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Top 10 spirits launches in January 2019

A hemp-infused gin, a Swedish whisky aged in rum casks and a single malt range inspired by Game of Thrones are among the top products to launch last month.

SB presents the top spirits to launch last month

The beginning of the year was particularly busy for the spirits world with a number of new products entering the market.

During a booze-free month made popular by Dry January, Caleño became the latest non-alcoholic brand to join the fast-growing category.

Meanwhile, a number of producers looked beyond their traditional categories to launch new expressions including whisky maker Kavalan and Japanese whisky producer Suntory.

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

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


Leading bartenders and P(our) co-founders Monica Berg, Alex Kratena and Simone Caporale unveiled their latest project, a new premium liqueur brand called Muyu.

Part of a collaboration with Dutch drinks group De Kuyper, Kratena, Berg and Caporale each designed one Muyu liqueur, which translates as ‘seed’ in the Quechan language.

The bartenders used an approach similar to that employed by perfumers to create the Muyu expressions, said to “redefine” the liqueurs category.

For more information, click here.

Suntory World Whisky Ao

Suntory’s new ‘world whisky’ blend comprises liquid from Irish, Scotch, American, Canadian and Japanese distilleries.

Bottled at 43% abv, the expression is scheduled to be released on 16 April 2019, priced at RRP 5,000 Yen (US$46).

The whisky has been described as having a “complex and rich flavour”, and is recommended to be mixed in a Highball.

For more information, click here


The latest non-alcoholic ‘spirit’ to launch is Columbian-inspired Caleño, which is made with botanicals including juniper, coriander, cardamom green, citrus, spices and Sicilian lemon peel. The botanicals have been steam-distilled in stainless steel drums.

It is recommended served with tonic water and garnished with an inca berry.

The ‘spirit’ will be available to buy from UK supermarket Sainsbury’s next month.

For more information, click here.

McQueen and the Violet Fog

The new gin from US wine and spirits company Sovereign Brands contains six botanicals “found in no other gin in the world”.

The brand is made from a “unique” distillation method, whereby two techniques are combined into a single distillation process. The gin, which contains 21 botanicals, is produced in 500-litre batches.

McQueen and the Violet Fog takes its name from a poem of the same name, which recounts a meeting with a mysterious rock band.

For more information, click here

Gordon & MacPhail 1948

Last month, Gordon & MacPhail released a 70-year-old Glen Grant – the ‘oldest’ whisky from the Speyside distillery ever bottled.

Only 210 bottles of Gordon & MacPhail 1948 from Glen Grant are available to purchase at an RRP of £17,500 (US$22,500), though prices may vary in international markets. The expression was matured in cask 2154, a first-fill Sherry butt filled on 11 June 1948 and bottled in October last year.

The whisky’s maturation was overseen by four generations of Urquharts – John, George, Ian and Stuart – the founding family of Gordon & MacPhail.

For more information, click here.

Ki No Bi Edition G

Japan’s Kyoto Distillery has partnered with Champagne house Henri Giraud to create Ki No Bi Edition G – thought to be the first gin aged in Champagne barriques.

Only limited quantities of Ki No Bi Edition G were released in Japan and proved so popular they sold out in one day. The expression was based on the Ki No Bi Kyoto Dry Gin expression.

Ki No Bi Edition G is recommended mixed with soda water or served in a French 75.

For more information, click here

Moment Karibien

Mackmyra’s Moment Karibien is a Swedish single malt whisky aged in rum casks.

Angela D’Orazio, master blender at Mackmyra, and Alexandre Gabriel, the founder of Maison Ferrand, producer of Plantation Rum, have teamed up to launch the expression.

Approximately 75% of the liquid has been aged in casks previously used to mature Plantation’s Barbados and Jamaican rums. The expression also contains small amounts of whisky aged in barrels that previously contained oloroso Sherry and cherry wine.

For more information, click here.

Kavalan Gin

Taiwan-based whisky brand Kavalan entered the gin market for the first time last month with the global release of a new triple-distilled gin.

Kavalan Gin has been double charcoal-filtered and triple distilled in traditional copper stills. It is made from the same malted barley spirit as Kavalan whisky.

Bottled at 40% abv, Kavalan Gin is said to be “rich, pleasingly sweet, and long and full in body”. It is well balanced with a “distinctive sweetness from the red-flesh guava, starfruit, and zesty kumquat”.

For more information, click here.

Game of Thrones Single Malt Collection

Following the release of White Walker by Johnnie Walker, Diageo continued its partnership with Game of Thrones’ network HBO to launch a new single malt whisky collection.

The collection features eight whiskies, each matching one of the show’s Houses of Westeros, as well as the Night’s Watch to give fans a “taste of the Seven Kingdoms”.  The range is “inspired by the iconic characters and the creative world of Westeros and beyond”.

For more information, click here.


Hin is a new hemp-infused gin that is made without THC or CBD – thought to be the UK’s first hemp-infused gin.

Co-founders Chris Puttick and Mat Graham have taken inspiration from Celtic princess Formosa for their inaugural product.

Botanicals include lemon peel, pink peppercorn and juniper, though the remaining ingredients are being kept under wraps.

For more information, click here.

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