GSN: Backbar Review – October 28-November 1, 2013

indexThe Macallan single malt Scotch has released the latest entry in its limited Masters of Photography series, the Elliott Erwitt Edition. A collection of 35 unique single-cask whiskies, each paired with a different 11”x14” print signed by photographer Elliott Erwitt, the new expression is packaged in a 375-ml. glass flask hidden inside a photo-archival book. Worldwide, 2,030 Elliott Erwitt Edition packs will be released, with 320 of the packs allocated for the U.S. market. Launching globally this month, The Masters of Photography: Elliott Erwitt Edition is priced at $1,500. The Erwitt entry follows The Macallan’s previous Masters of Photography collaborations with Annie Leibovitz, Albert Watson and Rankin.

indexGig Harbor, Washington-based Heritage Distilling is introducing a new offering, Elk Rider Blended Whiskey, in honor of its first anniversary. To be formally unveiled November 2, the new blended whiskey, made from local Northwest Washington ingredients, joins Elk Rider Vodka and Gin in the brand line. In addition to the Elk Rider range, Heritage also produces Commander’s Rye Whiskey, HDC Vodka, HDC Char Barrel Finished Vodka, HDC Soft Gin, Fall Classic Apple Cider Flavored Whiskey. The company’s brands are distributed in Washington and Oregon.

indexThe New Hampshire Liquor Commission (NHLC) is launching the first-ever barrel of Aberfeldy single cask Scotch available in the U.S. this fall. Currently available for pre-order through November 1, the 1997 Aberfeldy Single Cask entry is currently priced at $229.99 and includes a personalized engraved medallion with purchase. After November 1, remaining inventory will be offered at select New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlet stores for $249.99. Only 600 bottles of the limited edition, 16-year-old offering will be offered.

indexBeefeater Burrough’s Reserve is now rolling out in the U.S. market. The limited edition new product features gin made using the original Beefeater recipe and then finished in rare oak barrels selected by master distiller Desmond Payne. Burrough’s Reserve ($70 a 750-ml.) is produced in very small batches, and each bottle displays its batch and bottle number on the label.

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indexSouth Africa’s Amarula liqueur has unveiled a new extension, Amarula Gold, a non-cream product that will be launched in key global markets early next year. Like Amarula Cream, Gold is also made from marula fruit that is fermented into a marula wine and then double-distilled and aged in oak for 24 months.

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indexSeattle’s Westland Distillery has released the first bottling of its American Single Malt Whiskey. Westland’s American Single Malt, priced at $60 a 750-ml., is made from five different malted barleys and matured in heavily charred new American oak casks. The whiskey will be the flagship of Westland’s line. At its 13,000 square foot facility, the group is currently producing approximately 100 full-size casks a month. The American Single Malt is available now at retail and on-premise in Washington state, with more markets to follow.

indexBacardi has unveiled The Facundo Rum Collection, a new range of limited-edition, aged sipping rums. The collection, which is a tribute to Bacardi founder Don Facundo Bacardi Massó, will feature four handcrafted, luxury entries intended to appeal to Scotch and Cognac connoisseurs. Rolling out this month, the four rums will initially be available only in New York and Miami, limited to just 12,000 cases for their debut year. The first tier in the Facundo Collection is Neo ($45), a blended white rum made with liquid aged for up to 8 years, which is then carbon-filtered to remove color. Next in the range is Eximo ($60), which is blended prior to being aged for more than 10 years, and then Exquisito ($90), which is made with 7- to 23-year-old rums and finished in Sherry casks. The collection’s most upscale offering is Paraiso ($250), which is matured for up to 23 years and finished in Cognac casks. Each of the variants is intended to be consumed neat or on the rocks with the exception of Neo, which is also suggested to be consumed in cocktails.

