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The Macallan Launches Lunar New Year Gift Set

The Macallan has put out a new limited-edition gift set for the Double Cask 12 Years Old to celebrate the forthcoming Lunar New Year. Now in its third year, the Year of the Rat package joins the annual series to commemorate the zodiac on the Chinese calendar. 

Containing two bottles of The Macallan Double Cask 12 Years Old, the Lunar New Year gift box and label display traditional knots with an artistic representation of the rat zodiac symbol. The center of the knot is red and gold: traditional colors in Lunar New Year celebrations. A symbol of longevity and eternity, knots have a long history and symbolic meaning within Asian culture.

The Macallan Double Cask 12 Years Old limited edition Lunar New Year pack is available nationwide for a suggested retail price of $140 per pack.

The Macallan Double Cask 12 Years Old has a nose of butterscotch, candied orange and vanilla custard, the company says, before a palate of honey, spices and citrus, with raisins and caramel notes.

Johnnie Walker Blue Label Releases ‘Year of the Rat’ Bottle

Celebrating the Chinese New Year, Johnnie Walker Blue Label has unveiled its limited-edition ‘Year of the Rat’ bottle.

The brand puts out a special bottle every year to mark the occasion.

The current design, by artist Shirley Gong, depicts the “wit, entrepreneurship and adaptability of this intelligent creature and heralds the opportunity and good fortune the Rat’s arrival signifies,” the company says.

Johnnie Walker Blue Label is a blend of single malt and grain whiskies from various Scotland distilleries, including Caol Isla, Benrinnes, Cardhu, Clynelish and the ‘ghost’ distillery Port Dundas. The Scotch matures in sherry casks.

On the palate is dried fruits and citrus smoke, the company says, followed by notes of honey, sweet spice and vanilla, before a smoky finish with chocolate.

Johnnie Walker Blue Label Year of the Rat is available nationwide at retailers for a suggested price of $249.99 per 750-ml. bottle.

Pabst Brewing Unveils First Craft Beer, Seabird IPA

As more macro beer brands expand their portfolios in the age of craft, Pabst Brewing Company has announced the release of Seabird IPA.

Made in the style of craft beer, Seabird is a session IPA, 4.5% ABV and 45 IBUs, with Magnum, Citra, Cascade and Mosaic hops. It comes in four-packs of 16-oz. cans that, for now, are available only in Wisconsin and greater Chicago.

The beer’s name derives from Captain Fredrick Pabst’s last steamship. “The Seabird” grounded in 1863 during a storm. Shaken from the experience, Captain Pabst gave up a seamen’s life and took up brewing, the company says.

“We’re lucky enough to be the stewards of so many great, classic American trademarks. But none of those marks really highlight the person or the people that founded the original brands,” says Matt Bruhn, Pabst general manager. “We thought creating something new, based on someone who played such an integral part in pioneering brewing in this country, was a really romantic and deserving story that consumers would be interested in hearing.”

As part of this product launch, the Pabst taproom in Milwaukee will reopen in March as the newly renamed Captain Pabst’s Pilot House. It will focus on craft beer styles, including the company’s new Captain Pabst Signature Series beer line. The Pilot House will also include spirits production.

How JJ’S Built an Experience-Based Retail Business

JJ’s Wine, Spirits & Cigars General Manager Zac Johnson and Founder Tom Slattery.

You can track the evolution of JJ’s Wine, Spirits & Cigars in three stages: JJ’s 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0. That is how owner Tom Slattery thinks of his Sioux Falls, SD-based business, and how much it has grown and changed since 1998.

Retail Evolution

JJ’s 1.0 would have a hard time recognizing its current iteration. First opened in 1998 by Founder Tom Howes, JJ’s 1.0 wasn’t even its own shop. Howes specialized in convenience stores. Recognizing a retail need in the Sioux Falls community for high-end wine and spirits, he allocated space in his newest convenience store for those beverage alcohol products.

To develop and run this section of the business, Howes recruited Slattery.

Years passed. In the summer of 2005, after significant growth in alcohol sales and also in their Sioux Falls community, Howes and Slattery saw opportunity for a standalone retail shop. Howes owned property to the south of his convenience store. That’s where he constructed a two-business building: space for the 6,000-square-foot JJ’s 2.0, plus a second tenant.

