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