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News Briefs for October 11, 2019

October 11, 2019

Earlier this year, New York-based Domaine Select Wine & Spirits (DSWS) was acquired by an investment group led by industry veteran Hill Flynn. Now DSWS has announced a plan to merge with Verity Wine Partners, creating an importer and distributor with $75 million in revenue, a national footprint, and a strong distribution presence in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. The merger is expected to close by the end of the year. Flynn will be appointed CEO of Verity upon the closure of the deal and current Verity CEO Jerry Armstrong will continue as a board member of the merged company, which will be rebranded under a new name looking ahead.

•When Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas Sept. 1, its 185-mph winds left 70,000 people homeless and caused $7 billion in property damage. It was the worst natural disaster in the islands’ history. World Central Kitchen (WCK), a non-profit founded by chef José Andrés, was among the first responders, and also among the most effective. On Oct. 10, just six weeks after the hurricane struck, WCK announced it had served 1 million meals to Dorian survivors. “The devastation was enormous,” Andrés said. “Dorian flattened 15% of the country. In comparison with the U.S., it would be like if the entire state of California was wiped out.” Wine Spectator has more.

•Beam Suntory has revamped Baker’s Bourbon, keeping its seven-year age minimum and proof, but switching the whiskey to a single barrel bottling. The 53.5% abv Bourbon will also receive new packaging featuring the specific age of the barrel, the warehouse where it aged, and the barreling date. The new single barrel Baker’s will retail at $60. To commemorate the change, the company is also releasing the first limited-edition Baker’s bottling—a 13-year-old single barrel expression—positioned at $99 a 750-ml. Both the newly rebranded Baker’s and the brand’s limited-edition whiskey are now available across the U.S. Baker’s had U.S. volume of 7,000 cases last year, according to Impact Databank.

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