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The Brandy Report: Introduction (1/12)

In the first of our new series of reports on the global brandy sector we introduce the category - where it is now, and where it is headed.

Sparkling Wine: A Brave New World

As demand for sparkling wine shows no signs of abating, the New World is taking its chances and offering quality like never before, as Jamie Goode reports

Tennessee Whisky: Don't Mess With Tradition

Distillers in Tennessee are whipping up a storm as they continue to debate the definition of their whiskey. Dominic Roskrow reports

Rainbow Brandy

When it comes to brandy South Africa does not get much of a look in. Yet its best are up there with the world’s greatest.  Christian Davis reports

ProWein 2015: Specialist Insight by Gregory Dal Piaz

Gregory Dal Piaz, editor of Snooth.com, discusses where your next great wine will come from

Sugar Syrups: Hitting the sweet spot

Adventurous flavours are on the cards for sugar syrups in 2015, as Lucy Britner reports

Agent Orange: Panos Sarantopoulos

Panos Sarantopoulos, chief executive of Rémy Cointreau’s liqueurs and spirits division, is on a mission to get the iconic orange liqueur behind every bar. Christian Davis meets him

Cachaça: In Full Flow

Brazil’s cachaça is carving out an identity for itself ahead of the 2016 Olympics, as Richard Woodard reports

DI talks to Sandy Hyslop

Sandy Hyslop, Chivas Brothers’ master blender, is hands on. He’s not one for travelling long haul most of the year. Christian Davis tracks him down to where he is happiest.

Valuing the Douro

Jaq Bayles finds that port may at last have found some ways to make itself attractive to a younger generation. And even the most traditional producers are at peace with it

Raki comes to the table

Hamish Smith investigastes the resurgence of an old spirit

Star Studded: TFWA World Exhibition Review

Despite facing a litany of challenges, the travel retail business is upbeat, as the TFWA World Exhibition proved. Joe Bates reports

Sweet Wines: A Noble Pursuit

It may not have the raciest of images, but sweet wine is undergoing quiet change. Jamie Goode reports

Are flavoured spirits a honey trap?

Flavoured spirits drinks are being released at a pace. But are they blurring the rules over whisky production, and are they just a passing fad? Dominic Roskrow reports

Heritage and future: Alfred Cointreau

Hamish Smith meets the latest generation of the world’s most famous triple sec family

Irish whiskey: Sky's the limit

Irish whiskey is really pushing forward as a spirits category. With the world’s thirst for whisk(e)y, the sky appears to be the limit. Christian Davis reports.

Mineral Water: Make it Clear

Attention to detail can turn a good bar into a great one and ensuring you use the right water is a matter of taste, finds Lucy Britner

Prosecco: hard graft

Hamish Smith travels to the Prosecco Hills and finds that, while the Italian sparkler is outselling champagne, its bubbles don’t necessarily reach the top

Gin Cocktails: Timeless Classic

As gin continues its relentless seduction of the cocktail cognoscenti, Holly Motion ponders its enduring appeal

Connecting with consumers

When connecting with consumers brands must lean into change, writes DI guest writer Nick Vale, global head of planning at Maxus.

The whiskey engineer

Jeff Arnett wanted to build cars but his life took another path. Hamish Smith talks to the man behind Jack Daniel’s

Japan's rice wine

Sake is an ancient drink in Japan that is finding fortune across other markets. Jaq Bayles looks at its appeal

Understanding and appreciating the US market

Guestwriter Steve Raye of Brand Action Team tells us his practical advice for exporters looking for a US importer. 

Island of dreams

Can Scottish single malt meet the commercial demands of the marketing men but still be true to its traditions? Dominic Roskrow asks Islay’s whisky makers what they think

A way of life

Dark aged rums are seen as the serious members of the party spirit family. But they’re also the ones spearheading innovation. Christian Davis reports

New routes to market

Guest writer David Atkinson of marketing agency, Space, tells us why there is a gap emerging between consumers and spirits brands and how new routes to market must be found.