Slattery managed JJ’s 2.0. When Slattery turned 40 in 2010, Howes presented his longtime employee with the opportunity of a lifetime. Slattery could buy JJ’s. With the assistance of a willing bank and good friends, Slattery and his wife put the deal together. The business re-opened under new ownership in 2011.

“From there on, we continued the trajectory of double-digit growth towards the end of 2013,” Slattery recalls. “Then that year we were facing a major road construction in front of the business that, frankly, almost put me under. That’s when I decided the business needed to be less about bottles and boxes, and more about experiences for the customer. I began developing a more experience-based business model.”

In an additional the construction challenge, the coffee shop adjacent to JJ’s 2.0 caused parking problems in their little parking lot. Slattery knew it was time for a big change.

Developing Experiences

The rise of American whiskey and JJ’s coincide. Slattery remembers the days when he had cases of Pappy Van Winkle and W. L. Weller that nobody wanted to buy. “Our entire state’s allocation was coming to me,” he recalls. When Slattery was negotiating for the store in 2010, he had to put these world-class whiskeys on sale for $99.99 each, in order to deplete inventory in advance of his business purchase.

How times have changed. And Slattery was perceptive in noticing this change. He leaned into the brown spirits boom to help fuel his business’ evolution into JJ’s 3.0. 

In 2014, as Slattery was developing ideas for his experience-based business, he visited Kentucky for his first single-barrel store pick. “I was hesitant because it was so expensive, but I knew I needed to develop something that was unique to us,” he recalls.

He brought back 146 bottles of Knob Creek Single Barrel Select. They sold out in about 45 days. “From then on, I was hooked,” Slattery says.

Trips to Kentucky for single-barrel picks became a tradition for Slattery, his staff, family, friends and even customers. In 2018, Slattery invited some customers to come with him. They kicked in cash and together chartered a private plane. 

Altogether it goes towards the differentiator that JJ’s is not your average retail store. More than just shopping, it’s a place where customers can have unique and authentic experiences. 

“Everybody comes back from Kentucky with a story to tell,” Slattery explains. “And the more people you can take on a trip, the more stories you can tell.” 

JJ’s 3.0

In search of a better business location, Slattery reached out to a developer in 2017. He preferred to stay locally, as “our neighborhood is our blood.”

Construction began in October of 2017 on a new, 15,000-square-foot store. Filling that much space with inventory was not the best use of money, Slattery decided, so he bought an on-premise license and also opened a cocktail bar inside of JJ’s 3.0. The new store opened in June 2018.

JJ’s 3.0. The new store opened in June 2018.

And as the Kentucky trips increased in frequency — bringing back more bottles across more brands — JJ’s staff could now serve cocktails made with JJ’s single-barrel whiskey. The store also boasts a tap system with 16 beers, including 10 brewed within 21 miles of the business.

“What we’re doing now is an entirely experienced-based business concept,” Slattery says. “We want to elevate people’s experiences, whether they’re shopping, or drinking cocktails, going to events here, or are buying our drinks at private events.”

To that end, JJ’s is developing local relationships to serve alcohol at offsite events. This includes a local concert series organized through the Levitt Foundation, helping promote performance arts in the Sioux Falls area. Over the course of 27 summer concerts, JJ’s offered attendees a full array of cocktails and local craft beer, served from a draft trailer. 

“I hired 45 additional staff for this,” Slattery says. More than just serving alcohol, JJ’s took on a large role in organizing the concerts. “It goes back to the core mission of elevating the customer experience,” Slattery explains. “And it allowed us to be a part of something cool in an area of town where we don’t have much of a brand presence.”

Through other creative projects, JJ’s 3.0 was able to grow its brand even more.

The Boozy Bakery

Among the more notable parts of the store is The Boozy Bakery. 

Opened in July of 2018 under the management of Slattery’s wife Jean, the bakery runs a full kitchen with gas and convection ovens. As you might guess from its name, this bakery specializes in recipes that incorporate alcohol. It took some legislative wrangling, Slattery recalls, but the result is a unique in-store asset. 

Best-sellers include caramel Bailey’s brownies, and bourbon pecan mini pies. Customers can also purchase whole cakes, bunt cakes, brownies, cupcakes, mini cakes and more — all made with alcohol. Around the holidays, seasonal specials include boozy lemon tarts and creme de menthe mousse.

