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News Briefs for September 16, 2013

September 16, 2013

•William Grant & Sons has begun construction on its new Tullamore D.E.W. distillery, first announced in March. Slated to open in fall 2014, the €35 million ($46.5m) pot still whiskey and malt whiskey distillery will sit on 58 acres in Ireland’s Tullamore, County Offaly, where the Tullamore D.E.W. brand was produced prior to 1954. The facility, which is part of William Grant’s multi-million-dollar redevelopment of the Irish whiskey brand, follows the recent opening of a new visitor center, as well as a full brand repack launched in July. Tullamore D.E.W., which was up 22% to 95,000 cases in the U.S. in 2012, is currently contract produced by Pernod’s Irish Distillers unit.

•Constellation’s Black Velvet Canadian whisky is launching a new flavor extension, Cinnamon Rush, into national distribution beginning this month. Available in 1-liter, 750-ml. and 50-ml. sizes, Cinnamon Rush is 70 proof and retails at $12.49 a 750-ml. Constellation says Cinnamon Rush is geared toward the shot occasion—where it will take on Sazerac’s Fireball, Hood River’s SinFire and Brown-Forman’s Early Times Fire Eater, among other cinnamon-flavored brands—as well as cocktails. Cinnamon Rush is joined in the Black Velvet flavor stable by Toasted Caramel, which debuted a year ago.

•The Scotch Whisky Association has named a new chief executive to replace the departing Gavin Hewitt effective January 2, 2014. Replacing Hewitt will be David Frost, currently director for Europe, Trade and International Affairs at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the U.K. Government department focusing on economic growth and trade policy. The BIS’s senior official responsible for trade policy, in his time in government Frost has also served as the U.K.’s ambassador to Denmark and director for both Strategy and the E.U. in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Gavin Hewitt has served as CEO of the Scotch Whisky Association since 2003, a period in which Scotch exports nearly doubled.

•More than 100 applicants submitted requests for liquor licenses to Brooklyn’s Community Board 1 earlier this month, but one in particular raised eyebrows. Retail chain Urban Outfitters applied for a liquor license for a new location currently being built on North 6th street in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, according to the New York Daily News. The Community Board will give all applicants the opportunity to make their case on October 3, but it won’t serve as the final arbiter, as the New York State Liquor Authority ultimately decides whether or not applicants will be granted liquor licenses.

•Agave Loco Brands has introduced a holiday gift set for its thriving RumChata rum cream liqueur brand. The pack, which include a 750-ml. bottle of RumChata as well as a branded ceramic thermal cup, will be available nationwide for $19.95 each. RumChata—made with real Wisconsin dairy cream, cinnamon, sugar and vanilla, blended with Caribbean rum—reported a 70% increase in sales in the first six months of 2013 over the same period last year. The brand is projected to top 600,000 cases for 2013, up from 365,000 cases last year.

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