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

GSN: Backbar Review – February 25-March 1, 2013

imagesCamus Cognac has unveiled a limited edition offering commemorating its 150th anniversary. Camus Cuvée 5.150 is a blend of Grande Champagne, Petite Champagne, Fins Bois, Bon Bois and Borderies Cognacs, of which 1,492 individually numbered decanters were produced, priced at $13,500 each.



imagesSt. Helena, California-based Charbay Distillers is adding Añejo and Reposado variants of Tapatio Tequila, for which it became the exclusive U.S. importer last June. Tapatio Reposado is aged for eight months in oak barrels and retails for $38 a 1-liter bottle. The Añejo ($44 a 1-liter) is aged 18 months in first-fill ex-Bourbon casks, and the Blanco, which was previously available, retails at $38 a 1-liter and is aged for six months in stainless steel. All three are produced by master distiller Carlos Camarena at the Altena Distillery.

imagesChivas Regal is debuting three new limited edition offerings of its 18-year-old variant in the U.S. market. Entitled “The Drop,” the collection was created in partnership with Italian design firm Pininfarina. 1,500 bottles of the first expression are available in the U.S. at $140 each, featuring a blue metallic-finish outer case and a wood veneer. The second, of which 120 individually numbered bottles are available in the U.S. at $495 each, takes the same aerodynamic design cues a step further. It features a solid wood inlay and includes two Pininfarina-designed glasses. The third, Chivas 18 Mascherone by Pininfarina, is a seven-foot, four-inch piece—made of an oak internal structure clad in aluminum—that will be made to order by Pininfarina on request at $100,000 each.

imagesCampari’s Wild Turkey distillery has extended its Russell’s Reserve small-batch Bourbon brand with a new single barrel offering. Created by Wild Turkey master distiller Jimmy Russell and his son, Eddie, Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel (55% abv) is Wild Turkey’s first unfiltered Bourbon. The new, high-proof offering will be available starting next month, priced at around $49.99 a bottle.



imagesBrown-Forman is set to release this year’s special edition Woodford Reserve Bourbon bottle for the 2013 Kentucky Derby. The packaging features art by Oregon-based painter Eric Bowman, which includes a close-up of a racing scene, as well as a sky blue neckband at the top displaying Bowman’s signature and a tag hanging around the bottle with information about the product and the artist. The bottle will be available in 46 markets across the country for a suggested retail price of $43.99 a 1-liter bottle. Woodford Reserve has been a sponsor of the Kentucky Derby for the past 15 years.

imagesColorado’s Woody Creek Distillers is set to make its debut with six ultra-premium spirits offerings. In addition to its core vodka brands, Woody Creek Potato Vodka and Reserve Stobrawa Potato Vodka, the company’s products include Baby Bourbon, Gin, Apple Brandy and Pear Eau de Vie, all sourced locally from the Aspen Valley. Another label, Olathe Corn Whiskey, is in production and scheduled for release in 2015, after a stint of aging in American white oak barrels.

imagesHeaven Hill Distilleries is rolling out two new flavors—Cherry Cola and Strawberry Banana for the Burnett’s vodka line.  They are line priced at $10.99 a 750-ml. The Burnett’s portfolio now includes 31 different flavors.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily