GSN Spirited News: September 14th 2021 Edition

Kentucky’s Covered Bridge Whiskey Company has expanded its offerings, adding a new rye whiskey to its Ruddell’s Mill label. The 47.2% abv whiskey is distilled from a high-rye mash bill that also includes malted barley. The brand is named for the founder of a gristmill that operated in Bourbon country during the early years of Kentucky whiskey production. Ruddell’s Mill rye is now available in select markets across the U.S. through Worldwide Libations for around $50 a 750-ml.

E.& J. Gallo has launched a new 19-year-old expression in the Germain-Robin family of brandies. The 41.4% abv single barrel brandy is distilled from Pinot Noir grapes from the Anderson Valley in Mendocino county and matured in Limousin oak barrels. Germain-Robin Pinot Noir Single Barrel is now available at the company’s California Brandy House in Napa for $250. It will soon be available in other select locations across the U.S.

Rothes, Scotland’s the Glen Grant Distillery is celebrating the 60th anniversary of distiller Dennis Malcolm with a new 60-year-old single malt whisky. The Dennis Malcolm 60th Anniversary Edition is bottled at 52.8% abv and is drawn from a single ex-Oloroso Sherry cask filled in October, 1960. Only 360 Glencairn decanters are available in select global retailers with each bottle selling for €25,000 (roughly $30,000).

Peoria, Illinois-based JK Williams Distilling is adding two new products to its lineup. Distilled six times, Blueprint Vodka (40% abv) is the first clear spirit from the company, featuring the Peoria skyline and a local bridge on the bottle. The distillery is also launching its new Bridge Series with American Wheat Whiskey, made from 95% wheat and bottled at 47% abv. It will retail for $50 a bottle at select Illinois retailers as the third release from JK Williams since it launched its initial offerings in the fall of 2020. Named for a storied bootlegger, JK Williams’ previously released Gold Zephyr Straight Bourbon Whiskey and Stormy River High Rye Whiskey.

Actress Eva Longoria has introduced a new luxury Tequila brand, Casa del SolThe new franchise includes 100% Blue Weber agave Blanco ($60 a 750-ml.), Reposado ($70) and Añejo ($100) expressions, the latter two of which are aged in Martell Cognac barrels. Alejandra Pelayo, Casa Del Sol’s head of production, is a protege and goddaughter of the late Patrón master distiller Francisco Alcaraz. Casa del Sol is launching now in California, Colorado, and Florida ahead of a national rollout slated for early next year.

Lux Row Distillers is releasing a new Bourbon in partnership with conservation organization Ducks Unlimited. The new release is called Daviess County Double Barrel Bourbon and is a variation on Lux Row’s existing Daviess County Bourbon. Created by Lux Row master distiller and Ducks Unlimited member John Rempe, it’s finished in Missouri white oak barrels with toasted heads and bottled at 48% abv. The label features an inset of the Ducks Unlimited duck head logo. The Double Barrel Bourbon is available in mid-September, with limited supplies retailing for a suggested $50 a 750-ml. 

YaVe Tequila has extended its range with a Reposado expression. Aged eight months in American oak barrels, the brand’s new Reposado is bottled at 40% abv and retails at $60 a 750-ml. It joins the existing Blanco Tequila in the YaVe range, which is distributed across eight markets (and ships to 33 states nationwide).

Compass Box has introduced a new blended malt Scotch whisky called Orchard House. Compass Box says the majority of the recipe is made from stocks of spirit purchased from distilleries known for their fruit-forward flavor. These spirits were then aged in a variety of casks including first fill ex-Bourbon barrels, Oloroso Sherry-seasoned butts, and French oak custom barrels. Retailing at $50 a 750-ml. and bottled at 46% abv, Compass Box Orchard House will be part of the brand’s core collection and will debut widely in October.

Beam Suntory has released 100 bottles of the Yamazaki 55 Japanese whisky in select global markets. The 46% abv offering is a blend of whiskies distilled in 1960 and 1964, with the older whisky maturing in Mizunara oak and the younger whisky in white oak, before bottling in 2020. The whisky is available in the U.S., U.K., mainland China, and Taiwan, among other nations, for a suggested price of $60,000 a bottle. For each bottle released, Beam Suntory will donate $5,000 to the White Oak Initiative, a group focused on sustaining America’s white oak forests.