The Boozy Bakert

“In addition to the traditional ways of baking cakes and brownies with alcohol, we also brush cakes with booze, and use it in the filling between layers,” explains Jean, who previously ran a catering business. 

The bakery also produces non-alcoholic cookies and brownies for customers’ kids, or anybody who prefers no-ABV. Gluten-free options are also available. One member of the baking staff is in charge of making food ordered from JJ’s bar. This is mostly flatbread pizzas, cold dips and cheese boards — all made freshly onsite. The bar fare is also pared with specific wines and other drinks. 

Jean and her staff advertise The Boozy Bakery through social media. “Most people who come into JJ’s looking to buy booze, not dessert,” she explains, “so we’ve had to drive up our own business through Facebook, which has worked very well.”

This includes raffle giveaways of mini cheesecakes, with prizes going to people who correctly answer a Facebook quiz.

“In addition to the traditional ways of baking cakes and brownies with alcohol, we also brush cakes with booze, and use it in the filling between layers,” says Jean Slattery, who runs the bakery.

Throwing Axes

After moving out of the space for JJ’s 2.0, Slattery still held the lease for that nearby building. He researched possibilities for the extra space, and, naturally, landed on axe throwing.

That’s how JJ’s Axes & Ales was born. A “$5 Uber ride away” from the current retail location, the old space now contains three axe-throwing cages with two targets apiece. Legally, each cage can hold up to 10 people.

“We sell beer and wine there on-premise,” Slattery says. “Initially, we had contemplated selling beer off-premise from there as well. But it became clear that nobody wanted to stop at an axe-throwing venue on their way home from work to pick up beer at retail.”

Well-established rules govern the axe throwing. Everybody first signs a waiver. Anyone who shows up intoxicated is turned away. Participants are limited in how much they can drink directly before and during the activity. Axe throwing takes place in a controlled environment, under the supervision of a certified instructor. 

Staff and Training

Staff education at JJ’s 3.0 emphasizes tastings. “We rely on our distribution reps to bring in new products, and revisit those that are on the shelves that new employees haven’t tried yet,” says General Manager Zac Johnson. “We’ll get together and jot down notes and discuss the products: What exactly is it, why those flavor profiles, and so on.”

“Whether or not you like a product is irrelevant,” Johnson continues. “Everyone’s taste profile is different. You’ll find things you don’t care for, but you should not be so close-minded that you cannot turn other people onto it.”

Education continues when staff goes on Kentucky trips for barrel picks. “It engages employees and helps keep them around,” Johnson says. “They come back with stories to share with customers. And that gives the customers confidence that we know what we’re talking about.”

When seeking new staff, JJ’s looks for people eager to learn. Staff willing to buy into the industry, and keep up with its constant evolution. 

When seeking new staff, JJ’s looks for people eager to learn. Staff willing to buy into the industry, and keep up with its constant evolution. 

“We want people who are flexible, who will put in the time and understand that it is not immediate gratification,” Johnson says.  

About 90% of JJ’s employees have been on staff for at least eight months. A few, like Johnson, are approaching their two-and-a-half-to-three-year mark.

Local Customer Service 

JJ’s staff learns to ask a lot of questions to determine exactly what the customer wants. This includes what styles or varietals they prefer, price points, food pairings and whether it’s a gift for somebody.

Working for a small business within a small community, JJ’s employees know many of the customers from outside of the store. It helps staff pick out the perfect gifts.

“We put a big emphasis on developing friendships,” Johnson says. “We know what many people in the community like to drink. We can recommend gifts. We know what is and isn’t in their collections.”

“People outside of the store will say ‘hi’ to me and my fiancé,” he adds. “It’s cool, because we’re building a community within a community. We’re interacting within the town and becoming friends with everybody.”

Handling Whiskey Allocations

Nine months ago, JJ’s launched Whisk(e)y Wednesdays. Led by Johnson, this includes whiskey education, along with half-priced whiskey flights at the bar. Tips from these days are donated to local charities. Johnson also writes a blog on the JJ’s website as part of the promotion.

“These are some of my most rewarding days,” he says. “It evolved from product tastings to now we’re using our bar with 300 opened bottles. We pick different pairings each week, whether that’s flavor profiles or a specific distillery. Several customers have been down to Kentucky, and I always love to hear what they have to say.”

