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

News Briefs for October 24, 2017

October 24, 2017

•Beam Suntory–owned Basil Hayden’s has launched Dark Rye, the first permanent extension within the brand’s portfolio. An 80-proof whiskey that blends Kentucky straight rye with Alberta Distillery–sourced Canadian rye and a touch of California Port, Dark Rye is available nationwide at a retail price of $39.99 a 750-ml. The new entry joins Basil Hayden’s flagship Bourbon, as well as its limited-edition Rye Whiskey, which debuted in April. Basil Hayden’s is among the leading $25-and-over Bourbons in the U.S., rising 27% to 141,000 cases last year, according to Impact Databank.

•Puerto Rico’s Destileria Serrallés has resumed production and exports after a brief disruption due to Hurricane Maria. Serrallés is known for its flagship Don Q rum brand, which sells about 260,000 cases annually in the U.S., according to Impact Databank. In addition to resuming production, Serrallés has been working both in Puerto Rico in the U.S. to raise funds to aid the recovery effort. The company is matching funds raised from Don Q drink specials in on-premise outlets across 30 U.S. states. In Puerto Rico, Serrallés has been working with chef Ventura Vivoni and the Ponce Hilton, where an average of 800 hot meals are being distributed daily throughout local communities and local homes by company employees and volunteers.

•Venezuela’s Diplomático Rum is bringing its new Distillery Collection stateside with the release of two limited edition expressions. Launched in Europe earlier this month, Diplomático’s Single Batch Kettle and Single Barbet Column rums are both aged in American white oak barrels, with the former featuring a distillate made from sugar cane honeys, and the latter made with sugar cane molasses. Both offerings are retail priced at $79 a bottle. Diplomático is handled in the U.S. by Domaine Select.

•AB-InBev’s Budweiser has released 1933 Repeal Reserve Amber Lager in celebration of the December 5anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition. The 6.1%-abv lager is based on a pre-Prohibition recipe that never received distribution outside of the St. Louis area due to the 18th Amendment. The beer, packaged in retro “stubby” bottles, is now available in 12-ounce bottles and on draft for a limited time. This limited release comes as Budweiser continues to struggle in the U.S., slipping by about 900,000 barrels over the past two years, according to Impact Databank. Still, Bud continues to rank as the third-largest beer brand marketwide, at 13.9 million barrels in 2016.

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