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News Briefs for July 24, 2014

July 24, 2014

•Beam Suntory’s Laphroaig single malt Scotch has unveiled Laphroaig Select, a new entry composed of whiskies with a variety of maturation styles and wood profiles. Featuring a selection of different Laphroaig styles—including Quarter Cask, PX Cask, Triple Wood and Ten-Year-Old—the 80-proof entry is matured in new American oak casks, resulting in a blend of “peat, oak and sweetness.” Laphroaig Select is currently available in select markets, priced at $55 a 750-ml. The new addition joins Laphroaig 10-Year-Old, 10-Year-Old Cask Strength, Quarter Cask, 18-Year-Old, 25-Year-Old, QA Cask, Triple Wood and Cairdeas 2014 Amontillado Edition in the brand’s existing portfolio.

Anchor Distilling is launching five new Scotch whiskies from BenRiach Whisky Co.’s Glenglassaugh Distillery in the U.S. market. They include whiskies from both before Glenglassaugh was mothballed in 1986 and from since its reopening in 2008. Glenglassaugh’s new lineup includes Revival ($65), a 46%-abv offering billed as the first single malt from the reborn distillery; Evolution ($80), an exclusive series from single-variety oak casks (the first of which is 50% abv and was matured in George Dickel Tennessee whisky barrels); Torfa ($75), a peated Highland malt at 50% abv; Glenglassaugh 30-year-old ($500), a 44.8%-abv whisky matured in refill Oloroso Sherry butts; and Glenglassaugh 40-year-old ($3,000), which was bottled at 42.5% abv and was matured in a mix of ex-Bourbon barrels, European oak hogsheads, Pedro Ximenez Sherry puncheons and Oloroso Sherry butts. Each of the newcomers is non-chill filtered and retains its natural color.

•SABMiller’s North America revenue grew 3% in the three months through June, its fiscal first quarter, as its MillerCoors joint venture with Molson Coors in the U.S. saw continuing growth in above-premium beers. The revenue gain came despite a decline in U.S. sales to retailers of 1.2% and a 1.7% decrease in sales to wholesalers. Sales to retailers for both Miller Lite and Coors Light were down low single digits, while a high single-digit rise for Coors Banquet was offset by a double-digit fall for Miller Genuine Draft. Above-premium sales to retailers grew by double digits, however, driven by the Redd’s franchise and the launches of Miller Fortune and Smith & Forge Hard Cider. Leinenkugel’s also contributed with high single-digit growth, and Blue Moon saw low single-digit advance from its core Belgian White, although its seasonal beers were down high single digits.

•Contract spirits producer MGP Ingredients Inc. has named former Brown-Forman exec Gus Griffin president and CEO, effective July 28. He replaces MGP vice president of engineering Randy Schrick and MGP vice president of finance and CFO Don Tracy, who have shared the role on an interim basis since December. Griffin, who most recently served as executive vice president of marketing for California’s Next Level Spirits, had previously spent 24 years with Brown-Forman, ultimately serving as senior vice president and global managing director for B-F’s flagship Jack Daniel’s business.

•Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte has promoted Julie Campos to the role of managing director. Campos will assume the position in 2015, following the departure of current managing director Dominique Pierre at the end of this year. Campos joined Nicolas Feuillatte as commercial director in 2011.

Heineken USA senior vice president, sales, Scott Blazek is leaving the company after seven years of service. 18-year Coca-Cola veteran Ray Faust will take over Blazek’s role under the title chief sales officer. Faust has worked with both the Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola Enterprises, its bottling system, serving on both the distributor and supplier side. He is currently senior vice president of commercial strategy at Coca-Cola Company, leading about 300 employees, and was previously responsible for the company’s $2.4 billion Southern retail business unit. Faust will relocate from Atlanta and begin work at Heineken’s White Plains office on September 2.

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