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

News Briefs for September 6, 2019

September 6, 2019

•Kentucky’s Bardstown Bourbon Company has named Mark Erwin as its new CEO, replacing departing executive David Mandell. Before joining Bardstown as CEO, Erwin was a member of the company’s board of directors and cofounded the Karakoram Group, a strategic consulting firm. He is also a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Army, serving with and leading America’s special forces. Erwin will remain on the board during the transition and Mandell will remain a minority shareholder in the company following his departure.

•Beam Suntory has launched the third iteration of its Little Book limited edition whiskey. Little Book Chapter 3: “The Road Home” is a blend of four whiskies selected from Beam Suntory’s Small Batch Bourbon Collection and, like all previous Little Book releases, was developed by Freddie Noe. The 61.3% abv Bourbon is made from 9-year-old Knob Creek and Basil Hayden’s, 11-year-old Booker’s, and 12-year-old Baker’s, though the company didn’t disclose the proportions. Little Book “The Road Home” is rolling out now across the U.S. in limited quantities at a suggested price of $125.

•International vodka giant Roust Corporation has appointed Scott Oliver as the new CEO of Roust Americas. In his new role, Oliver will be responsible for developing the company’s market position and sales strategy throughout the Americas while reporting to Pavel Merkul, Roust Corporation’s CEO. Prior to this appointment, Oliver led the company’s business in Canada. He brings over two decades of experience to the role and has worked at Treasury Wine Estates and Select Wines and Spirits. Roust produces Russian Standard, among other vodka brands, and reports that business in the Americas is up 24% year-to-date through June 2019.

•Grain & Barrel Spirits has launched a new Bourbon label in its Chicken Cock family of whiskies, the first widely available release for the brand. The non-age statement whiskey is produced in Kentucky under the supervision of Chicken Cock master distiller Gregg Snyder though Bardstown Bourbon Company’s collaborative distiller’s program and bottled at 45% abv. In addition to Chicken Cock Whiskey Kentucky Straight Bourbon, the company has released an eight-year-old 160th Anniversary whiskey ($100), Double Barrel Bourbon (10 years old, $250), and Beer Barrel Select ($80).

•Champagne Armand de Brignac is releasing its Blanc de Noirs Assemblage Three in the U.S. market, with only 3,535 bottles of the ultra-prestige cuvée available. It’s made from Pinot Noir sourced from the 2009, 2010, and 2012 vintages, and each bottle is individually numbered and labeled with its disgorgement date. Champagne Armand de Brignac Blanc de Noirs Assemblage Three is available at fine wine stores in select U.S. cities, retail priced at $1,000 a 750-ml. Champagne Armand de Brignac was purchased by Jay-Z in 2014.

•Napa Valley winemaker Trefethen Family Vineyards is launching The Cowgirl and the Pilot as the final entry in its Legacy Collection, which honors a generation of the Trefethen Family. The inaugural 2016 vintage is 100% Merlot from Trefethen’s estate vineyards. It will be sold at the winery and distributed nationwide with a retail price of $90 a 750-ml.

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