GSN Spirited News: February 23rd 2021 Edition

Diageo has launched a new, lower-calorie brand extension for Baileys Irish Cream. The release, Baileys Deliciously Light, comes in at 16.1% abv and has 40% fewer calories and 40% less sugar than the original Baileys. To kick off the launch, Diageo has partnered with Cocktail Courier, a home mixology-focused e-commerce platform, to create four cocktail kits showing off the new liqueur. Baileys Deliciously Light is now available nationwide for around $25 a 750-ml.

Chopin Vodka is partnering with fashion designer Vera Wang on a limited edition release. The vodka collaboration is called Vera Wang x Chopin and was distilled using a special variety of young potato that Wang personally selected, which is grown near Chopin’s distillery in Krzesk, Poland. Wang was also involved in designing the bottle, which maintains Chopin’s standard shape but features a matte black and white color scheme and a poem on the back written by Wang. The new edition will have select availability throughout the U.S., retailing at $100 a 750-ml.

Agave spirits brand Puntagave is introducing a new line of Tequila-based hard seltzers, including Grapefruit Peach, Meyer Lemon Ginger, and Blood Orange flavors. Made in Mexico, the range is at 5% abv and retails at $14 a 4-pack of cans. Concurrently, Puntagave is debuting an Artisanal Double Barrel Tequila retailing at $90. Artisanal Double Barrel is aged in used American oak for one year, then split between new American oak and new French oak for further maturation.

Edrington’s the Macallan has announced a new series of ultra-limited whiskies, celebrating British artist Peter Blake. The rarest whiskies, called Anecdotes of Ages, were all distilled in 1967 and are packaged in 13 handblown bottles with collages created by Blake. One bottle will be auctioned by Sotheby’s to support the Guggenheim museum’s diversity and inclusion initiatives. The distiller will also release 322 bottles of the same 1967 vintage whisky—called Anecdotes of Ages: Down to Work edition—that will be available globally for around $83,000. The collaboration also resulted in An Estate, A Community, and A Distillery, a more widely available (yet still limited) whisky that will retail for around $1,200.

MGP Ingredients has announced plans to roll out Green Hat gin throughout its distribution network over the next few months. Green Hat, created by Washington, D.C.’s New Columbia Distillers, was acquired by MGP in March 2020 and is the first commercially available gin from the Indiana-based contract distilling giant. The company will make four varieties—Green Hat’s original gin, a navy strength variant, Citrus Floral gin, and Summer Cup Cordial—available across the U.S. with suggested retail prices of $30 for the original and two flavored releases, and $33 for the navy strength release.

Saison Rum is introducing a new Sherry Cask expression, imported by the Craft Spirits Cooperative. Retailing at $45 a 750-ml., the new entry is a blend of 60% Trinidad and 40% Barbados rums, aged for five years in ex-Bourbon barrels. It is then transferred to ex-Cognac casks for a year before a final three-month finishing period in Pedro Ximenez barrels. Saison Sherry Cask (42% abv) is handled directly by Craft Spirits Cooperative in California and by Vintus NY in New York.

Tia Maria, part of the Disaronno International portfolio, has unveiled a new ready-to-drink cocktail, the Iced Coffee Frappé. The 4% abv offering is available nationwide in 200-ml. 4-packs retailing at $10, with single 200-ml. cans positioned at $2.30. Meanwhile, the core Tia Maria coffee liqueur ($28 a 750-ml.) has received a new bottle design that emphasizes its cold brew method and ingredients of 100% Arabica coffee beans and Madagascar vanilla.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: September 8th 2020 Edition

Disaronno International is launching a nitro cold brew coffee cocktail under its Tia Maria brand. Officially dubbed Iced Coffee Frappé, it will be the first ready-to-drink offshoot for the coffee liqueur. It is at 4% abv and is made with Arabica coffee and cream, using nitro technology that deploys upon opening to create frappé foam. The company brought in Dutch street artist Karski to collaborate on the packaging. Tia Maria Iced Coffee Frappé will be available nationwide beginning in mid-September, retailing for $11 a 4-pack of 12-ounce cans.

Heaven Hill has announced the latest release in its Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond series, a 14-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon. The whiskey was distilled in the fall of 2005 and, like all bonded whiskies, is bottled at 50% abv. The fall 2020 edition of Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond is the first 14-year-old whiskey from the series to be sold outside of Kentucky and follows the spring 2020 launch of a 9-year-old whiskey. This is the sixth release in the biannual series. It’s available across the U.S. in limited quantities for a suggested price of $140 a 750-ml.

