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Top 50 innovative new spirits of 2018: 40-31

A vegan-friendly zero-abv ‘spirit’, an alcoholic beverage made from hemp milk and what is thought to be the world’s oldest Irish single malt dominate the second chapter of our most innovative spirits launches list.

We reveal the second instalment of our top 50 innovative spirits launches of 2018
We reveal the second instalment of our top 50 innovative spirits launches of 2018

As the low- and no-alcohol trend continues its rapid growth, London merchant Borough Wines & Beers moved into the category with a non-alcoholic ‘spirit’ that follows the style of London Dry gin last year.

Meanwhile, a series of firsts saw the launch of Scotland’s ‘first’ white absinthe, while Teeling unveiled what it describes as the oldest Irish single malt in the world.

Click through the following pages to see the second part of our top 50 innovative spirits launches of 2018, counting down from 40 to 31.

To view 50 to 41, click here.

40: Surendran & Bownes Edition Zero: Labdanum

London merchant Borough Wines & Beers unveiled a non-alcoholic spirit last year as part of the company’s Distillers Development Programme.

Surendran & Bownes Edition Zero: Labdanum, the organic and vegan-friendly alternative to alcoholic drinks, has been created in collaboration with Surendran & Bownes distillery.

It is described as following the ‘London Dry’ style, but with “added complexity” from the use of exotic aromatics that are commonly found in perfume making.

For more information, click here.

39: Buffalo Trace W L Weller Craft Your Perfect Bourbon (CYPB)

This bottling is a result of Buffalo Trace Distillery’s ‘Craft Your Perfect Bourbon’ website and has been tailored to the preferences of Bourbon lovers.

The interactive site enabled fans to choose their Bourbon recipe, warehouse placement, age and abv. An “overwhelming” number of users chose a wheated Bourbon recipe, matured for eight years. The majority also chose to age their barrel on the top floors of the warehouses, and then bottle the liquid at around 45-47.5% abv.

The result? Buffalo Trace chose to turn the hypothetical bottlings into a real-life whiskey, tailored specifically to fans’ preferences.

For more information, click here.

38: Ailsa Bay

Last summer saw the launch of a new updated recipe for peated single malt Scotch brand Ailsa Bay.

Created by master blender Brian Kinsman and his team, the new Ailsa Bay is said to be “more mellow and complex with a similarly unique balance of smoke and sweet”.

The sweetness parts per million (SPPM) has been increased from 11 to 19, and the phenol parts per million (PPPM) in liquid form has been raised from 21 to 22.

For more information, click here.

37: Bom Bom Nilli Vanilli

More consumers than ever are changing their diets to lessen their environmental impact. As such, vegan diets have become increasingly common.

Acting on this new-found trend is US-based liqueur producer Bom Bom Brands, which launched Nilli Vanilli last year.

Nilli Vanilli is made from almond milk, Caribbean rum and vanilla cookie flavours, giving it a taste of “creamy vanilla wafer”.

The gluten-free and dairy-free rum-based ‘cream’ liqueur is bottled at 14% abv and joins the Bom Bom range, which includes Coco Mochanut and Fully Baked.

For more information, click here.

36: Never 25

Launched by Tayport-based Tay Spirits, Never 25 is thought to be Scotland’s first grain-to-glass eau-de-vie.

The expression is milled, mashed, fermented and triple-distilled in Fife, before fruit is added and macerated into the spirit.

According to the company, the process retains as much of the natural fruit flavours as possible. In each run, over 50kg of fresh fruit are introduced to the base spirit to soak and slowly extract the fruit juices.

Available in raspberry, strawberry, and apple flavours, the spirit then goes through a fourth distillation to “enhance” its flavour, resulting in a 42% abv eau-de-vie.

For more information, click here.

35: Oak & Eden

Last April, Sanctified Spirits unveiled a new range of “in-bottle-finished” whiskeys, each containing a five-inch spiral of American oak.

The brand’s first rye and Bourbon expressions are bottled with a ‘spire’ of American oak that has been charred to extract its flavour and add “spice, smoothness and character” to the whiskey.

For more information, click here.

34: Fistful of Bourbon

This new blended Bourbon is William Grant & Sons’ first in-house American whiskey brand.

The whiskey is a 45% abv vatting of five straight American Bourbons – each aged for more than two years – and which have been selected for their individual flavour profiles.

Fistful of Bourbon has been blended by William Grant & Sons’ master blender, Brian Kinsman, and is said to contain five distinct flavour groups – balanced and sweet; green, leafy floral; soft spices and hints of nutmeg; buttery toffee; and cinnamon and liquorice.

For more information, click here.

33: Teeling Whiskey Aged 34 Years


Teeling Whiskey Company pushed the Irish whiskey category forward last year with what is thought to be the oldest bottling of Irish single malt to date – a 34-year-old expression.

First distilled in 1983, the whiskey has been aged in ex-American oak Bourbon barrels and bottled at 40.9% abv.

The single malt is described as having a “complex floral nose” with “deep layered flavours” as a result of its lengthy maturation.

For more information, click here.

32: Bom Bom Fully Baked

The second expression from US producer Bom Bom Brands to make our list is Fully Baked, which claims to be the first alcoholic beverage made from hemp milk.

Bom Bom’s Fully Baked is made from a dairy-free alternative that is extracted from hemp seeds – however it does not contain the THC chemical found in marijuana.

The expression is a creamy blend of chocolate chip cookie and brownie flavours.

For more information, click here.

31: Loch Ness Absinthe

Scotland’s first absinthe blanche Loch Ness Absinthe is made using wormwood, juniper and mint, all hand-picked from the founders’ 500-year-old estate.

Bottled at 53% abv, the spirit is also made with water from an aquifer on the couple’s estate that flows into the famous Loch Ness.

For more information, click here.

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