founder and country music legend George Strait. Código 1530 reports that it’s seen rapid gains in the year-to-date, registering growth of 40%.

Diageo is bringing back Cîroc vodka’s White Grape expression for the holiday season. Five times distilled from French grapes, Cîroc White Grape is rolling out now. Cîroc slipped 9% to 1.4 million cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank, amid intense competition in the U.S. vodka category. In Diageo’s full fiscal year through June, the brand’s net sales fell by double-digits, with the decline partially offset by good results for limited-time offers like White Grape.

Minnesota’s Tattersall Distilling has launched a bottled Manhattan, made from 100% Minnesota grown rye, aged in charred American white oak barrels, and blended with Tattersall Italian-style liqueur, Sherry, and bitters. This is the distillery’s fourth ready-to-drink cocktail, joining Old Fashioned, Bootlegger, and Salty Dog. It retails at $35 a 750-ml. and carries an abv of 35%. The new entry will roll out first in Minnesota, with Wisconsin to follow shortly after. Tattersall’s portfolio is distributed to 30 states.

Whiskeysmith Co., a new line of flavored whiskies from Colorado-based Old Elk, has launched nationally via Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits. The line is launching with three flavors—Chocolate, Banana, and Pineapple—and all come in at 30% abv. Beverage director Melinda Maddox said the brand is aimed at home and on-premise mixology, and as a one-step home cocktail alternative. Whiskeysmith is now available across the U.S. and retails for between $25 and $30, depending on the market.

Brown-Forman has launched Woodford Reserve Baccarat Edition, a new ultra-limited luxury release from the American whiskey brand. The newcomer is bottled at 45.2% abv and, after its initial maturation in American oak, aged for an extra three years in ex-Cognac casks. The whiskey is bottled in a handmade crystal decanter from Baccarat that’s reminiscent of the standard Woodford bottle but engraved in gold with both Woodford’s and Baccarat’s logos. It’s now available in limited quantities for $2,000 a 750-ml. 

Teeling Irish whiskey has announced a new addition to the distillery’s portfolio, Blackpitts Peated Single Malt whiskey. The 46% abv whiskey is triple distilled and matured in a combination of ex-Bourbon and ex-Sauternes casks. According to managing director Jack Teeling, the smokiness of triple distilled peated whiskey is quite distinct; he described it as more like “barbecue-style smoke,” compared to the briny or medicinal peated whiskies of Islay, Scotland. Blackpitts Peated Single Malt whiskey will launch globally in January 2021, for a suggested price of $75 in the U.S.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: September 29th 2020 Edition

Moët Hennessy USA is set to launch A Tale of Cake, the newest limited release from single malt Scotch brand Glenmorangie, in October. The 46% abv whisky was finished in Tokaji casks. A Tale of Cake’s launch will be accompanied by a promotional campaign involving cocktails and cake recipes by Jeremy Le Blanche and Dominique Ansel, respectively, to go with the new whisky and with Glenmorangie’s core releases. The whisky will retail for around $99 a 750-ml.

Brown-Forman has announced a new three-batch Bourbon release to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Old Forester. The three whiskies will each be at cask strength and bottled in amber-colored glass reminiscent of hand-blown bottles used in the 19th century. Batch 1 is bottled at 62.8% abv and is made from 46 barrels; Batch 2 is made from 48 barrels and bottled at 63.2% abv; and Batch 3 is assembled from 53 barrels and is at 63.4% abv. Old Forester 150th Anniversary Bourbon is bottled unfiltered—only barrel char sediment has been removed—and will be available in limited quantities across the U.S. for around $150 a 750-ml.

Goslings Rum is offering a new limited release called Papa Seal Single Barrel Bermuda Rum. It was blended from a range of pot- and column-distilled rums that run between 10 and 21 years aged in white oak barrels and aged another two years in Bermuda, ultimately bottled at 41.5% abv. Only 1,500 bottles of Papa Seal 2020 will be available nationwide, each hand-labeled with its barrel number, bottle number, and bottling date. Beginning next month it will be available at select retailers in 16 states as well as online, retailing for $199 a 750-ml.

