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News Briefs for August 6, 2014

August 6, 2014

•Diageo has been prohibited from using the name of New York City’s Explorers Club for a line of Johnnie Walker whisky by a New York state judge. In March, the club filed a lawsuit in state court against the company asserting that its Johnnie Walker Explorers Club Collection, launched in 2012, implied a relationship with the club. Judge Charles E. Ramos yesterday granted The Explorers Club its petition for a permanent injunction over the claim. According to the petitioners, the Scotch line, which retails for $43-$159 a liter, has generated $50 million in revenue. The club also filed a pending trademark infringement suit in a New York federal court seeking damages and opposed registration at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board this month. The lawsuit filed with the state seeks only an injunction and not monetary damages. Diageo is seeking to stay the injunction while it appeals.

•Florida-based importer and marketer Imperial Brands has partnered with the Irish Dairy Board’s Kerrygold brand to launch a new Irish cream liqueur. Featuring a blend of Irish cream, aged Irish whiskey and chocolate, Kerrygold Irish Cream Liqueur will initially be available in Illinois and Florida, priced at $19.99 a 750-ml. Imperial Brands CEO Chester Brandes says the company expects the new entry to “seize a dominant position” and become a market leader within the U.S. Irish cream liqueur category. The U.S. subsidiary of Belvedere SA, Imperial Brands also markets the Sobieski vodka, 4 Orange vodka and Sammy’s Beach Bar rum brands.

•Heaven Hill Distilleries’ Christian Brothers Brandy has unveiled a new peach-flavored expression. A 35%-abv blend of Christian Brothers VS Brandy and peach flavors, CB Peach is currently available in 50-ml., 375-ml. and 750-ml. formats, priced at around $10.99 a 750-ml. The entry marks Christian Brothers’ second flavored offering, following the brand’s launch of CB Honey in 2011. Along with its flavored lineup, Christian Brothers’ core stable includes its VS, VSOP and XO labels.

•MillerCoors’ Redd’s brand has officially launched its Wicked Apple entry in the U.S. At 8% abv, Wicked Apple is a higher-alcohol version of Redd’s original 5%-abv Apple Ale, available in 10-ounce can 12-packs and 16- and 24-ounce single cans. According to MillerCoors vice president of insights and innovation David Kroll, the new entry is positioned as an alternative to spirits. Wicked Apple’s launch is being supported by its “Refreshingly Hard” campaign, which features TV, social, digital and experiential components. Wicked Apple marks the Redd’s franchise’s third expression, joining Redd’s Apple and Redd’s Strawberry Ales.

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