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News Briefs for October 11, 2013

October 11, 2013

•Pernod Ricard’s House of Martell is launching a new Cognac—Martell Caractère. The new variant, available exclusively in California and retailing at $34.99, is meant to pay tribute to Martell founder Jean Martell. Caractère (40% abv) is produced using grapes sourced from the company’s own vineyards in the Domaine Jean Martell, distilled twice without lees and aged in French oak. Part of Martell Caractère’s marketing mix is the debut of a short film featuring actor Andy Garcia and depicting the journey of Mambo music pioneer Israel “Cachao” Lopez, who is held up as an example of the kind of iconic “caractère” the brand is meant to evoke.

•William Grant & Sons has introduced a new variant, Phoenix, to the Tullamore D.E.W. Irish whiskey range. Phoenix, priced at $54.99 a 750-ml., will be an annual limited edition release, with only 2,500 nine-liter cases now available in the U.S. market. The triple-distilled whiskey (55% abv) is finished in Oloroso Sherry casks. Phoenix joins Original, 12-year-old Special Reserve and 10-year-old Single Malt in the brand’s lineup. Tullamore D.E.W., an Impact “Hot Prospect,” was up 22% to 95,000 cases last year, according to Impact Databank. William Grant is currently in the process of building a new distillery for the brand in Tullamore, slated to open in 2014.

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