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

News Briefs for September 7, 2016

September 7, 2016

•Luxco has extended its Rebel Yell Bourbon brand with the launch of Rebel Yell Single Barrel. Matured for 10 years, the 100-proof entry features a barrel number and “aged since” date on each bottle’s label. Rebel Yell Single Barrel ($50 a 750-ml.) is rolling out nationwide this month, initially limited to 2,000 cases, with a further 4,000 cases set to be released next year. The new offering joins Kentucky Straight Bourbon, American Whiskey, Small Batch Rye, Small Batch Reserve, Ginger and Root Beer expressions in Rebel Yell’s existing lineup. An Impact “Hot Prospect,” Rebel Yell was up 21% to 64,000 cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank.

•William Grant & Sons has refreshed its Drambuie whisky liqueur brand with a new bottle design and rebranding initiative. The new look is intended to leverage the brand’s history dating back to 1745 as Bonnie Prince Charlie’s recipe, while emphasizing its current use in cocktails. The updated bottle features design elements meant to mirror vintage Drambuie bottles, as well as a new bottle shape and reframed brand logo. The new dark-brown glass bottle is also topped with a red cork closure. William Grant & Sons acquired Drambuie from Scotland’s MacKinnon family for an undisclosed sum in 2014. Drambuie’s depletions have hovered around 60,000 cases in the U.S. in recent years, according to Impact Databank.

•Redmond, Washington-based Betz Family Winery has partnered with South African winemaker Carl van de Merwe and Wendy Appelbaum, owner of Stellenbosch’s DeMorgenzon Winery, to launch Quinta Essentia, a new South African Chenin Blanc. Sourced from old-vine blocks in the Stellenbosch wine region, Quinta Essentia is aged in 100% French oak—25% of which is new—with natural fermentation in the barrel lasting four to 12 weeks. The new offering initially will be available to Betz Family Winery members for online purchase this month, retailing at $40 a 750-ml. Betz Family Winery, established by winemaker Bob Betz and wife Cathy in 1997, was sold in 2011 to Steve and Bridgit Griessel, who hail from South Africa.

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