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Hotaling & Co. Bolsters Portfolio With New Spirits Offerings

May 10, 2018

Hotaling & Co., formerly known as Anchor Distilling, continues to see solid growth across its portfolio of artisanal spirits, which totaled just under 200,000 cases last year. President and CEO Dennis Carr tells SND that Hotaling is expecting to post double-digit progress for 2018. The company’s portfolio skews heavily toward the on-premise, which accounts for 65% of sales. This year, Hotaling is adding a series of fresh brand propositions to its lineup, including new American and Irish whiskey offerings.

In the American whiskey segment, Hotaling is resurrecting J.H. Cutter, a brand sold in the 19th Century by the company’s namesake, San Francisco liquor merchant A.P. Hotaling. In an effort to recreate the brand’s antique style from the packaging to the liquid, Hotaling’s new J.H. Cutter expression is a 48%-abv blend of 25% Old Potrero malted rye and 75% Bourbon from Bardstown-based Kentucky Bourbon Distillers. J.H. Cutter will be limited to select states in the early going, retailing at $50 a 750-ml., with expanded distribution possible looking down the road a few years.

Hotaling is also launching a range of spirits from Ireland’s Dingle Distillery, led by the flagship Dingle Single Malt Irish Whiskey. The triple-distilled, 46.5%-abv Dingle single malt is matured in Bourbon, Oloroso, and Pedro Ximenez casks and retails at the high end, selling at around $80 a 750-ml. The Dingle line also includes gin and vodka entries.

In the rum category, earlier this year Hotaling took an equity stake in the Denizen brand for an undisclosed sum. Denizen’s portfolio includes an aged white rum ($20 a 750-ml.) at 40% abv and a Merchant’s Reserve offering ($30) at 43% abv, both sourced from multiple Caribbean distillers. Also, Hotaling will launch a Spice Hunter spiced rum from co-owner Berry Bros. & Rudd later this year.

Amid all the new launches, Hotaling is also seeing gains from Hine Cognac, Luxardo liqueur, and Old Potrero, Nikka, and Kavalan whiskies, among other existing brands. Meanwhile, the company continues to hunt for a new distillery site in San Francisco, following last year’s $85-million sale of Anchor Brewing to Sapporo, a deal that included the Anchor trademark and property. “Our vision for the distillery is to stay at roughly our current capacity of 50,000 cases,” Carr says. “We also want to use this as an opportunity to expand our visitor experience, and bring our brands to the consumer as much as possible.”—Daniel Marsteller

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