The Tonic for Gin

Spain is experiencing a great gin renaissance and is a must-embrace market for premium producers, reports Holly Motion

Cocktail Specials

What does it take to make and maintain a great cocktail list? Christian Davis asks around

David Broom: Sweeping a Path

Spirits writer Dave Broom has a long pedigree. Hamish Smith caught up with him at the Havana Club Grand Prix 2014

Whisky in Africa

A variety of elements are combining to make African countries exciting prospects for whisky producers. Hamish Smith investigates

Keep it classic

As Patience Gould discovers, liqueurs are often the perfect foil to mainstream spirits  – particularly when it comes to the mixing circuit

Agave shortage: the hidden costs

Agave shortage doesn't just mean higher priced tequila. DI's guest writer Dale Sklar, tells us how the black market for agave is back and how the 'Coyotes' are once again prospering. 

Near-lost Venetian lagoon vines ready for fifth harvest

After a high-tide in 1966 that lay waste to Venetian vines, the indigenous Dorona grape was hanging by a thread. 

Monsieur Cuba

Françoise Renié wants everyone to join the Havana Club – and his approach via Cuban culture is certainly paying off. Hamish Smith met up with the marketer in Cuba

Getting on the list

It is common practice for brands to offer incentives to bars in return for a listing and this works in everyone’s favour – but does it mean smaller players miss out?  Hamish Smith investigates

High flyers - single malts in travel retail

Single malt is growing in travel retail with increased premiumisation and demand for exclusivity. It tells us a lot about the category’s burgeoning fortunes around the globe. Joe Bates reports

Armagnac: Virtuous by Nature

Armagnac is claimed to be the oldest brandy in France, and in the past was consumed for its therapeutic benefits. Christian Davis gets a prescription

Rioja: Breaking boundaries

The winemakers of Rioja are doing exceptional things in their attempts at diversification. Hamish Smith reports

Joy Spence recieves Outstanding Contribution award

Wray & Nephew master blender, Joy Spence, recieved the Outstanding Contribution award at the ISC 2014. Hamish Smith got her reaction.

The lighter side of wine

Jamie Goode investigates the possibilities for reduced alcohol wine

Absinthe: Ever Green

The purveyors of fine absinthe are being vindicated and the category is slowly but surely earning proper respect. Dominic Roskrow looks at a category on the comeback trail

Bitters: Wind back in its sales

These versatile brews are growing in popularity at a rate of knots as they become a vital part of the bar call. Patience Gould investigates

Lugana wines: Worth their Salt

The wines of Lugana around Italy’s Verona are well known in Europe, but now producers are on a mission to take them to the rest of the world. Jaq Bayles reports

Chilean vineyards
Changing Chile

Long seen as the dependable but unexciting workhorse of the wine world, Chile is starting to show new colours. Jamie Goode reports

Eyes on the prize

Despite the current downturn in China, Cognac houses big and small remain convinced Asia will continue to deliver growth over the long term, writes Joe Bates

Pisco power

The South American grape brandy is garnering a new legion of fans worldwide on the back of a slew of  restaurant openings. Hamish Smith reports on the trend

The rum report: Guyana, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago and St Lucia

Hamish Smith explores some of the lesser-known rum-producing areas

The rum report: Jamaican rum

Jamaican rum is a reference point of the rum taste spectrum. Hamish Smith looks into its past, present and future

Mezcal
Trouble in paradise

Mezcal is making its way into the drinking repertoires of new fans worldwide. But it’s not all plain sailing for the agave spirit. Hamish Smith reports

Interview: Christian Barré

In the week that Pernod Ricard UK announced Campo Viejo Tempranillo has become the UK’s no.1 red wine by value, Hamish Smith travelled to Rioja to speak to Christian Barré, chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard Winemakers Spain.