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News Briefs for September 18, 2013

September 18, 2013

•Whyte & Mackay has named Bryan Donaghey as its new CEO. Donaghey, who left his position as managing director of Diageo Scotland earlier this year, replaces John Beard, who left W&M last month. W&M is owned by United Spirits Ltd., in which Diageo recently became the largest shareholder. The U.K.’s Office of Fair Trading is currently examining that deal, and it’s been widely speculated that the regulatory body will require USL to shed W&M because of competition concerns.

•Chivas Brothers has opened its new Prestige Hall bottling facility in Paisley, part of a £40 million ($64m) annual investment the Pernod Ricard-owned group has poured into its Scottish operations. Officially opened with a visit from Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, the Prestige Hall plant was created to facilitate the hand-packaging of Chivas Brothers’ highest-value products, including those in the Chivas Regal, Royal Salute, The Glenlivet, Beefeater and Ballantine’s ranges, as well as some limited edition single malts. In addition Prestige Hall, Chivas Brothers’ other recent major investments have included the re-opening of its Glen Keith distillery in June this year, completing a 25% expansion in the company’s malt distillation capacity, and a £10 million ($16m) expansion of The Glenlivet Distillery in 2010, increasing capacity there by 75%. The company is also building a new distillery at Carron on the River Spey, to be completed in 2015.

•Anchor Distilling is adding four additional Nikka Japanese whisky expressions to its U.S. import lineup. Starting this month, Anchor will add Nikka’s Coffey Grain ($69.99), Miyagikyo Single Malt 12-year-old ($119.99), Taketsuru Pure Malt 17-year-old ($149.99) and Taketsuru Pure Malt 21-year-old ($179.99) to its stable. The four expressions join the brand’s Taketsuru Pure Malt 12-year-old ($69.99) and Yoichi Single Malt 15-year-old labels ($129.99), which joined the Anchor portfolio in November 2012 and quickly sold out following their U.S. launch. San Francisco-based Anchor Distilling, which is on track to hit the 100,000-case mark this year, also handles brands such as Hirsch Bourbon, The Glenrothes, BenRiach and GlenDronach single malt Scotches and Old Potrero American whiskey, among others.

•Napa, California-based Negociants USA has added New Zealand’s Two Paddocks to its imported wine portfolio. Two Paddocks, which offers premium Pinot Noir and Riesling produced in the Central Otago region, will be available in the U.S. starting next month. The range is comprised of three tiers, including its Picnic ($21-$30), Two Paddocks ($40-$50) and Proprietor’s Reserve ($70) collections. The brand joins around 30 existing labels in the Negociants USA stable, which specializes in upscale wines from Australia, New Zealand and California.

•Glazer’s has appointed Alan Steen as vice president for government affairs. In this new role, Steen will direct the Dallas-based distributor’s lobbying efforts. He’ll report to Alan Greenspan, Glazer’s executive vice president and general counsel. Steen was previously the administrator for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission for a decade.

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