GSN: Backbar Review – September 16-20, 2013

indexConstellation’s Black Velvet Canadian whisky is launching a new flavor extension, Cinnamon Rush, into national distribution beginning this month. Available in 1-liter, 750-ml. and 50-ml. sizes, Cinnamon Rush is 70%-abv and retails at $12.49 a 750-ml. Constellation says Cinnamon Rush is geared toward the shot occasion—where it will take on Sazerac’s Fireball, Hood River’s SinFire and Brown-Forman’s Early Times Fire Eater, among other cinnamon-flavored brands—as well as cocktails. Cinnamon Rush is joined in the Black Velvet flavor stable by Toasted Caramel, which debuted a year ago.

indexAnchor Distilling is adding four additional Nikka Japanese whisky expressions to its U.S. import lineup. Starting this month, Anchor will add Nikka’s Coffey Grain ($69.99), Miyagikyo Single Malt 12-year-old ($119.99), Taketsuru Pure Malt 17-year-old ($149.99) and Taketsuru Pure Malt 21-year-old ($179.99) to its stable. The four expressions join the brand’s Taketsuru Pure Malt 12-year-old ($69.99) and Yoichi Single Malt 15-year-old labels ($129.99), which joined the Anchor portfolio in November 2012 and quickly sold out following their U.S. launch.

indexKey West, Florida, once a haven for rum smugglers during the Prohibition era, is set to get its first legal distillery with the debut of Chef Distilled, a new craft spirits company. The brainchild of chef and professional kiteboarder Paul Menta, Chef Distilled is located in a 2,500-square-foot former Coca-Cola bottling plant and plans to begin operations early next month. Menta says initial production will be around eight to 10 110-bottle batches a week. Chef Distilled’s first offering will be a white rum called Legal Rum (around $22), which will initially be available in the South Florida market, handled by Opici Family Distributing. Menta hopes to start shipping to retail by November.  Offshoots currently being considered include vanilla crème brûlée and Spanish lime infusions, and Menta is also planning on launching a “raw” rum bottled straight from the still, as well as a barrel-aged offering.

Woodford-Reserve-2013-Masters-Collection-217x300Brown-Forman’s Woodford Reserve Bourbon brand is releasing a pair of limited edition malt whiskies as part of its Master’s Collection series this November. Known as The Double Malt Selections, the pair—said to be the first fully matured whiskies crafted from malt in Kentucky since Prohibition—include a Straight Malt whiskey matured in new barrels and a Classic Malt whiskey aged in used barrels, offering consumers the opportunity to compare the two aging methods. The individually numbered whiskies are both bottled at 90.4-proof, priced at $99.99 a 750-ml., and will be released in major U.S. metro markets and select international locations.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily.