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Top 10 spirits launches in April 2019

A coffee-infused Skyy vodka, the “world’s first” Calvados-Scotch blend and a new Tequila from British singer Rita Ora are among our pick of the most exciting products to launch last month.

SB presents the top spirits to launch last month
SB presents the top spirits to launch last month

In April, a number of line extensions were revealed, including a new coffee-infused Skyy vodka and a watermelon-flavoured vodka from Cîroc.

A number of celebrities also delved into the world of Tequila with new expressions from British singer Rita Ora and television chef Guy Fieri.

Independent Scotch producer Compass Box also revealed the “world’s first” Calvados and Scotch blend and Diageo teamed up with Yanghe, China’s third largest baijiu distiller, to create a “new-to-world whisky”.

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

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

Zhong Shi Ji

Described as a “premium taste of east and west”, Zhong Shi Ji whisky has been created by Diageo’s Scotch whisky master blender Craig Wallace and China Alcoholic Drinks Association’s Chinese baijiu master Zhou Xinhu.

The product has been launched under the Jiangsu Yanghe Diageo Spirit Company, a new joint venture formed between the UK drinks giant and Yanghe, China’s third largest baijiu distiller.

Zhong Shi Ji is made through a “unique” production method, which includes “softening” whisky through Chinese ceramic pot maturation.

For more information, click here.


The latest star to move into the Tequila category is pop star Rita Ora with the new Próspero brand.

Ora has joined forces with spirits marketing firm Conecuh Brands to launch the Tequila, which is produced at the Don Roberto Distillery in Jalisco, Mexico, by Stella Anguiano.

Prospero Tequila will be available in three variants: Blanco (US$34.99), Reposado (US$39.99) and Añejo (US$44.99).

For more information, click here.

BrewDog’s new-look spirits range

BrewDog’s spirits arm BrewDog Distilling has expanded its range with new brands of gin and vodka, and a series of limited edition whiskies.

Zealot’s Heart Gin is distilled in BrewDog’s triple bubble still and features juniper as its “beating heart”, while single malt vodka Rogue Wave is said to be inspired by BrewDog founder James Watt’s cousin, ‘one-armed Alex’, who “dived head first into life after the worst of days at sea”.

BrewDog Distilling has also “brought brewing and distilling together” with the launch of three limited edition whiskies designed to pair with BrewDog beer.

The Boilermaker Series is the result of a collaboration between BrewDog and Scotch blenders Compass Box and Duncan Taylor, and Dutch rye whisky maker Zuidam.

For more information, click here.

Piggyback Rye Whiskey

Several years in the making, Piggyback was created by WhistlePig master blender Pete Lynch and late master distiller Dave Pickerell, who died in November last year.

Piggyback is made with 100% rye and has been aged for six years. The expression is said to be “the realisation of Dave’s dream to create the best aged rye whiskey” for cocktails.

Pickerell chose the name ‘Piggyback’ to “express the love and respect he had for the bartending community”

For more information, click here.

Skyy Infusions Cold Brew Coffee

Available in the US for a limited time, Skyy Infusions Cold Brew Coffee has been infused with Arabica coffee beans.

The new vodka taps into the trend for cold brew coffee, particularly among a “brunch-focused generation”.

Skyy Infusions Cold Brew Coffee is said to be best served in coffee-inspired cocktails, on the rocks or in a Martini. It is recommended for occasions such as brunches, barbecues, summer parties and after-work drinks.

For more information, click here.

Compass Box Affinity

The latest expression from independent Scotch whisky bottler Compass Box is thought to be world’s first Scotch and Calvados blend.

To create Affinity, Domaine Christian Drouin Pays d’Auge XO Calvados was added to a selection of Scotch malt whiskies that had been first aged in French oak and Sherry casks, before being married with blended Scotch whisky and matured further in Sherry butts.

The limited edition expression is priced at RRP £100 (US$150).

For more information, click here.

Gordon & MacPhail 1981 from Coleburn Distillery

This 38-year-old single malt Scotch whisky is from the silent Coleburn Distillery in Longmore, Scotland, which was mothballed in 1985.

It has been aged in a refill Sherry hogshead that was chosen by Gordon & MacPhail to be filled on 11 March 1981.

Available to buy globally, the whisky is said to have flavours of Sherry-soaked fruit, liquorice, dark chocolate and a long finish with notes of toffee and a touch of smoke.

For more information, click here.

Santo Fino Blanco Tequila

RIta Ora is not the only celebrity on our list to launch a Tequila last month. Former Van Halen vocalist Sammy Hagar teamed up with chef Guy Fieri to create Santo Fino Blanco Tequila – the second expression in Hagar’s Santo Fino range.

Santo Fino Blanco Tequila is described as an “old world-style” Tequila and is made with 100% blue weber agave.

The liquid was created in collaboration with Juan Eduardo Nuñez, third generation master distiller at El Viejito, which is located in Jalisco’s highlands.

For more information, click here.

Bardstown Bourbon Fusion #1

The new Bardstown Bourbon Fusion Series #1 is a “one-of-a-kind” blend of Bardstown’s two-year-old wheat and high-rye Bourbon with an 11-year-old Kentucky Bourbon. It is Bardstown Bourbon Company’s first Kentucky straight Bourbon whiskey.

The new whiskey was created as a collaboration between the firm’s distilling, beverage and culinary teams.

The lively fruit and spice of the two-year-old Bourbon is said to counter the leather, roasted nuts and rich caramel of aged Kentucky Bourbon.

For more information, click here.

Cîroc Summer Watermelon

Cîroc Limited Edition Summer Watermelon is made with vodka five times distilled from French grapes and finished in a copper pot still in southern France.

The vodka has been infused with a blend of watermelon and other natural flavours, giving it a “juicy fresh taste accented by a sweetness and zest that carries into a smooth finish”.

Available in the US in “very limited quantities”, the launch of the new flavour will be supported by a campaign.

For more information, click here.

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