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News Briefs for October 14, 2016

October 14, 2016

•Brown-Forman’s Woodford Reserve is introducing a new Brandy Cask Finish as part of its limited edition Master’s Collection. Claiming to be the first whiskey finished in an American brandy cask, the new entry began as a fully matured Woodford Reserve Bourbon before being finished in brandy casks for nearly two years. The 90.4-proof whiskey is hitting select U.S. markets at a retail price of around $100 a 750-ml. Selling nearly 365,000 cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank, Woodford Reserve has nearly doubled in size since 2012.

•Hiro Sake has launched Hiro Gold, an ultra-premium Junmai Daiginjo sake. Made from 100% Koshi Tanrei sake rice grown in Niigata prefecture, Hiro Gold is available in limited quantities in California, Florida, New York and Texas at a suggested retail price of $100 a 720-ml. bottle. Meanwhile, Hiro has entered the South Carolina market, distributed by Breakthru Beverage. Hiro, which also includes Blue ($40) and Red ($30) sakes, is now present in 21 states.

•Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits has established a new national wine education team, said to be the first of its kind in the industry. Providing wine education and certification for Southern Glazer’s employees nationwide, the team comprises eight wine experts, including holders of the Master Sommelier (MS), Master of Wine (MW) and Certified Wine Educator (CWE) certifications. They will report to Eric Hemer, MS, MW, CWE, who serves as senior vice president and corporate director of wine education for Southern Glazer’s.

•Hess Family Wine Estates has promoted Brian Batridge to the role of vice president, national accounts, on-premise. Batridge, who has been with Hess since 2002, most recently served as vice president, northern zone. In his new role, he’ll focus on strengthening the company’s route-to-market capabilities and work closely with The Mark Wine Group, which handles the Hess portfolio in the on-premise national accounts channel.

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