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News Briefs for April 24, 2013

April 24, 2013

•The bespoke single malt Scotch whisky created by chef Daniel Boulud and The Dalmore is now available at each of Boulud’s six New York City dining establishments, including Daniel, Cafe Boulud, Boulud Sud, db Bistro Moderne, Bar Boulud and DBGB Kitchen & Bar. Boulud and Dalmore master blender Richard Paterson crafted the final assemblage of whiskies for the new offering—known as The Dalmore Selected by Daniel Boulud—which consists of three vintages from The Dalmore distillery finished in Muscatel, Madeira and Port wine casks. Boulud has created a different signature whisky-infused dessert at each of his restaurants to pair with the new single malt, which is slated for a national retail launch this fall.

Boston Beer Co. is launching its new range of Angry Orchard specialty ciders nationwide this week. Previously available in limited release, the new Cider House Collection is making its official debut with two 10%-abv, wood-aged offerings—Angry Orchard Iceman and Angry Orchard Strawman. Styled after traditional ice ciders from Quebec, Iceman features warm caramel, toffee and honey notes reminiscent of a Sauternes or Muscat wine, while Strawman is billed as a farmhouse cider, featuring vanilla notes and the earthy, herbaceous flavors found in some Sauvignon Blancs and Rieslings. The pair, which are priced at around $14.99 a 750-ml. bottle, are intended to be served in a way similar to white wine. The Cider House Collection joins Angry Orchard’s existing Crisp Apple, Apple Ginger, Traditional Dry and Elderflower cider offerings. An Impact “Hot Brand,” Angry Orchard surged to 2.2 million (2.25-gallon) cases 2012, after selling 40,000 cases in limited release a year earlier.

•Bordeaux’s Right Bank is buzzing with news of the latest lawsuit to challenge the controversial rankings of St.-Emilion’s châteaus. St.-Emilion’s 2012 classification is under renewed attack, with three châteaus filing separate criminal complaints with the public prosecutor April 15, demanding an investigation into illegal interference by people involved with the classification. For the full story in Wine Spectator, click here.

Heineken says group beer volume declined 2.7% organically to 46.7 million hectoliters in the first quarter of 2013, as destocking in the U.S. and France and a difficult comparable against a strong first quarter last year took their toll. Heineken’s Americas unit saw volume dip 2.4% during the period. U.S. sales to retailers were down in the low single-digits, but Heineken says it still outperformed the market and gained share. Group revenue rose 8.1% to €4.1 billion ($5.3b) on a reported basis in the first quarter, but was down 2.7% organically, stripping out gains from Heineken’s recent acquisition of Asia Pacific Breweries.

•Charlottesville, Virginia-based Starr Hill Brewery has introduced a new summer seasonal beer, Grateful Pale Ale. The brew will be available in six-packs of 12-ounce bottles ($8.99) and on draft from May through July. It’s also currently featured in Starr Hill’s summer variety 12-pack, called The Life, along with Northern Lights IPA, Starr Pils Lager and The Love. The launch will be supported with point-of-sale materials, glassware and an on-premise campaign under the tagline “Be Grateful,” which will include sampling events and the opportunity for consumers to share what they’re grateful for on the brand’s Facebook or Twitter pages. Starr Hill recently expanded into Delaware and New Jersey, bringing the distribution footprint to eight states and Washington, D.C.

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