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Top 10 spirits launches in October 2018

A Johnnie Walker whisky inspired by hit show Game of Thrones, a vodka made from Japanese white rice and a rum range created specifically for bartenders are recognised in our pick of the top spirits launched last month.

We present our pick of top spirits launches from last month

Also last month, William Grant & Sons unveiled the much-anticipated fourth chapter of its Balvenie DCS Compendium, while drinks giant Diageo added a new black raspberry-flavoured vodka to its Cîroc vodka range.

Experimentation is a reoccurring theme among our new products list, with a new gin made using “perfume extraction techniques” and a new innovative line from Jack Daniel’s.

Click through the following pages to explore our full round-up of exciting spirits launched in October.

Which new products caught your eye last month? If we’ve missed your favourite, let us know in the comments below.

The Balvenie DCS Compendium: Chapter Four

Expecting the Unexpected is the fourth and penultimate chapter in The Balvenie DCS Compendium.

The range includes “distinct and unusual vintages completely different to The Balvenie’s usual style” and is priced at £29,000 (US$37,687) in full.

The range includes 1971, which is matured in refill European oak oloroso Sherry butts; a 1982 vintage; a 1992 whisky; a 1999 expression matured in a refill American oak hogshead; and 2009, a nine-year-old matured in a first-fill American oak Bourbon barrel.

For more information, click here

Cîroc Black Raspberry

Last month, drinks giant Diageo added a new black raspberry-flavoured vodka to its Cîroc range.

Cîroc Black Raspberry is made with vodka that has been distilled five times from French grapes and blended with black raspberries and other natural flavours.

It is available in “very limited quantities” across the US this autumn.

For more information, click here.

Tennessee Tasters’ Selection

The new experimental line from Brown-Forman’s Jack Daniel’s brand consists of three whiskeys: High Angel’s Share Barrels, Smoked Hickory Finish and Reunion Barrel.

The first to launch are Bottled High Angel’s Share Barrels, which was barrelled in January 2013, and Smoked Hickory Finish, which has been finished with charred hickory staves for a “smoky flavour”.

Reunion Barrel, which will be available in early 2019, has been finished in wine barrels and bottled at 90 proof (45% abv).

For more information, click here.

Haku Japanese Vodka

Beam Suntory unveiled a new vodka last month, made from Japanese white rice.

Haku Japanese Vodka takes its name from the Japanese word for ‘white’ – haku. The word ‘haku’ itself is rooted in the word ‘hakumai’, which translates as ‘Japanese white rice’.

Bottled at 40% abv, the expression is available exclusively in the US.

For more information, click here.

White Walker by Johnnie Walker

Diageo teased the release of this Game of Thrones-inspired Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky earlier this year.

The new White Walker by Johnnie Walker is inspired by the HBO show’s undead army of White Walkers.

Created in collaboration with HBO, the blended Scotch whisky contains liquid from single malt distilleries Cardhu and Clynelish – one of Scotland’s most northern distilleries.

For more information, click here.


Budget supermarket Lidl launched its own-label unicorn-inspired Scottish gin last month, called Aquine.

Aquine has been created in partnership with The Glasgow Distillery and is made with eight botanicals including orange peel, lemon peel, juniper, rosehip, liquorice and bramble.

The name ‘Aquine’ is a combination of the words ‘aqua’ and ‘equine’, in reference to the Scottish water used to make the gin and the legend of the Scottish unicorn.

For more information, click here.

Havana Club Professional Edition

Havana Club is encouraging bartenders to experiment with rum cocktails with its new Professional Edition range.

The first release in the series – Havana Club Professional Edition A – is the result of a collaboration with the Cuban Bartender Association as part of celebrations for Havana bar El Floridita’s 200th anniversary.

Havana Club Professional Edition B has been created in collaboration with cocktail authority Nick Strangeway. The rum is a blend that includes one component finished in smoky Islay whisky casks, along with three other Havana Club 7 Year Old rum bases.

For more information, click here.

Comte de Grasse 44°N Gin

The first product to launch from French distiller Comte de Grasse – The Lab Distillery is a new gin that has been made using “perfume extraction techniques”.

Comte de Grasse 44°N Gin is produced using ultrasonic maceration, vacuum distillation and CO2 supercritical extraction, which are said to use “substantially” less energy and natural resources than traditional gin distillation.

Only 1,500 bottles of Comte de Grasse 44oN Gin have been released before Christmas.

For more information, click here.

Midleton Very Rare 2018

Midleton Very Rare 2018 is a blend of single pot still and single grain Irish whiskeys selected by master distiller Brian Nation.

The expression is the 35th iteration in the Midleton Very Rare Irish whiskey collection.

Bottled at 40% abv, each cask has been matured exclusively in lightly charred ex-Bourbon American oak barrels for between 12 and 28 years.

For more information, click here.

That Boutique-y Rum Company

The UK-based team behind That Boutique-y Whisky Company has unveiled its third independent bottling venture – That Boutique-y Rum Company.

Created with rum expert Peter Holland, the company will have its own classification system for its range, which the brand hopes will make it easier for consumers to navigate the different expressions.

The range will initially consist of nine rums, with the brand hoping to bottle additional expressions sourced from lost distilleries – such as the Caroni Distillery in Trinidad and Monymusk in Jamaica. The range will also include a number of “secret distillery” bottlings.

For more information, click here.

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