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News Briefs for December 18, 2018

December 18, 2018

•Cigar Aficionado’s countdown of the top cigars of 2018 continues today with the unveiling of the year’s No.-7, -6, and -5 cigars.Tomorrow, the magazine will reveal cigars Nos.-4, -3, and -2, followed by the Cigar of the Year on Thursday. Cigar Aficionado’s full Top 25 Cigars of 2018 will be published on Friday, December 21.

•Greensboro, North Carolina-based Pacific Highway Wines has formed a partnership with Spain’s Grupo Faustino to become the exclusive import, sales, and marketing company for three of the Spanish producer’s brands. Effective January 1, Pacific Highway will represent Bodegas Faustino, Campillo, and Portia across the U.S. and expand Pacific Highway’s portfolio by 16 SKUs. Currently, Faustino is the largest brand included in the deal, at around 23,000 cases in the U.S. market, while the other two labels are smaller and poised for a national push. Over the next four years, Pacific Highway is looking to grow the three brands to roughly 80,000 cases. For its fiscal year ended in June, Pacific Highway’s portfolio grew 27% by volume to 335,000 cases and 35% by revenue to $30 million.

•As expected, New York governor Andrew Cuomo will make legalizing recreational cannabis a priority for the state’s 2019-2020 legislative session. In a speech yesterday outlining his agenda for the upcoming year, Cuomo said he wants to “legalize the adult use of recreational marijuana, once and for all,” but offered few specifics on his plan. Yesterday, SND took a look at the prospects for the future cannabis market in New York and the potential pitfalls that may lie ahead as the state draws up its legislation.

•The Macallan has launched the latest iteration of its limited Fine & Rare collection. The 1978 vintage clocks in at 59.2% abv and was matured in a remade second-fill American oak cask. The whisky dates from a time when The Macallan was producing both peated and unpeated whiskies, and, according the company, shows off a style that’s somewhat different from today’s brand. Some 243 bottles will be available worldwide, with five allocated to the U.S. retailing for a suggested price of nearly $12,000.

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