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Top Ten: New spirit launches in August

Super premium Colombian rum, rye whiskey and tonic bitters lead our global lineup of the top ten new spirit launches in August.

La Hechicera Top Ten spirits August
Super premium rum brand La Hechicera has been insistent on keeping its price tag low

Every month we will delve back through our archives and note the most innovative, trendy and sometimes wacky launches by spirit producers around the world.

As the spirits world edges further and further towards premium and super premium products, we noticed the bulk of launches last month were targeted at the higher end of the drinks market.

But while some new products attached hefty price tags such as US$950 for a bottle of nautical-themed whisky, others were insistent on keeping them low to attract middle market consumers looking to upgrade their choice of spirit brand.

Take a flick through our pick of the top launches of the last month, but if you feel we’ve missed anything out, feel free to let us know at

La Hechicera rum

La Hechicera in UK launch
The Columbian premium rum brand is gearing up for a UK launch ahead of a global roll-out across Europe and the Americas next year.

Blended from rums aged for between 12 to 21 years in American white oak casks, La Hechicera (40% abv) is making its global debut having been produced by the Riascos family in Barranquilla, Colombia for over 20 years.

The brand takes its inspiration from Colombia’s natural landscape, and the biodiversity of the Caribbean.

“Alchemy is at the heart of La Hechicera’s brand story,” the company said. “it reflects the culture of myth and magic that permeates the everyday world of magical realism, which is why alchemy is a natural fit for this brand. It pays homage to a nation – a celebration of Colombian femininity and strength of topography, geography and botany.”

In London the brand is targeting high-end bars, with a price tag of £38 for a 70cl bottle in the off-trade.

Thomas Henry bitters The Bitter TruthThe Bitter Truth – Thomas Henry Tonic Bitters
The latest release from German producer The Bitter Truth, Thomas Henry Tonic Bitters is an homage to the accepted Mancunian creator of carbonated water, and is now available in the UK through distributor Love Drinks.

With an abv of 43% and botanicals including Sicilian lemon, orange, grapefruit, juniper and coriander,the bitters has been created to match perfectly with gin and sparkling tonic.

For more information on Thomas Henry Tonic Bitters, click here.

Darnley's Spiced Gin

Darnley’s View Spiced Gin

Wemyss Malts has released a follow up to its successful Darnley’s Gin with a spiced variety, distilled with a total of ten botanicals including juniper, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Bottled with an abv of 42.5% abv – to complement the warming, spiced botanicals – Darnley’s View Spiced Ginis a small batch, five times distilled London Dry gin.

William Wemyss, managing director of Wemyss Malts, said:“We are thrilled with the new Darnley’s View Spiced Gin. It will provide a unique, yet complementary addition to the Darnley’s View range and bring a new dimension to the dynamic premium gin market.’’

We expect a great reaction to Wemyss Malt’s latest gin release, especially considering Darnley’s View classic gin won a Gold Medal in The Spirit Business’s Gin Masters in 2011.

The Balvenie Caribbean Cask

The Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14 Year Old
Having enjoyed a good run in the US, The Balvenie Caribbean Cask 14 Year Old is now available in the UK market, pleasing long-term fans of the Speyside single malt brand.

Finished for up to five months in American oak casks that once contained a bespoke blend of three Caribbean rums, The Balvenie Caribbean Cask is to be a permanent addition to the brand’s range.

Created by Master distiller David Stewart, the single malt whisky is now available in the UK for £42, with distribution by First Drinks.

For more information about The Balvenie Caribbean Cask14 Year Old, click here.

El Cartel tequila gold flakes

El Cartel Tequila
Fresh from an appearance at the 2012 London Olympic Games and BET Awards, El Cartel Tequila is causing waves both Stateside and in the UK with its patented suspended gold flakes.

The super premium Tequila endorsed by Latino music star Daddy Yankee is made from 100% blue agave and aged for a minimum of 11 years, while silver and gold flakes hang suspended in the liquid for a sparkling look.

Creator Mark Scialdone said: “With a name like Cartel, we definitely keep it gangsta. And with its look, people are going to say ‘What is that?’ That’s what we want. It’s cool to order and cool to drink.”

For more information on El Cartel Tequila, click here.

Knob Creek Rye whiskey

Knob Creek Rye whiskey
Beam’s very own Fred Noe has picked up on North America’s insatiable appetite for rye whiskey and released his own rye version of Knob Creek.

Around 100 years since it was last popular in the States (Prohibition forced moonshiners to turn to the sweeter notes of bourbon to get their fix), rye whiskey has enjoyed a phenomenal rise in interest.

As such, Knob Creek Rye has been bottled at 100 proof (50% abv) with a “bigger, bolder flavour”, and carries an RRP of US$40.99 for a 750ml bottle.

For more information on Knob Creek Rye, click here.

Giffard Triple Sec syrup

Giffard Triple Sec syrup
French liqueurs and syrups specialist Giffard has created a new non-alcoholic Triple Sec Syrup for its range, specifically designed to create non-alcoholic cocktails such as Margaritas and Cosmopolitans.

A pure sugar syrup made from natural orange extracts with distinctive notes of orange zest, Giffard Triple Sec Syrup balances the orange bitterness and sugar sweetness for a refreshing citrus taste.

It is available in 100cl bottles.

Enigma Suisse Vert

Enigma Verte Suisse absinthe
Liqueurs de France (LDF) has released a new addition to its Enigma absinthe range, produced in small batches at the artisanal distillery of Matter-Luginbühl in Switzerland.

Distilled from artemisia absinthium, green anise, mint and fennel, Enigma Verte Suisse is intended to appeal to those looking for an absinthe with plenty of wormwood flavour.

Ian Hutton, director of Liqueurs de France, Enigma’s brand owner said: “Enigma Verte Suisse has been launched to complement our existing French absinthes, Enigma verte and Enigma blanche. Our aim is to provide the on and off trade with the very best selection of premium absinthes. Bars and retailers can be confident that if they select an Enigma
absinthe they will be providing their customers with the finest hand crafted products.”

Enigma Verte Suisse has an abv of 65% and carries an RRP of £64.99 for a 70cl bottle, although 20cl bottles are also available.

Yellow Rose Texas bourbon

Yellow Rose Outlaw Texas bourbon
Emerging Houston micro-distillery Yellow Rose has released it first bourbon – deemed to be the first of its kind in Texas.

Distilled in traditional pot stills and aged in small barrels, Yellow Rose Outlaw bourbon whiskey is now available in Spec liqour stores in the Houston area, but is likely to gain wider distribution around the state in the near future.

“We chose the name Outlaw because this bourbon breaks traditional bourbon laws just like the outlaws of the old west,” said master distiller Troy Smith.

For more information on Yellow Rose Outlaw bourbon whiskey, click here.

John Walker Odyssey whisky

John Walker & Sons Odyssey whisky
This new release from John Walker & Sons is based upon a recipe created by Sir Alexander Walker, the grandson of John Walker, 80 years ago.

Taking inspiration from the ‘the golden era of sea travel’, John Walker Odyssey is a triple malt Scotch, aged in European oak casks.

It has been initially launched at Singapore Changi and Shanghai Pudong airports, with an RRP of US$950, but will receive a global roll out in the near future.

For more information on John Walker & Sons Odyssey, click here.

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