Edrington has announced the sixth and final release in the Macallan Edition Series. The Macallan Edition No. 6 is a 48.6% abv whisky made from liquid matured in both European and American Sherry-seasoned oak casks. Tying in with the launch, the Macallan has started a partnership with the Atlantic Salmon Trust to support efforts to protect at-risk fish, including in the Macallan’s own section of the river Spey. The Macallan Edition No. 6 is rolling out globally this month and will retail for around $150 in the U.S. Last year, the Macallan was at 268,000 cases in the U.S., according to Impact Databank.

Heaven Hill Brands has released a packaging refresh for parts of the Evan Williams family of whiskies. Evan Williams Black’s new label sports a richer gold color and a black and gold capsule with Evan Williams’s signature. The bottled-in-bond release features a green and white label that more prominently shows the higher proof and the standards of bonded whiskey; the capsule shows the tax strip designating the whiskey as bonded. Evan Williams’ flavored releases will now feature a centered label and the new bottle shape.

Minnesota-based Prestige Beverage has added Davidoff Cognac to its import portfolio for the U.S. The company is now rolling out Davidoff’s V.S. ($35), V.S.O.P. ($50), and X.O. ($150) releases—all bottled at 40% abv—in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, North and South Carolina, North and South Dakota, Nevada, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Texas, and Wisconsin.

William Grant & Sons has relaunched Milagro Select Barrel Reserve, the brand’s luxury-priced tier. The full line—Blanco ($40), Reposado ($45), and Añejo ($55)—is returning to market in new bottles inspired by Mexican architectural works and featuring an engraved agave plant and colors specific to each release.

Proximo Spirits has made former special edition Kraken Black Roast Coffee rum a permanent addition to the line. The 33.3% abv rum is made from macerating the brand’s Trinidadian spiced rum with coffee beans to create a richly spiced and sweet spirit, according to the company. Kraken Black Roast Coffee rum is now available across the U.S.

Sombra mezcal, part of the Davos Brands portfolio, has unveiled a new bottle design. The new packaging, which rolls out this fall, takes its inspiration from the vaso veladora, glass cups traditionally used to contain prayer candles that are common in Oaxacan churches. The updated design also includes a refreshed logo, copper lettering, and a reduced glass weight to be more eco-friendly. Sombra, which translates to “shadow,” is at 90 proof and retails at $35 a 750-ml.

Clase Azul Tequila has announced the launch of the 2020 edition of its Día de Muertos Tequila, set to hit shelves on October 1. The 40% abv spirit is made from a blend of Clase Azul’s Plata, 8-month-old reposado, and 5-year-old Ultra—aged in ex-Sherry casks—Tequilas. The 2020 Día de Muertos Tequila is a limited release and only 2,000 bottles will be available globally, retailing for around $400 a 750-ml.

The Dalmore has launched the latest release in its Principal Collection, a 12-year-old single malt finished in Sherry casks. The 43% abv whisky is initially aged for 10 years in American oak barrels previously used to mature Bourbon before finishing for up to three years in casks that held Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso sherry. The Dalmore 12-year-old Sherry Cask Select single malt is now available in the U.K. and major Asian markets with a U.S. launch to follow in 2021.

Plantation rum has extended its portfolio with two new Fijian rums. Plantation Isle of Fiji is a permanent addition to the range. Distilled in pot and column stills at Rum Co. of Fiji, and then double-aged in Fiji and France, it’s at 40% abv and retails at $25 a 750-ml. Plantation Fiji Vintage 2005 is the first offering in Plantation’s new Birds of Paradise vintage collection. It was first distilled in triple column stills and aged for 14 years in Bourbon casks in the mild climate of the Fiji Islands, then spent an additional year in Ferrand French Oak barrels in the House’s cellars in Cognac. The limited edition is at 50.2% abv and retails at $80.

Chicago-based House of Somrus is adding to its range with a new Coffee Cream liqueur. The line extension is made with coffee and chicory, together with real dairy cream from Wisconsin and quintuple-distilled Caribbean rum. Retailing at $25 a 750-ml., it carries an abv of 13.5% and is rolling out across 21 states.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

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