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News Briefs for April 11, 2019

April 11, 2019

•Moët Hennessy saw sales climb 9% to €1.35 billion ($1.52b) on an organic basis in its first quarter ended in March. The luxury giant said that while its Champagne volumes were stable during the period, its prestige cuvées delivered strong value growth, especially in the U.S. and Japan. Meanwhile, Hennessy Cognac grew by 11% in the first quarter, driven by rapid progress in the U.S. and China. For its full fiscal year ended in December, Moët Hennessy posted organic sales up 5% to €5.14 billion ($5.79b), driven by its Champagnes, Hennessy, and the Glenmorangie and Ardbeg single malt Scotch whiskies.

•Effen vodka has added two new flavors. Effen Rosé, is a pink-colored, 37.5% abv expression that aims to capitalize on the ongoing rosé wine trend. Effen Yuzu Citrus delivers a blend of citrus, grapefruit, and herbal notes and also is at 37.5% abv. Both vodkas are made with wheat sourced from Northern France, and have no added sugar or artificial flavors. Effen Rosé and Effen Yuzu Citrus are currently rolling out nationwide, retail priced at $22 a 750-ml.

•Sazerac will release Mister Sam, a limited luxury blend of Canadian and American whiskies, in tribute to industry legend Samuel Bronfman. Bronfman, who died in 1971, was a key force in jumpstarting distilling after Prohibition’s repeal as owner of The Seagram Co. Ltd., which became a global spirits juggernaut. Sazerac’s Drew Mayville, who previously served as a master blender at Seagram, created the Mister Sam blend at Sazerac’s Old Montreal Distillery. Some 1,200 bottles will hit the market this year in the U.S. and Canada, bottled at 133.8 proof and retailing at $250 a 750-ml. The bottles are packaged in wooden boxes that include a copy of “From Little Acorns,” Bronfman’s book outlining the Seagram story.

•Grand Mayan Tequila, imported by M.S. Walker, has launched a Reposado expression across the U.S. market. The new release is aged in American and French oak casks for 6-8 months before being bottled at 40% abv, and will retail for $80. Grand Mayan Reposado joins Silver ($70) and Ultra Aged ($90) in the brand’s portfolio of luxury agave spirits.

•Boston-based Ghost Tequila has appointed Andrew Teubner as chief commercial officer. Teubner brings over two decades of experience to Ghost Tequila, having served at Coors Brewing Company, Patrón Spirits, Seagram, and most recently as vice president of U.S. sales for Tequila Casa Dragones. Ghost Tequila is a 100% agave Tequila blended with a small amount of Bhut Jolokia pepper.

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