News Briefs for May 20, 2013May 20, 2013
•Bacardi-owned Dewar’s Scotch is supporting the recent launch of its Highlander Honey extension with a new television ad campaign. The ad, which runs under the tagline “The Drinking Man,” is set in Aberfeldy, Scotland, and stars actress Claire Forlani. Dewar’s unveiled Highlander Honey—a 40%-abv honey-infused blended Scotch—in March, and plans to rollout additional infusions as part of a new “Highlander” range of flavored offerings. The honey expression is currently available nationwide priced at $23.99 a 750-ml.
•Pernod Ricard’s Malibu rum brand has added a pair of dessert-inspired flavors to its rum portfolio. Starting this month, Malibu Swirl—which features the flavors of strawberries and cream—and the chocolate ice cream-flavored Malibu Sundae will launch nationwide, supported by a full digital and social media push. Both 21%-abv offerings will be available in 1-liter, 750-ml. and 50-ml. formats, priced at around $14.99 a 750-ml. Malibu Swirl and Malibu Sundae mark the brand’s first foray into the confectionary spirits segment, which was up 58% over the past two years (ended November 10, 2012), according to Nielsen data. The pair join Malibu’s existing six-flavor range, as well as its Malibu Black, Island Spiced, Red and Original expressions.
•China-based importer ASC Fine Wines opened its new flagship “Wine Residence” in Shanghai in recent days. The 6,500-square meter facility offers an extensive selection of wines from RMB200 ($33) to over RMB100,000 ($16,600) a bottle, as well as educational sessions about wine, wine-themed fine dining restaurants, bars and banqueting services and exclusive members-only facilities such as temperature-controlled wine lockers and cellars. Open to all, ASC’s new Wine Residence offers two levels of membership for wine aficionados and enthusiasts: a “social membership” for RMB75,000 ($12,000), entitling members to discounts, exclusive services and facilities; and a “full membership” for RMB150,000 ($24,000), which adds the ability to store wines in the temperature-controlled Wine Residence cellar.
•Forest Grove, Oregon-based SakéOne has introduced a new extension, G Fifty, to its G saké line. Available nationwide for $25 a 750-ml. bottle and $13 for a 300-ml., G Fifty is a Junmai Ginjo Genshu saké. In addition to the G saké range, which features only Genshu products (meaning the saké isn’t diluted), SakéOne also produces Momokawa and fruit-flavor infused Moonstone, and imports the Murai Family and Yoshi No Gawa saké and Tombo shochu/soju labels. In March, the company also added premium Japanese-made SakéMoto to its import portfolio.
•The number of dry localities in Texas continues to dwindle, as 18 communities out of a possible 22 voted to begin allowing alcohol sales in one form or another in local elections last weekend. The most significant of the localities to go wet was Plano, a fast-growing suburb of Dallas, which voted 65% to 35% to legalize off-premise sales of beer, wine and spirits. Over the past 12 months, 65 Texas localities have held wet-dry votes, with 59 opting to go wet, according to DISCUS.
•Iconic Philadelphia restaurant Le Bec Fin is closing this summer to make way for a new concept from chef Justin Bogle. The new restaurant will feature a progressive American menu with a focus on local, seasonal ingredients. During renovations this summer, the downstairs lounge of the venue will remain open, serving bistro-style food and speakeasy-inspired cocktails. Local chef Chris Scarduzio is serving as director of operations on the new concept, which is slated to open in the fall.Subscribe to Shanken News Daily’s Email Newsletter, delivered to your inbox each morning.