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Craft Brewing and Distilling News for November 21, 2014

November 21, 2014

•Online spirits merchant Caskers has introduced an expanded web site and several new services in recent weeks. The New York-based company is now offering a high-end concierge service to customers seeking very rare whiskies and other spirits and is partnering for the first time with American Bourbon makers to offer cask programs for individuals. Full size, 300-bottle casks typically require an upfront investment approaching $10,000. The company, co-owned by Steven Abt and Moiz Ali, former classmates at Harvard Law School who quit the law to launch Caskers two years ago, also has whiskey clubs, sending customers three bottles every quarter at a price of $150 each quarter. The Caskers inventory of 1,300 SKUs focuses on lesser-known craft names such as Catskill New York Provisions Honey Whiskey ($40 per 750 ml) and John J. Bowman Bourbon from Virginia ($57) as well as such hard-to-find imported Scotch labels as the Glenmorangie 25-year-old ($600) and the Balblair 1975 single malt ($330). The company currently delivers to 35 states from a warehouse in upstate New York.

•A new cherry and rhubarb flavored liqueur called Boomerang has been launched in Illinois. It’s the creation of the new beverage director at Chicago’s Aviary lounge, Micah Melton, who has partnered with BroVo Spirits of Seattle to produce it at 30% abv. A first batch of just 25 cases was delivered to mostly on-premise accounts around Chicago earlier this month, with wider off-premise distribution planned with the arrival of a larger second batch in January, Melton says. The retail price is expected to range from $25-$30 a 750-ml. Beyond cherry and rhubarb, flavors include cinnamon, walnut, apricot, anise and cayenne pepper. The distributor is Stoller Wholesale Wine & Spirits, based in the Chicago suburb of Franklin Park. “We hope to take it to more states before long,” Melton says.

•Denver, Colorado’s Leopold Bros. has opened a new distillery and tasting room to accommodate further growth. The new facility sits on three acres in northeast Denver and will allow the company to triple its production capacity. It includes 16 wooden open-air fermentation tanks, a malting room, traditional malt kiln, a 30-foot Vendome column till, three 200-gallon Vendome pot stills, two 40-gallon column stills and a barrelhouse capable of storing up to 2,000 barrels. Currently available in more than a dozen markets in the U.S., the company also exports its line of 21 spirits to several European countries including Russia. Leopold Bros.’ portfolio includes American Small Batch Vodka, Fernet Leopold Highland Amaro, Maraschino Liqueur and Georgia Peach Whiskey, among others.


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