Top 10 spirit launches in AprilBy Andy Young
From Pimm’s to whisky and from craft gin to Playboy Vodka, April saw a wide range of new products launched.
Drinks giant Diageo released its first-ever Pimm’s special edition in April with Pimm’s Blackberry and Elderflower will be released in 700ml and one-litre formats in the UK on- and off-trade from the end of April.
In the whisky world Bowmore continued its recent innovations work, with the release of Tempest 4. This is the latest in a series of small batch, cask strength whiskies from the Islay distillery.
In all areas of the drinks industry “craft” appears to be the boom area and gin is no different. Created by Ross William Butler on his speedboat while docked in London Docklands, Butler’s Gin was inspired by a Victorian recipe and launched in April.
And the Playboy brand continued its expansion through a range of consumer goods, with the launch of Playboy vodka. The super-premium vodka is produced in the Philippines by VuQo
Click through the following pages to find out more about these and other spirits launched in April.
Beefeater Burrough’s Reserve
Chivas Brothers has announced the launch of Beefeater Burrough’s Reserve, an ultra-premium sipping gin matured in Jean de Lillet oak barrels designed to “redefine” the category.
Based on a recipe developed by Beefeater founder James Burrough in the 1860s, Burrough’s Reserve is hand crafted using the distiller’s original copper ‘Still Number 12’, which has a small capacity of 268 litres.
Current master distiller Desmond Payne has recreated the gin from Burrough’s original recipe to create a gin with a pale gold appearance and slight oaky character.
Chivas Brothers describes the 43% abv release as having a long and complex finish with subtle citrus, juniper and gentle spice flavours.
The first permanent addition to the Beefeater portfolio since Beefeater 24 in 2008, Burrough’s Reserve will be launched initially into Spain in June before rolling out to the UK in late June and the US in October.
A limited amount will be released globally each year in an individually numbered, round glass bottle designed to stand out from the existing range.
Number One Drinks Co has released 41 bottles of Karuizawa 1960 Cask #5627, the “world’s oldest and rarest Japanese whisky”, at £12,500 each.
Aged in sherry oak hogsheads and bottled at 53.2% abv, Karuizawa 1960 is presented in a case modeled after traditional Japanese puzzle boxes that have been handcrafted by a British cabinetmaker and adorned with pieces from the original cask head.
The label’s handmade paper is embellished by multi-award winning calligrapher Soji Noshimoto, while every bottle is named after the individual netsuke – miniature wooden sculptures – that hangs from its neck, emphasising the uniquity of each bottle.
The release is described as having a mossy nose that evokes “old woods in Autumn”, and a palate of “dense black fruits”.
Karuizawa 1960 Cask #5627 is available in the UK from The Whisky Exchange at £12,500 per bottle. La Maison du Whisky, Magny International and Whisk-e are responsible for distribution in France, Taiwan and Japan respectively.
Glen Deveron Royal Burgh
Bacardi is launching the Glen Deveron Royal Burgh collection of single malt whiskies as a travel retail exclusive.
Launching in partnership with World Duty Free Group (WDFG), Glen Deveron Royal Burgh is a series of three single malts including a 16-year-old, 20-year-old and 30-year-old.
The three expressions have been created using rare, previously unreleased whisky aged in sherry casks from the distillery’s private reserves.
They will be available in WDFG stores from the end of April with an RRP of £40.99 for the 16-year-old (one-litre), and £150 for the 30-year-old (700ml).
Pimm’s Blackberry and Elderflower
The first ever Pimm’s special edition – Pimm’s Blackberry and Elderflower – will launch in the UK this summer.
A blend of Pimm’s No. 6 Vodka Cup with blackberry and elderflower flavours, Pimm’s Blackberry and Elderflower will be released in 700ml and one-litre formats in the UK on- and off-trade from the end of April.
In addition, an RTD format is being rolled out exclusively for the on-trade.
