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

News Briefs for March 17, 2017

March 17, 2017

•Johnnie Walker has launched its new limited edition Blenders’ Batch series in the U.S. Intended to showcase the brand’s experimental offerings, the series will debut with Johnnie Walker Blenders’ Batch Triple Grain American Oak, which features a blend of five whiskies and is aged a minimum of 10 years in American oak. The expression will be available nationwide, retailing at $30 a 750-ml. Johnnie Walker sells roughly 1.6 million cases in the U.S. annually, according to Impact Databank.

•New York-based importer CNI Brands has added two new offerings to its portfolio. Joining the CNI fold are Banhez mezcal ($40 a 1-liter) from Mexico and Aval Cidre ($3.50 a 330-ml.) from France. Both brands are currently in 15 states, with Southern Glazer’s handling Banhez and Aval distributed by an assortment of beer wholesalers. CNI Brands (formerly Cadre Noir Imports), also markets Combier liqueurs and Mistral and Control C Piscos, among other labels.

•Ketel One vodka is introducing a special Arnold Palmer Collector’s Edition bottle. Featuring a nostalgic black-and-white vignette of the legendary golfer, the bottle reads, “Dear Mr. Palmer, This One’s For You.” The special edition celebrates Palmer’s preferred tipple of Ketel One on the rocks with a slice of lemon, and his long relationship with Ketel One founders the Nolet family. It retails at about $25 a 750-ml. and $32 a 1-liter bottle. Ketel One, now jointly owned by the Nolets and Diageo, was flat at 2.17 million cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank.

•Lucas Bols USA has appointed Brett Dunne as managing director. He reports directly to Lucas Bols’ commercial director, Americas and Western Europe, Tal Nadari. Dunne joins Lucas Bols from Disaronno USA, where he most recently served as general manager. In his new role, Dunne will be charged with driving growth for Lucas Bols USA’s Bols Genever, Bols liqueur, Damrak gin, Galliano liqueur and Passoa liqueur brands.

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