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News Briefs for September 14, 2018

September 14, 2018

•Beam Suntory is releasing two new high-end single malt Scotch whiskies, both from Islay.Bowmore 27-year-old Port Cask was matured for 13 years in ex-Bourbon barrels, then for 14 years in Port pipes. The whisky is bottled at a cask strength 48.3% abv and retails at a suggested $520 a bottle. The 27-year-old is the final edition in Bowmore’s Vintner’s Trilogy collection, which also includes 26-year-old Wine Matured and 18-year-old Double Matured Manzanilla whiskies. Also new from Beam Suntory is Laphroaig Cairdeas Fino Cask. Retailing at $80, Laphroaig’s newcomer is at 51.8% abv and was matured in first-fill Bourbon barrels before being finished in Sherry casks.

•Beam Suntory has also unveiled a limited edition Bourbon to celebrate the 85th anniversary of the end of Prohibition. Jim Beam Repeal Batch Bourbon ($18) is at 43% abv, aged four years, and is non-chill filtered, with a label design inspired by Jim Beam bottles from the 1930s. The release also commemorates the rapid rebuilding of the Beam distillery, which was reopened only four months after Repeal.

•Guarachi Wine Partners is adding Chilean luxury wine label Vik to its portfolio effective in January. Founded in 2004 by Norwegian entrepreneur Alexander Vik and his wife Carrie, Vik currently offers three wines: Milla Cala, La Piu Belle, and Vik, all estate grown blends from the company’s 11,000 acres of land in central Chile’s Millahue Valley. Vik joins brands including Bodega Norton, Santa Ema, Kaiken, and King Malbec in Guarachi’s South American portfolio.

•Taylor Fladgate has released Chip Dry White Port in the U.S. market. The 19.7%-abv wine is made from grapes grown in the Douro Superior region and crafted to be especially dry—the spirit used to halt fermentation is added late so that most of the wine’s sugar has been converted to alcohol. The wine is aged for four to five years before blending. The company recommends serving Taylor Fladgate Chip Dry White Port over ice or with tonic. It will retail for a suggested price of $20 a 750-ml. Taylor Fladgate is handled by Kobrand in the U.S.

•Plantation rum, part of the Maison Ferrand portfolio, is launching a new offering, Xaymaca Special Dry. Retailing at $25 a bottle, the 43%-abv bottling is a 100% Jamaican pot still rum, blending rums distilled in the old John Dore pot still at Long Pond distillery and the Vendome pot still at Clarendon distillery. Maison Ferrand gained one-third ownership of Long Pond and Clarendon via its purchase of the West Indies Rum Distillery in Barbados in 2017. The Plantation brand sold around 60,000 cases on roughly 70% growth in the U.S. last year.

•Actor Chris Noth has become majority owner of Ambhar Tequila. Ambhar is a 100% Blue Agave artisan Tequila. The brand has distribution deals with RNDC and Southern Glazer’s. It’s currently sold in Florida, Texas, California, Oklahoma, and Mississippi, and it will be rolled out soon in New York, Colorado, Illinois, and Ohio, according to the company. Noth is also co-owner of The Cutting Room, a New York City club and music venue.

•Fredericksburg, Virginia-based A. Smith Bowman Distillery is releasing two limited edition whiskies in honor of its late master distiller Truman Cox, who died suddenly in 2013 at age 44. The whiskies come from two single barrels—the First Whiskey Barrel and the Emerson Cox Barrel, which make up the Truman Cox Commemorative Series. Both whiskies will only be available through a lottery system, with entries taken online at www.asmithbowman.com/truman from September 14-18. The drawing will take place at noon EST on September 21. State law only allows the bottles to be purchased at the distillery. The retail pricing is $99.99. A. Smith Bown will donate all proceeds to the local Shriner’s Hospital for Children.

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