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

News Briefs for January 31, 2022

January 31, 2022

•Johnnie Walker Blue Label Year of the Tiger, Rabbit Hole Starlino, and Cream of Kentucky Straight rye are among the offerings featured in Whisky Advocate’s latest weekly roundup. The magazine’s website has all the details.

•Austin, Texas’ Fifth Generation Inc. has appointed Casa Cuervo as the national distributor for Tito’s Handmade vodka throughout Mexico. By partnering with Casa Cuervo, Tito’s will now be distributed alongside brands like Gran Centenario,1800 and Maestro Dobel tequilas, Creyente and 400 Conejos mezcals, Bushmills Irish whiskey, Kraken rum, and Boodles gin, among other spirits and RTDs in Cuervo’s Mexican distribution portfolio. For 2021, Impact Databank estimates that Tito’s reached 11 million cases in the U.S., making it the top-selling spirits brand in the country.

•Sausalito, California-based importer Vine Connections has founded Komé Collective, a new unit dedicated to sake and Japanese spirits. The move, according to the company, was prompted by growth in sake at retail—up 12% in Nielsen channels in 2021—as well as a general growing interest in travel, culture, and food. Currently, Komé’s portfolio includes brands like Tozai, Bushido, Daimon, and Kanbara, among many others. Beyond sake and the Komé Collective, Vine Connections handles 20 brands from Argentine and Chilean wineries.

•Louisville, Kentucky-based Cream of Kentucky is releasing a new Kentucky straight rye whiskey. Launched in 2018 in part by distiller Jim Rutledge, the brand has previously released five small-batch and one single-barrel expression. The new Cream of Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey Bottled in Bond is 100% Rymin rye that was estate grown, then distilled, aged, and bottled at Kentucky Artisan Distillery in Crestwood, Kentucky. The expression is limited to 70 barrels. Available in select markets nationwide beginning next month, the Straight Rye is aged six years and bottled at 50% abv for a suggested $70 a 750-ml.

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