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

News Briefs for August 11, 2014

August 11, 2014

•Frederick Wildman & Sons’ specialty spirits division is expanding its presence in blended Scotch with two new products slated for release by October. One is The Feathery, a blended malt aged entirely in sherry casks and priced for retail at $58 a 750-ml bottle. The other is Sheep Dip Islay Blended Malt, a blend of casks obtained from all eight distilleries in Islay and featuring the island’s distinctive peat flavors. It will retail at $56. Wildman also hopes to release an Edinburgh branded gin in an elderflower flavor by year-end. Produced by its U.K. partner Spencerfield Spirit Co., the gin will be at approximately 30% abv and will retail at around $35.

•Chicago-based chef Paul Virant, who owns Vie in the suburb of Western Springs and Perennial Virant in Chicago, is preparing to open his third restaurant. The new venue will be called Vistro and will be an 85-seat casual concept located in the western suburb of Hinsdale, with an opening slated by Labor Day. Vie, past winner of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, sports a 200-label list with a cellar of 1,200 bottles and an average bottle sale of $110. Sommelier Chris Harris says Vistro will be downsized to a list of just 30 wines and an inventory of 300 bottles. There will also be four draft beer handles and a small cocktail list. Vie gets nearly 40 percent of its sales from beverages, Harris says, and Vistro is expected to have the same ratio.

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