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News Briefs for May 9, 2019

May 9, 2019

•Millions of dollars’ worth of whiskies will go on the block in two major auctions set for the coming week in Hong Kong. On May 11, Acker will host its Hong Kong auction, followed by a Bonhhams, Hong Kong auction on May 17. Whisky Advocate has the full story, including its picks of the best lots.

•Johnnie Walker has received official approval from the Edinburgh City Council Planning Committee to move forward with its £150 million ($195m) renovation project building a multi-sensory, immersive visitor experience in the city’s historic 146 Princes Street building. The exhibits will span three floors and will walk visitors through 200 years of the brand’s history, the science of whisky making, and the flavor variations that occur across Scotland. The building will also house an academy as part of Diageo’s Learning for Life program, which provides industry training. Diageo is investing an additional £35 million ($45.5m) to reopen the Port Ellen and Brora distilleries.

•Heaven’s Door, the collaboration between Bob Dylan and Spirits Investment Partnership, has announced its 2019 special releases. This year, the company will release the final bottles of Heaven’s Door 10 Year for a suggested price of $130. The whiskey, sourced from Tennessee, is bottled at 50% abv. The brand will also launch the Bootleg Series (named for a series of Dylan albums) of rare whiskies, which will debut with a 25-year-old whiskey finished in Mizunara oak casks. The first Bootleg Series release will be available for the 2019 holiday season for a suggested retail price of $500 a 750-ml.

•Northern Rhone winemaker Paul Jaboulet Ainé has appointed Bordeaux negoçiant Twins to handle its portfolio in the U.S. market. The Jaboulet lineup includes Hermitage La Chapelle, Maison Bleue, Domaine de Thalabert, Parallèle 45, and Les Jalets. Jaboulet had been with Skurnik Wines since January 2016. Prior to that, the Jaboulet portfolio had been handled by Frederick Wildman & Sons Inc. for nearly 40 years. Twins was founded two decades ago by Alain Moses, who named the company after his twin sons, Anthony and Sebastien. In addition to a range of Bordeaux wines as well as Champagnes and Provençal labels, Twins also handles non-French wines including Opus One, Masseto, Ornellaia, and Almaviva.

•Effective May 13, Chopin Imports Limited (CIL) has appointed Bryan Tilbury as vice president of its its western regional division. Tilbury’s new role places him in charge of brand strategy in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Washington, plus the region’s control states: Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming. He brings 15 years of industry knowledge to the role and has experience in both the distribution and supplier arenas. Most recently, Tilbury worked as pacific regional sales manager for Hope Family Wines.

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