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

News Briefs for October 11, 2016

October 11, 2016

•Pernod Ricard is unveiling two new luxury single malt Scotch whisky expressions under its Longmorn brand, including a 23-year-old and a 16-year-old. Longmorn 23-year-old ($1,450 a bottle) was aged in traditional oak casks, while the 16-year-old ($252) was rested in a combination of ex-Sherry, American oak and traditional oak casks. Both new Longmorn whiskies, which join the brand’s existing Distiller’s Choice offering (launched in January), are at 48% abv and non-chill filtered.

•Virginia Black Decadent American Whiskey, the new product from DeLéon Tequila founder Brent Hocking, has gotten off to a strong start in Canada, breaking the record for the biggest single-day launch sales in the history of Ontario’s liquor control board (LCBO). The LCBO is among the largest buyers and retailers of beverage alcohol globally, with sales up 7% to C$5.57 billion ($4.23b) in its latest fiscal year. Virginia Black ($35), which Hocking developed in collaboration with Canadian rapper Drake, debuted in the U.S. in May, distributed by Proximo Spirits. The brand will expand to the British Columbia, Manitoba and Alberta markets on October 15.

•Diageo is backing its Buchanan’s Scotch whisky franchise with a new national campaign aimed at the brand’s core Latino audience. Titled “Es Nuestro Momento” (It’s our moment), the push stars Grammy-winning musician J Balvin and encourages the younger generation of Latinos to embrace their heritage and shared sense of cultural pride. The campaign includes both English and Spanish language spots and is running across TV, digital and out-of-home channels. Buchanan’s, the U.S. market’s fourth-largest Scotch brand, reached 425,000 cases on 8% growth last year, according to Impact Databank, and has more than doubled in volume since 2010.

•Leonard Meyer, a leading figure in the spirits and wine distribution tier for more than five decades, passed away on October 8 at 91. After serving in the U.S. Army in World War II—where he was awarded five battle stars and the WWII victory medal for his service in the Pacific theatre—Meyer graduated from Atlanta Law School in 1948. He then joined his family’s Atlanta-based distribution business, State Wholesalers, Inc. He became State’s president in 1966 and chairman in 1976. State merged with fellow Georgia wholesaler Empire Distributors in 1988, and Meyer became executive vice president until his retirement in 2008.

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