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

News Briefs for October 27, 2017

October 27, 2017

•Jose Cuervo has posted 24.3% net sales growth to $299.2 million for its third quarter ended September 30. Company volumes also rose, up 15.2% over the same period last year, bolstered by a 17% gain in the U.S. and Canada. Operating income, however, was down 5.3% to $59.3 million, hampered in part by production costs related to third party agave purchases. Net sales of the group’s flagship Jose Cuervo Tequila brand increased 32.4% for the three months, representing more than 36% of the third quarter’s total sales, while Cuervo’s other Tequila brands, including its 1800 label, were up 18.6%. Sales of non-Tequila spirits brands—which include the Three Olives and Hangar 1 vodkas, Bushmills Irish whiskey and Stranahan’s whiskey, among others—collectively surged 25.7% for the quarter..

•Hennessy has launched the second release in its limited edition Master Blender’s Selection series. Master Blender’s Selection N°2 is made from eaux-de-vie selected by former master blender Yann Fillioux and bottled at 43% abv. Fillioux’s nephew, Renaud Fillioux de Gironde, took over as master blender this past July, succeeding his uncle after a 50-year tenure. The new bottling is composed of eaux-de-vie that are at least 10 years old, aged for 18 months in young coarse-grained French oak barrels before additional aging in old barrels. Hennessy Master Blender’s Selection N°2 is available now at a suggested price of $92 a 750-ml., exclusively in the U.S.

•Beam Suntory has launched Laphroaig 27-year-old, a limited-time luxury release. The 41.7%-abv Islay single malt Scotch whisky was matured in ex-Bourbon barrels and refill quarter casks before being hand-selected for the final blend. The whisky retails at $750 a 750-ml. and comes in a wooden box with images from the distillery carved inside. Laphroaig has experienced sustained growth since 2007, reaching 74,000 cases in the U.S. for 2016, up 12.3% over the previous year.

•NFL legend Dan Marino and partners Scott Woolley and Andy Herbst are rolling out their Rock N Roll Tequila brand throughout Florida via a new deal with Republic National Distributing Co. Featuring Platinum ($50), Mango ($35) and Cristalino ($55) expressions, Rock N Roll Tequila is a 100% blue agave brand made by master distiller Jose Aceves and packaged in guitar-shaped bottles.

•Young’s Market Co. has launched two initiatives to support wildfire relief efforts in Napa and Sonoma. The first, the Campaign to Rebuild Napa and Sonoma, will see the wholesaler donate a percentage of sales of Napa and Sonoma wines through the end of the year—at a minimum of $200,000—to the counties’ respective Community Foundations and Habitat for Humanity. The company has also set up a Young’s Disaster Relief Fund to provide financial support to Young’s employees who have lost their homes or suffered property damage in the fires.

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