FYI . . . News, Notes & Trends

Sky Ranch Honors Industry Members

The Sky Ranch Foundation held its 10th annual Hall of Fame reception and dinner over the summer at the Minneapolis Airport Marriott located here. The event was held in conjunction with the 54th annual convention of WAABI (World Association of Alcohol Beverage Industries) and honored five people whose achievements, both personal and business, have made significant contributions to the efforts of the entire beverage alcohol industry in supporting the Sky Ranch.

Sky Ranch Hall of Fame dinner honorees and other luminaries included, from left, Harold Rutstein, executive vice president, Griggs, Cooper & Company, St. Paul, MN; John F. Farrell, Jr., president of Haskell’s, the five-store, Minneapolis-based chain; George McCarthy (Sky Ranch Foundation Chairman); Michael J. Niehaus, Purchasing Manager, Jim Beam Brands; Michael Johnson, vice president of Johnson Brothers Liquor Company, St. Paul, MN; Edward L. Golden, president of Barton Brands; and Scott Louks (executive director of the Sky Ranch for Boys).

Founded 41 years ago, Sky Ranch for Boys is an adopted charity of the entire beverage alcohol industry, which has raised approximately $15 million since 1960 to build, develop and support the 3,000-acre facility on the South Dakota/Montana border. Sky Ranch’s mission is to help troubled youth from all over the U.S. get a second chance.

Austin, Nichols To Hire Seagram People

Austin, Nichols & Company named Judy Goldfarb as vice president, business integration. Goldfarb worked for Seagram for 22 years, most recently as vice president, strategic development. She is the first Seagram executive to join Austin, Nichols, the U.S. subsidiary of Pernod Ricard, as it prepares for its acquisition of several leading Seagram brands, including Chivas Regal, Seagram’s Extra Dry Gin and Martell Cognac. Michel Bord, president and ceo of Austin, Nichols, announced that Goldfarb will lead the transition process to integrate the brands into the Austin, Nichols portfolio of premium spirits and wines.


Importantly, Bord announced that Austin, Nichols planned to double its sales force and to hire Seagram employees in all departments, including several management executives. “Seagram’s people at all level of responsibility will account for approximately half of the total number of our employees,” he said.

FYI01Luxury Bourbon Debuts

Jim Beam Brands has launched of an ultra-premium bourbon, termed Distillers’ Masterpiece, a 20-year-old straight bourbon whiskey that is finished in port wine casks. This introduction follows the recent success of the first Distillers’ Masterpiece to be marketed, an 18-year-old bourbon finished in cognac casks.

The 20-year-old port cask finished bourbon is the product of the legendary Booker Noe, master distiller of Jim Beam Brands, and Daryl Groom, the well-respected winemaker of Geyser Peak Winery, which supplies the port casks in which to finish the whiskey.

The product is packaged to reflect its distinctiveness. Bottled in an imported French glass decanter, the 98 proof bourbon features an intricate oak leaf design, is individually numbered and carries the signatures of Booker Noe and Daryl Groom. In addition, decanter comes in a wooden presentation case. Distillers’ Masterpiece carries a suggested retail price of $300 for a 750 ml bottle.


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