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News Briefs for October 18, 2017

October 18, 2017

•Diageo-owned Cîroc vodka has launched a new flavored expression, French Vanilla. Retailing at $34 a 750-ml., the new entry joins Red Berry, Coconut, Peach, Pineapple, Apple and Mango in the brand’s flavor range. The launch will be supported by online videos and other commercial activations. Cîroc will donate $1 from each of the first 100,000 bottles sold to Mama Hope, a non-profit committed to supporting entrepreneurs working to escape poverty. Cîroc struggled in the U.S. in Diageo’s fiscal year ending in June, slipping 13% by volume due to a tough comparison against the prior year, which saw the successful launch of its Apple flavor. Along with Smirnoff and Ketel One, Diageo has been upping its marketing activity behind Cîroc lately and says it expects the brand to perform better looking ahead.

•Brown-Forman’s Woodford Reserve has released French Oak Cask Finished Rye, the seventh expression in its Distillery Series. The new whiskey was matured for three years in French oak barrels that held Pinot Noir prior to being seasoned with Woodford Reserve Bourbon. Retail priced at $49.99 a 375-ml., the 86.4 proof French Oak Cask Finished Rye is available at the Woodford distillery and at select Kentucky retailers. Woodford Reserve posted 16% growth in Brown-Forman’s fiscal first quarter ended in July.

•Florida’s Hemingway Rum Co. is extending its Papa’s Pilar brand with a special edition Sherry Finish expression. Papa’s Pilar Sherry Finish features a blend of seven rums aged for up to 25 years. After solera aging in Bourbon, Port and Sherry casks, the liquid is finished in Oloroso Sherry casks for around 30 days. Papa’s Pilar Sherry Finish will be available across 13 states, retailing at $45-$47 a 750-ml., and is limited to 1,400 six-pack cases. Hemingway Rum Co.—which also produces its flagship Papa’s Pilar Blonde ($29.99) and Dark ($39.99) rums—recently opened a new 8,000-square-foot distillery and experience center in Key West.

•Texas-based 7-Eleven Inc. has debuted its first vintage and appellation-designated wines under its Trojan Horse private label brand. Trojan Horse Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio are both available at $6.99 at 7-Eleven locations across the U.S. The company is hoping to reach Millennial consumers with the releases and increase its number of high-selling proprietary brands. Last year, four of the top 10 wines in 7-Eleven stores were private bottlings sold under the Yosemite Road brand.

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