indexThe Teeling Whiskey Co. has introduced a namesake single grain Irish whiskey. Teeling Single Grain is a 46% abv product fully matured in Californian Cabernet Sauvignon wine barrels. Single grain Irish whiskey bottlings are very rare because the grain whiskey is generally blended with heavier styles to produce most of the category’s leading brands. Teeling Whiskey Co. was founded by Jack Teeling in 2012, soon after his father, John, sold Cooley Distillery to Beam Inc (Jack had been Cooley’s sales and marketing director). The company is currently planning to build its own production facility in Dublin, which would be the city’s first new whiskey distillery in more than a century.

indexMassachusetts-based Heavenly Spirits is reintroducing France’s Armorik Breton single malt whisky to the U.S. The 46%-abv whisky’s Classic expression ($49 a 750-ml.) is made from 100% French malted barley, aged almost 7 years in refilled American Bourbon casks, and finished in Oloroso Sherry casks for three months. Armorik’s Double Maturation variant ($55) is aged 5 years in French oak from the Armorik forest and at least two years in Oloroso Sherry Casks. Concurrently, Heavenly Spirits has added Jules Theuriet Creme de Framboise to its range. The 18%-abv. raspberry liqueur comes in 750-ml. and 375-ml. sizes.

indexWashington, D.C.-based New Columbia Distillers is releasing a limited-edition seasonal gin, Ginavit. Ginavit was created by adding several traditional Scandinavian aquavit botanicals to New Columbia’s Green Hat Gin. The blend was then rested in apple brandy barrels for three months. Retailing at $40, Ginavit will hit D.C. Retailers and restaurants in limited quantities beginning next week.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN: Backbar Review – April 22-26, 2013

imagesBeam has expanded its fast-growing Skinnygirl brand with a number of new flavor extensions. The new additions include Sweet ’n Tart Grapefruit Margarita and Mojito cocktails and a Moscato wine (all priced at $14.99 a 750-ml.), as well as White Cherry vodka (priced at $21.99 a 750-ml.). All four new products are available now nationwide.

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imagesPernod Ricard is extending Beefeater gin with a new ultra-premium barrel-rested gin, Burrough’s Reserve. The new entry, created by Beefeater master distiller Desmond Payne from the original recipe used by brand founder James Burrough in the 1860s, is rested in Jean de Lillet oak barrels, and is suggested to be served neat. Produced in small batches of 900 liters each, Burrough’s Reserve is 43% abv and will hit the U.S. in October, after first rolling out in the U.K. and Spain in June.

imagesPernod Ricard’s Absolut vodka has added a new flavor, Absolut Cilantro, to its lineup. Featuring a blend of all natural cilantro and lime flavors, Absolut Cilantro is targeted toward the cocktail occasion within both the on- and off-premise. The new offering will roll out in May, available in 750-ml. ($21) and 1-liter bottles.

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imagesLucas Bols has launched a new innovation, Bols Yogurt Liqueur, to its line of liqueurs in the U.S. market. The product will roll out in Florida by June 1 and in California by July 1, with a national rollout slated for August. Bols Yogurt Liqueur (15% abv) will have a suggested retail price of $17.99 a 750-ml. With a sweet and sour taste profile, Bols is positioning the beverage for consumption on its own or mixed with fresh fruits, fruit juices, soft drinks and other spirits. According to the company, it differs from other cream-based liqueurs in that it doesn’t curd when mixed with sodas or fresh juices.

imagesWilliam Grant & Sons USA has released a limited edition vintage cuvee, Reserve Jean de Lillet 2009, to Maison Lillet’s range. Priced at $39.99 a 750-ml., only 1,000 bottles of the reserve will be available in the U.S. beginning April 30 through Astorwines.com, as well as select retailers in New York and San Francisco. Jean de Lillet is a blend of 2009 vintage wine from Sauternes with orange liqueur, and has been aged for 12 months in French oak barrels. It can be consumed immediately but also ages well (recommended aging time is 10-15 years), according to William Grant.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily