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News Briefs for April 29, 2022

April 29, 2022

•NBA star James Harden has taken a stake in Tequila Gran Diamante. The Philadelphia 76ers shooting guard invested in the brand, which launched less than two years ago, for an undisclosed sum. Tequila Gran Diamante produces three expressions, all made with 100% blue agave: Plata (40% abv, $60 a 750-ml.); Reposado, aged eight months in French oak barrels (40% abv, $65); and Añejo, aged 18 months in French oak (40% abv, $95). The agave is grown in Los Altos de Jalisco, Mexico and the Tequila is distilled and bottled in Arandas, Jalisco. The brand is available for purchase in California.

•The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) and the American Single Malt Whiskey Commission (ASMWC) sent a letter to the TTB urging the Bureau to move forward with its proposed rulemaking to establish a standard of identity for American Single Malt. The letter drew a comparison to Scotch and the standards delineating it as a category, arguing that similar regulations are necessary to protect the developing American Single Malt category. DISCUS and ASMWC submitted official comments to the TTB on the topic in June 2019.

•Oregon winemakers and grapegrowers are assessing the damage after a severe late frost struck Willamette Valley in recent days. The week of April 10 saw record-low temperatures—down to 26° F in some areas—just as the vineyards were starting budbreak. Frost isn’t uncommon in Oregon, but it typically strikes earlier in the season when vines are still dormant. “We have never seen such cold temperatures so late in the season,” said vintner Josh Bergström. Wine Spectator has the full story.

•Proximo Spirits-owned Stranahan’s whiskey has unveiled an Añejo Cask expression as the latest release in its limited-edition series of distillery exclusives. Retailing at $70, Stranahan’s Añejo Cask is an American single malt made from a marriage of six to nine-year-old whiskey initially aged in virgin American oak barrels, with up to two and a half years spent in casks that previously held Reserva de Familia Extra Añejo Tequila. The 45% abv offering is available exclusively at Stranahan’s distillery in Denver, Colorado.

•The Glenrothes, part of the Edrington portfolio, has launched a limited edition 36 Year Old Single Cask Scotch whisky. Only 168 bottles are available for $3,600 each. After buying a bottle, purchasers will receive an NFT featuring custom artwork—also featured on the bottle packaging—created by The New Yorker illustrator Maddie Dai. The NFT will also provide access to real world experiences around the globe, including the potential to travel to the distillery in Rothes, Scotland, which is not traditionally open to visitors. The Glenrothes grew 17% to 7,600 9-liter cases in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank.

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