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

GSN: Backbar Review – June 17-21, 2013

indexSmoke Ventures has launched Smoke Liqueur, a new RTD cocktail-inspired offering made with vodka, Moscato and pineapple and coconut flavors. The 26%-abv entry, which is priced at $29.99 a 750-ml., is packaged in a frosted Champagne-style bottle and targeted toward the luxury on-premise. Smoke initially launched earlier this year in New York (where it’s distributed by Southern Wine & Spirits), and will rollout across the the tri-state area this month, both on- and off-premise. Expansion into additional states is slated for the fall.h

indexJohnnie Walker Scotch whisky has partnered with British luxury goods player Alfred Dunhill on a new limited edition range that has three products. Available at select retail outlets globally, the Johnnie Walker Blue Label Limited Edition Collection includes a Limited Edition Giftpack that features a map-inspired bottle designed by Alfred Dunhill. Also in the range is a Travel Retail Exclusive Giftpack, which features a crafted 1-liter bottle designed by Dunhill and decorated with copper finishing. At the collection’s highest end, a Limited Edition Travelers’ Trunk features a vintage-inspired trunk packed with a limited edition bottle, crystal glasses, a whisky funnel, ice tongs and a Dunhill flask. Only 500 Travelers’ Trunks will be available globally.  For more information go to: Dunhill

indexPhilippine rum Tanduay, the world’s second-largest rum brand by volume, is entering the U.S. market. And, unlike in its native Philippines, where it sells as a commodity brand (with an average retail price of less than $3 a 750-ml.), Tanuday will be priced squarely at the premium end in the U.S, the world’s largest premium rum market. Rolling out into select markets this summer, Tanduay’s U.S. portfolio will initially include its Silver Tanduay and Gold Tanduay expressions, both of which are priced at $19.99 a 750-ml.blah

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN: Backbar Review Nov. 26-30, 2012

canevodka_12Tampa-based Florida Distillery has launched its debut spirit, Cane Vodka. A small-batch, unflavored offering, Cane Vodka is produced with locally sourced sugar cane and packaged with American-made materials. The premium offering is currently available at bars and retail outlets throughout the Tampa area, priced at around $30 a bottle. The brand is currently distributed by Brown Distributing. Founded in February of this year, Florida Distillery will add fruit infusions to the Cane Vodka lineup in 2013.

ironweed-whiskeyNew York’s Albany Distilling Co. has introduced Ironweed Bourbon whiskey, the second offering in the craft producer’s portfolio. Priced at around $44 a 750-ml., Ironweed is billed as a small-batch, 43%-abv Bourbon, made with New York state grain and aged for three months. Orders for Ironweed are currently being taken at the distillery, and will be available for pick-up December 8. A rye expression of the brand, meanwhile, is slated to roll out next summer. Established last year in downtown Albany, Albany Distilling also produces Coal Yard New Make whiskey and has plans to launch a new rum brand, Quackenbush Still House, featuring both Amber and Spiced variants.

Johnnie-Walker-The-Spice-Road-Scotch-WhiskeyJohnnie Walker has unveiled a new travel-focused range, the Explorers’ Club Collection. Sold exclusively in travel retail, the range debuts with a series of three blends, known collectively as the Trade Routes Series. The first Trade Routes entry is The Spice Road, an oak cask-matured whisky inspired by spice markets and featuring notes of citrus, cloves, ginger and vanilla. Retailing at $43 a bottle, The Spice Road initially will be available at duty free stores across Europe, the Middle East and Australia next month, before beginning a global travel retail rollout in January. The other Trade Routes offerings—which include The Gold Route and The Royal Route—will enter the duty free market next year.

Japan_Nikka_Yoichi_Single_Malt_10_Years_7745San Francisco-based Anchor Distilling is adding Japan’s Nikka whisky to its U.S. import portfolio. Anchor will import two Nikka expressions, Yoichi Single Malt and Taketsuru Pure Malt. Yoichi ($129.99 a bottle) is a 15-year-old whisky made at the distillery of the same name on the island of Hokkaido. Taketsuru, a 12-year-old retailing for $69.99 and named for Nikka founder Masataka Taketsuru, is a blend of pure malt whiskies from the Yoichi and Miyagikyo distilleries (the latter is located in Sendai, northern Honshu).

spbob.25yoInternational Beverage is launching a 25-year-old edition of its Speyburn single malt. Aged in American oak Fino Sherry and ex-Bourbon casks, the new entry is packaged inside a silver wooden box alongside two engraved collapsible tasting cups. The oldest expression in the Speyburn portfolio, Speyburn 25-year-old will retail at $315 a bottle and be available at select retailers and venues in limited quantities. Speyburn’s core 10-year-old sells for around $28.99 a bottle and was repacked earlier this year.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily.