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

News Briefs for June 5, 2017

June 5, 2017

•Total Wine & More has launched a campaign aimed at changing Massachusetts’ alcohol laws, which the retailer says are out-of-date and unfriendly to consumers. Total’s “Consumers First” initiative seeks to overhaul laws that it says deny Bay State consumers “access to the best possible retailer coupon and customer loyalty programs, as well as regulatory obstacles that prevent the lowest prices from being passed on to customers from bulk wholesale discounts.” Total Wine has four stores in Massachusetts, which has loosened restrictions on retail licenses in recent years. Retailers may now have seven licenses per owner in the state, with the number rising to nine in 2020. Meanwhile, Massachusetts state treasurer Deb Goldberg has convened an Alcohol Task Force that will analyze the state’s alcohol regulations, with a preliminary report expected in the next six months.

•William Grant & Sons has announced the second release in the Glenfiddich Experimental Series: Project XX (pronounced “twenty”). This single malt Scotch whisky is a blend of 20 distinct Glenfiddich casks, chosen by whisky experts from 16 countries. The chosen casks include whiskies of various ages matured in Port, Sherry and unused American oak barrels. Glenfiddich malt master Brian Kinsman blended the whiskies to develop a final product that’s reminiscent of Glenfiddich’s traditional flavor profile, but with added depth and complexity. The 47%-abv whisky will retail at around $80 a 750-ml. and is available nationwide.

•Patrón Tequila is extending its upscale Roca Patrón range with a 375-ml. format. Roca Patrón’s Silver, Reposado and Añejo will each be available in the new bottle size, retail priced at $45 to $70 a 375-ml. Launched in 2014, Roca Patrón Tequilas are made using a traditional “tahona” process, with the Reposado and Añejo rested in single-use Bourbon barrels for five months and 14 months, respectively. Roca Patrón sold around 44,000 nine-liter cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank.

•Mezcal producer Kimo Sabe is launching a new line of limited-release, luxury mezcals, the Colección de las Maravillas. The first expression in the line, Cinco de Noviembre, will debut at New Orleans’ Tales of the Cocktail festival in July. Crafted from six of the rarest agaves from Mexico’s mezcal regions, Cinco de Noviembre is a blend of single and double distillations, which were fused together in a third distillation. 700 bottles of Cinco de Noviembre will be available worldwide for $511 a 750-ml. starting in July. Kimo Sabe, which also produces joven and reposado mezcals, is currently distributed in 10 states across the U.S.

•Seagram’s Vodka has introduced a new flavor entry: Juicy Watermelon. The 35%-abv vodka follows Ruby Red Grapefruit and Golden Apricot, the two most recent additions to the Seagram’s flavored vodka family. Seagram’s Juicy Watermelon retails for around $11 a 750 ml. and is now available nationwide. Marketed by Infinium Spirits, Seagram’s vodka was up 8% to 1.4 million cases in the U.S. last year.

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