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

News Briefs for June 14, 2018

June 14, 2018

•Stoli Group USA’s Kentucky Owl Bourbon has released the second edition of its rye whiskey offshoot. The brand’s 11-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey Batch #2 is 101.8 proof and will be available in limited quantities across 35 markets, retail priced at $200 a 750-ml. Batch #2 follows Kentucky Owl’s debut of Straight Rye Whiskey Batch #1 last year. The Kentucky Owl portfolio also includes the brand’s core Bourbon, which retails at $200 and rolled out its latest Batch #7 edition last fall. In late 2017, Stoli announced plans to invest $150 million in a Bardstown, Kentucky-based destination distillery for the Kentucky Owl brand. The facility, which will have an annual capacity of around 1.5 million proof gallons, is expected to be operational by 2020.

•Napa voters cast ballots June 5 on a measure that could dramatically shape the future of the local wine industry. A week later, the future remains unclear. Votes are still being tallied on Measure C, the controversial initiative also known as the Napa County Watershed and Oak Woodland Protection Initiative of 2018, which would amend Napa County zoning rules to further regulate Napa’s streams, watersheds, wetlands and oak forests. When the polls closed on election day, votes for Measure C exceeded votes against by just 42 ballots. But close to 20,000 mail-in ballots remained uncounted. Wine Spectator has a full report.

•Cape Classics will release its Indaba brand in 3-liter boxed format by the end of June. The initial release will consist of three existing Indaba wines—a Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Mosaic (a Bordeaux-style blend)—as well as a new Cabernet Sauvignon that will be available exclusively in the boxed range. The 3-liter format will retail for around $18 and will initially be available in New York and Massachusetts. A portion of Indaba’s sales goes to support the Indaba Fund, which invests in Montessori education and training for teachers in South Africa. Cape Classics is the leading U.S. importer of South African wines with volume of just over 300,000 cases.

•LIQS, a pre-packaged spirits-based shot brand, is expanding into wine-based shots, targeting on- and off-premise locations without a license to sell spirits. The new 15%-abv LIQS shots will be available in two flavors, Margarita and Kamikaze, and are made using a citrus-based wine, fruit juice, and other natural flavors. The new wine-based shots will launch in 16 states in July with 3-shot sleeves retailing at a suggested price of $7.

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