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

News Briefs for April 16, 2019

April 16, 2019

•Bruichladdich Islay Barley 2011, Mister Sam Blended Whiskey, a revamped Balblair range, and a new offering from Blade & Bow are among the bottlings profiled in Whisky Advocate’s latest whisky roundup. The magazine’s website has all the details.

•Heaven Hill has launched Evan Williams Apple, the latest flavored offshoot of the Bourbon brand. The 35% abv whiskey is available nationwide in 750-ml. bottles for around $15 and also in 50-ml. format. Evan Williams Apple is the fifth flavored extension for the brand, joining honey, peach, cherry, and Fire cinnamon flavored whiskey. Including flavors, Evan Williams was up 4.6% to 2.8 million cases in the U.S. last year.

•Blended Scotch player Compass Box has launched Affinity, a blend of whisky and Calvados. The 46% abv spirit is a blend of Calvados from Domaine Christian Drouin (37.5%), with blended malt from various casks (29.5%), blended Scotch (13%), and malt whisky from Bacardi’s Craigellachie distillery (20%). Compass Box Affinity will retail for around $150 with 3,012 bottles allocated to the U.S. Bacardi has a minority stake in Compass Box.

•Diageo has partnered with Sean “Diddy” Combs and DJ Khaled on a new limited edition line extension for its Cîroc vodka brand. Cîroc Summer Watermelon ($39 a 750-ml.) features a base of five-times-distilled vodka, which is then infused with watermelon and other natural flavors. The 35% abv expression is available at select locations nationwide for a limited time. Cîroc eked out a 1% gain in 2018, according to Impact Databank, to approximately 1.6 million cases.

•Global wine production reached 293 million hectoliters in 2018, setting a new record, according to the International Organization of Vine and Wine. The harvest marked significant growth following the comparatively minuscule 2017 production of 42.5 million hectoliters, which was due mainly to unfavorable weather in Europe. Italy, France, and Spain remained the three largest producers and all increased yields between 22% and 26%. The U.S. held fourth place with 23.9 million hectoliters.

•Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) has launched two line extensions. For those accustomed to slightly higher abv, PBR Extra is at 6.5% abv and is packaged in black cans. At the opposite end of the spectrum is PBR Non-Alcoholic, at less than 0.5% abv. Available now in wide release, the new entries follow the launch of low-abv PBR Easy late last year. PBR is also planning a whiskey release to launch this summer.

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