Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business

News Briefs for April 20, 2016

April 20, 2016

•Diageo has partnered with Hollywood director Brett Ratner for the launch of a new whiskey brand, The Hilhaven Lodge. The new whiskey is a blend three different whiskey styles that span three decades—Bourbon from the 2000s, Tennessee whiskey from the 1990s and rye whiskey from the 1980s. The packaging is inspired by the famed Hilhaven Lodge located in Beverly Hills and features a wood cork cap. The Hilhaven Lodge (40% abv) is hand-bottled at Louisville’s Stitzel-Weller distillery and will initially be available in limited quantities on- and off-premise in California and Florida for a suggested retail price of $50 a bottle.

•Rémy Cointreau reported a net sales gain of 8.9% to €1.05 billion ($1.19b) for its full fiscal year, ended March 31. The company posted organic growth of 9.8% in the fourth quarter, driven by improving economic trends in China. Bolstered by brown spirits growth in the U.S., the group’s flagship Rémy Martin Cognac also rebounded, growing sales 3.2% on an organic basis over the 12-month period. However, Rémy’s liqueurs and spirits portfolio—which includes Cointreau, Mount Gay rum, Metaxa and The Islay Spirits portfolio (Bruichladdich, Port Charlotte, Octomore and The Botanist)—fell 1.5% for the full year, due primarily to tough U.S. comparatives for Cointreau in the first half of the year and slow sales for Metaxa in Greece and Russia.

•Pernod Ricard’s Olmeca Tequila has extended its 100%-agave Altos range with a new Añejo expression. Aged for 18 months in oak barrels, Olmeca Altos Añejo ($34.99 a 750-ml.) is initially rolling out on-premise in select markets, including California, Colorado, Illinois, Florida, New York and Texas. Añejo marks the third entry in Olmeca Altos’ lineup, joining the brand’s existing Plata and Reposado offerings.

•Venezuela’s Rum Diplomático has partnered with Boston’s Fenway Park in a deal that will run through 2021. Diplomático will be featured in exclusive brand experiences through luxury suite tastings and a special Diplomático suite in July, as well as tastings at the stadium’s EMC Club. The premium brand’s flagship Diplomático Reserva Exclusiva ($40) is available in key cities throughout the U.S. through Domaine Select Wine and Spirits.

•Premium sangria brand Beso del Sol has appointed industry veteran Marty Bart, a longtime Seagram executive, to its board of directors. A joint venture between Arctic Beverage and L&B LLC, Beso del Sol sold 70,000 nine-liter cases of its imported red and white sangrias in 2015, and is projecting sales of 300,000 cases this year. The brand recently received the backing of SoBe Beverage founder John Bello, who currently serves as Beso del Sol’s chairman of the board.


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