“It’s an engaging experience for everybody,” Johnson adds. “People can appreciate what they’re drinking a little bit more.”

JJ’s has further tapped into the popularity of whiskey with how the store handles allocated bottles. Rather than a raffle or auction, the business has set up a points system that rewards its most loyal customers.

Rather than a raffle or auction, the business has set up a points system for allocated whiskey, which rewards its most loyal customers.

JJ’s assigns points to certain bottles, with store-pick single-barrels typically worth the most. Through POS software, Slattery keeps track of who buys what, and how many points they have earned. Customers who accrue the most points receive dibs on allocated bottles.

In this way, JJ’s makes ensures that rare whiskeys go out to the most loyal customers, who have displayed the greatest interest in the category.

Once a customer buys an allocated bottle, they cannot purchase that same product for five years. But they continue collecting points, with the ability to buy other allocated SKUs. And JJ’s sells these highly sought-after whiskeys at regular retail price.

“I could obviously turn a larger profit on these bottles, but instead I’m adding on profit through other activity,” Slattery says. Like pointing more customers towards the single-barrel program, where JJ’s enjoys excellent margins.

“When you hold an auction or a raffle for these products, you’re not cultivating a relationship with your customers,” Slattery says. “With our point system, we’re really getting to know people.”

What’s Next

JJ’s 3.0 also contains a 120-square-foot walk-in cigar humidor, plus a 1,200-square-foot event space. The store rents out this flexible space for private parties and events, while also hosting winemaker dinners and new-product expos, helping introduce customers to more brands. 

“We’re not filling the event space to capacity yet,” says Slattery, “but we’re doing enough there to keep us busy.”

Given the experience-based business model of JJ’s 3.0, it’s only a matter of time before this space becomes another consistent way that the store elevates alcohol retail for its customers.

Kyle Swartz is editor of Beverage Dynamics magazine. Reach him at kswartz@epgmediallc.com or on Twitter @kswartzz. Read his recent piece Does Terroir Matter in Whiskey?

Tequila Partida Single Barrel Reserve

Tequila Partida has announced the release of their first nationally available Single Barrel Reserve bottling.

The spirit is available on the market this month, and is made with 100% Blue Weber Agave.

“The Single Barrel is a unique expression of our Reposado and meets the high standards of Tequila Partida our consumers expect,” says Maestro Tequilero José Valdez. “We sampled 108 barrels twice — at three months and again at five months — and the results were 30 exceptionally unique barrels, separated into three agave-forward and delicious tasting profiles.” Valdez then numbers and signs each bottle for the final touch.

Aged a minimum of six months in white American oak with medium char, Valdez created three separate tasting profiles for each barrel: Ligero, Medio and Intenso. Each profile offers different levels of color intensity, flavors and aromas.

All three flavor profiles explore the versatility of reposado, the company says. Ligero offers notes of fresh agave, maple syrup, toasted oak and caramel; Medio provides flavors of cooked agave, vanilla and butter; and Intenso, dried fruit, nuts and coffee.

The Single Barrel Reserve will have a limited nationwide availability at a suggested retail price of $54.99 per 750-ml. bottle.

Elysian Brewing Contact Haze

Elysian Brewing has launched Contact Haze, a hazy, unfiltered, flavor-forward New England IPA.

“New generations of beer drinkers seek complex and unique flavor experiences, which has fueled the extraordinary rise of hazy IPAs,” says Elysian General Manager Kyle Fitzsimmons. “We concentrated all our brewing experience on making Contact Haze delicious and approachable. This is a social and shareable beer, perfect for any occasion.”

Double dry hopped in fermentation, this beer is brewed to keep the haze in suspension during its entire shelf life, the company says. Elysian brewers used a combination of Southern Passion, Sabro, El Dorado, Mosaic, Citra, and Sultana hops.

Elysian Brewing Contact Haze is 6% ABV, and is available on shelves this month.

Packaging options include six-pack 12-oz. and 16-oz. cans, and Elysian’s first-ever can variety pack: a 12-pack mix including Space Dust IPA and Superfuzz Blood Orange Pale, which will be available in spring 2020.

Contact Haze is also on tap at all Elysian breweries. 

Old Forrester Single Barrel Program Adds 100 Proof, Barrel Strength

Customers who purchase full barrels from Old Forester will now have more options.

The brand announced today an expansion of its single barrel program to include both 100 proof and unfiltered barrel strength whiskeys.

“Since our founding 150 years ago, we’ve always listened to our customers and looked for ways to innovate to meet their tastes,” explains Jackie Zykan, Old Forrester master distiller. “Proof and filtration are both really important factors in the final flavor and complexity of a whisky, and we wanted to be able to share how special some of these barrels are when the product inside is tasted in raw form.”

Barrels that produce 100 proof bourbon will yield approximately 200 bottles at a suggested retail price of $49.99 per 750-ml.

Depending on the proof, barrel strength bottles will yield approximately 160 bottles at a suggested retail price of $79.99 per 750-ml. bottle.

With this change, Old Forester’s 90 Proof Single Barrel offering will be eliminated.

“What I love about our Single Barrel program is the chance it gives me and the brand to connect with our fans one-on-one, creating a bespoke product that’s unique to their personal flavor profile,” says Zykan. “And with these updates, we have even more options to help our fans find their perfect fit.”

Currently there are no plans to move Old Forester’s Single Barrel program away from private “By the Barrel” purchases. Customers who are interested in purchasing a Single Barrel product can purchase a bottle from Old Forster Distilling Co., or from retailers who have hand-selected their own private barrels.

Kyle Swartz is editor of Beverage Dynamics magazine. Reach him at kswartz@epgmediallc.com or on Twitter @kswartzz. Read his recent piece, Does Terroir Matter in Whiskey?

St. Elder Pamplemousse and Blood Orange Liqueurs

M.S. Walker has introduced two new expressions in its St. Elder line of liqueurs.

St. Elder Pamplemousse Artisanal Liqueur and St. Elder Blood Orange Artisanal Liqueur are currently rolling out throughout the U.S.

These two new products join St. Elder Natural Elderflower Liqueur.

On the palate, St. Elder Pink Grapefruit Artisanal Liqueur offers notes of citrus balanced by fruit and sweetness, the company says, while St. Elder Blood Orange Artisanal Liqueur has a bittersweet, citrus-forward profile.

St. Elder Pink Grapefruit Artisanal Liqueur and St. Elder Blood Orange Artisanal Liqueur both will be widely available across the country with an suggested retail price of $19.99 per 750-ml. bottle.

Drizly Announces Alcohol Delivery Partnership with Spec’s in TX

The digital alcohol delivery company Drizly continues to expand its relationship with alcohol retailers nationwide. Today the company announced a new partnership with Spec’s, one of Texas’ leading beverage alcohol retailers.

The deal immediately adds 55 more stores to the Drizly platform, enabling the fast-expanding company to serve an additional three million adults of legal drinking age throughout the Lone Star State.

The new relationship with Spec’s allows Drizly — which more than doubled the number of stores on its marketplace in 2019 — to offer 7,000-plus of their products to Drizly customers; bring online ordering and delivery of beer, wine and liquor in under 60 minutes to El Paso and Corpus Christi for the first time; and to expand delivery and product selection throughout Dallas, Houston, Austin and San Antonio.

“My grandparents founded Spec’s over 50 years ago on a promise to always do best for our shoppers, and Drizly makes it easy and convenient for shoppers today to enjoy all that Spec’s has to offer,” says Lisa Rydman, third-generation family at Spec’s. “As the leader in online alcohol e-commerce, Drizly was the natural fit to bring our vast inventory right to our customers’ fingertips and provide them with the convenience of delivery right to their homes and offices.”

Consumers of legal drinking age can visit Drizly.com or download the Drizly app (App Store and Google Play) to get beer, wine and spirits delivered in under an hour.

“Spec’s is synonymous with the best in alcohol retail in Texas and we are honored to partner with them to bring the convenience of alcohol delivery in under 60 minutes to even more consumers throughout the state,” says Blaine Grinna, Director of Retailer Development at Drizly. “This partnership further proves that the time for retailers to get into alcohol e-commerce is now. We’re thrilled to be working with Spec’s to expand their customer base and take our already strong presence in the state to the next level.”

This comes as Drizly recently announced news of a partnership with Shop Rite & Tobacco of Louisiana.

Interview: Why Diageo Invested in No-ABV Alcohol

“Wellness” is one of the most talked about consumer trends in 2020. People have become increasingly conscious about what they put into their bodies. A growing offshoot of this cross-category movement is the rise of no-ABV alcohol. Led by products like Seedlip, these mimic the flavors, aromas and mixability of alcohol products, but without the actual booze — or ABV-fueled calories.

