Pick of the Launches

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

FETTERCAIRN 12, 28, 40 & 50-YEAR-OLD


Brand owner Whyte & Mackay/Emperador

RRP £48-£10,000, €53-€11,113, $60-$13,000

Markets Global

Contact rosie@wearetheromans.com

Whyte & Mackay has unveiled an updated range and global relaunch from Fettercairn distillery, which is in the foothills of the Cairngorm mountains. The Fettercairn range comprises:

12-year-old (40% abv, £48/€53/$60)

28-year-old (42% abv, £500/€555/$675)

40-year-old (48.9% abv, £3,000/€3,330/$4,000)

50-year-old (47.9% abv, £10,000/€11,113/$13,000)

Keynote flavours of Fettercairn, which is a key single malt for Whyte & Mackay’s standard blended whisky, are described as: “Tropical fruits, soft spice and sweetness, showcased in melon, pineapple, clove, ginger, treacle, toffee and caramel.”



Brand owner Chilgrove Spirits

RRP £34/€38

Markets UK and Europe

Contact info@chilgrovespirits.com

New from Chilgrove Spirits is the Bramble Edition gin (42% abv) distilled with 100% grape-alcohol along with Sussex natural mineral water and 12 botanicals. The resulting London Dry gin is infused with English blackberries for a full lunar cycle. The gin is presented in the same packaging as its sister products, with bespoke glass stopper and a double gate-folded neck-brochure. Tasting notes: “Balanced with layers of complex berry fruit. Every one of the 12 botanicals play their part to deliver a gin as well suited to a classic G&T as to more ambitious contemporary serves.”



Brand owner Wild Thyme Spirits

RRP £42, €47, $54

Markets Global

Contact wildthymespirits@btinternet.com

Wild Thyme 909 (47% abv) is a new limited-edition bottling of Colonsay gin from Wild Thyme Spirits. Each of the 909 bottles is individually hand numbered and the design takes inspiration from mythical Celtic folklore, with the number of bottles released signifying 909 years since the legendary Viking maiden Alva was said to have been trapped on the Isle of Colonsay. The gin’s flavour is created by the variety of botanicals, which are handpicked on the island wheere it is produced.

Tasting notes: “Smooth and slightly sweet, this classic London Dry-style gin is a delicate balance of spice, peppery notes and lemon sherbet which is best served with premium tonic over lots of ice, garnished with either orange zest or a slice of green chilli.”



Brand owner Fortnum & Mason

RRP £16-£18/€18-€20/$21-$23

Markets Global

Contact fortnumandmason.com

Fortnum & Mason Sparkling Tea is a new alcoholic and non-alcoholic sparkling beverage collection. The range comprises:

Copenhagen Sparkling Tea ‘Blue’ – jasmine, white & darjeeling teas (0% abv, £16/€18/$21)

Copenhagen Sparkling Tea ‘Red’ – hibiscus, white & black teas (4% abv, £18/€20/$23)

Copenhagen Sparkling Tea ‘Green’ – green, lemongrass & white teas (5% abv, £18/€20/$23)

Creator Copenhagen Sparkling Tea Company uses a white wine base or grape juice for the non-alcoholic bottles, and infuses teas in several different flushes. The range is said to create drinks with a similar character to a sparkling wine.



Brand owner Nirvana Brewery

RRP £2.49

Markets UK only

Contact stef@merimancepr.com

Zen & Berries (0.5%) is a fruit sour beer with no alcohol from Nirvana Brewery. Naturally soured using live culture, the “summery” character is said to be achieved with the addition of British-sourced blueberries accompanied by fresh ginger. This is the first in a series of joint efforts from Nirvana Brewery with fellow UK brewers.



Brand owner Smirnoff

RRP £12/€13/$15

Markets Global

Contact michelle.sibley@diageo.com

Smirnoff Moscow Mule is a new flavour variant from Smirnoff vodka, which is said to have co-created the original Moscow Mule back in 1941. While the original Moscow Mule was made with Smirnoff No. 21 vodka, ginger beer and lime, cocktail lovers can use the new ready-to-mix Smirnoff Moscow Mule variant to make an even easier version – just add ginger ale or ginger beer. The Smirnoff Moscow Mule combines ginger and lime flavours for a new take on a classic drink.



Brand owner Leeuwin Estate

RRP £22-24/€25-27/$29-32

Markets Global

Contact Simone Furlong, simone@leeuwinestate.com.au

Leeuwin Estate 2016 Art Series Riesling (12% abv) is new to the series which represents Leewin’s most “opulent and ageworthy wines” from each vintage. Australian artist John Olsen was chosen to create artwork for the Art Series Riesling labels. He created four works entitled Frogs in Riesling, and these now run consecutively across each vintage of Art Series Riesling. Tasting notes: “Lifted and bright with great clarity, the nose expresses cut limes and lemons. Subtle notes of kaffir lime leaf, lemongrass, jasmine and fresh sesame seed lie in the background. The finely structured palate has a delicate texture and shows flavours of lemon pith, lime and cardamom pod.”



Brand owner Gabriel Boudier

RRP £15/€15/$20

Markets Global

Contact jack@emporiabrands.com

Gabriel Boudier and Emporia Brands challenged the UK’s bartenders to create a new liqueur to join their range – the Wizard Challenge. The 2018 winner was Maria Vieira from East London Liquor Company with her homage to Dijon’s other iconic product, mustard. The ingredients for Gabriel Boudier Mustard Liqueur (20% abv) are led by brown mustard seed from Burgundy, macerated for two weeks in alcohol. Supporting flavours include black mustard seed and a touch of pepper, with both sugar and honey. Vieira’s signature serve is the Mustard Mary: 25ml mustard liqueur, 25ml gin or vodka, 100ml tomato juice, lemon juice, 3 dashes Worcestershire Sauce, salt and pepper.



Brand owner Whyte & Mackay

RRP £28

Markets UK only

Contact tom@rosanegra.uy

The Woodsman (40% abv) blended scotch whisky release is part of a promise to bring new, younger drinkers into the scotch category by giving traditional blend behaviours and flavours the chop. The Woodsman release is the latest in a long list of announcements from Whyte & Mackay, following a surge in investment to boost its commitment to innovation and an increase in global marketing expenditure across its portfolio. Tasting notes: “Matured using a mix of freshly-built oak casks from Ohio, which gives it a hint of vanilla and spice, and ex-bourbon barrels double-scorched in Scotland for an extra depth, adding more vanilla sweetness and a hint of woodsmoke.”



Brand owner Basta

RRP £19/€20/$23

Markets Uruguay and travel retail

Contact tom@rosanegra.uy

Rosa Negra (27% abv) is the new launch from Basta, produced in Uruguay near the Rio de la Plata coast. Rosa Negra is based on the national spirit, known locally as grappamiel, which is a Uruguayan grappa-based honey liqueur. Made from the Tannat grape variety, it is double distilled in old Czechoslovakian copper and wood fuel stills and then mixed with wildflower honey from natural meadows. This blend is said to provide a “rich and silky liquid to enjoy neat or in cocktails”.