Austin Cocktails has launched a selection of its bottled spirits-based RTDs in cans. The canned releases bring three of the company’s most popular bottled offerings—Cucumber Vodka Sparkling Mojito, Fred’s Ruby Red Sparkling Grapefruit Cocktail, and Bergamot Orange Sparkling Margarita—to a more portable format. The 12.5% abv drinks come in two-serving 8.4-ounce cans. According to Austin Cocktails, the company is doubling production capacity after selling through its entire initial run. Austin Cocktails are now available in 4-packs for around $15 in 14 states across the U.S.

Bozal mezcal has introduced Madrecuishe, a new single maguey expression. The new mezcal is sourced from San Luis Amatlán in Oaxaca, and is bottled at 46% abv. Billed as a sipping mezcal, Madrecuishe is retail priced at $80 a 750-ml. and is currently rolling out nationwide. The Bozal mezcal lineup is part of the portfolio of Sonoma-based négociant 3 Badge Beverage Corp. and includes a variety of expressions, among them Espadín, Barril, and Tobalá.

Ron Colón Salvadoreño has aligned with Preiss Imports for U.S. distribution. The high-proof rum from El Salvador was launched early this year by industry veterans Pepijn Janssens and Thurman Wise. Preiss plans to roll the brand out across 30 states. Ron Colón’s range includes a 111-proof Dark Aged Rum retailing at $42 a 750-ml. and a 111-proof Cold Coffee Infused Rum retailing at $44. An 81-proof Cold Coffee Infused Rum ($32) will follow in November.

Louisville, Kentucky’s Rabbit Hole, part of the Pernod Ricard portfolio, has announced the first release in a new Founder’s Collection, dedicated to special bottlings from the distillery. In October, Rabbit Hole will launch Boxergrail Founder’s Collection Kentucky Straight rye, a cask strength, limited release pulled from some of the first whiskies distilled by Rabbit Hole. The 57.3% abv rye aged for six years and was assembled from seven barrels. The limited release of only 1,315 bottles will be available across the U.S. in select stores for around $195 a 750-ml.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: August 11th 2020 Edition

Newport, Oregon-based Rogue Ales & Spirits has partnered with Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto on Morimoto single malt whiskeyThe new, limited edition whiskey is made from a base of Morimoto Imperial Pilsner and Morimoto Black Obi Ale, both of which are previous collaborations between Rogue and Morimoto. The two beers were distilled and then barreled in American oak casks, where they spent over two years resting in Rogue’s Ocean Aging Room by the Pacific Coast. Finally, they were finished for 1.5 years in Oregon oak barrels that previously held Rogue’s Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout. The 85 proof whiskey is available at Morimoto restaurants, Rogue pubs, and retailers across the U.S.

Disaronno International has announced The Busker, a new Irish whiskey brand, featuring four releases. The line of whiskey was distilled by County Carlow’s Royal Oak Distillery and covers all four major styles of Irish whiskey: the Busker will launch with a blended whiskey, a single grain, a single malt, and a single pot still whiskey. The Busker blend will retail for around $25 and the other expressions for around $30. In January 2019, Disaronno parent company Illva Saronno took full ownership of the Royal Oak Distillery, following the dissolution of the company’s partnership with Walsh Whiskey.

Two Brooklyn, New York-based bar professionals have teamed up with New York Distilling company to bring a new line of canned cocktails to New York and New Jersey. Social Hour, created by Julie Reiner and Tom Macy of the borough’s Clover Club, launches with three varieties: Gin and Tonic (11.5% abv, made with Perry’s Tot gin), Whiskey Mule (10.5% abv, made with Ragtime rye), and Pacific Spritz (8%, Finger Lakes-sourced rosé, grapefruit, passionfruit, sparkling water). The releases are now available in 4-packs of 250-ml. cans for $20.

Texas-based Still Austin Whiskey Co. has launched their inaugural straight Bourbon whiskey throughout the Lone Star State. The 49.2% abv whiskey is made from a mashbill of 70% corn, 25% rye, and 5% wildfire malted barley. The whiskey is aged for at least two years and is produced from Texas-grown grains malted, mashed, and distilled at the company’s grain-to-glass distillery in Austin. Still Austin Straight Bourbon whiskey is now available for around $45 a 750-ml. Still Austin also offers a limited release Bourbon and a gin distilled from Texas-grown rye.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily