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News Briefs for September 29, 2020

September 29, 2020

•Hennessy Cognac has teamed with architect Frank Gehry and artist Cai Guo-Qiang to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Hennessy X.O. The occasion—called Hennessy’s “World Odyssey”—was marked on September 25, when a Gehry-designed decanter was unveiled alongside a fireworks display by Cai over the Charente River in Cognac. The custom decanter features a bottle enveloped in crinkled gold-dipped bronze surrounded by glass meant to amplify the design’s inspirations: water and light. Only 150 of the Gehry-designed decanters will be released worldwide; a wider release, also designed by Gehry, will be available in the future. Hennessy is expected to exceed 4 million cases in the U.S. this year, according to Impact Databank.

•The Dalmore has launched the latest release in its Principal Collection, a 12-year-old single malt finished in Sherry casks. The 43% abv whisky is initially aged for 10 years in American oak barrels previously used to mature Bourbon before finishing for up to three years in casks that held Pedro Ximenez and Oloroso sherry. The Dalmore 12-year-old Sherry Cask Select single malt is now available in the U.K. and major Asian markets with a U.S. launch to follow in 2021. In the U.S., the Dalmore is handled by E.&J. Gallo.

•Plantation rum has extended its portfolio with two new Fijian rums. Plantation Isle of Fiji is a permanent addition to the range. Distilled in pot and column stills at Rum Co. of Fiji, and then double-aged in Fiji and France, it’s at 40% abv and retails at $25 a 750-ml. Plantation Fiji Vintage 2005 is the first offering in Plantation’s new Birds of Paradise vintage collection. It was first distilled in triple column stills and aged for 14 years in Bourbon casks in the mild climate of the Fiji Islands, then spent an additional year in Ferrand French Oak barrels in the House’s cellars in Cognac. The limited edition is at 50.2% abv and retails at $80.

•Argentina’s Domaine Bousquet has expanded its Gaia range with four new offerings. The newcomers include a rosé, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and a Malbec, joining the existing red and white blends in the Gaia portfolio, which retails at $20 a 750-ml. Imported by Miami-based WISD, the Domaine Bousquet lineup is 100% organic and has U.S. volume of 100,000 cases.

•Chicago-based House of Somrus is adding to its range with a new Coffee Cream liqueur. The line extension is made with coffee and chicory, together with real dairy cream from Wisconsin and quintuple-distilled Caribbean rum. Retailing at $25 a 750-ml., it carries an abv of 13.5% and is rolling out across 21 states. The Somrus portfolio also includes Mango and Chai liqueurs.

•Disaronno International has named Ignacio Llaneza as vice president of brand and trade marketing for the U.S. Llaneza’s 20-year career includes time in brand/trade marketing roles with Moët Hennessy, Diageo, Heineken USA, and Coca-Cola. Most recently, he served as the national trade marketing director, off-premise at Moët Hennessy. New Jersey-based Disaronno International imports the Italian company’s namesake brand, as well as Disaronno Velvet Liqueur, The Busker Irish Whiskey, Tia Maria Coffee Liqueur, Rabarbaro Zucca Amaro, Corvo and Duca di Salaparuta wines from Sicily, and Florio Marsala.

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