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Grey Goose Summer Riviera Bottle 2019

With summer upon us comes the third annual, limited-edition Grey Goose Summer Riviera bottle.

This year, the vodka brand partnered with Parisian fashion house Maison Labiche to create a bottle that captures the “fun and carefree attitude” of the French Riviera. Maison Labiche has also released a hand-designed capsule collection comprised of fashion and travel items embroidered with the phrase “Live Victoriously,” including casual tees, beach towels and a leather passport wallet.

The capsule collection is available for online purchase at maisonlabiche.com.

The bottle features wind-blown blue banners with the phrase, “l’été est pour vivre dans l’instant,” or “summer is for living in the moment,” scrawled in Maison Labiche’s signature script. In the center of the bottle is an enlarged version of the brand’s goose logo.

The suggested retail price is $40 per 750-ml. bottle.

The Balvenie Announces New ‘Stories’ Line of Single Malts

The Balvenie Single Malt Scotch Whisky today announced the launch of The Balvenie Stories: a collection of single malt whiskies meant to represent tales of character, endeavor and craft from The Balvenie Distillery in Dufftown, Scotland.

The Balvenie Stories collection will be comprised of the following three expressions:

The Sweet Toast of American Oak – Aged 12 Years – 43% ABV. “This is the story of the spectacular things that can happen when ancient technique meets fresh ideas,” the company says, as newly appointed Apprentice Malt Master Kelsey McKechnie experimented with twice-charred white American oak from Kelvin Cooperage in Louisville, Kentucky to produce an “even fruitier, sweeter tasting Balvenie.”

The Week of Peat – Aged 14 Years – 48.3% ABV. An evolution of The Balvenie Peat Week Aged 14 Years, which launched globally in 2017. This expression tells the tale of Malt Master David C. Stewart MBE and former distillery manager Ian Millar, the company says, using a week’s gap in the distillery’s production schedule to experiment with the use of peat in the barley drying process, having sampled various ages since 2002. The result is a Balvenie expression with honey, vanilla and citrus notes with an extra layer of delicate smokiness.

A Day of Dark Barley – Aged 26 Years – 47.8% ABV. This is the story of Malt Master David C. Stewart MBE and The Balvenie’s malt men experimenting with a heavily roasted dark barley in 1992, the company says. The resulting liquid was originally released in 2006 as the 14-Year-Old Balvenie Roasted Malt; however, casks were retained for extra maturation, eventually becoming a classic Balvenie, but with extra depth and oak notes gleaned from the darker malt, the company says.

The notion of storytelling informs the design of The Balvenie Stories packaging, with each tale represented visually on the whisky’s canister and label in illustrations from British artist and printmaker Andy Lovell. Lovell’s work draws its inspiration direct from the distillery, where he spent time listening to the stories first-hand, before using his gestural technique to build up images that capture the essence of each tale.

Drinkers will have the unique opportunity to hear these stories in full, as told by the protagonists involved, via audio conversations recorded between them and The Balvenie Global Ambassador Gemma Paterson. These special conversations were recorded at locations significant to the narrative of each tale, including at The Balvenie distillery and as far afield as Kelvin Cooperage, Kentucky, where Kelsey McKechnie sourced virgin oak barrels for The Sweet Toast of American Oak.

This audio content, as well as guided audio whisky tastings of each expression with David Stewart and Kelsey McKechnie, will be available to the drinker via an NFC-enabled tag on the bottle that drinkers connect to using their smartphones. This was designed in partnership with connected product solutions company Thinfilm.

The Balvenie Stories collection will be available in select whisky retailers beginning May 2019: The Sweet Toast of American Oak has an SRP of $59.99 per 750-ml. bottle, The Week of Peat is $99 and A Day of Dark Barley is $799.

Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum Introduces Savage Apple

Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum has introduced Savage Apple, a 70-proof apple-flavored spiced rum, marking the first new liquid innovation since the launch of the original Sailor Jerry 19 years ago.

With an suggested retail price of $15.99 per 750-ml. bottle, Savage Apple will launch initially in New York and Florida, before rolling out across the country this fall.

Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum was made to honor the godfather of old-school American tattooing, Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins.

True to the traditional notes of vanilla and cinnamon in Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, Savage Apple adds a fresh, lively apple and cinnamon, the company says. It’s best served chilled.

