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News Briefs for November 14, 2017

November 14, 2017

•Beam Suntory has launched Jim Beam Distiller’s Cut, an unfiltered 100-proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon whiskey. A limited edition that was aged five to six years, the liquid for Distiller’s Cut was personally selected by Fred Noe, Jim Beam’s seventh-generation master distiller. Jim Beam Distiller’s Cut ($23 a 750-ml.) is rolling out nationwide. Excluding its flavored varieties, Jim Beam’s volume grew 6% in control states in the year-to-date through September.

•Taylor Fladgate is debuting a Late Bottled Vintage 2013 Port. A 20%-abv blend of Touriga Nacional, Touriga Francesa, Tinto Cão, Tinta Roriz and Tinta Barroca, Taylor Fladgate’s 2013 Late Bottled Vintage Port retails at $24.99 a bottle and is rolling out nationwide. The Late Bottled Vintage Port (LBV) style, initially created by Taylor Fladgate in 1969, is billed as a high-quality, ready-to-drink alternative to vintage Port for everyday enjoyment. Rather than being bottled after two years in wood like vintage Ports, which see further aging in-bottle, LBVs are bottled after four to six years and are ready to drink now.

•Milestone Brands, led by former Deep Eddy executives Eric Dopkins and Chad Auler, has acquired the brand rights to Mexican orange liqueur Naranja from Pura Vida LLC and its chairman Stewart Skloss, who will retain a minority position in the brand. Naranja is produced by Mexico’s La Madrileña, and is billed as combination of bitter and sweet orange flavors that complements Mexican cocktails. Milestone Brands, which was formed in February 2016, will relaunch Naranja early next year. Milestone’s other brands include Dulce Vida organic Tequilas, which have sold about 35,000 cases since joining the portfolio in June of last year, and American Born Whiskey and Moonshine.

•The Wine Group has launched Drops of Jupiter, a new brand from winemaker James Foster and Pat Monahan, lead singer of the band Train. Drops of Jupiter ($20) includes a Cabernet Sauvignon from Southeast Australia, a Pinot Noir from California’s San Benito AVA and a Marlborough, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. The wines are currently in select markets at retail and nationally through Amazon until the end of 2017. While the winemaker and singer previously collaborated on the California-sourced Save Me San Francisco label, the Wine Group is positioning Drops of Jupiter as a separate brand. In 2016, Save Me San Francisco slipped 20% to 140,000 cases in the U.S.

•OpenTable has teamed with restaurateurs and chefs Daniel Boulud, Sean Brock, Suzanne Goin and Danny Meyer among others on a new “Let’s Raise the Glass” campaign benefiting those affected by the California wine country wildfires. Inspired by the initial efforts of Charleston Grill sommelier Rick Rubel and general manager Mickey Bakst, the campaign will see participating restaurants donate a portion of their wine sales through the end of December to the Sonoma Resilience Fund and Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund. Restaurants are invited to sign up at Letsraisetheglass.com. Separately, the restaurant trade is also giving back via Chefsgiving, a fundraiser for California fire relief that will culminate on November 19 with a charity gala at San Francisco’s iconic Ferry Building. Tickets for the gala—which will benefit Tipping Point Emergency Relief Fund and Restaurants Care—are available now.

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