GSN: Backbar Review – March 4-8, 2013

imagesDiageo North America is entering the low-calorie spirits segment with the introduction of Smirnoff Sorbet Light flavored vodka this month. At 78 calories per 1.5-ounce serving, the 30% alcohol-by-volume spirit is a blend of triple-distilled Smirnoff No. 21 vodka and natural fruit flavoring. Sorbet Light is available nationwide in three flavors: Raspberry Pomegranate, Mango Passion Fruit and Lemon, with a suggested retail price of $15.99 a 750-ml. bottle.

imagesBeam Inc. has officially launched white whiskey Jim Beam Jacob’s Ghost into national distribution, retailing at $22 a bottle. Beam says the 40%-abv offering—news of which trickled out last fall—differentiates itself from other moonshines and white whiskies on the market by its one-year stint of aging in white oak barrels, creating a “hybrid spirit” that should appeal to both whiskey and white spirits drinkers. A combination of 70% rye, 18% corn and 12% malted barley, the new Jack extension is also 40% abv, but will sell at a hefty premium to Jacob’s Ghost, retailing around $50 a bottle.

imagesProximo Spirits has partnered with the estate of Marilyn Monroe to debut Three Olives vodka’s most recent extension, Marilyn Monroe Strawberry. The new flavor will launch nationwide this month, priced at $21 a 750-ml. Marilyn Monroe Strawberry joins a Three Olives brand portfolio that already includes more than 21 flavors, including S’mores, Cake, Loopy, Root Beer and Bubble, among others.


imagesPernod Ricard USA will release a new small-batch Canadian whisky brand, Pike Creek, beginning next month in select markets including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Colorado, Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, North Carolina, New York and New Hampshire. Aged in American oak Bourbon barrels and finished in vintage Port barrels, Pike Creek is 80 proof and will retail at $32 a 750-ml.


imagesCastle Brands is launching a new limited edition entry from the Jefferson’s small-batch Bourbon range, Jefferson’s Presidential Select 21-year-old Straight Bourbon Whiskey. The new expression, which is sourced from 15 lots of Bourbon, was aged in new oak for 21 to 24 years and bottled at 90 proof. Rolling out nationally on April 1, Jefferson’s Presidential Select 21-year-old will be priced at $120 a 750-ml., with a limited quantity of 2,000 cases available.


imagesHeaven Hill Distilleries will roll out a special bottling, Elijah Craig Barrel Proof Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, this month. The limited edition release will begin shipping mid-March and will be offered in three-bottle cases to markets nationwide that currently offer Elijah Craig. Priced at $39.99 a 750-ml. bottle, the new Barrel Proof Bourbon is 67.1%-abv. It was aged for 12 years, is non-chill-filtered and is packaged in the traditional Elijah Craig flask-style bottle.

imagesPeligroso Tequila is rolling out a new flavor extension to its range, Peligroso Cinnamon ($30 a 750-ml.). The variant will launch this month to key markets, including California and Nevada, with additional markets to follow. The 84-proof, 100%-agave Tequila is infused with real cinnamon and a blend of other ingredients. Peligroso’s range of Tequilas also includes Silver, Añejo and Reposado.


imagesLucky Dog vodka has launched in California through San Francisco-based Bock Wine & Spirits. It is available now at restaurants, bars and stores throughout the state for a suggested retail price of $21.99 a 750-ml. Founder and president Greg Nichols, a former U.S. National Freestyle Ski Team member, launched the brand last May in Nantucket, Massachusetts. In addition to California, Lucky Dog is also currently available in the New York metro market and throughout Massachusetts. The brand is now in the process of expanding into Georgia, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island and Virginia.

All above information courtesy of Shanken Daily News.

GSN: Backbar Review Oct. 22-26, 2012

Propelled by the craft distilling and mixology movements, white whiskies have been increasing in visibility in recent years. Now, whiskey heavyweights Beam Inc. and Brown-Forman are set to enter the segment through their Jim Beam and Jack Daniel’s franchises. Beam’s new entry, Jim Beam Jacob’s Ghost (named for founding distiller Jacob Beam), is a clear whiskey aged one year in charred, white oak barrels. The 40%-abv offering will roll out next February, retailing at $22 a bottle.  Meanwhile, Jack Daniel’s Unaged Rye is slated to begin hitting Tennessee in December, with other selected U.S. markets to follow in January. A combination of 70% rye, 18% corn and 12% malted barley, the new Jack extension is also 40% abv, but will sell at a hefty premium to Jacob’s Ghost, retailing around $50 a bottle.

Brown-Forman is launching an ultra-premium Frank Sinatra-inspired extension to Jack Daniel’s Tennessee whiskey. The Associated Press reports that Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select will launch first in Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport in December, followed by a rollout to global airports as well as high-end retail stores in the U.S. and the Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee in 2013. It will be priced at $150 a 1-liter bottle. The 90-proof whiskey is made from specially designed “Sinatra barrels” hand-selected by master distiller Jeff Arnett that feature grooves to allow more contact between the liquid and the barrel, creating a whiskey darker in color than the classic Jack Daniel’s with oak and spice notes and a vanilla finish. It’s packaged in a gift box that also features a book detailing the relationship between Sinatra and Jack Daniel’s.

Tuaca liqueur has launched its first ever line extension, Tuaca Cinnaster. The new liqueur features the brand’s signature blend of brandies, vanilla and citrus with a new cinnamon flavor. The 70-proof flavored variant is set to hit stores this month, initially launching in Colorado, Kansas, Maryland and Texas, with plans to expand to additional markets in early 2013. Cinnaster will be priced at $23.99 for a 750-ml. bottle.



Pernod Ricard USA is launching Oddka—a spin-off of its Wyborowa vodka brand—in select U.S. markets. Priced at $15.99 a 750-ml., the new brand features an original, unflavored expression (40% abv), as well as a range of unconventional flavors (30% abv), including Apple Pie, Electricity, Fresh Cut Grass, Salty Caramel Popcorn and Wasabi. Oddka is backed by fictional mascot Wit Oddoski, described by Pernod as a “charismatic individualist and curious 2-D line drawing” who consumers can follow via Facebook and Twitter. Oddka by Wyborowa will initially rollout in Alabama, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, with global expansion slated for 2013.

Gig Harbor, Washington-based custom craft distillery Heritage Distilling Co. (HDC) is slated to open for tastings, bottle sales and tours next month. In addition to producing its own line of spirits, HDC will offer customers two “Your Whiskey, Your Way” programs, including My Batch—designed to let consumers create their own small-batch vodka, gin or whiskey using HDC’s facility—and Cask Club, in which HDC manages and ages custom-made whiskey products according to customer specifications. The distillery’s own craft spirits range, meanwhile, includes the Washington’s Rye Whiskey; Elk Rider vodka, gin and whiskey; and Wherskey vodka, gin and light whiskey brands.

Brown-Forman will release the latest extension to the Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection, Four Wood, in November. The limited edition release features Woodford Reserve Bourbon that has been aged in American Oak and finished in barrels made from Maple Wood, Sherry Wood and Port Wood. The 94.4-proof Bourbon will be released in 47 markets across the U.S. early next month, retailing at $99.99 a 750-ml. Each bottle is individually numbered. Four Wood is the seventh release to the Master’s Collection series, following Four Grain, Sonoma-Cutrer Finish, Sweet Mash, Seasoned Oak, Maple Wood Finish and Rare Rye Selection.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily