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News Briefs for September 12, 2019

September 12, 2019

•Longtime Brown-Forman executive Mark McCallum will retire as executive vice president, chief brands officer, effective December 31. McCallum joined Brown-Forman as chief marketing officer in 2003 and also previously served as chief operating officer during his tenure with the company. McCallum will be replaced as chief brands officer by Matias Bentel. Bentel is a 10-year veteran of Brown-Forman, and since 2018 has served as senior vice president, managing director, Jack Daniel’s family of brands.

•Rémy Cointreau has confirmed that former company executive Eric Vallat will return to the group, becoming chief executive effective December 1. Vallat will replace Valerie Chapoulaud-Floquet, who has served as Rémy’s CEO for the past five years and is credited with furthering its luxury spirits strategy, centered on the flagship Rémy Martin Cognac brand, which has been closing in on 1 million cases in the U.S. market. Vallat, who previously was CEO of the House of Rémy Martin, was most recently head of fashion and accessories at the Richemont Group.

•Rémy Cointreau also has launched Tercet, the newest permanent member of the Rémy Martin family. The 42% abv Cognac is meant to be served in a white Burgundy glass over ice, and, according the company, its flavor profile was developed to be fruit forward. The release is named for a collection of three rhyming lines within a poem and reflects the three creators of the blend: cellar master Baptiste Loiseau, wine master Francis Nadeau, and master distiller Jean-Marie Bernard. Rémy Martin Tercet is now available online and in select states.

•Beam Suntory is launching a new Wood Finishing Series of whiskies under its Maker’s Mark brand. The inaugural 2019 offering—Stave Profile RC6—is at 54.1% abv and is finished using select wood staves to create a Bourbon distinct from the standard Maker’s Mark. The company says that these particular staves enhance the fruit and baking spice flavors in the whiskey. Maker’s Mark Wood Finishing Series 2019 Limited Release—of which 255 barrels were made—is rolling out across the U.S. to select retailers for a suggested price of $60.

•Vineyard Brands has added Madeira brand Cossart Gordon to its portfolio. The Cossart Gordon lineup includes Sercial, Verdelho, Bual, and Malmsey variants, though the brand specializes in the medium-rich Bual specifically. All four expressions will now be available in the U.S. throughout Vineyard Brands’ distribution network. Vineyard Brands also represents La Vieille Ferme, Château Miraval, and Marqués de Cáceres stateside, among many other brands.

•Oregon’s Hood River Distillers is bolstering its Tequila range with the 100%-agave Batanga brand. Produced by Mexico’s Orendain family, Batanga includes Blanco and Reposado variants both retailing at $25 a 750-ml. The Reposado is aged in Bourbon barrels for three to six months. Hood River will be rolling the brand out nationally. The company also represents the Orendain family’s Gran Orendain and Ollitas Tequilas in Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Alaska, Wyoming, and North and South Dakota.

•MillerCoors is rolling out La Colombe Hard Cold Brew Coffee, a new offering created with La Colombe Coffee Roasters. Initially launching in Massachusetts, Florida, and Colorado, the newcomer is at 4.2% abv and is made from medium-roasted Colombian and Brazilian cold brew coffee, alcohol, cane sugar, and natural flavor. It’s debuting with two flavors, Black and Vanilla, and sells in 4-packs of 9-ounce cans and single-serve 9-ounce cans.

•California-based WX Brands has promoted Bryan Moreno to senior vice president of global sales. Previously, Moreno served as vice president of sales for the U.S. In his new position, Moreno will be responsible for global sales management and development for WX, whose portfolio includes such nationally distributed brands as Bread & Butter and Chronic Cellars.

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