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

News Briefs for August 20, 2019

August 20, 2019

•Bulleit whiskey founder Tom Bulleit has ceased working as a brand ambassador for the Diageo label, following allegations from his daughter Hollis B. Worth that he physically and sexually abused her as a child. Bulleit has “strenuously” denied the charges. “Diageo learned of claims of abuse, directed at her father, through a recent letter from Ms. Worth’s (née Bulleit) attorney. These claims had not been previously brought to Diageo’s attention by Ms. Worth or anyone else,” the company said in a statement to the Lexington Herald-Leader. “While it would be impossible for us to determine the veracity of these claims, given their nature, it was decided that Mr. Bulleit would step back from his brand ambassadorship role.”

•Kentucky Owl rye, a single vintage Bruichladdich, and new releases from Brora, Westland, and Chattanooga Whiskey are among the offerings featured in Whisky Advocate’s latest whiskey roundup. The magazine’s website has all the details.

•Johnnie Walker is extending its tie-up with HBO’s Game of Thrones, launching two new limited edition whiskies. Billed as successors to the limited edition White Walker blend that debuted last year, the new entries include A Song of Ice and A Song of Fire, both retailing at $36 a 750-ml. A Song of Ice, themed after Game of Thrones’ House Stark, is a 40.2% abv blend that includes single malts from northern Scotland distillery Clynelish. A Song of Fire, linked to Game of Thrones’ House Targaryen, is at 40.8% abv and includes malts for Caol Ila. Both new whiskies are debuting nationwide. White Walker sold nearly 80,000 cases in the U.S. in just a partial year on the market in 2018, according to Impact Databank.

•Tempus Fugit Spirits has tapped California-based LeVecke Corp. as its sole U.S. importer and distributor. Moving forward, LeVecke will handle Tempus’ range of aperitifs, digestifs, liqueurs, and other cocktail modifiers throughout the U.S., replacing former importer Hotaling & Co. The LeVecke portfolio also includes such spirits brands as Hardy Cognac, Los Javis mezcal, and Fiorente liqueur.

•Napa Valley’s Round Pond Estate has named Erin Robertson director of marketing. Robertson joins Round Pond from Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, where she oversaw marketing efforts for California brands like Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Patz and Hall, and Conn Creek. In her new role, she will spearhead marketing for Round Pond Estate, which is owned by the MacDonnell family and known for ultra-premium Cabernet Sauvignon.

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