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

News Briefs for October 18, 2019

October 18, 2019

•Brown-Forman has introduced the 2019 edition of Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Heritage Barrel. The release totals fewer than 200 barrels, all crafted to the specifications of the distillery’s early days: the barrels are heated slowly to create a richer toasted layer of wood before being charred and filled. In addition, these barrels spent additional time aging in the highest racks of the company’s warmest warehouse. Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Heritage Barrel is rolling out now in limited quantities and will be available across the U.S. for a suggested price of $65. Last year’s edition of Heritage Barrel ranked third among Whisky Advocate’s Top 20 whiskies of the year.

•Rémy Cointreau has posted sales down 3.6% to €523.9 million ($584m) on an organic basis for its fiscal first half ended in September, as the company’s winding down of partner brand agreements ate into revenues. Rémy’s own brands were up 2.8% to €510.8 million ($570m) during the period, including a 2.1% increase to €379.6 million ($424m) for Rémy Martin and a 4.9% rise to €131.2 million ($146m) for its liqueurs and spirits division. The company blamed the slower growth for its core Cognac business on “a fall in tourism in Hong Kong and slow stock replenishment by retailers in the United States.”

•Proximo Spirits’ Gran Centenario has launched Leyenda—the brand’s luxury priced Extra Añejo Tequila—in the U.S. The 40% abv spirit is double distilled at Ex Hacienda Los Camichines before aging for four years in new American oak barrels. Before bottling, the 4-year-old Tequila is blended with portions selected from the distillery’s reserves to create a consistent and complex final spirit. Gran Centenario Leyenda is now available across the U.S. for a suggested price of $150 a 750-ml. Last year, Gran Centenario was up 26.4% to 73,000 cases in the U.S., according to Impact Databank.

•Bardstown, Kentucky’s Heaven Hill Distillery has announced the 2020 debut of Elijah Craig Straight Rye Whiskey, the brand’s first foray beyond Bourbon. The whiskey is distilled from a mash of 51% rye, 35% corn, and 14% barley before aging for an undisclosed period of time and bottling at 47% abv. The rye will launch in January 2020 in North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Oregon for a suggested price of $30. The new Elijah Craig rye will join Rittenhouse and Pikesville in Heaven Hill’s portfolio of Kentucky rye whiskies. Last year, Elijah Craig was up 22.7% to 135,000 cases, according to Impact Databank.

•Stella Artois is introducing a limited-edition offshoot for the holiday season. Called Midnight Lager, it will launch on Halloween night in select bars in Sleepy Hollow, New York, a town famous for its own (fictional) midnight terrors. The 5.4% abv black lager has notes of Belgian dark chocolate and espresso, according to the company, and will be available nationwide November 4 on draft and in 6- and 12-packs of 12-ounce bottles, line priced to the core Stella Artois.

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