Information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: August 31st 2021 Edition

Islay-based single malt Scotch brand Ardbeg has announced its latest release, Ardbeg Traigh Bhan Batch 3. The 19-year-old whisky is set to hit shelves this September and is part of the distillery’s yearly limited-release of substantially aged whisky. This year’s batch comes in at 46.2% abv and features the signature of Ardbeg’s director of distilling and whisky creation, Dr. Bill Lumsden. Ardbeg Traigh Bhan Batch 3 will retail for around $300 a 750-ml.

Brown-Forman is extending Jack Daniel’s with its first 10-year-old age stated Tennessee whiskey in more than 100 years. Retailing at $70, the 97-proof whiskey will debut in limited quantities across the U.S. next month. Jack Daniel’s master distiller Chris Fletcher sourced the new offering from oak barrels that were relocated throughout the brand’s barrelhouse to extend the aging process over the past 10 years.

Washington-based Woodinville Whiskey, part of the Moët Hennessy portfolio, will unveil a special distillery-only Harvest Release whiskey on September 11, Moscatel Finished Woodinville Straight Bourbon. The new entry was finished in 200-gallon Moscatel De Setúbal barrels, a rare fortified wine produced on the Setúbal Peninsula of Portugal. Bottled at 100 proof, the special edition will retail at $70 a bottle.

An extremely rare set of single cask Japanese whiskies, named the Legend of Asama, have come to market. The whiskies were distilled in 1981 and matured for 20 years at the Karuizawa Distillery before being transferred to Chichibu Distillery. The two Karuizawa 1981 35-Year-Old Single Cask Japanese Single Malt whiskies in the set—from casks 4059 and 6183—were bottled at cask strength in 2017, when the majority of bottles were sold. Only 30 sets, encased in Glencairn Crystal glassware and lunawood casing, are available worldwide through Legend of Asama’s website.

Maison Ferrand’s Plantation Rum has announced the release of the complete Birds of Paradise series of vintage rums. Three of the six rums—Fiji 2005, Jamaica 2003, and Barbados 2011—are currently available, with two more—Peru 2006 and Trinidad 2009—launching in October, and the final release, Australia 2007, coming to market in November. All expressions in the line will retail for a suggested price of $80 a 750-ml. and are or will be available in major markets across the U.S.

Brooklyn, New York’s Widow Jane has added Lucky Thirteen, previously a private-barrel release, to its year-round lineup of whiskies. The 13-year-old Bourbon is bottled at 46.5% abv from barrels chosen by Widow Jane president and head distiller Lisa Wicker. While Lucky Thirteen will be available throughout the year, it will remain a limited offering within the Widow Jane portfolio and will retail for around $100 a 750-ml. bottle.

Lexington, Kentucky-based Town Branch Distillery has unveiled two new limited-edition Bourbons. They include Town Branch True Cask Kentucky Straight Bourbon, a cask strength 54% abv whiskey retailing at $45 a 750-ml., and Town Branch Sherry Cask Finished Kentucky Straight Bourbon, bottled at 48.2% abv and retailing at $70. The new expressions will be available for purchase at the distillery and in select markets nationwide beginning next month.

Lux Row Distillers has announced Blood Oath Trilogy Second Edition, the latest collection from the luxury priced Bourbon label. The new pack contains Blood Oath Pacts 4, 5, and 6—released between 2018 and 2020—with all three Bourbons bottled at 49.3% abv. The trio is packaged in a black display box that shows off each whiskey’s label. In September, Lux Row will release 1,400 3-packs at a suggested price of $799.

Barrell Craft Spirits has released the latest release in the BCS line of limited edition whiskies. This release—adorned with a gray label—is a blend of 15-year-old Bourbon whiskies distilled in Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee. The whiskey is bottled at cask strength, 50.2% abv, and is available in select retailers across the U.S. for a suggested price of $250 a 750-ml.

Anheuser-Busch has extended Natural Light into the spirits category with Natural Light Vodka, a new line of lemonade-flavored spirits. The line of 30% abv vodkas is kicking off with three flavors—traditional lemonade, strawberry lemonade, and black cherry lemonade—and is available in both 750- and 50-ml. bottles. 

Information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: March 31st 2020 Edition

In Scotch, Moët Hennessy USA’s Ardbeg single malt brand has unveiled Ardbeg 5-Year-Old Wee Beastie ($44), a new permanent edition to the Ardbeg core range. A 47.5% abv expression matured in Bourbon and Oloroso Sherry casks, Ardbeg Wee Beastie rolls out in April and will be widely available. It’s the fifth permanent edition in the Ardbeg range and the first since Ardbeg An Oa was released in 2017. The other permanent labels in the Ardbeg portfolio are 10-year-old, Uigeadail, and Corryvreckan.

