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

News Briefs for April 24, 2015

April 24, 2015

•Diageo has officially relaunched its I.W. Harper Bourbon brand in the U.S. The relaunch, news of which began trickling out last month, will see the nationwide debut of two new I.W. Harper whiskies this spring: I.W. Harper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (82 proof, $35 a 750-ml.) and Limited Edition I.W. Harper 15-year-old (86 proof, $75 a 750-ml.). The 15-year-old limited edition Bourbon was distilled at Kentucky’s Bernheim Distillery, while the core non-age-stated version is a blend of Bernheim and other whiskies. Both were bottled at Diageo’s facility in Tullahoma, Tennessee. I.W. Harper has been absent from the U.S. for nearly two decades, although Diageo has continued to market the brand in overseas markets like Japan.

•Ty Ku Sake is rolling out its latest flavored expression—Ty Ku Cucumber—in the U.S. this June. Brewed with Akebono rice, spring water, yeast and handmade koji, Ty Ku Cucumber ($14.99 a 750-ml.) is billed as a premium Junmai sake infused with natural cucumber, intended to be served chilled or mixed in cocktails. According to Ty Ku vice chairman Guillaume Cuvelier, the gluten-free, 12%-abv offering is positioned to appeal to the “health and wellness community.” The launch comes on the heels of Ty Ku’s recently unveiled “Après Yoga” ad campaign, which targets the post-yoga class drinking occasion. Ty Ku Cucumber joins the brand’s existing range of Silver, Black, White and Coconut entries, which are marketed in the U.S. by Davos Brands.

•Southern Wine & Spirits of America has named Steve Zielonko vice president, national category management. He reports directly to Thomas McDevitt, senior vice president, shared information services for Southern Wine & Spirits. Zielonko joins Southern from Accenture, where he most recently focused on the group’s Route-to-Market/Perfect Sales Solutions operations in North America. He has also previously worked on category management projects with a variety of national retailers and consumer packaged goods companies, including a 16-year stint with Anheuser-Busch InBev.

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