“Savage Apple is an amazing addition to the Sailor Jerry story. This is the first new product we’ve ever released, and it is a fantastic liquid; one we know our fans will enjoy for its quality and bold nature,” says Anthony Bohlinger, Sailor Jerry brand ambassador.

Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins was a Navy vet who built his rep inking soldiers and sailors in WWII-era Honolulu, where he established his legendary tattoo parlor. The Savage Apple bottle design, like the liquid inside, honors Collins and his creative works, reflecting his attitude with original tiger flash marking the bottle wrap.

Sam Houston 12-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

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Sam Houston Bourbon Whiskey has launched a second release of its 12-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

The second release will be available in select U.S. Markets – Texas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, New York, Colorado, Maryland, Washington DC and Virginia. Bottled at 98 proof and priced at $99.99 per 750-ml., the new batches of Sam Houston were made under the eyes of Steve Nally, John Hargrove and the team at Bardstown Bourbon Company.

The bourbon was aged for a minimum of 12 years in new American White Oak barrels, charred at #4 level. The current release has been crafted in small batches, the company says, using only three barrels at a time. Each bottle is individually hand-labeled with specific aging notes and numbered.

In late 2018, the first release of Sam Houston 12-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey was launched in two markets – Texas and Tennessee.

The brand is named after Sam Houston, who served as a congressman, the president of Republic of Texas and the governor of two states – Texas and Tennessee.

Sunday Funday Sauvignon Blanc

Reckless Love Wines has announced the introduction of a new California-style sauvignon blanc.

Available in select markets across the country, Sunday Funday Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from appellations including Mendocino, Sonoma County, Lake County and Clarksburg.

Screw off the cap to this stainless-steel fermented Sauvignon Blanc and you’ll find flavors of pineapple and fresh-cut grass that leads to a citrusy finish, the company says.

The suggested retail price is $10.99 per 750-ml. bottle.

Confetti! Italian Wines

U.S. wine and spirits importer Palm Bay International has announced the addition of Confetti! to its portfolio.

Produced in northern Italy’s Trentino region, Confetti! is a range of fruit-driven wines.

Confetti! will launch with three expressions: a light, crisp Pinot Grigio, a dry, fruity Rosé and a Red Blend characterized by rich dark fruit and silky tannins, the company says.

Confetti! wines feature packaging with metallic silver, gold, red, pink and black foil stamps. Colorful shippers designed to pop at retail as well as case cards, gift tags, bottle toppers and case talkers add to the brand’s festive look. The range will be supported by house parties, an influencer program, videos and a full suite of online tools as well as in-store and event activations. 

Confetti! is line priced with an SRP of $11.99 per 750-ml. and is currently rolling out nationwide.

Distilled Spirits Council Names Craft Advisory Council

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), an advocate for the distilled spirits industry, today announced a newly constituted Craft Advisory Council to represent craft distillers’ positions on policy issues.

“DISCUS is fully committed to understanding and advancing the issues important to our craft distiller members,” says Chris Swonger, president and CEO of DISCUS and Responsibility.org.  “This new Craft Advisory Council, comprised of leaders in our industry, will help us to unite distillers of all sizes to speak with a single, powerful voice.”

As a leadership body, the Craft Advisory Council will weigh in on policy issues impacting craft distillers at the federal, state and local level. The Advisory Council will help organize and activate distillers on policy matters and help guide the organization’s craft distiller-focused programming and benefits, the organization says.

The Craft Advisory Council will be chaired by Ted Huber, co-owner of Starlight Distillery in Starlight, IN, and currently includes 22 craft distiller members.

“As one of the first DISCUS craft members, I fully understand the critical importance of distillers large and small working together to advance the spirits industry’s public policy agenda,” says Huber. “From securing a permanent federal excise tax cut to urging an end to retaliatory tariffs, there are challenging days ahead. Craft distillers play a significant role in educating lawmakers about these critical issues as well as the role we play in our communities.”

