Pernod Ricard creates craft Canadian whisky Pike CreekBy Becky Paskin
Pernod Ricard is entering the craft whisky category with the launch of Pike Creek, a small batch Canadian whisky.
Having spotted the rise in popularity of crafted Canadian whisky, Pernod Ricard USA has produced a blended whisky aged in Bourbon barrels and finished in vintage port casks at warehouses in Pike Creek, Ontario.
The whisky is set for distribution across key States in the US, including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Colorado, Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, North Carolina, New York, New Hampshire.
“Premium craft whisky growth is very strong and accelerating while ultra-premium Canadian Whisky is up 18%,” said Wayne Hartunian, vice president for whiskies and Cognacs, Pernod Ricard USA, citing Nielsen data to the year ending 22 December 2012. “Many whisky drinkers are seeking interesting, new and unique brands to trade up to. Pike Creek has a very unique story to capitalize on this growing trend.”
Last month Pierre Pringuet, CEO of Pernod Ricard, told The Spirits Business that the group was looking at craft spirits “very carefully”. During the group’s presentation of its half-year financial results, Pringuet said to “not be surprised to see new initiatives” from Pernod in the near future.
However, it’s uncertain whether Pringuet’s allusions were to Pike Creek or another brand yet to be released. It’s thought that considering the recent rise in demand for craft spirits, Pernod may look into creating a raft of new small-batch brands.
Pike Creek is described as having notes of dried fruit, spice and toffee on the nose with flavours of sweet port, vanilla and rye on the palate.
“In Pike Creek’s non-climate controlled warehouse, the dramatic swings in temperature play a key role in the whisky’s maturation process,” added Hartunian. “Our wood barrels contract during cold winter months and expand during the summer, maximizing the interaction of the whisky and the wood.
“This interaction with the barrels adds character, complexity and concentrated flavors to the whisky, resulting in a one-of-a kind product distinctive to Pike Creek.”
Pike Creek will be available for US$31.99 for a 750ml bottle.
Pernod’s Canadian whisky stable includes Wiser’s, which it took over from McCormick Distilling in the US last summer.