GSN Spirited News: August 31st 2021 Edition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: June 8th 2021 Edition

Campari America has launched the latest limited-edition whiskey from the Wild Turkey Distillery: Russell’s Reserve 13-year-old. The 57.4% abv Bourbon is non-chill filtered and bottled at barrel strength, and showcases the combined decades of experience in the industry from master distillers Jimmy and Eddie Russell. The whiskey is now available across the U.S. for a limited time at a suggested price of $70 a 750-ml.

Conecuh Brands has released two new whiskies in the Clyde May’s family. First up is Clyde May’s Special Reserve Straight Bourbon, a new 55% abv permanent addition to the portfolio. It’s aged for five years and retails for $70 a 750-ml. Conecuh has also unveiled this year’s edition of Clyde May’s cask strength release, a 13-year-old Bourbon bottled at 56% abv, which is available in limited quantities for $180 a 750-ml.

Brown-Forman has added a new single barrel rye to the Old Forester brand. The unfiltered rye whiskey is bottled at barrel proof and is the first expansion for Old Forester rye since the whiskey was introduced in 2019. Old Forester Single Barrel Rye is now available across the U.S. for around $80 a 750-ml.

Danish whisky brand Stauning, part of the Diageo-backed Distill Ventures portfolio, is launching in the U.S. Initial offerings include Stauning rye whisky (48% abv, $80), Stauning Kaos triple malt (46% abv, $90), and Stauning Smoke (47% abv, $100), a peated and heather smoked malt. Situated on a fjord in West Jutland on the west coast of Denmark, Stauning’s whiskies are made from local grain, floor-malted in-house, and distilled in 24 direct-fired small copper pot stills.

Roscoe, New York’s Do Good Spirits has announced the latest version of Bootlegger New York Craft Barrel Aged gin. The 46% abv spirit is made with juniper, orris root, coriander, lemon verbena, and bitter orange peels before maturing in 30-gallon barrels used to age the distillery’s Bourbon. Bootlegger Barrel Aged gin is available in limited quantities at the distillery’s tasting room and through its website for a suggested price of $55.

Beam Suntory has released the second bottling of Booker’s Bourbon for 2021: Tagalong Batch. This edition aged for six years and five months and comes in at 63.95% abv. Tagalong Batch gets its name from the story of Booker Noe learning the family business from his grandfather Jim Beam by tagging along to the distillery. The whiskey is rolling out now in limited quantities across the U.S. where it will retail for a suggested price of $90 a 750-ml

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: February 9th 2021 Edition

Durham, North Carolina-based Durham Distillery has released Conniption Barrel Aged Gin Series No. 1 2020 Release. The new expression is a limited-edition launch that’s aged in High West Bourbon barrels for 10 months and bottled at 47% abv. Conniption Barrel Aged Gin Series No. 1 joins Navy Strength and American Dry gins—both of which feature Italian coriander, cardamom, and juniper, among other botanicals—in the label’s lineup.

Heaven Hill Brands is extending Black Velvet Canadian whisky with an Apple flavor. The 70-proof offering is rolling out in limited markets this month, retailing at $11 a 750-ml. Black Velvet Canadian Apple joins Toasted Caramel in Black Velvet’s flavored whisky lineup. Heaven Hill acquired Black Velvet from Constellation for $266 million in 2019.

Prairie Organic, part of the Phillips Distilling portfolio, is introducing Prairie Organic Cucumber, Mint & Lime Flavored Gin. Made with organic corn and natural flavors, the newcomer is bottled at 45% abv and is rolling out nationally, retailing at $35 a 750-ml. The new flavored gin follows Prairie’s launch of three botanical vodkas last year, including Grapefruit, Hibiscus & Chamomile; Watermelon, Cucumber & Lime; and Apple, Pear & Ginger expressions.

West Cork Distillers is introducing a limited release Stout Cask finished blended Irish whiskey into the U.S. market. The bottling is a 75/25 blend of grain and malt Irish whiskey aged in first fill Bourbon casks for four years. The malt and grain components are then blended and aged for an additional 6 months in casks that had held Ireland’s Blacks of Kinsale Stout. West Cork’s new Stout Cask finished whiskey retails at $32 a 750-ml. and is imported by M.S. Walker.

Don Papa Rum is releasing a new expression finished in Sherry casks. Launching in April, Don Papa Sherry Cask Finish is aged four years in American oak Bourbon casks; split and finished in Fino, Pedro Ximenez, Palo Cortado, and Cream Sherry casks; and then blended and bottled at 45% abv. The resulting product, produced in the Philippines and imported by Zamora Co. USA, will be available in select retailers, priced at $70 a 750-ml.

Brown-Forman’s the Benriach has launched a new series of luxury-priced Scotch whiskies. First up is the Benriach 21-year-old, a 46% abv whisky matured in a combination of ex-Bourbon, Sherry, new oak, and red wine casks that retails for $200. The company has also launched a 25-year-old whisky aged in Bourbon, Sherry, new oak, and Madeira casks ($360); and a 30-year-old whisky that retails for $740 and matured in Bourbon, Sherry, new oak, and Port casks. The new whiskies are rolling out now in limited quantities.

Casa Komos Beverage Group has announced Tequila Komos Reposado Rosa, the latest agave spirit in the brand’s portfolio. The Tequila is aged in once-used red wine barrels that impart a rosé color to the spirit, which is packaged in porcelain bottles. Reposado Rosa will launch in May.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: January 26th 2021 Edition

San Diego-based Cutwater Spirits is expanding its lineup of RTDs. This month, Cutwater debuted a Mango Margarita (12.5% abv) in California, ahead of a nationwide launch in February. Strawberry and Peach Margaritas will follow in April. Additionally, Cutwater is introducing Frozen Margarita ice pops in a mixed pack featuring lime, strawberry, mango, and pineapple flavors nationally in March. The new entries join Cutwater’s existing Tequila RTDs, which include Paloma, Tequila Soda, and Margarita.