Among blended Scotches, earlier this month Bacardi began a widespread rollout of Dewar’s Ilegal Smooth, a new release finished in mezcal barrels. The 8-year-old whisky ($22 a 750-ml.) is a 40% abv blend of up to 40 malt and grain whiskies finished in ex-Ilegal mezcal barrels. Dewar’s Ilegal Smooth follows last year’s launch of Dewar’s Caribbean Smooth, a rum barrel-finished expression, and it’s available nationwide.

Also in blended Scotch, earlier this month Diageo released Jane Walker by Johnnie Walker, a new limited-edition blended malt. The 41.9% abv whisky ($38 a 750-ml.) was created by master blender Emma Walker and is a blend of single malts, all at least 10 years old. It follows a limited-time release of Jane Walker in 2018. The new Jane Walker by Johnnie Walker is distributed nationwide.

Among American whiskies, Diageo has also debuted Bulleit Blenders’ Select No. 001, a limited-edition label. The 50%-abv Bourbon ($50 a 750-ml.) was made by Bulleit blender Eboni Major and is the first in a series of special releases that will celebrate Bulleit’s whiskey makers. Bulleit Blenders’ Select No. 001 is also available across the U.S. market.

Beam Suntory, meanwhile, has revamped its Old Overholt Straight rye whiskey brand. The reimagined Old Overholt ($18 a 750-ml.) is at 43% abv, up from the previous 40% abv, and the label features a “grumpier” rendering of brand founder Abe Overholt, as the company described it. Old Overholt also will now be bottled without chill filtration, bringing the brand more in line with its pre-Prohibition roots. Later this year, Beam Suntory also will launch a 57% abv, 4-year-old bottling of Old Overholt and a 46.3% abv, 11-year-old release. All the Old Overholt labels will be available nationwide. Beam Suntory has also unveiled its first 2020 batch of Booker’s. Called Granny’s Batch, it’s aged just over 6 years and retail-priced at $90. Like all Booker’s releases, Granny’s Batch is a limited edition.

Elsewhere in the American whiskey space, Lux Row Distillers, part of the Luxco portfolio, is launching Daviess County Bourbon, a new release that revives a heritage label and pays tribute to Bourbon history. The initial lineup for Daviess County includes three whiskies, all at 48% abv: Straight Bourbon ($40); a Bourbon finished in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels ($45); and one finished in French oak casks ($45). All three whiskies are made with wheated and rye-heavy mash bills and are available nationwide. Lux Row also announced the latest release of its Blood Oath series, Blood Oath Pact No. 6 ($100), a limited edition with just 51,000 bottles (4,250 cases) available in the U.S. market.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: February 25th 2020 Edition

Prestige Beverage Group has announced the U.S. debut of The Whistler Irish Whiskey, made at the Boann Distillery in Meath, Ireland. The partnership brings three Whistler labels to the U.S., all made with locally sourced Irish grains. First up is Whistler Double Oaked Irish whiskey, a 40% abv blend matured in ex-Bourbon and finished in Oloroso Sherry casks. The second release is Whistler Irish Honey Whiskey, a 33% abv blend of Irish whiskey and honey that was produced in the Boann owner’s family orchards. The third is Whistler Irish Cream, a 19% abv blend of whiskey and Irish cream. All three releases retail at around $30 a 750-ml.

Bardstown, Kentucky’s Lux Row Distillers has launched Daviess County Straight Bourbon, a new release that pays tribute to Bourbon history and revives a heritage label. The initial lineup for the brand consists of three whiskies, all bottled at 43% abv, and made with wheated and rye-heavy mash bills. There’s the standard Straight Bourbon release and two barrel finished offerings, one rested in Cabernet Sauvignon barrels from Napa and the other finished in French oak. Daviess County Straight Bourbon retails for $40, and the barrel finished varieties retail for $45.

E. & J. Gallo has introduced a new flagship expression for its Germain-Robin brandy. The new release is bottled at 40% abv and matured for seven years. Initially, only 1,400 6-pack cases will be available, but looking ahead this new bottling will serve as the distiller’s main release. In addition, Gallo has released 900 six-packs of Germain-Robin XO, a $125 bottling made with Pinot Noir grapes. Both releases come in updated packages, with the brand name printed directly on the glass above the label. Both will also come in boxes stamped with the Germain-Robin redwood logo.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily