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News Briefs for September 3, 2020

September 3, 2020

•Jack Daniel’s master distiller Jeff Arnett is stepping down after a 20-year career with the brand. Arnett became master distiller in 2008, and is credited with driving innovation during his tenure, including the launch of super-premium whiskeys such as Sinatra Select, Single Barrel Barrel Proof, Single Barrel “Heritage Barrel” and the Tennessee Tasters’ limited edition series, as well as flavored offerings and, most recently, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Rye. Brown-Forman said it will announce Arnett’s successor in the coming weeks.

•Disaronno International is launching a nitro cold brew coffee cocktail under its Tia Maria brand. Officially dubbed Iced Coffee Frappé, it will be the first ready-to-drink offshoot for the coffee liqueur. It is at 4% abv and is made with Arabica coffee and cream, using nitro technology that deploys upon opening to create frappé foam. The company brought in Dutch street artist Karski to collaborate on the packaging. Tia Maria Iced Coffee Frappé will be available nationwide beginning in mid-September, retailing for $11 a 4-pack of 12-ounce cans.

•Heaven Hill has announced the latest release in its Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond series, a 14-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon. The whiskey was distilled in the fall of 2005 and, like all bonded whiskies, is bottled at 50% abv. The fall 2020 edition of Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond is the first 14-year-old whiskey from the series to be sold outside of Kentucky and follows the spring 2020 launch of a 9-year-old whiskey. This is the sixth release in the biannual series. It’s available across the U.S. in limited quantities for a suggested price of $140 a 750-ml.

•Austin Cocktails has launched a selection of its bottled spirits-based RTDs in cans. The canned releases bring three of the company’s most popular bottled offerings—Cucumber Vodka Sparkling Mojito, Fred’s Ruby Red Sparkling Grapefruit Cocktail, and Bergamot Orange Sparkling Margarita—to a more portable format. The 12.5% abv drinks come in two-serving 8.4-ounce cans. According to Austin Cocktails, the company is doubling production capacity after selling through its entire initial run. Austin Cocktails are now available in 4-packs for around $15 in 14 states across the U.S.

•E.&J. Gallo-owned Barefoot has partnered with Grammy winners the Black Eyed Peas for “Band Together,” a promotional and fundraising campaign benefiting Children of Restaurant Employees and the American Cancer Society. The initiative is based around an augmented reality experience triggered by scanning the QR codes on Barefoot products. Users will be able to listen to an exclusive remix of Vida Loca, the Peas’ latest single. Scanning QR codes will also trigger a $1 donation, up to $100,000, to the two beneficiaries of the campaign. Barefoot’s volume is over 18 million cases in the U.S. and its retail value is over $1 billion, according to Impact Databank.

•San Francisco, California-based Tequila Partida has named Steve Lauth as the company’s new president and CEO. Prior to his promotion, Lauth served as Partida’s COO. He joined the company in 2009 as Partida’s director of finance and operations. Brand founder Gary Shansby will remain active as Partida’s chairman and as a major shareholder. Since 2017, Partida’s sales, marketing, and distribution have been handled by Edrington Americas.

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