The Craft Advisory Council will hold quarterly calls and meet twice a year, aligned with the DISCUS Board schedule. Craft Advisory Council members include:

  • Ted Huber, Chair, Starlight Distillery, Starlight, IN
  • Rob Sergent, Alpine Distilling, Park City, UT
  • Scott Neil, American Freedom Distillery; St. Petersburg, FL
  • Scott Harris, Catoctin Creek Distilling Co., LLC; Purcellville, VA
  • Tom Lix, Cleveland Whiskey, LLC, Cleveland, OH
  • Marc Christensen, Dented Brick Distillery, South Salt Lake City, UT 
  • Paul Hletko, FEW Spirits, LLC, Evanston, IL
  • Brian McKenzie, Finger Lakes Distilling, LLC, Burdett, NY
  • Guy Rehorst, Great Lakes Distillery, LLC; Milwaukee, WI
  • Amir Peay, James E. Pepper Distillery, Lexington, KY
  • Mimi Buttenheim, Mad River Distillers, Waitsfield, VT
  • Brady Konya, Middle West Spirits, Columbus, OH
  • Rob Cassell, New Liberty Distillery, Philadelphia, PA
  • Phil Prichard, Prichard’s Distillery, Inc., Kelso, TN
  • Chander Arora, Red Eye Louie’s Vodquila, Jemison, AL
  • Todd Ziegenfus, Sagamore Spirit, Inc.; Baltimore, MD
  • Colin Keegan, Santa Fe Spirits, Santa Fe, NM
  • Leanne Powell, Southern Grace Distilleries, Mt Pleasant, NC
  • Philip McDaniel, St. Augustine Distillery, St. Augustine, FL
  • Gareth Moore, Virginia Distillery Co., Lovingston, VA 
  • Lisa Cloutier, Whistling Andy Distillery, Bigfork, MT 
  • Meredith Meyer Grelli, Wigle Distillery, Pittsburgh PA 

“The rapidly growing number of craft distillers across the nation represent an important grassroots base for the spirits industry,” the organization says. “In the last decade, the number of craft distillers in the U.S. grew from a few dozen to nearly 2,000 today.”

The GlenDronach Unveils Grandeur Batch 10 27YO Scotch

The GlenDronach has announcd the U.S. release of The GlenDronach Grandeur Batch 10 — a 27-year-old Scotch with very limited release.

The expression is a single malt whisky that married of some of the oldest Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso Sherry casks from the distillery, the company says. It is available now, limited to 240 bottles in the U.S. out of 2,293 worldwide, for a suggested retail price of $699.99 per 750-ml. bottle.

A selection of sherry cask puncheons and butts has been maturing in The GlenDronach Distillery’s dunnage warehouses since the 1960s, a selection of which were chosen by Master Blender Rachel Barrie for this 27-year-old expression.

“The GlenDronach Grandeur Batch 10 is undoubtedly a superb expression and a fantastic representation of the smooth, complex and full-bodied style that The GlenDronach Distillery is famous for,” says Barrie.

Distiller-provided tasting Notes on Grandeur Batch 10 include:

  • On the eye, cherry wood.
  • On the nose, ripe damson plum, cracked black walnut and concentrated blackberry and apple jam. The scent is of antique leather, truffle oil and cedar cigar box.
  • On the palate, sherry cask maturation combining richness and complexity. Sip morello cherries in dark chocolate with a crescendo of blackberry jus
  • On the finish, black truffle, molasses gingerbread, prune and walnut oil lingering long.

Smirnoff Ice Launches in Cans

Smirnoff Ice, the ready-to-drink beverage, is now available in aluminum cans.

Smirnoff Ice Cans will be available in 12-packs including a variety pack of Original, Raspberry, Strawberry and Margarita, and an LTO pack of the summer seasonal Smirnoff Ice Red, White & Berry.

The suggested retail price of the 12-packs is $15.99 each.

Puerto de Indias Strawberry Gin

Puerto de Indias, a strawberry gin from Seville, Spain, has established a team of state managers to guide the launch and expansion of the company’s gin in the U.S.

This February, Puerto de Indias Strawberry Gin will arrive stateside in New York, Florida and Illinois. The newly established team, lead by industry veteran Mike Ginley, includes two state managers in both the New York and Florida markets and one state manager in Illinois. In their role, the state managers will liaise with the Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits distributor team to introduce and develop the brand in the three launch markets.

“I am thrilled to lead this enthusiastic team of Puerto de Indias state managers at this exciting time,” said Ginley. “2019 marks the debut of this game-changing gin in the U.S. Our team has a breadth and depth of industry experience that has allowed us to hit the ground running. We are thrilled to play a key role in establishing the brand’s footprint beginning in FL, NY & IL with plans to expand to new markets throughout the year.”

Puerto de Indias is a blend of citrus and juniper gin with distilled strawberries. The result is a gin. Puerto de Indias is distributed by Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits.  It retails for a suggested price of $26.99 per 750-ml bottle.

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