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News Briefs for November 9, 2021

November 9, 2021

•Producers in France’s Champagne region concluded this year’s harvest with a big sigh of relief. The 2021 growing season was one of the region’s most challenging in decades, dogged by frost, mildew, and hail. But all is not lost, leading Champagne houses and growers insist. The reduced crop that they were able to harvest still shows outstanding potential. Wine Spectator has the full story.

•Bacardi has named Astrophel “Troy” Arquiza as global master blender of its flagship rum brand. Arquiza has been with Bacardi for more than two decades, training for years under current master blender José “Joe” Gomez, who is retiring after 41 years with Bacardi. He will lead a team of rum blenders based at the largest premium rum distillery in the world, Casa Bacardi, in Cataño, Puerto Rico. According to Impact Databank, Bacardi rum ranked as the second-largest premium spirits brand by volume globally last year, behind only Smirnoff, at 17.7 million cases.

•Kentucky-based Four Roses Distillery has expanded its partnership with Republic National Distributing Co. (RNDC). Effective January 1, RNDC will handle Four Roses across Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, D.C., Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, and Washington. Additionally, RNDC will act as a broker for Four Roses in Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming. The brand’s portfolio includes Four Roses Bourbon, Single Barrel, Small Batch, Small Batch Select, Limited Edition, and Private Barrel Selection. Four Roses is owned by Japan’s Kirin.

•Pernod Ricard USA has kicked off “Stir Up Your Routine,” a new ad campaign for Kahlúa. The program’s first ad features a group of friends sharing Kahlúa cocktails “mountainside” before revealing that the “mountain” is a snow pile in a front yard. The campaign’s second ad will show a couple dancing down a grocery store aisle. “Stir Up Your Routine” will run on digital and social channels along with other thematic content on the brand’s website. Last year, Kahlúa was up 15.2% to 920,000 cases in the U.S., according to Impact Databank.

•Beam Suntory has launched Baker’s Exclusive Selection, a new limited-time spinoff for the Bourbon brand. This release is bottled at 53.5% abv and the chosen barrels aged for over 11 years. Like the standard Baker’s, the Exclusive Selection is a single barrel whiskey. It’s rolling out now in select locations across the U.S. with a suggested price of $100 a 750-ml.

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