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Exclusive: Proximo To Debut Virginia Black Whiskey Created By DeLeon Founder

April 20, 2016

Proximo Spirits will launch a new American whiskey offering from DeLeon Tequila founder Brent Hocking on May 1. The new product, on which Hocking has collaborated with rapper Drake, is called Virginia Black Decadent American Whiskey, and will retail around $35 a bottle.

Hocking tells SND that while DeLeon—which Diageo acquired in 2014—was positioned as an ultra luxury spirit, Virginia Black is meant to draw a wide audience of both new and seasoned drinkers, with females representing a key opportunity. The 40%-abv blend is composed of 2-, 3- and 4-year-old Bourbons with a high rye content. Virginia Black will launch initially in California, New York and Nevada and expand quickly from there, Hocking adds, hitting new markets in accordance with Drake’s summer concert tour. An 84-proof Limited Reserve whiskey will follow the core Virginia Black expression.

For Proximo, the move offers more exposure to the high-flying American whiskey segment, where it’s currently present with the Stranahan’s and Tin Cup brands. Hocking, who says he began buying stocks around 2012 as the brown spirits trend was heating up, has enough supply to support about 300,000 cases annually in the early going, with MGP among the key suppliers.


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