Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business

News Briefs for November 28, 2012

November 28, 2012

Johnnie Walker has unveiled a new travel-focused range, the Explorers’ Club Collection. Sold exclusively in travel retail, the range debuts with a series of three blends, known collectively as the Trade Routes Series. The first Trade Routes entry is The Spice Road, an oak cask-matured whisky inspired by spice markets and featuring notes of citrus, cloves, ginger and vanilla. Retailing at $43 a bottle, The Spice Road initially will be available at duty free stores across Europe, the Middle East and Australia next month, before beginning a global travel retail rollout in January. The other Trade Routes offerings—which include The Gold Route and The Royal Route—will enter the duty free market next year.

•San Francisco-based Anchor Distilling is adding Japan’s Nikka whisky to its U.S. import portfolio. Anchor will import two Nikka expressions, Yoichi Single Malt and Taketsuru Pure Malt. Yoichi ($129.99 a bottle) is a 15-year-old whisky made at the distillery of the same name on the island of Hokkaido. Taketsuru, a 12-year-old retailing for $69.99 and named for Nikka founder Masataka Taketsuru, is a blend of pure malt whiskies from the Yoichi and Miyagikyo distilleries (the latter is located in Sendai, northern Honshu).

•International Beverage is launching a 25-year-old edition of its Speyburn single malt. Aged in American oak Fino Sherry and ex-Bourbon casks, the new entry is packaged inside a silver wooden box alongside two engraved collapsible tasting cups. The oldest expression in the Speyburn portfolio, Speyburn 25-year-old will retail at $315 a bottle and be available at select retailers and venues in limited quantities. Speyburn’s core 10-year-old sells for around $28.99 a bottle and was repacked earlier this year.

•Sharon, Pennsylvania-based Quaker Steak & Lube is pushing further into Texas with four new restaurants slated to open in the Houston area beginning in 2013. The brand currently has two Texas units in Waco and Carrollton, with a third opening in Plano in January. Quaker Steak & Lube has signed a development agreement with Salt & Pepper Restaurants Inc. for the new Houston area units and also recently signed agreements with five new franchise groups to develop in six new markets through 2013. The company is on track to reach its goal of 12 new restaurants in 2012, and an additional 12 units are planned for 2013. There are currently nearly 60 Quaker Steak & Lube restaurants in 18 states and Canada.


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