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Sonoma’s 3 Badge Bolsters Spirits Stable With New Whisky, Mezcal Offerings

May 19, 2017

Best known for its portfolio of negoçiant wine brands—which totals 340,000 cases and includes labels like Leese-Fitch and Moobuzz among others—Sonoma-based 3 Badge Beverage has ramped up its focus on spirits, building a diverse stable of high-end craft offerings. 3 Badge’s spirits lineup includes the Masterson’s Canadian whisky, Uncle Val’s Gin, Bib & Tucker Bourbon, Kirk & Sweeney rum and Pasote Tequila brands, each of which retail from $30 and up. According to Impact Databank, 3 Badge’s spirits volume rose 35% to 35,000 cases last year, and president August Sebastiani tells SND more expansion is in the offing.

This spring, 3 Badge extended its Masterson’s whisky range with a trio of limited-production barrel-aged ryes. All three garnered scores of 90 points or above from Whisky Advocate in the magazine’s Spring 2017 issue. The new Masterson’s Barrel-Finished Rye Whisky expressions ($80-$90 a 750-ml.) begin as Masterson’s flagship 100% rye whisky, and are later rested in American, French and Hungarian oak barrels respectively. The Masterson’s brand is distributed across 44 states.

Last fall, 3 Badge entered the rising mezcal category with high-end brand Bozal. This month, Bozal is unveiling four new mezcals, including Borrego ($99), Pechuga ($99), Castilla ($129) and Coyote ($129). The upscale expressions join Bozal’s existing Espadin-Barril-Mexicano ($50), Cuixe ($80), Tobasiche ($80) and Ancestral ($100) labels. Bozal, which specializes in showcasing wild agave varietals from Oaxaca and Guerrero, Mexico, has a footprint spanning 28 markets, with California, Washington and Massachusetts among the brand’s fastest-growing states.

Meanwhile, 3 Badge Beverage is eyeing entry into several other spirits categories. “We’re dabbling with the idea of bitters, or maybe an Italian amaro. Vermouth is another category that we’ve explored,” says Sebastiani. “We’re very intrigued at the prospect of pursuing more ‘cocktail share.’”—Christina Jelski

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