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Upscale Whiskies Dominate Impact’s “Hot Prospects” Spirits Awards

September 11, 2014

The surge in brown spirits across the U.S. market is in evidence on this year’s Impact “Hot Prospects” spirits list, which is highlighted by numerous super-premium brands from multiple segments of the whisk(e)y category.

Whiskies account for more than a third of the 21 Hot Prospect spirits brands this year—including three Bourbons, two single malt Scotches, two Canadian whiskies and one Irish whiskey—and nearly all of the above boast price points firmly at the premium end of the spectrum. Beam Suntory markets all three Hot Prospect Bourbons—Devil’s Cut, Maker’s 46 and Basil Hayden—while Edrington Group’s Macallan and Moët Hennessy USA’s Glenmorangie represent single malt Scotch. From the Canadian whisky segment, Pernod Ricard’s Wiser’s and Mexcor’s Select Club earned honors, and William Grant & Sons’ Tullamore D.E.W. made the grade in the fast-rising Irish whiskey category.

To qualify as Hot Prospects, spirits brands must have posted 15% depletions growth or more in 2013 while also showing consistent growth in 2011 and 2012. Volumes must be at least 50,000 cases but not more than 200,000 cases. New products can also qualify as Hot Prospects if they pass the 50,000-case mark in their first year.

In other spirits categories, four vodka brands achieved Hot Prospect status—Deep Eddy, Kobrand’s Vikingfjord, McCormick Distilling’s 360 and Adamba Imports’ Vesica—each priced below $20 a bottle, underscoring the price-competitive nature of today’s vodka category. Three liqueur brands—Heaven Hill’s Evan Williams Flavored Reserves and Fulton’s Harvest and Deutsch Family’s Licor 43—also were named Hot Prospects, as were two Tequila brands—Campari America’s Espolón and Pernod’s Avión. Rounding out the list are Heaven Hill’s Blackheart rum and E&J Gallo’s Shellback rum, Beam Suntory’s Salignac Cognac and Independent Distillers’ premixed cocktail brand Twisted Shotz.

For brand data and an analysis of Impact’s spirits Hot Prospects, see Impact’s September 1&15 issue.

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