Top 10 spirits launches in July 2022
Temperatures soared to record highs in July, but what got us really flushed were these hot new spirits releases.
From luxurious decanters to ‘world first’ spirits, July wasn’t a month that left us disappointed when it came to new product launches.
Keep reading to find out which releases turned our heads and will likely have you making space on your booze shelves.
Looking for more newbies to the spirits world? Check out the best of what came out in June.
Clase Azul 25th anniversary bottling
An extra fancy pepper grinder, or one of the most beautifully designed Tequila bottles ever? Of course it’s the latter. Clase Azul is known for its standout decanters, and for its 25th anniversary, the brand pushed the boat out with this limited edition bottling, created as a nod to the ‘distinctive and beloved’ brand icon Clase Azul Tequila Reposado.
The decanter is the first in the brand’s portfolio to be painted entirely in its distinctive cobalt blue. Each one is decorated with 25 feathered motifs, one for every year of Clase Azul’s history, inspired by floating dandelion seeds painted platinum.
The Tequila itself is equally beautiful, offering woody notes with hints of caramel and vanilla, followed by a spicy cinnamon finish with a touch of agave syrup.
This limited edition expression, made with rare liquid from the closed Caroni Distillery, is Angostura Zenith. It features the last of Caroni’s molasses, so it’s a pretty big deal, combining liquid from both the Caroni and Angostura distilleries, including a blend of Caroni rums aged from 20 to 23 years.
Anyone able to get their hands on one of the 195 bottles will pick up aromas of tropical mango, pineapple, lime zest and dark brown sugar, while on the palate, flavours include caramelised sugars, butterscotch, banoffee pie, allspice, fresh ginger and lime zest. The finish is said to be long, well-rounded and complex, leaving pepper and wooded oak.
Patrón en Lalique: Serie 3
In more beautiful decanter news, Patrón launched the third bottling in its collaborative series with luxury glass maker Lalique in July, designed to represent and celebrate the Blue Weber agave used to make the Tequila. Each decanter is handmade and individually numbered at Lalique’s factory in Wingen-sur-Moder, in Alsace, France.
The brand’s master distiller David Rodriguez used 14 rare extra añejo Tequilas, each aged for up to eight years in French and Armagnac casks, to create the amber liquid held inside, which boasts notes of spices, dried fruits, Sherry wine and intense wood.
Height of Arrows Bright and Heavy
Edinburgh-based Holyrood Distillery added two gins to its juniper-forward Height of Arrows range in July, one called Bright and the other Heavy.
For the two expressions, the juniper was manipulated to create a pair of complex gins, each offering a new drinking experience for gin drinkers and connoisseurs alike.
While Height of Arrows Heavy is the ‘bolder, deeper’ variation of the pair, made by roasting the juniper in order to extract more flavour, the Height of Arrows Bright uses three times more juniper than the original Height of Arrows gin, focusing on the ‘innate’ flavourings of the berry. The use of multi-shot distillation has further concentrated the botanical’s flavour.
Stauning sweet wine-finished rye
The Danish whisky producers at Stauning haven’t been shy with getting experimental with their casks, and this limited edition rye whisky matured in sweet wine casks is the perfect example of that.
This new whisky, crafted with floor-malted Danish grain, was aged for three years in new American oak casks, followed by maturation for two years in Marsala, Gewürztraminer and Romandalo sweet wine casks. The result is a combination of fruity and sweet notes, designed for drinkers ‘on the hunt for innovation in whisky-making’. Many are likely to pick up notes of rye kernels, ripe fruits, dark caramel, malt, vanilla, cinnamon and pickled ginger.
Aker English Rosé Aperitif
Two of England’s great producers, Capreolus Distillery and Chapel Down, came together in July to launch this pink-hued English Rosé Aperitif.
The liquid is made with a combination of rosé wines from Chapel Down winery in Kent and raspberry eaux-de-vie from Capreolus Distillery in The Cotswolds. English botanicals, including blossoms, roots and spices, have been balanced with wormwood before being distilled with Chapel Down Chardonnay grape skin distillate to enhance the flavour even further. It is best served in a 60ml measure over ice in a wine glass, topped with a splash of tonic or soda. Extra points for a garnish or strawberries and home-grown mint.
Black Tot Rum Master Blender’s Reserve
Black Tot Day took place on 31 July and to celebrate, Elixir Distillers-owned Black Tot Rum released the 2022 edition of its Master Blender’s Reserve.
To create this super-premium, limited edition rum, Oliver Chilton, Black Tot’s master blender, took inspiration from historical rums in the brand’s collection, alongside the unique flavour profiles they exhibited over half a century ago.
“In the 2022 edition we looked to accentuate flavours of baked banana, chocolate and mocha milkshakes, balanced against classic navy rum notes of tobacco, leather and liquorice. This has resulted in a layered and perfectly balanced rum full of cocoa and spice which should create a lot of enthusiasm amongst Black Tot fans,” he said.
Contraluz cristalino mezcal
Looking for the ‘first’ premium and 100% artisanal cristalino mezcal? This is it.
Contraluz incorporates a filtration process that uses activated charcoal to produce a colourless, smooth flavour profile without compromising on the spirit’s signature taste. Impressive, right? Just wait until you taste it.
Recommended neat or on the rocks, it offers notes of green agave, citrus and light smoke, which are complemented by further notes of vanilla, cedar, honey and dried fruit. Its finish is sweet and long-lasting, balanced by the taste of cooked agave, clove and cacao.
The textured bottle pays homage to mezcal’s raw material – the agave heart – and acts as a prism that ‘celebrates and spotlights’ the crystal-clear liquid.
Glenturret 25-year-old and 30-year-old
Scotland’s oldest working distillery released two limited edition single malts in July, one aged for 25 years and the other 30 years.
The launch of the limited editions happened to coincide with the release of the distillery’s 2022 core collection, comprising Triple Wood, 7 Years Old Peat Smoked, 10 Years Old Peat Smoked, 12 Years Old and 15 Years Old.
The Glenturret 41.2% ABV 25 Years Old, limited to 210 bottles, was created from three casks: two European oak butts and one refill hogshead. The combination of barrels has made for a ‘fruitful and rich’ whisky. Meanwhile the 750 bottles of the 30-year-old, each sitting at 42% ABV, benefitted from time spent in Niepoort Portuguese oak casks, European oak Sherry and Moscatel casks.
Cape Byron ‘The Original’ Single Malt Whisky
They’ve been doing some pretty special things Down Under recently, with one standout release being this inaugural whisky from the Cape Byron Distillery, located on a 95-acre macadamia farm and 30-year-old regenerated subtropical rainforest near Byron Bay.
Cape Byron ‘The Original’ Single Malt Whisky rests at 47% ABV and has been created by master distiller Jim McEwan, and co-founder and distiller Eddie Brook, who offer 65 years of distilling experience between them.