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News Briefs for July 15, 2021

July 15, 2021

•Vermont-based WhistlePig has unveiled a new RoadStock Rye whiskey in collaboration with Jordan Winery and Firestone Walker Brewery. The 43% abv rye retails at $73 a 750-ml. and is launching at select liquor stores. Half of the whiskey was finished in Bordeaux blend casks from Jordan Winery in Sonoma’s Alexander Valley. The balance was finished in Firestone Walker’s Imperial Stout, Imperial Blonde Ale, and Experimental Ale barrels. The whiskies were finished in a specially commissioned 18-wheeler “Rolling Rickhouse” commissioned by WhistlePig, which traveled 6,000 miles across the country from the distiller’s Vermont farm and back to complete the finishing process. Moët Hennessy took a minority stake in WhistlePig late last year.

•Smooth Ambler, part of the Pernod Ricard portfolio, is launching a new Contradiction Rye whiskey as well as new packaging on the Contradiction brand. Contradiction’s new offering features four rye whiskies in its blend: two from Tennessee (51% rye and 70% rye), one from MGP (95% rye), and one (88% rye) from the Smooth Ambler distillery in West Virginia. The 52.5% abv bottling retails at $40 a 750-ml. Concurrently, Contradiction is shifting to a new bottle and label on both the rye and its existing Bourbon. Both are non-chill-filtered and produced in small, numbered batches.

•Finlandia vodka is introducing a new Botanical range of 30% abv bottlings in Cucumber & Mint and Wildberry & Rose flavors. Retailing at $16 a 750-ml., the newcomers have no artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, or added sugars, and are gluten-free, with 73 calories a serving. Recommended with sparkling water, tonic, or lemonade, they’re currently available now in Colorado, Connecticut, Louisiana, Texas, and Washington, ahead of a larger rollout. Finlandia is part of the Brown-Forman portfolio.

•Scott Diaz has been named senior vice president of global brand strategy and marketing at Demeine Estates, the Napa Valley-based négociant firm founded by the Lawrence family and Carlton McCoy, Jr. Diaz was previously vice president of marketing and brand management at Wilson Daniels. In his new role, he’ll be responsible for “implementing innovative omni-channel marketing and sales campaigns, along with executing both consumer and trade activations,” according to the company. In addition, he’ll support business development strategy and recruitment of new producers, both domestic and international.

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