GSN: Backbar Review – May 6-10, 2013

imagesPernod’s Chivas Brothers unit says it’s breaking new ground with the launch of Glenlivet Alpha, a so-called “blind whisky,” that will be released without cask information, tasting notes and other descriptive info. Packaged in an opaque black bottle, Alpha will launch in the U.S., U.K., France, the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, China, India and other global markets at a retail price of $120 a bottle, of which 3,500 were produced. Pernod will back the mystery Glenlivet expression with an integrated campaign including social media elements that will see consumers interactively explore its taste profile. A series of “online sensory challenges” will gradually shepherd consumers along the path to unlocking Alpha’s secrets, the company said. In June, Glenlivet master distiller Alan Winchester will reveal the product’s makeup in a global broadcast on the brand’s webpage and Facebook page.

imagesColorado’s Woody Creek Distillers has unveiled a new 10,000-square-foot distillery and six new ultra-premium craft spirits. Made with produce sourced from local growers, the spirits portfolio includes Woody Creek’s flagship Potato Vodka and Reserve Stobrawa Potato Vodka, which are currently available, and a Baby Bourbon, Gin, Apple Brandy and Pear Eau de Vie slated to launch this year. The distillery plans to distribute a total of 10,000 cases of spirits for 2013. Additionally, the craft company is working on Olathe Corn Whiskey, which will be aged in American white oak barrels and released in 2015.

imagesCountry singer Kenny Chesney will officially launch his new Blue Chair Bay Rum brand this month. The range, which includes Blue Chair Bay Rum White, Coconut and Coconut Spiced expressions, is set to launch into 32 U.S. markets, available in 750-ml. and 1.75-liter bottles. Chesney will support the rollout with a series of launch parties in 18 key cities, which will be open to all LDA ticketholders of Chesney’s No Shoes Nation concert tour. Additionally, Blue Chair Bay will host free happy hours open to the public prior to each launch party. A premium blended rum, Blue Chair Bay is imported from Barbados and bottled by Chesney’s Fishbowl Spirits in Rochester, New York.

imagesIn a presentation to investors and analysts yesterday, Diageo global innovation director Syl Saller talked about the company’s emphasis on innovation, as well as one new product the company has high hopes for in the U.S. market—Naked Turtle rum. Saller said that innovation has accounted for more than 50% of Diageo’s net sales value growth over the past five years, and is now responsible for roughly 11% of the company’s total turnover. Claiming that “innovation is most critical to a developed market like North America,” Saller then alluded to Diageo’s new rum entry. “White rum is obviously a significant opportunity for us, and we are exploring this with the Naked Turtle brand in the U.S. We’ve been in test in three cities since September (2012), and while it’s early days for this brand, we’ve exceeded our initial targets.” Naked Turtle is “priced at a slight premium to Bacardi,” said Saller, adding that the brand’s “fun in the sun” profile is balanced with a marketing program that promotes the preservation of rare species of turtles around the globe. “You’ll continue to see really fun, really innovative entrepreneurial activities from Naked Turtle,” she said.

imagesMontalvo Tequila has expanded its distribution footprint in the U.S. into two new states. It is now available in Florida through Antares, Inc. and New Jersey through MHW, Ltd., with more markets on the way. Montalvo initially launched in April 2012 in New York and California. The brand is a 100%-agave Tequila available in three expressions—Plata ($37.99), Reposado ($43.99) and Añejo ($49.99).

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily