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SB’s most-read stories in June

June offered a wide variety of news stories, from unexpected new product launches to hard-hitting court cases.

Four whisky stories made the top 10 last month

While it was a busy month for news stories, SB readers were mostly keen to discover which brands grew the most in 2023 and which Scotch whiskies picked up prizes in The Global Spirits Masters Competitions (GSMC).

Keep scrolling to discover what captured our audience’s attention in June.

10. Stormzy opens House Party bar in London

Stormzy House Party bar

June’s hottest bar opening came from award-winning rapper Stormzy, who opened a venue called House Party in London’s Soho. The site – formerly the home of longstanding cocktail bar Milk & Honey – has seven storeys and promises a ‘nostalgic house party experience’.

To get in, guests can gain access by applying for an invitation, walk-ins, or by booking a room.

9. Brown-Forman reports stagnant FY sales

Brown-Forman Jack Daniel's

It wasn’t great news for Jack Daniel’s owner Brown-Forman in June. The spirits firm saw net sales fall by 1%, although it still managed to rake in US$4.2 billion in the year ending 30 April 2024.

Jack Daniel’s in particular suffered, falling by 2%, while the firm’s premium Bourbons enjoyed growth – Woodford Reserve by 3% and Old Forester by 11%.

8. White Claw reveals summer flavours

White Claw summer flavours

It seems our readers were ready for summer in June, when hard seltzer brand White Claw revealed its newest flavours. The Pineapple and Passion Fruit variants launched in the US earlier this year and landed in the UK last month – just in time for the weather to start picking up. From the clicks on this story, we expect the brand to be a mainstay at many barbecues in the next few weeks.

7. Angel’s Envy debuts its first unfinished whiskey

Angel’s Envy June release

Launched in 2006, Angel’s Envy was a pioneer in its use of finishing casks on American whiskey, a concept that has become a broader industry practice. June saw the brand turn its back on that tradition and release its first unfinished whiskey, a cask-strength bottled-in-bond Bourbon.

6. SGWS and RNDC face antitrust lawsuit

Southern Glazer's Wine Spirits lawsuit in June

A legal complaint against two of the biggest US distributors made headlines in June, with online alcohol marketplace Provi mounting a claim against Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits (SGWS) and Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC).

Provi claims the businesses have violated antitrust laws and made efforts to ‘maintain or enhance their respective monopoly power’ in online alcohol marketplaces, alleging that some of the actions included blocking and rejecting orders for wine and spirits when retailers select Provi.

5. Chivas Brothers unveils GTR-exclusive whiskies

Pernod Ricard (1) June release

Two new whisky ranges from Chivas Brothers got our readers clicking last month. Royal Salute created the Small Batch collection, a selection of rare cask-finished whiskies, while Ballantine’s debuted its 23 Year Old Golden Hour series.

The Royal Salute line starts at US$450, while the Ballantine’s whisky is priced at US$279.

4. Crown Royal ventures into single malt

Crown Royal is launching its first single malt, bottled at 45% ABV, in June

Another brand that stepped out of its own traditions last month was Canadian whisky Crown Royal, which turned its back on its usual blends and flavours in favour of its first single malt. Bottled at 45% ABV and priced at US$55, the expression embraces Canada’s cold climate.

3. Don Julio reveals cask-finished 1942 Tequilas

Don Julio 1942

Don Julio also made headlines with a new product launch in June, releasing its Tequila for sale by cask for the first time. Available to buy on blockchain platform BlockBar, the five Tequilas are finished in five different casks: Bourbon, ruby Port, orange wine, Madeira and Crémant.

Each expression had a starting bid of US$35,000.

2. The Scotch Whisky Masters 2024 results


June saw the Scotch whisky edition of The Global Spirits Masters Competitions (GSMC), with 30 Masters awards handed out, and plenty more Golds and Silvers. The verdict from this year’s judging is that variety and quality are thriving in the category.

1. Brand Champions 2024

By far the most-read story of June was the results of this year’s Brand Champions report, with thousands of you logging on to discover the world’s biggest-selling Scotch, Tequila and brandy brands in 2023. Newcomers to this year’s report include Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s Teremana Tequila, which grew from 0.9 million nine-litre cases in 2022 to 1m in 2023, a 17.7% increase.

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