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Top 10 spirit launches in May 2014

A plethora of sectors made waves in the spirits industry last month with a host of pioneering new releases – from category redefining rum to a royal single malt and prestigious blend.

Click through the following pages to see which new launches made waves in the spirits industry last month

Bacardi continued its mission to premiumise the white rum category in May with the unveiling of a new expression designed for sipping, while Northern Ireland welcomed its first craft gin and an unusual vodka bottle from Moldova turned a few heads in the UK.

In the brown spirits sector, Diageo enhanced the luxury credentials of its Johnnie Walker blended Scotch with the launch of a travel retail exclusive, Cognac Camus releases a 40-year-old bottling and the Speyside Distillery released a new Scotch whisky made exclusively available in some of the UK’s most famous royal palaces.

As Captain Morgan’s latest commemorative rum hot shelves in the US, New Amsterdam Vodka broke away from “category norms” with two new flavours and Stolichnaya targeted Moscow Mule lovers with a new RTD.

Click through the following pages to see our list of the top 10 spirit launches in May 2014.

Bacardi Gran Reserva Masetro de Ron

Bacardi-Gran-Reserva-Masetro-de-RonBacardi advanced its foray into the sipping rum sector last month with the unveiling of Bacardi Gran Reserva Masetro de Ron – a blend of rums aged for up to three years that have been filtered through coconut shell charcoal for a “superbly smooth” and “mellow” taste designed to be drunk neat or over ice.

The rum brand said that it hoped to premiumise the rum category “as a whole” with its new sipping expression, which carries an RRP of £36 for one litre. It will be launched into major airports around the world this summer supported by a Bacardi Cuban bar tasting concept.

Bacardi Gran Reserva Masetro de Ron’s launch follows that of the Facundo Rum Collection – a range of super-premium sipping rums revealed by Bacardi in November last year.

For more information, click here.

Shortcross Gin

Shortcross-GinNorthern Ireland’s first craft distillery, Rademon Estate Distillery released small batch Shortcross Gin last month.

Said to offer a classic yet contemporary flavour, the gin is made using a blend of botanicals that includes juniper, fresh apples, elderberries, wild clover, coriander, orange peel, lemon peel and cassia.

Bottled at 46% abv, Shortcross Gin is currently being distributed by James Nicholson Wine Merchants and is available online at at an RRP of £34.99 per 700ml bottle.

For more information, click here.

Firestarter Vodka

Firestarter-VodkaMoldovan vodka brand Firestarter unveiled its unusual and eye-catching fire extinguisher bottle design in the UK last month.

The vodka is infused with honey during final distillation, and is described as having a silky and sweet palate with a “great texture”.

The five-times distilled and three-times filtered vodka made from Eastern European wheat even comes with its own set of instructions for opening the bottle.

For more information, click here.

Captain Morgan 1671

Captain-Morgan-1671Diageo’s Captain Morgan 1671 Spiced Rum was launched to mark the historic sea battle at Panama City, in which the legendary captain himself lost five ships.

The release is the second limited edition commemorative bottle launched by the brand, following Captain Morgan Sherry Oak Finish Spiced Rum, which launched in July last year.

Captain Morgan 1671 Spiced Rum is created with a unique blend of spices, conjuring flavours of chocolate and dark fruit.

For more information, click here.

New Amsterdam Orange and Pineapple Vodka

New Amsterdam Orange and PineappleE&J Gallo’s New Amsterdam Vodka, which is the first vodka brand to reach one million case sales in its first year, released two flavoured bottlings in May which it claimed represented a “break from category norms”.

Amsterdam Orange and New Amsterdam Pineapple flavoured vodkas are described as being “distinct from competitors”.

For more information, click here.

John Walker & Sons Private Collection

John-Walker-&-Sons-Private-CollectionLast month, Diageo extended its “prestige” portfolio of Johnnie Walker blended Scotch whisky with the launch of the John Walker & Sons Private Collection.

The collection’s 2014 Edition is the first in a series of annual releases available exclusively in travel retail.

Just 8,888 decanters of the collection’s 2014 Edition will be available at an RRP of £436.45. Johnnie Walker’s master blender Jim Beveridge selected 29 of his private reserve “experimental” casks to created the 2014 Edition, described as a “unique smoky blend”.

For more information, click here.

Camus Rarissimes 40 Year Old

Camus-Rarissimes-40-Year-OldCamus has expanded its Rarissimes range with the launch of a 40-year-old Cognac, of which just 991 decanters have been made available.

Drawn from three casks, the release is said to give flavours from fruit to oak with floral and spicy notes, leading to a “marron glacé” – a chestnut candied in sugar syrup and glazed.

Available worldwide from June at an RRP of US$780 per bottle, Camus Rarissimes 40 Year Old is decorated with the platinum Camus plaque to “emphasize the bottle’s uniqueness”.

For more information, click here.

Spey Royal Choice

Spey-Royal-ChoiceSpey Royal Choice Scotch whisky has been created by the Speyside Distillery to be sold exclusively in a selection of the UK’s royal palaces.

Launched under licence from non-profit organisation Historic Royal Palaces, Spey Royal Choice continues the distillery’s royal association, which began in 1815 when poet Lord Byron sent a bottle of Spey Single Malt Whisky to King George III.

Aged in Sherry casks, Spey Royal Choice is described as having an aroma of toffee and gooseberry with a “dense creamy flavour”.

For more information, click here.

Maverick Drinks Darkness! range

Maverick-Drinks-Darkness!-rangeUK-based craft spirits distributor Maverick Drinks gave series of well-known Scotch whiskies the Sherry treatment with its new Darkness! range.

Whiskies including a 21-year-old Ardbeg, 16-year-old Clynelish, and 15-year-old Macallan have been aged by Maverick Drinks in oloroso and PX casks for a further three months.

Each expression is presented in a bold glass bottle with a foiled and embossed label hand-illustrated by designer Tom Lane.

For more information, click here.

Stoli Ginger Beer

Stoli-Ginger-BeerStolichnaya Vodka launched a new RTD last month called Stoli Ginger Beer – said to be the first RTD for the Moscow Mule cocktail.

Launched exclusively in the US, Stoli Ginger Beer – described as “smooth and robust” is made with pure sugar cane and ginger extract.

Its launch will be supported by Stolichnaya’s Raise Your Mule campaign, which encourages consumers to swap their usual tipple for a Stoli Moscow Mule.

For more information, click here.

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