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News Briefs for August 23, 2017

August 23, 2017

•Cognac shipments reached a new peak by both volume and value in the 12 months through July, according to the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC). During the period, Cognac exports grew by 10.2% in volume to 190 million bottles and by 15.2% in value to €3 billion ($3.54 billion). The NAFTA countries drove gains, with shipments up 9% by volume and 14% by value, led by the U.S., which at 78.7 million bottles represents 96% of shipments to the region. VS Cognacs were up 10% by volume, and comprise about half of the global market. VSOP entries, which rose 7.4% during the 12-month period, account for nearly 40% of the market, while the XO and above tier continues to surge, growing 24% to reach a market share of 11%.

•New Jersey’s Laird & Company will launch Laird’s Straight Applejack 86 nationally in September. The 100% apple brandy follows the company’s pre-Prohibition recipe and joins Laird’s Blended Applejack and Straight Apple Brandy among the company’s premium-priced apple spirits. The 43%-abv brandy will retail at around $25 a 750-ml. The company is promoting the brandy as a Bourbon alternative, either for mixing in cocktails or sipping. Laird & Company claims to be the oldest family-owned distiller in the United States, tracing its commercial history to 1780.

•New York City–based Evolution Spirits has named Rich Pascucci as chief growth officer and head of sales. Pascucci, who most recently served as chief growth officer at Pabst Brewing Company, will lead the commercial expansion of Evolution’s Monkey Rum brand. In addition to Pascucci’s appointment, Monkey Rum investor and Vita Coco co-founder and CEO Mike Kirban joined Evolution Spirits’ board of directors. The Monkey Rum line includes Toasted Coconut and Spiced expressions. Evolution was co-founded by industry veteran Ian Crystal.

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