Rémy Cointreau has a launched a new limited edition bottle for Rémy Martin VSOP Cognac that hearkens back to the brand’s designs from the 1980s and 1990s. The bottle features a gold label and comes in a cardboard box with cassette tape art inspired by hip-hop and mixtape culture. The Cognac inside is Rémy’s normal 40% abv VSOP Cognac. The limited edition bottling is available now in select retailers across the U.S. for around $50 a bottle. 

Disaronno and Jack Daniel’s are teaming up with a new initiative called Velvet Fire, a cocktail created by combining Disaronno Velvet with Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire in a 2-to-1 ratio. Disaronno Velvet, launched last April, is the newest addition to the brand’s lineup; it’s at 17% abv and retails for $30 a 750-ml. The Velvet Fire campaign is being supported with a dedicated release bundling a bottle of Disaronno Velvet with a bottle of Tennessee Fire. It’s available now nationwide priced at $50 for the two 750-ml. bottles.

Ardbeg is releasing a new limited edition bottling that represents its first rye cask matured offering. A non-age-stated 51.8% abv expression wholly aged in ex-rye casks, Arrrrrrrdbeg! is a tribute to distillery manager Mickey Heads, who retired late last year after 13 years at the distillery’s helm. It’s launching exclusively to the Ardbeg Committee’s 100,000 members on February 1, priced at $180 a bottle. Islay-based Ardbeg is part of the Moët Hennessy-owned Glenmorangie Co. 

Newport Beach, California-based the Cooper Spirits Company has announced a 20-year-old bottling of its Lock, Stock & Barrel rye whiskey. The 56% abv whiskey is sourced from Alberta Distillers and aged in new charred American oak barrels that were not toasted, a move the company says has allowed the whiskey to age gracefully over two decades. Only 1,000 3-pack cases have been released and the whiskey is now available at select retailers across the U.S. for a suggested price of $389 a 750-ml.

Brown-Forman has announced Woodford Reserve’s 2021 Winter Distillery Series release, set to debut tomorrow. This year’s release marks the return of Woodford Reserve Double Double Oaked, which as the name suggests, is Woodford’s Double Oaked Bourbon finished for an additional year in a heavily toasted, lightly charred new oak barrel. The whiskey comes in at 45.2% abv and will launch Wednesday at the Woodford distillery. It will also be available at select retailers in Kentucky for a suggested price of $50 a 375-ml.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: December 8th 2020 Edition

Brown-Forman has launched the winter 2020 iteration of the Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection. This season’s whiskey, Woodford Reserve Very Fine Rare Bourbon, is blended from Bourbon aged up to 17 years, dating back to 2003, when current master distiller Chris Morris took the helm. Very Fine Rare Bourbon will also feature assistant master distiller Elizabeth McCall’s name on the bottle’s tag for the first time. The whiskey is bottled at 45.2% abv and is now available in select markets across the U.S. for around $130 a 750-ml.

Brooklyn, New York’s St. Agrestis has expanded its line up of bag-in-box cocktails to three releases, now including Black Manhattan and Boulevardier, in addition to the company’s original Negroni. Each cocktail comes in at 24% abv and is made with St. Agrestis’ amaro and Inferno bitters (the two new cocktails are also made with high-rye Bourbon sourced from Indiana and Kentucky.) St. Agrestis’ bag-in-box cocktails retail for around $60 a 1.75-liter package and are available nationwide in select retailers and DTC through the company’s website to 31 states.

Brooklyn-based Widow Jane Distillery has announced The Vaults 2020, a limited edition offering and the second annual release in the series. The 49.5% abv Bourbon is a blend of 15-17 year old whiskies distilled in Tennessee and Indiana before finishing in casks made from air-dried Appalachian oak. Roughly 5,000 bottles of the Vaults 2020 will be available for around $200 a 750-ml. in 24 markets across the U.S.

’Merican Mule, a brand of canned Moscow Mule cocktails, has launched Fire Mule, its latest seasonal offering. The spiritsbased RTD is made with Bourbon, ginger beer, and cinnamon, and is packaged at 7% abv. The new release joins Moscow Mule, Mexican Mule (made with Tequila), Tropical Mule (rum), Southern Mule (Bourbon), and seasonal Pumpkin Spice Mule (vodka) in the portfolio. Fire Mule is now available in 4-packs of 12-ounce cans for around $14 in chains like Whole Foods, Total Wine, and Target in New England and the Southern U.S.

Frankfort, Kentucky-based Castle & Key has launched Restoration Rye, its first whiskey offering. Alongside Restoration Rye ($40 a 750-ml.), Castle & Key will also release Roots of Ruin Gin ($33) and Sacred Spring Vodka ($27), all in newly designed bottles. The new releases will be available in Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, South Carolina, Texas and Georgia beginning this month. Founded in 2014 by partners Will Arvin and Wes Murry, Castle & Key is based in the former Old Taylor distillery, which Arvin and Murry restored and opened to visitors in 2018.

Purcellville, Virginia-based Catoctin Creek Distilling Co. is releasing a new whisky expression created in partnership with metal band GWAR. Launching in February 2021, Catoctin Creek Ragnarök Rye pays homage to GWAR’s elaborate monster costumes and mythos, and is bottled at 46% abv and aged in charred new white oak barrels followed by sugar maple and cherrywood. It will retail for $99 a 750-ml. “Ahh, such a powerful spirit,” said The Berserker Blothar of GWAR. “A delicious sacrament to drink in preparation for battle.” Founded in 2009, Catoctin Creek Distilling distributes to 27 states in the U.S.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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