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

News Briefs for March 5, 2020

March 6, 2020

•Bacardi has launched Dewar’s Ilegal Smooth, a new blended Scotch whisky finished in mezcal barrels. The 8-year-old whisky is blended from up to 40 malt and grain whiskies before finishing for an undisclosed amount of time in ex-Ilegal mezcal barrels before bottling at 40% abv. This new whisky follows last year’s Dewar’s Caribbean Smooth, a rum barrel finished expression. Last year Dewar’s was up 6.5% globally to 3 million cases.

•Palm Bay International has added mezcal label Gracias a Dios to its import portfolio. Made by 4th-generation mezcalero Oscar Hernandez and his nephew, Milo Jimenez, Gracias a Dios includes six different mezcal expressions—Espadín Blanco ($40 a 750-ml.), Espadín Reposado ($50), Tobalá ($86), Tepextate ($86), Cuishe ($86), and Pechuga ($106)—as well as an agave gin ($53) that’s infused with 32 botanicals, representing the 32 states of the Mexican Republic. Gracias a Dios is currently the sole mezcal-focused brand in Palm Bay’s portfolio; Domaine Select Wine & Spirits previously handled the label in the U.S.

•Maisons Marques & Domaines (MMD) has been named the exclusive U.S. importer for the Inniskillin and Jackson-Triggs brands. Both Inniskillin and Jackson-Triggs are owned by Mississauga, Ontario-based Aterra Wines and will join MMD’s luxury portfolio. MMD USA president Gregory Balogh noted that Inniskillin has a leading position in the ice wine segment. The U.S. subsidiary of Roederer, MMD’s portfolio includes wines from France, Portugal, Italy, Spain, California, Canada, and South Africa.

•San Francisco-based Gold Bar Whiskey has struck a multi-year partnership with the NHL’s Las Vegas Golden Knights. Under the deal, Gold Bar will have branding inside T-Mobile Arena and be featured on Golden Knights web and social media platforms, as well as form the centerpiece of the team’s “official celebration cocktail.” Gold Bar will tie in the partnership with on-premise and retail programming across Nevada, where the brand is handled by Johnson Brothers.

•Moët Hennessy has appointed Jens-Peter Gardthausen as international commercial director for Belvedere Vodka. Gardthausen will lead the brand’s global commercial strategy and report to Belvedere CEO Rodney Williams. Gardthausen brings decades of experience to his new role, having served with Moët Hennessy since 1995. Most recently, he was managing director of Moët Hennessy Germany.

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