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

News Briefs for March 9, 2020

March 9, 2020

•Johnnie Walker has launched Master’s Ruby Reserve, a new limited edition offering dedicated to master blender Jim Beveridge’s 40-year career. The ultra-luxury bottling includes whiskies from the “ghost” distilleries of Cambus, Carsebridge, Pittyvaich, and Port Ellen, which are balanced with aged expressions from Talisker, Royal Lochnagar, Glendullan, and Cragganmore. All of the whiskies included are at least 40 years old. Packaged in a golden-red Baccarat crystal decanter, Johnnie Walker Master’s Ruby Reserve is bottled at 43% abv, retails at £15,000 ($19,700), and is limited to 398 bottles globally.

•ProWein has canceled its 2020 trade fair in Germany due to the effects of the coronavirus. The next flagship ProWein event will be held March 21-23, 2021, in Düsseldorf. Erhard Wienkamp, managing director of parent company Messe Düsseldorf, said, “The special challenge here was there is only a very tight ‘trade fair window’ open for the wine industry—one which is additionally narrowed down by the insecure situation created by the coronavirus. Against this background the decision is the only correct conclusion to be drawn.” ProWein still plans to hold events in Singapore (July13-16), São Paulo (October 20-22), and Shanghai (November 10-12) later this year.

•Beam Suntory has announced a revamp for Old Overholt Straight Rye Whiskey. The new Old Overholt ($18 a 750-ml.) will come in at 43% abv, an increase from the previous from 40% abv, and the new label will feature a “grumpier” rendering of brand founder Abe Overholt. In addition, Old Overholt will now be bottled with non-chill filtering, a move that brings the brand more in line with its pre-Prohibition history. Later this year, the company plans to launch a high proof (57% abv) 4-year-old bottling and a 46.3% abv 11-year-old bottling. Old Overholt Bottled-in-Bond will remain on the market unchanged.

•Redbreast Irish whiskey, part of the Pernod Ricard portfolio, is adding a 27-year-old expression to its permanent range. Redbreast 27-year-old joins 12-, 15-, 21-year-old, and Lustau offerings in the existing lineup. It’s a cask-strength whiskey bottled at 54.6% abv after aging in Bourbon, Sherry, and Port casks. Retailing at $500 a 750-ml., Redbreast 27-year-old is launching in 23 U.S. markets.

•Pernod Ricard has invested in Japanese craft gin Ki No Bi from the Kyoto Distillery. While terms of the investment weren’t disclosed, Pernod calls it a “significant” one and says the funds will go toward building a new distillery for the brand. Ki No Bi is made from rice spirits infused with yuzu, lemon, sansho pepper, ginger, and gyokuro tea, among other botanicals. The Kyoto Distillery’s founders David Croll, Noriko Kakuda Croll, and Marcin Miller will remain with the business.

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