SB’s most-read stories in April 2023
In April, The Spirits Business online saw record numbers of clicks, with whisky releases, celebrity ventures and some intriguing research data capturing the attention of our readers.
In April, two round-ups found themselves to be especially popular with our readership, and one political story in particular got the world talking (and our readers scrolling).
Keep reading to find out which stories were the most read last month.
10. Top 10 award-winning rums and caçhacas
Our readers clearly had plans to expand their rum and caçhaca collections in April, as our round-up of 10 of the top award winners from our latest blind-tasting competition was especially popular last month, taking the 10th spot in our most-read list.
Covering rums from across the categories, from white and golden to flavoured and limited editions, the list had something for every sipper’s needs, with each expression having walked away with one of the top accolades from The Rum & Caçhaca Masters 2023.
9. Master distiller John Lunn dies
Last month, the Sazerac Company paid tribute to “wonderful distiller” John Lunn, who died ‘unexpectedly’ at the end of March.
A company statement said: “John was a wonderful distiller, trusted leader, and patient teacher to his fellow Sazerac team mates.
“We will miss John’s friendship, knowledge, and most of all, his dry sense of humour. John always knew a subtle way to put a smile on our face while remaining a consummate professional.”
8. Jennifer Lopez launches RTD cocktails
The Jenny from the Block singer added another string to her bow last month, as she launched her debut ready-to-drink cocktail range called The House of Delola, and our readers were keen to learn all about it.
The brand has already begun rolling out its premium, spirits-based bottled cocktails made with natural botanicals, the first of which is the Delola Spritz, and is available in three flavours: Bella Berry Spritz (10.5% ABV), made with berry, hibiscus and vodka; Paloma Rosa Spritz (11.5% ABV), made with grapefruit, elderflower and Tequila; and L’Orange Spritz (10.5% ABV), made with orange, passion fruit and amaro.
7. Bob Dylan to open whiskey distillery
This beautiful distillery pictured above is set to be the home of Bob Dylan’s Heaven’s Door Whiskey from September, and unsurprisingly our readers couldn’t stop themselves from clicking to find out more.
The new distillery is situated on a 160-acre plot located along Kentucky’s Six Mile Creek, and has been under development since 2017. It has been producing small batches of Bourbon on its custom still since 2018, after Ken Pierce was brought on as master distiller to lead the project from design through to distillation.
6. Diageo debuts Distillers Edition bottlings
Whisky fans were chomping at the bit to learn about Diageo’s latest Distillers Edition range, as the firm released six Scotch whiskies matured in fortified wine casks in April, including single malts from Diageo-owned Scotch distilleries Lagavulin, Talisker, Cragganmore, Oban, Dalwhinnie and Glenkinchie.
The single malts have all been matured in different types of cask wood, chosen to complement the characteristics of each whisky. Meanwhile the second maturation has taken place in batches, using individually prepared casks that have held a specially selected fortified wine.
5. Top 10 spirits launches in March
Our readers love to hear about the shiny and new spirits that join the shelves every month, and April was no exception. From the revival of a 90s classic to the bottle you’ll want to take with you to every barbecue this summer, March wasn’t short of innovative releases, and our round-up proved it.
4. Ardbeg launches Fèis Ìle single malt
It’s that time of year again. Islay whisky brands are marking the island’s annual Fèis Ìle festival with a selection of special releases, and the latest offering from Ardbeg certainly captured drinkers attention last month.
Ardbeg Heavy Vapours is a first for the creative brand, having been distilled without a purifier, which is the apparatus on the still responsible for maintaining the brand’s balance between extreme peat and floral fruitiness.
Director of whisky creation Dr Bill Lumsden allowed the ‘heaviest and untamed vapours’ to rise up the still during the distillation process, before being captured, matured and bottled.
3. The Singleton debuts 40YO whisky
This 40-year-old Singleton single malt – the third and final bottling in the Epicurean Odyssey series – was popular with our readers in April, so much so that it landed in the top three most-popular stories of the entire month.
The whisky explores an ‘epicurean journey of flavour’ and ‘sensorial maximalism’, and follows the release of 38-year-old and 39-year-old whiskies in the range. It presents notes of velvet dark chocolate and rich plums, and was produced in an attempt to achieve ‘superlative taste experiences’.
2. Consumers call for Pernod Ricard boycott
Pernod Ricard found itself in hot water last month, after it said it would continue exporting its international spirits to Russia. The public wasn’t happy about it, so much so that there were calls for a portfolio-wide boycott of all of the French firm’s brands, including Jameson Irish whiskey and Beefeater gin.
The company has since U-turned on its decision, saying it is going to “find a way” to halt the export of its brands.
1. US states that drink the most alcohol
Taking the top spot in our most-read stories of April (and by quite a large margin) was our report on the US states that consume the most alcohol. Our US readers were clearly intrigued to find out where their state ranked, and we’re sure many were surprised by which state took the top spot.
The story also revealed which states are the driest (perhaps less of a surprise when taking into account the religious status of each state) and which has the highest mortality rate when it comes to alcohol-related deaths.