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Top 10 spirit launches in June 2016

Last month’s most interesting new releases include rock band AC/DC’s first real foray into spirits, a gin made from Cornish clotted cream, and an “incredibly rare” offering from Benromach Distillery.

This is our pick of the top spirits launches in June 2016

June was also rife with special edition releases – Cognac house Hennessy marked the arrival of its eighth-generation master blender with a new expression containing eight eaux-de-vie.

Across the pond, Orcadian distillery Scapa marked the centenary of the Battle of Jutland with its latest bottling.

Infusions and usual botanicals took hold of the gin category, while in Japanese whisky, Beam Suntory took a “fresh approach” to blending with its latest release.

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 round up of the top 10 spirit launches in June 2016.

Click though the following pages to see SB’s top launches for June in full. 

Cornish Clotted Cream Gin

cornish ginThe inaugural release from The Wrecking Coast Distillery in Cornwall; Cornish Clotted Cream Gin is crafted from a combination of fresh Cornish clotted cream, 12 hand-selected botanicals and Cornish spring water.

It is made using a hand-blown glass vacuum still, the iStill, which distills neutral spirit and fresh clotted cream resulting in a clear gin that “retains the flavour of the cream together with the velvety richness of the texture”.

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Benromach 1974

Benromach-1974Aged for 41 years in a Sherry butt, the “incredibly rare” single malt Scotch whisky expression by The Benromach Distillery Company carries a price rage of £1,200.

Former distiller Tom Anderson, who still lives in a cottage at the distillery, filled the casks in 1974 – years before the Urquhart family brought the Speyside-based Benromach Distillery back into production in the 1990s.

Flavour notes include plump sultana, sharp green apple and zesty orange peel with underlying notes of beeswax polish, menthol and dark chocolate.

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Espolòn Añejo X

espolonEspolòn Añejo X is the latest addition to Gruppo Campari’s Espolòn Tequila brand, and has been aged for six years.

The limited edition extra añejo expression is packaged in matte black glass bottle that pays tribute to the Mexican art form Barro Negro and reflects the story of The Day of the Dead.

It is said to have a “classic agave flavour” with notes of vanilla, nutmeg, white peppercorn, cocoa, bitter chocolate and roasted fruits.

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Cù Bòcan Vintage 1988

cu-bocanCù Bòcan Vintage 1988 is the newest addition to the Tomatin Distillery’s Cù Bòcan range, and has been matured for 28 years in Sherry casks.

The range, which launched in 2013, is named after a mythical Highland hellhound which was rumoured to haunt the village of Tomatin.

Cù Bòcan Vintage 1988 is said to have an aroma of campfire smoke and stewed pears with flavours of candied tropical fruits and an earthy peaty tang. Just 2,200 bottles of the whisky have been made available.

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Domaines Hine Bonneuil 2006

Bonneuil-2006-bottleThe expression is the second release in Hine’s new range of Cognacs made exclusively using grapes grown in the Grande Champagne enclave of Bonneuil.

A total of 19 casks of the 2006 harvest have been made available – the equivalent of about 8,500 bottles.

The Cognac is said to have a “bigger flavour” than its 2005 predecessor, and will be available later this summer at an RRP of £80.00.

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Orange Gin

orange-ginProduced using an infusion process, Orange Gin’s list of botanicals includes tangerines, Seville orange and lemon zests, coriander, bay leaves and macadamia nuts.

The new spirit is crafted by Essex-based distillery 55 Above to cater to bar customers who enjoy “invigorating new experiences”.

Serving suggestions include over ice, or in a traditional gin and tonic format with a large wedge of fresh orange.

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Scapa Jutland

CkR4f-BUoAAjphiOrcadian distillery Scapa released Scapa Jutland to mark the centenary of the Battle of Jutland and raise funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

Scapa was used as a base by the British naval fleet during the First World War, so to pay tribute Chivas Brothers named 11 of the 249 bottles released in memory of ships from the British and German Navies that fought during the conflict, including HMS Invincible, HMS Queen Mary and HMS Collingwood.

The liquid has been matured for 16 years in a single first-fill American oak cask, with nosing and tasting notes including tropical fruit, vanilla, toffee and butterscotch.

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Thunderstruck Tequila

thunderstruckRock band AC/DC partnered with Fabrica de Tequilas Finos to launch Thunderstruck Tequila, a new line containing three expressions.

Available in Silver, Reposado and Añejo varieties, Thunderstruck Tequila is made from 100% Blue Weber agave at the brand’s distillery.

The launch marks AC/DC’s first real foray into spirits branding.

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Hennessy 8

hennessyCognac house Hennessy marked the arrival of its eighth-generation master blender Renaud Fillioux de Gironde with this new “legacy” release.
To mark the transition, his uncle – and current master blender – Yann Fillioux has created his “ultimate blend” to mark the transition.

Hennessy 8 is named after the eight eaux-de-vie is contains: seven were chosen by Fillioux, with the eighth selected by de Gironde.

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Suntory Whisky Toki


Beam Suntory introduced Suntory Whisky Toki, a blend of malt and grain whiskies from its Hakushu, Yamazaki and Chita distilleries.

Chief blender Shinji Fukuyo is said to have taken “a fresh approach” to blending with new Suntory Whisky Toki, a combination of Hakushu American white oak cask malt whisky, Chita “heavy-type” grain whisky, and two Yamazaki malts.

The resulting liquid offers basil, green apple, and honey on the nose, grapefruit, green grapes, peppermint, and thyme on the palate with a “subtly sweet and spicy finish” that leaves a hint of vanilla oak, white pepper and ginger.

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