Heidi Dillon Otto, portfolio director and non-alcoholic lead for Distill Ventures North America.

A newer brand making headlines in no-ABV is Ritual Zero Proof. Diageo recently announced an investment in this fast-expanding company. To understand how Diageo (which also invested in Seedlip) sees this category, and the strategies and demos behind no-ABV, we recently spoke with Heidi Dillon Otto, portfolio director and non-alcoholic lead for Distill Ventures North America (an incubator division of Diageo), and Marcus Sakey, founding partner and chief brand officer of Ritual Zero Proof.

Beverage Dynamics: What consumer trends are driving no-ABV?

Marcus Sakey: To me it’s a matter these days of people being more conscious in what they’re drinking — rather than just drinking more — and wanting options within that. We’re trying to give them higher-quality options, and higher standards, for no-ABV. This is better than just having a club soda with a squeeze of lime. Now you can make a cocktail that you know and love, and without the alcohol calories.

Marcus Sakey, founding partner and chief brand officer of Ritual Zero Proof.

Heidi Dillon Otto: Adding onto what Marcus said, Diageo did a study in 2017 and released on a white paper on the areas of consumer growth. We found that people were really looking for options, and had curiosity in flavors, with a greater focus on wellbeing. We just released a similar study from 2019, and that all still rings true, with the biggest story now being about consumer choice. ‘What do I want, where do I want it, and in what form do I want it?’

BD: So how does wellness tie into that?

HDO: Wellness is a trend you see around the globe, and you see it the most from the Millennial demo. It comes from having access; people have so much information now at their fingertips. Wellness is about choice and experience, with people now expecting so much more, because so much more information is accessible. They want a great beverage while also maintaining wellness.

MS: Once it occurs to people, there’s no backing off of it. There was a time when ‘no-alcohol’ meant coffee or coke. Now there’s a massive range of options.

BD: How do you design a product that mimics alcohol, but without the actual alcohol?

MS: We’re looking to be familiar yet different. We’ve recreated the familiar flavors so that people can have the cocktails they know and love, but without the calories. It leaves the choice in their hands. If you want to stay out later, Ritual makes for the perfect third drink.

Getting the flavors right wasn’t easy. The recipes went through 500 iterations. This is not whiskey with the whiskey part removed. That doesn’t work. We look at this more as a cooking process. It’s a matter of sourcing the best ingredients and mixing everything together carefully. This is as close as it is possible to get with gin and whiskey in their non-alcohol forms.

And I want to be clear. We’re not people who are against drinking alcohol. That couldn’t be further from the truth. We’re whiskey snobs. We have huge gin collections.

In our mind, it’s all about abundance. This is another option if you’re pregnant, in training, or looking to stay out longer by reducing your alcohol.

BD: Is no-ABV a trend? Or is this sticking around longer term?

MS: No-alcohol is not a trend. It’s a movement, because you’re giving consumers a choice to have something that’s adult, nuanced and also pairs well with food, all without the calories. This is not going away. It’s growing.

HDO: To the point about food pairings, non-alcohol products go with every food occasion, providing new and exciting experiences where alcohol can sometimes be limited during certain times of the day.

BD: What’s the demo behind non-ABV?

MS: It’s quite broad. The original interest was from Millennials, who started the whole trend of drinking less. But there’s also people in their 40s and older, who want to hang out with their kids while also having a cocktail, or be able to stay out longer.

Bartenders have been very receptive. The education for them is minimal. If you can make a cocktail with whiskey or gin, then you can make it with Ritual. It provides a ‘two-touch’ cocktail when bartenders are slammed. And a lot of bartenders have liked playing around with it.

High-end cocktail bars and destination restaurants, many of those places already have a no-ABV part of their menu. In 18 months, every restaurant that’s worth anything is going to have a no-ABV menu. These products are simply too widespread and too useful. Instead of just selling the same club soda over and over again at a low price, now restaurants and bars can sell a series of sophisticated cocktails at higher price points, which people are willing to pay.

Kyle Swartz is editor of Beverage Dynamics magazine. Reach him at kswartz@epgmediallc.com or on Twitter @kswartzz. Read his recent piece Does Terroir Matter in Whiskey?

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