GSN Spirited News: October 6th 2020 Edition

Biddeford, Maine’s Round Turn Distilling has launched Bimini Coconut, a new flavored gin. The 47% abv gin is made with juniper, grapefruit, and hops, before fat washing with coconut to naturally infuse the gin. Bimini Coconut is available in California, Maine, New York, and Massachusetts for around $35 a 750-ml. The new spirit sits alongside Bimini gin, Bimini Barrel Reserve No.-1, and Bimini Overproof in the distillery’s lineup.

Minnesota-based Phillips Distilling Co. announced the release of Douglas and Todd Small Batch Bourbon Cream Liqueur. As the name implies, the new product is made from the company’s Douglas and Todd Bourbon, aged a minimum of four years in new charred oak barrels, then blended with cream and vanilla bean flavors. It’s available now as a limited release retailing for $35 a 750-ml. at select retailers and coming soon to online sales. The Phillips Distilling portfolio also includes UV Vodka, Prairie Organic Spirits, and Revel Stoke Whiskies, among others.

Proximo Spirits has launched Bushmills 28-Year-Old Single Malt Cognac Cask, the first in the brand’s new Rare Casks series. The 46.7% abv whisky first aged in Bourbon and Oloroso Sherry casks for 11 years before spending an additional 17 years in Cognac casks. Fewer than 500 bottles of the whiskey will be available, exclusively in the U.S., for a suggested retail price of $500 a 750-ml.

Mystic, Connecticut’s Prima Barista has launched a new ready-to-drink hard coffee, made with vodka. The 12.5% abv drinks come in two flavors—Mocha Hard Iced Frappé and Vanilla Hard Iced Latte—and contain roughly the same amount of caffeine as a 1-ounce shot of espresso per 200-ml. bottle. Prima Barista’s coffee cocktails are now available in Florida and Indiana at retail for around $19-$20, and for direct shipping to over 30 states across the U.S.

Edrington-owned Highland Park single malt Scotch whisky has launched Cask Strength No.-1, the first release in its new cask-strength collection. This edition comes in at 63.3% abv and matured in Sherry-seasoned American oak casks for a range of years before blending and bottling. The non-chill-filtered whisky will be released yearly. Highland Park Cask Strength No.-1 retails for around $90 a 750-ml. and will be available online and in specialty retailers across the U.S.

Kahlúa is extending with a new Blonde Roast Style liqueur. Made with medium roast coffee and hints of caramel, toffee and citrus flavors, Kahlúa Blonde Roast Style is at 20% abv and suggested to be served with tonic or coconut water. Pernod Ricard-owned Kahlúa posted 6% growth in NABCA channels in the 12 months through June. 

Dan Aykroyd and John Alexander’s Crystal Head vodka has launched Onyx, a new vodka distilled from Blue Agave. The new brand extension is bottled at 40% abv in an opaque black bottle. The agave for the spirit is sourced from a single farm in Mexico and the final product is bottled without additives or sweeteners. Crystal Head Onyx will retail for around $55 a 750-ml. and joins the brand’s original release, made from Canadian corn, and Aurora, made from English wheat, in the full-time lineup.

High West, part of the Constellation portfolio, has introduced two bottled whiskey cocktails, Barrel-Finished Manhattan and Barrel-Finished Old Fashioned. Both are made using a blend of Bourbon and rye, then finished in rye barrels. The Old Fashioned is at 43% abv, while the Manhattan is at 37% abv. Rolling out nationwide, High West’s new bottled cocktails retail at $50 a 750-ml. (containing 12 cocktails) and $30 a 375-ml.

Mount Gay Rum, part of the Rémy Cointreau portfolio, is launching a new limited edition, Master Blender Collection: The Port Cask Expression. Created by master blender Trudiann Branker, the new bottling is a blend of rums distilled in a traditional column still and aged for five years in Tawny Port casks, together with rums double distilled in a copper pot still and aged for 14 years in American whiskey casks and finished in Tawny Port casks for one year. Retailing at $175 a 750-ml., Mount Gay’s new luxury Port Cask expression is a cask-strength at 55% abv and is limited to 2,100 bottles in the U.S.

Código 1530 Tequila is releasing a new limited-edition extra añejo expression, the George Strait Origen. The new expression aged over six years in French white oak barrels that previously held Napa Valley Cabernet. The 40% abv spirit will retail for $350, with only 1,200 bottles available nationwide. The six barrels used to create the Tequila were hand-selected by Código co-founder and country music legend George Strait. Código 1530 reports that it’s seen rapid gains in the year-to-date, registering growth of 40%.

Diageo is bringing back Cîroc vodka’s White Grape expression for the holiday season. Five times distilled from French grapes, Cîroc White Grape is rolling out now. Cîroc slipped 9% to 1.4 million cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank, amid intense competition in the U.S. vodka category. In Diageo’s full fiscal year through June, the brand’s net sales fell by double-digits, with the decline partially offset by good results for limited-time offers like White Grape.

Minnesota’s Tattersall Distilling has launched a bottled Manhattan, made from 100% Minnesota grown rye, aged in charred American white oak barrels, and blended with Tattersall Italian-style liqueur, Sherry, and bitters. This is the distillery’s fourth ready-to-drink cocktail, joining Old Fashioned, Bootlegger, and Salty Dog. It retails at $35 a 750-ml. and carries an abv of 35%. The new entry will roll out first in Minnesota, with Wisconsin to follow shortly after. Tattersall’s portfolio is distributed to 30 states.

Whiskeysmith Co., a new line of flavored whiskies from Colorado-based Old Elk, has launched nationally via Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits. The line is launching with three flavors—Chocolate, Banana, and Pineapple—and all come in at 30% abv. Beverage director Melinda Maddox said the brand is aimed at home and on-premise mixology, and as a one-step home cocktail alternative. Whiskeysmith is now available across the U.S. and retails for between $25 and $30, depending on the market.

Brown-Forman has launched Woodford Reserve Baccarat Edition, a new ultra-limited luxury release from the American whiskey brand. The newcomer is bottled at 45.2% abv and, after its initial maturation in American oak, aged for an extra three years in ex-Cognac casks. The whiskey is bottled in a handmade crystal decanter from Baccarat that’s reminiscent of the standard Woodford bottle but engraved in gold with both Woodford’s and Baccarat’s logos. It’s now available in limited quantities for $2,000 a 750-ml. 

Teeling Irish whiskey has announced a new addition to the distillery’s portfolio, Blackpitts Peated Single Malt whiskey. The 46% abv whiskey is triple distilled and matured in a combination of ex-Bourbon and ex-Sauternes casks. According to managing director Jack Teeling, the smokiness of triple distilled peated whiskey is quite distinct; he described it as more like “barbecue-style smoke,” compared to the briny or medicinal peated whiskies of Islay, Scotland. Blackpitts Peated Single Malt whiskey will launch globally in January 2021, for a suggested price of $75 in the U.S.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: September 29th 2020 Edition

Moët Hennessy USA is set to launch A Tale of Cake, the newest limited release from single malt Scotch brand Glenmorangie, in October. The 46% abv whisky was finished in Tokaji casks. A Tale of Cake’s launch will be accompanied by a promotional campaign involving cocktails and cake recipes by Jeremy Le Blanche and Dominique Ansel, respectively, to go with the new whisky and with Glenmorangie’s core releases. The whisky will retail for around $99 a 750-ml.

Brown-Forman has announced a new three-batch Bourbon release to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Old Forester. The three whiskies will each be at cask strength and bottled in amber-colored glass reminiscent of hand-blown bottles used in the 19th century. Batch 1 is bottled at 62.8% abv and is made from 46 barrels; Batch 2 is made from 48 barrels and bottled at 63.2% abv; and Batch 3 is assembled from 53 barrels and is at 63.4% abv. Old Forester 150th Anniversary Bourbon is bottled unfiltered—only barrel char sediment has been removed—and will be available in limited quantities across the U.S. for around $150 a 750-ml.

Goslings Rum is offering a new limited release called Papa Seal Single Barrel Bermuda Rum. It was blended from a range of pot- and column-distilled rums that run between 10 and 21 years aged in white oak barrels and aged another two years in Bermuda, ultimately bottled at 41.5% abv. Only 1,500 bottles of Papa Seal 2020 will be available nationwide, each hand-labeled with its barrel number, bottle number, and bottling date. Beginning next month it will be available at select retailers in 16 states as well as online, retailing for $199 a 750-ml.

