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

News Briefs for November 2, 2016

November 2, 2016

•Diageo has unveiled Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Seltzer, entering the fray in the fast-expanding hard seltzer category. Smirnoff’s new spiked seltzers, which are all 4.5% abv and 90 calories a 12-ounce can, come in Orange Mango, Cranberry Lime and Watermelon flavors, and are retail priced around $8.99 a six-pack. The new launch will compete against Boston Beer Co.’s Truly Spiked & Sparkling, Anheuser-Busch InBev’s SpikedSeltzer, Mark Anthony Brands’ White Claw and Wachusett Brewing’s Nauti Seltzer.

•M.S. Walker is debuting three new limited-release Irish whiskies this fall under the West Cork Distillers brand. Newcomers include Sherry Cask, Rum Cask and Port Cask finished whiskies, all of which are 12 years old, 86 proof and retail at $66 a bottle. West Cork is launching 2,500 bottles of each new single malt in the U.S. The brand’s range also includes Bourbon Cask, 10-year-old Single Malt, Barrel Proof and Black Reserve.

•Mount Gay rum is introducing a limited-edition XO Cask Strength offering. Paying tribute to the 50th anniversary of independence for the island of Barbados, where the distillery is based, Mount Gay XO Cask Strength is a 63% abv rum retailing at $185 a bottle and packaged in a commemorative wooden box. The new entry is rolling out in the U.S., Barbados, the U.K., Belgium, France and Australia in a supply of 3,000 bottles. Mount Gay, which sells around 180,000 cases annually in the U.S., is part of the Rémy Cointreau portfolio.

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