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Top 50 innovative spirits launches of 2017: 40-31

A gin made with turkey breast, a mesquite wood-smoked Tequila and a cask-aged akevitt dominate the second instalment of our most innovative spirits launches list.

We reveal the second instalment of our top 50 innovative spirits launches of 2017

Marcin Miller’s Norwegian distillery introduced an unaged aquavit made with the likes of meadowsweet, sorrel, heather flower, and calamus root, while The Macallan collaborated with a luxury perfumer to unveil an aroma-focused single malt Scotch whisky.

2017 also saw distillers experiment with all manner of ingredients, including organic turkey breast, icewine, and Cuban coffee.

Click through the following pages to see the second part of our top 50 innovative spirits launches of 2017, counting down from 40 to 31.

To view 50 to 41, click here.

40: Pechuga Gin

Portobello Road Gin launched the ‘world’s first’ pechuga gin, which is distilled with turkey breast, in October last year.

The expression pays homage to a unique distillation process used by mezcal producers whereby a chicken or turkey breast – or pechuga as it translates to in Spanish – is suspended over the still and cooks in the vapours, adding flavours to the spirit.

The Pechuga Gin is made by redistilling Portobello Road Gins signature 171 blend in a 30l copper alembic still with organic turkey breast and 13 botanicals.

For more information, click here.

39: Glenfiddich Winter Storm

Glenfiddich continues to experiment with unusual casks with the launch of Winter Storm.

Finished in French oak icewine casks from Niagara, Glenfiddich malt master Brian Kinsman came up with the idea after visiting the Peller Estate vineyards in Canada, where grapes are picked at night when the temperature is -10˚C.

Winter Storm is described as “a short, crisp premium liquid imbued with a unique layer of sweetness and complexity”, and has been aged for 21 years.

For more information, click here.

38: Bébo

Dutch spirits group De Kuyper tapped into the coffee trend with the launch of Bébo, which is made with 100% Arabica Cuban coffee that has been cultivated and hand-picked by co-operatives in the mountains of the Sierra Maestra.

Mark de Witte, CEO of De Kuyper, said his team worked on developing the recipe for about a year and a half as part of De Kuyper’s ‘own the cocktail’ strategy.

For more information, click here.

37: Angus Dundee 50 Year Old Blended Grain Scotch

Scotch whisky producer Angus Dundee Distillers unveiled a 50-year-old blended grain Scotch whisky in July – its “first very mature blended grain”.

The limited-edition blended grain has been created using wheat, un-malted cereals and malted barley, and distilled in classic column stills.

Five American white oak barrels were picked to create the whisky, which is said to have flavours of vanilla, toffee, prunes, plums, spicy tobacco, and mocha chocolate.

For more information, click here.

36: Macallan Edition No.3

The Macallan collaborated with luxury perfumer Roja Dove to unveil Edition No. 3 in September last year – an aroma-focused single malt Scotch whisky.

The new limited edition expression is the third release in the Edition Series, a range of whiskies that focus on The Macallan’s commitment to wood.

While Edition No. 1 and Edition No. 2 highlighted the influence each cask has on the taste and flavour of the final whisky, Edition No. 3 provides an insight into the “distinctive aromas that combine to build character and depth”.

For more information, click here.

35: Sierra Milenario Fumado Tequila

German spirits producer Borco has expanded its Sierra Milenario Tequila range with a new smoky expression, made using a “unique” ahumado process with mesquite wood.

After slowly cooking the agave in stainless steel ovens for 24 hours, the cooked agave is placed in a lidded stainless steel container with a double base containing perforations.

A fire of mesquite logs and Mexican oak is lit under the container and the perforations allow the interaction and infusion of the smoke onto the agaves for eight hours.

For more information, click here.

34: OHD Akevitt

Marcin Miller’s Norwegian distillery Oslo Håndverksdestilleri released its first batch of cask-aged akevitt in February, completing its core range.

For its recipe, OHD sourced locally foraged ingredients including meadowsweet, heather flower, St John’s Wort, dandelion root, angelica root, yarrow, chamomile flower, sorrel, hyssop and horehound.

The spirit is then aged for 12 months in American oak casks to give the resulting OHD Akevitt a “light golden hue” and “full bodied character”
For more information, click here.

33: Pierre Ferrand Double Cask Cognac

In a bid to mirror the “golden era” of Cognac, the expression has been aged first in traditional French oak Cognac casks and then in casks that once held Banyuls, a fortified wine produced and aged in the south of France since the 13th century.

The French oak Cognac has been matured for seven to 10 years in different ageing cellars – some dry and some humid.

This liquid is then blended with 20-year-old Cognac and placed in Banyuls casks, which are matured in humid cellars for a further year.

For more information, click here.

32: House of Broughton

British tonic and mixer brand Fentimans moved into the syrup category with the launch of its new House of Broughton range in the on-trade.

The new range, called House of Broughton, compliments Fentimans full portfolio and is made using only natural ingredients.

The syrups have a “unique high strength” flavour, and feature a long bottle neck and built-in pourer for ease of use.

The line-up comprises of six flavours: Cucumber, Ginger, Rose, Elderflower, Raspberry and Simple, which is made using only pure sugar from natural sources.

For more information, click here.

31: Santo Puro Mezquila

The trend for celebrity-backed spirits continued with the launch of Tequila-mezcal hybrid Santo Puro Mezquila in February last year.

Former Van Halen vocalist Sammy Hagar and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine partnered to launch Santo Puro Mezquila, which is described as an agave blend, combining 100% Blue Variety Tequilana Weber agave and 100% Espadin agave, of the Angustifolia variety.

The resulting liquid is said to have an “intense agave aroma” that reveals an “earthy, light smokiness with a hint of herbs”. On the palate, Santo is “mellow”; the “intricate agave flavor and herbal complexity layered with gentle smoke, slight floral fruitiness and low saltiness”.

For more information, click here.

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