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

News Briefs for October 6, 2020

October 6, 2020

•Brown-Forman has launched Woodford Reserve Baccarat Edition, a new ultra-limited luxury release from the American whiskey brand. The newcomer is bottled at 45.2% abv and, after its initial maturation in American oak, aged for an extra three years in ex-Cognac casks. The whiskey is bottled in a handmade crystal decanter from Baccarat that’s reminiscent of the standard Woodford bottle but engraved in gold with both Woodford’s and Baccarat’s logos. It’s now available in limited quantities for $2,000 a 750-ml. Last year, Woodford Reserve was up 21% to nearly 800,000 cases, according to Impact Databank.

•Teeling Irish whiskey has announced a new addition to the distillery’s portfolio, Blackpitts Peated Single Malt whiskey. The 46% abv whiskey is triple distilled and matured in a combination of ex-Bourbon and ex-Sauternes casks. According to managing director Jack Teeling, the smokiness of triple distilled peated whiskey is quite distinct; he described it as more like “barbecue-style smoke,” compared to the briny or medicinal peated whiskies of Islay, Scotland. Blackpitts Peated Single Malt whiskey will launch globally in January 2021, for a suggested price of $75 in the U.S. Last year, Teeling was up 24.3% to 20,000 cases in the U.S., according to Impact Databank. Teeling is minority-owned by Bacardi.

•Reyes Beer Division has acquired Indiana distributor Monarch Beverage. Marking Reyes’s entry into the Indiana market, the deal will see the beer distribution giant add a business totaling 16 million cases, with suppliers including Molson Coors, Constellation, Heineken USA, Diageo, Mike’s, Boston Beer, Yuengling, Lagunitas, and Pabst Blue Ribbon. The transaction is expected to close December 11. Terms weren’t disclosed. Reyes Beer Division is the largest beer distributor in the U.S. Parent company Reyes Holdings, which also includes Coca-Cola bottling operations in the West and Midwest, among other businesses, has revenues of $29 billion.

•Espolòn Tequila creator and Maestro Tequilero Cirilo Oropeza passed away yesterday surrounded by family in his native Mexico. He was 80 years old. Oropeza began his career in 1965 at the Ingenio Potrero Distillery in Veracruz, Mexico. In the 1990s, he was tapped to supervise the production of Jose Cuervo’s Tequila distillation in Guadalajara, before beginning the project that would become Casa San Nicolas and Espolòn Tequila in 1995. Campari acquired Espolòn in 2008, and the brand has become a rising player in the U.S., earning Impact “Hot Brand” honors this year after increasing 30% to 510,000 cases.

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