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

News Briefs for November 18, 2022

November 18, 2022

•Stoli Group’s Kentucky Owl is set to release two new whiskies, Batch #12 in its flagship line of luxury-priced whiskies, as well as a new rum cask-finished expression. Kentucky Owl Batch #12 is blended from barrels of Bourbons aged between seven and 14 years with two different 4-year-old whiskies before bottling at 57.9% abv. It carries a suggested price of $400. The other new release, Mardi Gras XO Cask Limited Edition, is bottled at 51.4% abv and starts as an 11-year-old rye whiskey before finishing for a year in XO rum casks from Bayou Rum. Only 38 casks will be released with the finished whiskey retailing for a suggested price of $500.

•Allen Shoup, a Washington icon who as CEO of Chateau Ste. Michelle guided the state’s wine industry through its formative years, died Nov. 7. He was 79. “He was to Washington wines what his friend and mentor Robert Mondavi was to Napa Valley,” said his friend and Napa Valley vintner Agustin Huneeus, Sr., in a statement. “Allen was a brilliant and tireless champion of Washington State wines and Columbia Valley vineyards.” Wine Spectator has more on Shoup’s life and career.

•U.K.-based super-premium label Au Vodka is debuting in the U.S. market, initially in Georgia, Florida, and Texas. Retailing at $40 a bottle, the brand includes an original vodka as well as a Black Grape extension and is packaged in gold bottles. Distributed by RNDC, it’s now in about 80 Total Wine & More stores across its initial launch markets, with more expansion planned.

•Louisville, Kentucky’s Hemingway Whiskey Company has announced Rye Whiskey First Edition, a new limited release from the author-inspired brand. The whiskey is a blend of 9-year-old Indiana rye (94% of the blend) and 4-year-old Kentucky rye (6%) bottled at 50% abv after finishing in rum-seasoned Oloroso Sherry casks. The whiskey is available in limited quantities—only 972 bottles will be released—and comes in a library-style box with a gold Ernest Hemingway signature. The whiskey is now available to pre-order through the brand’s website and orders will ship in December. Along with Papa’s Pilar, Hemingway Whiskey Company is part of Old Man and the Sea Brands.

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