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Top 10 spirit launches in November 2014

Pie-flavoured whisky, gin distilled with ants and single estate vodka are among the diverse range of spirit launches to make waves across the industry last month.

Click through the following pages to discover the top 10 spirit launches in November 2014
Click through the following pages to discover the top 10 spirit launches in November 2014

November was certainly a month of innovation in the spirits world, with a number of imaginative bottlings unveiled across the globe.

While Diageo unveiled the next edition in its Orphan Barrel “craft” whiskey programme, Courvoisier dipped into its ancient, ultra-rare Cognac stocks to create a new four-strong range exclusively for the UK market.

The trend of weird and wacky botanicals was also taken to another level last month, when the Cambridge Distillery and Nordic Food Lab released a gin distilled from red wood ants. Edinburgh Gin also got into the Christmas spirit with a new expression which uses frankincense, myrrh and nutmeg.

The legacy of an iconic dystopian novelist was also resurrected by Jura, and single malt Scotch whisky brand Bunnahabhain paid homage to its 18th Century history.

Looking at those which were made available on the market, as well as those which were unveiled to be released at a later date, this is our roundup of the top 10 spirit launches in November 2014.

Click through the following pages to discover which brands made the cut.

Courvoisier limited editions

Courvoisier-limited-editionsBeam Suntory’s Cognac house Courvoisier kicked off the festive season with the launch of a four-strong range of limited edition expressions containing some of the brand’s rarest eau de vie.

Said to “tell the story” of Courvoisier through the ages and celebrating the work of its six master blenders, the range consists of: Courvoisier Reserve 1978 (£1,000), Courvoisier Heritage De Louis Renard (£7,500), L’Esprit de Joséphine (£9,715), and a dame-jeannes of Courvoisier Tribute Borderies (£51,600).

All expressions contain liquid from Courvoisier’s Paradis cellar and are available exclusively in the UK market.

For more information, click here.

Lost Prophet

Lost-ProphetLost Prophet is the latest release from Diageo’s Orphan Barrel “craft” whiskey project, which aims to unveil some of the world’s “forgotten” whiskeys.

The liquid was created from stocks distilled in 1991 at what was the George T. Stagg Distillery, now Buffalo Trace and retrieved from warehouse at the old Stitzel-Weller warehouse and then hand-bottled in Tullahoma, Tennessee.

Described as having notes of honey, dried fruit and clove on the nose, with spiced cake, vanilla, leather and smoke on the palate, Lost Prophet will carry an RRP of US$120.

For more information, click here.

Pie Hole

Pie-HoleAlso from Diageo, Pie Hole is a new brand of Canadian whisky liqueurs which channel the flavours of freshly baked pies.

The three-strong range consists of Apple Pie, Cherry Pie and Pecan Pie, each of which is aged between four to eight years.

The Apple Pie bottling is described as offering flavours of sweet apple pie filling, baked crust with a hint of cinnamon and clove spice, while Piehole Pecan Pie is said to taste of toasted pecans with Bourbon vanilla extract, dark brown sugar and baked pie crust. Meanwhile Piehole Cherry Pie offers flavours of sweet baked cherries, buttery pastry and baked pie crust.

For more information, click here.

Anty Gin

Anty-GinThe Cambridge Distillery and Nordic Food Lab took wacky botanicals to a whole new level with creation of Anty Gin – a gin distilled with red wood ants.

Each bottled contains the essence of around 62 wood ants – a breed of ant found in the Northern Hemisphere which defend their homes by spraying formic acid from their abdomens.

Only 99 bottles of the gin have been created for sale in the UK at an RRP of £200.

For more information, click here.

Edinburgh’s Christmas Gin

Edinburgh's-Christmas-GinUnusual botanicals were also used by Spencerfield Spirit to celebrate the festive season with its Edinburgh’s Christmas Gin, which uses frankincense, myrrh and nutmeg.

Available in limited quantities, A donation from the proceeds raised by the Christmas Gin will be given to St Columba’s Hospice.

For more information, click here.

Jura 1984

Jura-1984Dystopian British fiction was celebrated by Whyte & Mackay’s Jura Scotch whisky with its 1984 expression – named after George Orwell’s iconic novel.

The brand paid homage to Orwell, who penned 1984 – a chilling tale of a society governed by the omnipotent Big Brother – while staying on the Scottish island.

The expression has been matured for 20 years in American oak barrels, before being given a finish in amoroso and apostoles oloroso Sherry butts from Gonzalez Byass.

With an RRP of £750, the whisky is described as having notes of burnt toffee, coffee, banana cake and morello cherries.

For more information, click here.

Glenmorangie Dornoch

Glenmorangie-DornochGlenmorangie’s latest edition – Dornoch – has been released as a travel retail exclusive to aid the Marine Conservation Society to help sustain an estuary located near to the distillery.

The expression, which takes inspiration from the Highland distillery’s peaceful location on the banks of the Dornorch Firth, carries an RRP of £59.99.

It is a no-age-statement single malt Scotch comprised of liquid matured in American oak barrels and lightly peated whisky further matured in ex-Amontillado Sherry casks.

For more information, click here.

Arbikie Vodka

Arbikie-VodkaArbikie Vodka, said to be Scotland’s first single estate vodka, is created using potatoes grown on the distillery’s site.

Arbikie Distillery claims to be the first in Scotland to produce both white and brown spirits that are fermented, distilled, bottled, labelled and matured on-site and made using estate-grown ingredients.

The first product from the distillery – Arbikie Vodka – is ceated using a blend of Maris Piper, King Edward and Cultra potatoes, which are fermented and distilled in copper pot stills. It is available in the UK at an RRP of £42.

For more information, click here.

Cutty Sark Art Deco

Cutty-Sark-Art-DecoLast month, Cutty Sark unveiled its oldest expression to date – a 33-year-old blended Scotch whisky featuring Art Deco packaging.

Released in commemoration of the first time Cutty Sark was introduced to the US market in the 1920s and early 30, the expression features a geometric gold and black bottle design and piano black wooden box.

Only 3,456 bottles of the limited edition have been released at an RRP of £650.

For more information, click here.

Bunnahabhain Ceòbanach

Bunnahabhain-CeòbanachIconic single malt Scotch whisky brand Bunnahabhain paid homage to Islay’s 18th Century roots with the launch of Ceòbanach, meaning “smoky mist” in Scots Gaelic.

Said to replicate “as close as possible” the brand’s original expressions from the 1800s, Ceòbanach is inspired by the role peat played in 19th Century Islay, where the substance was used for warmth, fuel and trade.

The 10-year-old expression, which has been aged in ex-Bourbon casks, is described as having a “rich and complex” character with underlying “hints of the sea”. It is internationally available at an RRP of £59.99.

For more information, click here.

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