Edrington has announced the sixth and final release in the Macallan Edition Series. The Macallan Edition No. 6 is a 48.6% abv whisky made from liquid matured in both European and American Sherry-seasoned oak casks. Tying in with the launch, the Macallan has started a partnership with the Atlantic Salmon Trust to support efforts to protect at-risk fish, including in the Macallan’s own section of the river Spey. The Macallan Edition No. 6 is rolling out globally this month and will retail for around $150 in the U.S. Last year, the Macallan was at 268,000 cases in the U.S., according to Impact Databank.

Heaven Hill Brands has released a packaging refresh for parts of the Evan Williams family of whiskies. Evan Williams Black’s new label sports a richer gold color and a black and gold capsule with Evan Williams’s signature. The bottled-in-bond release features a green and white label that more prominently shows the higher proof and the standards of bonded whiskey; the capsule shows the tax strip designating the whiskey as bonded. Evan Williams’ flavored releases will now feature a centered label and the new bottle shape.

Minnesota-based Prestige Beverage has added Davidoff Cognac to its import portfolio for the U.S. The company is now rolling out Davidoff’s V.S. ($35), V.S.O.P. ($50), and X.O. ($150) releases—all bottled at 40% abv—in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, North and South Carolina, North and South Dakota, Nevada, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Texas, and Wisconsin.

William Grant & Sons has relaunched Milagro Select Barrel Reserve, the brand’s luxury-priced tier. The full line—Blanco ($40), Reposado ($45), and Añejo ($55)—is returning to market in new bottles inspired by Mexican architectural works and featuring an engraved agave plant and colors specific to each release.

Proximo Spirits has made former special edition Kraken Black Roast Coffee rum a permanent addition to the line. The 33.3% abv rum is made from macerating the brand’s Trinidadian spiced rum with coffee beans to create a richly spiced and sweet spirit, according to the company. Kraken Black Roast Coffee rum is now available across the U.S.

Sombra mezcal, part of the Davos Brands portfolio, has unveiled a new bottle design. The new packaging, which rolls out this fall, takes its inspiration from the vaso veladora, glass cups traditionally used to contain prayer candles that are common in Oaxacan churches. The updated design also includes a refreshed logo, copper lettering, and a reduced glass weight to be more eco-friendly. Sombra, which translates to “shadow,” is at 90 proof and retails at $35 a 750-ml.

Clase Azul Tequila has announced the launch of the 2020 edition of its Día de Muertos Tequila, set to hit shelves on October 1. The 40% abv spirit is made from a blend of Clase Azul’s Plata, 8-month-old reposado, and 5-year-old Ultra—aged in ex-Sherry casks—Tequilas. The 2020 Día de Muertos Tequila is a limited release and only 2,000 bottles will be available globally, retailing for around $400 a 750-ml.

The Dalmore has launched the latest release in its Principal Collection, a 12-year-old single malt finished in Sherry casks. The 43% abv whisky is initially aged for 10 years in American oak barrels previously used to mature Bourbon before finishing for up to three years in casks that held Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso sherry. The Dalmore 12-year-old Sherry Cask Select single malt is now available in the U.K. and major Asian markets with a U.S. launch to follow in 2021.

Plantation rum has extended its portfolio with two new Fijian rums. Plantation Isle of Fiji is a permanent addition to the range. Distilled in pot and column stills at Rum Co. of Fiji, and then double-aged in Fiji and France, it’s at 40% abv and retails at $25 a 750-ml. Plantation Fiji Vintage 2005 is the first offering in Plantation’s new Birds of Paradise vintage collection. It was first distilled in triple column stills and aged for 14 years in Bourbon casks in the mild climate of the Fiji Islands, then spent an additional year in Ferrand French Oak barrels in the House’s cellars in Cognac. The limited edition is at 50.2% abv and retails at $80.