The launch is being supported by an integrated marketing campaign with TV advertising from May accompanied by digital, print and social media campaigns.
Diageo recommends serving Pimm’s Blackberry and Elderflower with lemonade and ice, with a garnish of fresh blackberries or a wedge of lime.
Herradura Coleccion de la Casa
Tequila Herradura has released Coleccion de la Casa, Reserva 2012, Port Cask Finish – the first in a series of unique small-batch Tequilas that it hopes will “fill a niche” for drinkers.
The underlying force driving the Coleccion de la Casa series is innovation and Herradura feels the two-barrel finish of Reserva 2012 – resting first in a medium-char American oak barrel for 11 months before being transferred to a port cask from the Duroro Valley region in Portugal – is a fitting way to start the line.
Crafted by master distiller Maria Teresa Lara, the double-maturation of the Port Cask Finish has imbued the tequila with “hints of port, plum and pepper” as well as undertones of dark chocolate.
Just 2,000 cases of Coleccion de la Casa Port Cask Finish have been produced and are available at fine wine and spirits stores in the US, with a limited number also available in Mexico, at a suggested retail price of US$89.99 per case.
A new small-batch Tequila in the Coleccion de la Casa will be released each year.
Britain’s craft gin renaissance is continuing with the launch of Butler’s Gin. Created by Ross William Butler on his speedboat while docked in London Docklands, Butler’s Gin cites coriander, cloves, star anise, fennel, lemongrass, cardamom, lemon and lime amongst its botanicals.
Inspired by a Victorian recipe, the spirit is infused with its organic botanicals in a 20-litre glass jar for 18 hours before bottling.
Hand-signed bottles are available for RRP £31.50 from butlersgin.co.uk.
Sauza Sparkling Margaritas
Beam Inc is encouraging more female drinkers into the Tequila category with the launch of a new line of Sauza Sparkling Margaritas.
Presented in sleek Champagne-style bottles, the new range is a carbonated pre-mixed blend of Sauza Silver Tequila with triple sec available in three flavours: Original Lime, Wild Berry and Mango Peach.
The new line is launching this month in the US at an RRP of US$12.99 for a 750ml bottle and $7.99 for a 375ml bottle.
Playboy Enterprises is gearing up to launch a super-premium Playboy Vodka with Philippines producer VuQo.
Set for launch in late 2013, Playboy Vodka will be a luxury spirit available exclusively in Australia and Asia, including Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
Produced in the Philippines by VuQo, which makes VuQo Vodka, the world’s only coconut-distilled vodka, Playboy Vodka is described as a “smooth and crisp” spirit that will “appeal to both Playboy and Vodka enthusiasts alike”.
Rolling Stones Crystal Head Vodka
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of legendary rock band The Rolling Stones, actor Dan Aykroyd has commissioned a special bottling of his Crystal Head Vodka.
The limited edition Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary Gift Set is being released in a partnership between Crystal Head Vodka – the official vodka for the band’s 50th anniversary – and Universal Music Canada ahead of Father’s Day in North America (16 June).
The limited edition gift set, which is available for US$89.95, features an iconic bottle of Crystal Head Vodka with an interchangeable crystal decanter top engraved with The Rolling Stones lip-and-tongue tattoo. Also included is an exclusive 2-CD compilation of live Rolling Stones hits, a bottle tattoo featuring the 50th anniversary logo, and handcrafted display case featuring a real zipper reminiscent of the Sticky Fingers album cover.
Bowmore Tempest 4
Islay’s oldest distillery has announced the release of highly anticipated Bowmore Tempest 4, the latest in the series of small batch, cask strength single malts.
Bowmore Tempest 4 is “a true product of its environment” and aged for a decade in first-fill bourbon casks.
Less than 2,000 cases will be released worldwide from May, priced at £49.99 in the UK.
At the end of last year Bowmore unveiled Islay’s oldest single malt, Bowmore 1957, in a bottle inspired “by the crashing waves beyond the distillery walls”.