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

News Briefs for October 1, 2020

October 1, 2020

•Proximo Spirits has launched Bushmills 28-Year-Old Single Malt Cognac Cask, the first in the brand’s new Rare Casks series. The 46.7% abv whisky first aged in Bourbon and Oloroso Sherry casks for 11 years before spending an additional 17 years in Cognac casks. Fewer than 500 bottles of the whiskey will be available, exclusively in the U.S., for a suggested retail price of $500 a 750-ml. Bushmills was up 4% to 199,000 cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank.

•Diageo has completed its acquisition of Aviation Gin and parent company Davos Brands, originally announced August 17. The deal includes an initial payment of $335 million and a further potential consideration of up to $275 million based on the performance of Aviation American Gin over a ten-year period. Aviation nearly doubled in size to 53,000 cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank.

•Edrington-owned Highland Park single malt Scotch whisky has launched Cask Strength No.-1, the first release in its new cask-strength collection. This edition comes in at 63.3% abv and matured in Sherry-seasoned American oak casks for a range of years before blending and bottling. The non-chill-filtered whisky will be released yearly. Highland Park Cask Strength No.-1 retails for around $90 a 750-ml. and will be available online and in specialty retailers across the U.S. Last year, Highland Park was at 24,000 cases in the U.S., according to Impact Databank.

•Champagne Taittinger has unveiled a new vintage bottling, 2008 Comtes de Champagne Grands Crus Blanc de Blancs. Retailing at $215 a bottle, Comtes de Champagne Blanc de Blancs is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes from the five villages (Avize, Chouilly, Cramant, Oger, Mesnil-sur-Oger) with a Grands Crus classification. The special cuvée, which is always a vintage bottling, has been produced 35 times since its inception in 1952. Imported by Kobrand, Taittinger’s U.S. volume has hovered around 35,000 cases in recent years, according to Impact Databank, out of a global total of 250,000 cases.

•New York-based retailer and fine wine auction house Acker Wines has appointed Jamie Pollack as global managing director of business development and sales. Pollack previously served as global managing director of auctions at Zachys Wine & Liquor. At Acker, she’ll focus on key business initiatives and will serve high net worth clients, as well as manage sales teams across Acker’s offices in Hong Kong, Tokyo, London, Brussels, Copenhagen, New York, and Delaware. Acker also has appointed Alicia Martell as global head of authentication and quality control. She also previously worked at Zachys, serving as director of operations.

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