Chicago-based House of Somrus is adding to its range with a new Coffee Cream liqueur. The line extension is made with coffee and chicory, together with real dairy cream from Wisconsin and quintuple-distilled Caribbean rum. Retailing at $25 a 750-ml., it carries an abv of 13.5% and is rolling out across 21 states.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: April 28th 2020 Edition

Newport, Oregon’s Rogue Ales and Spirits has expanded distribution of its line of canned cocktails, bringing four RTDs to markets across the U.S. In addition to the national push, Rogue has launched a new flavor—Grapefruit Vodka Soda—and added a variety 8-pack featuring two cans of each flavor. Rogue’s full line of canned cocktails, including Ginger Lime Vodka Mule, Cranberry Elderflower Vodka Soda, and Cucumber Lime Gin Fizz are rolling out now nationally in 4-packs of 12-ounce cans plus the variety pack.

Proximo Spirits has announced a new, aged extension to the Jose Cuervo Tradicional family, the 100% blue agave Tequila extension of the U.S. market’s largest Tequila brand. The 40% abv spirit first matured for 12 months in new American oak before finishing for up to four months in barrels used to age Bushmills’ single malt whiskey. Jose Cuervo Tradicional Añejo is now available across the U.S. for around $33 a 750-ml. Last year, Jose Cuervo Tradicional crossed 200,000 cases in the U.S., according to Impact Databank.

Infinium Spirits has taken Los Arango Tequila nationwide, increasing production to meet newfound demand. The brand consists of a blanco, reposado, and añejo—all bottled at 40% abv—and is named for Pancho Villa (whose given name was José Doroteo Arango). The spirits are produced in Guanajuato, Mexico and the brand was revived in 2018.

Appleton Estate, part of the Campari portfolio, is adding an 8-year-old Reserve offering to its range. The newcomer is at 43% abv and is rolling out nationwide this spring, retailing at $29 a 750-ml. The launch of Appleton Estate 8-year-old Reserve coincides with a new look across the Appleton range. The makeover includes a sleeker bottle shape, a new cork closure, and a new label incorporating details on the production process, the Appleton insignia, and master blender Joy Spence’s signature.

Louisville, Kentucky’s Rabbit Hole has extended its lineup with Bespoke gin. The new spirit is a London Dry gin finished for nine to 12 months in Rabbit Hole’s Boxergrail rye whiskey barrels. The gin itself is made with angelica, coriander, juniper, lemon peel, licorice, orange peel and orris root, and bottled at 44.5% abv. Rabbit Hole Bespoke gin is now available for $50 a 750-ml. The company, part of the Pernod Ricard portfolio, is now making a push toward national distribution in the U.S.

While the backbone of the brand is Bourbon, Heaven Hill has recently expanded the family by adding a new rye whiskey. The $30 release initially launched in Oregon, Georgia, and North and South Carolina and is expanding from there. Elijah Craig Rye comes in at 47% abv and joins other Heaven Hill ryes including the high-end Pikesville Rye (55% abv) and the more accessibly priced Rittenhouse Rye (50% abv).

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Spirited News: February 11th 2020 Edition

Pernod Ricard has unveiled a limited edition label for Jameson Irish whiskey, which is rolling out for St. Patrick’s Day. The new label includes designs by Dublin-based graphic designer Stephen Heffernan, aka Hephee. The bottles feature a QR code that brings up a website where fans can remix the label using Hephee’s designs and enter for a chance to win a Jameson bar sign matching their design (in some markets, consumers can also win bottles of Jameson with their custom labels).

Lucas Bols USA’s Passoã liqueur has announced a bottle and label redesign that highlights the brand’s natural passion fruit flavor. The new logo also features a sunset graphic (replacing a tropically colored Brazilian flag), above a reminder that Passoã is made with natural flavoring. The 20% abv liqueur retails for $18 for a 750-ml. and it’s recommended as an ingredient in sangria or a mimosa.

Austin, Texas-based Ballotin Chocolate Whiskey has released its latest portfolio extension, Chocolate Mocha Whiskey Cream. The 17% abv spirit blends whiskey and chocolate coffee cream liqueur, and is available across the brand’s 25-state distribution footprint. It joins Chocolate Cherry, Chocolate, Bourbon Ball, Chocolate Mint, and Caramel Turtle in Ballotin’s portfolio.

Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Tattersall Distilling is releasing a limited-edition collaboration with Surly Brewing Co. Tattersall has taken Surly’s Darkness Russian Imperial Stout and distilled it to create Darkness Bierschnapps, a 20% abv spirit. Two bottles of the Stout go into each 750-ml. of Bierschnapps and nearly 600 gallons were used in total to produce 200 cases. After distillation it is aged twice—in new charred white oak barrels and in the original stout barrels. It’s available now at select retailers throughout the Midwest, retailing for $30.

Beam Suntory has launched Courvoisier Avant-Garde Bourbon Cask Edition, the latest limited time offering for the Cognac brand. The spirit is made from Courvoisier’s VSOP blend and finished in Bourbon barrels before bottling at 40% abv. Due to labeling laws, the new Courvoisier is labeled as a spirit drink made of Cognac finished in Bourbon barrels. The brand is the third-largest Cognac brand in the U.S., and last year saw a successful launch for its Master’s Cask Collection Sherry Cask Finish.

Massachusetts-based M.S. Walker is adding Gin Lane 1751 to its import portfolio. The London-based, small-batch gin brand is produced by eighth-generation master distiller Charles Maxwell. Gin Lane 1751 includes four expressions: London Dry ($30 a 750-ml.), Victorian Pink ($35), Old Tom ($40), and London Royal Strength ($40).

Cognac Frapin has introduced three new limited-edition blends in the U.S. They include Cellar Master Edition No. 1 (retailing at $99, 46.7% abv), Collector Edition 1994 ($199, 40.8% abv), and Plume Frapin ($3,500, 40% abv). Cellar Master Edition No. 1 was aged for over 10 years, while Collector Edition 1994 aged for 24 years, and Plume Frapin spent more than 60 years in the distiller’s Paradis cellar, with only 100 carafes (finished with 18-carat rose gold) coming to the U.S.

William Grant & Sons has added two new offerings to its Glenfiddich Rare Collection, both dating from 1975. Glenfiddich Cask 4706 comes in at 48% abv and matured in a European oak Sherry butt. Cask 5114 was matured in a European oak hogshead, a rarity for the company, and is at 54.7% abv. The 44-year-old whiskies are bottled at cask strength and are non-chill-filtered. Only 100 bottles of each will be available at a suggested price of $9,000 a 750-ml.

Beam Suntory-owned Kilbeggan Irish whiskey is releasing a single pot still limited edition. The mashbill is based on a recipe used at the distillery more than a century ago that notably features oats in addition to raw and malted barley. It’s double distilled to 43% abv and is the second limited release to be fully distilled and matured at Kilbeggan following the distillery’s 2010 restoration. Kilbeggan Single Pot Still is rolling out in the U.S. this month, retailing for $45 a 750-ml.

Proximo Spirits and country music stars Jason Aldean and Florida Georgia Line have teamed up to create Wolf Moon Bourbon. The 40% abv whiskey is distilled from grain sourced from the Midwest and bottled after 4 years of aging in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. This is the second whiskey released by Florida Georgia Line members Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard, following 2016’s Old Camp Whiskey, also part of the Proximo portfolio. Wolf Moon is currently available in select markets and is rolling out nationally soon for a suggested price of $24 a 750-ml.

Woodford Reserve is launching a new Batch Proof whiskey as part of its Master’s Collection series. The newcomer is made with the same grain bill and process as Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon and bottled at 123.6 proof. Retailing at $130 a 750-ml., the limited edition whiskey is rolling out in select U.S. and global markets. Woodford is part of the Brown-Forman portfolio.

Winebow has partnered with the U.K.’s Halewood Wines & Spirits to bring two whisk(e)y brands to the United States beginning on March 1. First up is Crabbie’s Yardhead Single Malt Scotch, a 40% abv whisky distilled in the Scottish Highlands and matured in ex-Bourbon barrels. The whisky is positioned as an entry-level malt for drinkers first discovering the category and will retail at around $25 a 750-ml. Winebow will also handle distribution for Peaky Blinder Irish Whiskey, a 40% abv blended whiskey matured in Sherry casks. Peaky Blinder will retail at around $19 a 750-ml. Both whiskies will be available in 750-ml. and 1-liter bottles.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily