Pick of the Launches

Here is the pick of the launches from last month, as featured in Drinks International magazine August edition.



Brand owner Bacardi

RRP £99.54, €112.79, $132

Markets Global travel retail exclusive

Contact bacardi@kavanaghcommunications.com

Aberfeldy 1990 (43% abv) is the newest addition to the Exceptional Cask Series, a range of rare and aged whiskies from the Bacardi portfolio. This small-batch single malt whisky is a one-off release, with only 3,126 bottles produced at the Aberfeldy distillery in Scotland. Selected by Aberfeldy malt master, Stephanie MacLeod, the liquid is finished in port casks for two years to allow development of a “unique, highly enjoyable taste profile”. Tasting notes: “Succulent summer berries and aromatic flowering currant, a hint of cinnamon and grated dark chocolate, with a smooth layer of caramel to finish”.

Initially available exclusively at DFS Changi Airport, the Aberfeldy 1999 will be available later in the year at DFS stores at Abu Dhabi airport, in Hawaii and in North America.



Brand owner Akashi-Tai Sake Brewery

RRP £21-£50, €23.81-€56.68, $28.01-$66.70, ¥3095.55-¥7370.36

Markets UK, Germany, US, Japan

Contact e-info@akashi-tai.com

Akashi-Tai, a range of five artisan sakes (14-19% abv), has launched a new identity and packaging design. The design is said to convey the artisan nature of Akashi-Tai, which is brewed in small batches using traditional methods, and positions the brand as an “authentic premium player” on the global market. Design agency Cowan London worked with French artist and illustrator Aurore de la Morinerie and Hirano Sogen, a respected Japanese artist and calligrapher, was commissioned to create the Akashi-Tai kanji brand mark. The challenge was to design for two diverse markets with different cultures, codes and customers.



Brand owner Douglas Laing & Co

RRP £350, €395, $460

Markets Global

Contact info@douglaslaing.com

XOP Platinum Port Dundas 40 Year Old (59.1% abv) is the new launch from Douglas Laing & Co. It is the second in the XOP Platinum series, which has been specially commissioned to mark the firm’s seven decades in the scotch whisky industry. In each quarter of 2018 it will be releasing one very rare, aged single cask. This latest bottling is a 40 Year Old single grain, single cask from the now-closed Port Dundas Distillery in Glasgow. The whisky is a limited edition, with only 168 bottles made.

Tasting notes: “Nose: rich and (gingerbread) sweet with molasses, cereal and sugar. Palate: chewy and full of dark fruit, warming spices and treacle toffee. Finish: now more softly – yet still dulcet – spiced plus home baking.”



Brand owner Dale Sklar & Tequila Tapatio partnership

RRP £158.45-£167.30, €179-€189, $199-$240

Markets Global (Africa & Asia yet to be appointed)

Contact Tanya Sklar, Tanya@wineandspirit.com

The Villas Lobos brand has launched its extra Añejo 10 Year Old tequila Los Hombres (40% abv), which is made by master distiller Carlos Camarena and family at Destileria La Alteña in Arandas, Jalisco State. This is the fifth addition to the collection of 100% agave small-batch tequilas. Los Hombres is made using the traditional methods that Don Felipe used more than 80 years ago when he founded the distillery. Everything is done by hand, and only 2,000 individually numbered bottles have been produced. Due to agave shortages and the scarcity of old tequila, it is unlikely that any new production of Los Hombres will be made for at least six years.

Tasting notes: “Los Hombres maintains its spicy agave flavour and aromas, yet has the depth and complexity of a rare sipping whisky or cognac, and is presented in a gift-tube.”



Brand owner Chivas Brothers

RRP £51, €58, $69

Markets Global travel retail exclusive

Contact akash.beri@text100.com

Chivas XV (40% abv) is a 15-year-old blend finished in grande champagne cognac casks. Chivas XV was created by Chivas Regal’s director of blending, Sandy Hyslop, and his blending team in Speyside.



Brand owner Seedlip

RRP £27, €31, $36

Markets Global

Contact seedlipdrinks.com/

Grove 42 is new from Seedlip, the non-alcoholic spirit. It is the third member of the range and is described as an “adult, citrus blend of copper-pot distillates including bitter orange, mandarin, blood orange, lemongrass, and ginger & lemon”. Ben Branson, founder of Seedlip, said: “It marks an important focus on the fascinating world of the citrus genus as well as soda as a signature mixer, allowing Grove to truly shine in a completely sugar and alcohol-free cocktail.” Grove 42 delivers a round flavour profile with orange zest and mandarin pith top notes, juicy blood orange undertones and spice character from lemongrass and ginger.



Brand owner International Beverage Holdings

RRP £39, €45, $53

Markets Global travel retail exclusive

Contact jbateman@interbevgroup.com

Almost a decade after it launched, Caorunn small-batch Scottish gin has launched the first extension to its range: Caorunn Master’s Cut (48% abv). The new gin is made exclusively for the travel retail channel by Caorunn’s longstanding gin master, Simon Buley, at Balmenach Distillery in the Scottish Highlands. It is described as “a balance of traditional and foraged botanicals, fresh, clean flavour bursting with vibrant juniper and the delicious soft fruity notes of rowan and apple”. Master’s Cut will launch with travel retailer Dufry and will be available in selected Dufry World Duty Free airport shops in the UK for a three-month period as a key brand in the travel retailer’s summer liquor promotions, before becoming available in global travel retail.



Brand owner Pickering’s Gin

RRP £19, €22, $25

Markets Online and in Scottish Sainsbury’s stores

Contact Leigh@pickeringsgin.com 0131 290 2901

Pickering’s Pink Grapefruit and Lemongrass gin liqueur (20% abv) is new from Pickering’s Gin and the first liqueur from the brand. The product was made in response to demand from fans. The Edinburgh-based gin company has used the appeal for flavoured gin liqueurs to celebrate its recommended G&T garnish – pink grapefruit. Inspired by a Pickering’s G&T garnished with a slice of pink grapefruit, the Pickering’s team blended its gin with real fruit to create a gin liqueur. It has notes of lemongrass, cardamom and juniper.



Brand owner Zamora Company

RRP £15, €17, $20

Markets The Netherlands, Germany, Brazil, Austria, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Canada and global travel retail

Contact info@zamoracompany.com

Licor 43 Baristo (31% abv), from Zamora Company, is a combination of Licor 43 Original and coffee from the Canary Islands. Local farmers in the Agaete Valley, which is located on the island of Gran Canaria in Spain, have been growing arabica typica for more than 200 years. This coffee is “highly acclaimed” by coffee experts and has frequently been classified as a “speciality”. Tasting notes: “Freshly roasted coffee with a delicate touch of citrus, spices, notes of vanilla and dried mature fruit. On the palate, a subtle flavour of freshly roasted coffee with the vanilla notes of Licor 43 and hints of sweet fruit”. The recommended way to drink Licor 43 Baristo is on the rocks.



Brand owner Club Belmont

RRP £3.99 – single bottle, £23.94 – 6-bottle case

Markets UK (looking to export to US, France, Germany and China)

Contact Info@clubbelmont.co.uk

Xpresso Martini (7.9% abv) is a single-serve, caffeinated alcoholic drink launched by Club Belmont. Xpresso Martini is said to have half the sugar and alcohol of a standard Espresso Martini, 12 months’ shelf life and high in caffeine. This ready-to-drink product is blended with 24-hour cold-brew Italian blend coffee, using a steeping process that has been designed to deliver “a smooth natural sweetness”. It is then mixed with a triple distilled Polish recipe vodka created by Bimber Distillery in London, pure cane sugar and Mexican coffee liqueur.

Tasting notes: “Dark, velvety taste and smoky chocolate notes.”