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

News Briefs for August 8, 2019

August 8, 2019

•Two upcoming whisky auctions—one in Chicago and the other in Hong Kong—are putting up some rarely seen collectible whiskies. From Pappy Van Winkle’s Japanese editions to a full 54-bottle set of the Hanyu Card Series, there are a number of lots to watch at Hart Davis Hart (Aug. 15-16) and Bonhams, Hong Kong (Aug. 16). Whisky Advocate has a preview on its website.

•A California winery has agreed to pay $3.7 million in penalties for numerous violations of state environmental rules during the development of a vineyard in northern Mendocino County. Santa Cruz–based Rhys Vineyards was faulted for filling a stream with dirt, bulldozing a protected wetland and improperly constructing access roads, which caused irreversible damage to the habitat, including the migration and spawning of salmon and trout found in the watershed. Wine Spectator has the full story.

•WhistlePig is launching its most mature whiskey to date, WhistlePig Double Malt Rye—Aged 18 Years. It’s distilled from a mash bill that includes both malted rye and malted barley, a traditional formulation that grew rarer over the years. The full mash bill is 79% rye, 15% malted rye, and 6% malted barley. Double Malt Rye is bottled at 46% abv in a decanter adapted from a WhistlePig bottle and accompanied by a glass stopper custom-made by Burlington, Vermont-based AO Glass, using a salvaged 19th century glass pressing machine. Limited quantities will be released each year to select liquor stores and on-premise locations nationwide at a suggested retail price of $400 a 750-ml.

•New Amsterdam Vodka is introducing a new pink lemonade-flavored offering called Pink Whitney. The new entry was inspired by the preferred New Amsterdam serve of former NHL player Ryan Whitney, host of the Barstool Sports podcast Spittin’ Chiclets. New Amsterdam Pink Whitney vodka ($15 a 750-ml.) will roll out nationwide starting this September. E.&J. Gallo-owned New Amsterdam is the third-largest vodka in the U.S., depleting 5.2 million cases last year, according to Impact Databank.

•This fall, MGP Ingredients will launch a new Barrel Select program for retailers under its Rossville Union Rye brand. Under the initiative, retailers will be able to meet with the MGP team at its facility in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, and choose a custom flavor profile for their exclusive bottling of Rossville Union Rye. Rossville Union Barrel Select releases will be bottled at 50% abv and packaged with personalized labels and individual numbers.

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