Distiller’s Friday Roundup – August 7th, 2020By Mikael Mossberg
This week award-winning Tasmanian distillery, Lark, announced its first blended malt whisky, called Lark Symphony No. 1. Then, Loch Lomond re-designed its entire core range of whiskies as well as its global travel retail whiskies. Diageo reported a striking 47% drop in profits due to COVID-19, though interestingly North America actually saw an increase in profits. Brown-Forman exited the Canadian whisky game by selling off Canadian Mist to Sazerac. Finally, Woodford Reserve unveiled its $1,000 and $2,500 Kentucky Derby silver and gold mint julep cups. Oh, and you can now buy boozy ice cream in New York. If you’d like to take a closer look at some new releases on the horizon, we found some interesting things in the TTB database. Tomintoul Cigar Malt, anyone?
Lark Symphony No. 1 Is Brand’s First Blended Malt Whisky
Tasmanian distillery Lark just announced its latest release, called Lark Symphony No. 1. This is the first blended malt whisky from the award-winning brand. To craft this whisky, the brand uses several different cask types including ex-bourbon casks, as well as sherry and port casks.
It is currently only available from the brand’s website and Dan Murphy’s stores across Australia. This bottling carries an ABV of 40.2% for a 500ml bottle and an SRP of AU $139 ($100 US).
Lark Sympony No. 1 /Photo Credit: Lark
Loch Lomond Re-designs Entire Brand Range
Scottish whisky brand Loch Lomond has unveiled a complete re-design of its entire core and global travel retail ranges. The brand claims that the re-design aims to achieve a “more contemporary aesthetic” that places simplified tasting notes on the front label of each bottle.
Loch Lomond also brought the Inchmurrin 12 Year and the Inchmoan 12 Year into its core range, which now consists of of Loch Lomond 12 Year, Original, Inchmurrin 12 Year, Inchmoan 12 Year and Loch Lomond 18 Year.
The one liter global travel retail bottles (Loch Lomond Original, Loch Lomond 12 Year, Loch Lomond 14 Year, Loch Lomond 18 Year and Loch Lomond Madeira) also have new designs.
Loch Lomond’s New Range Design /Photo Credit: Loch Lomond
Diageo’s Reports 47% Drop In Profits
Diageo’s fiscal calendar ended on June 30th, and the drinks giant reported a 47.1% drop in operating profit, or around $2.7 billion dollars. COVID-19 has obviously impacted on-premise sales globally in a massive way. According to the company the only spirits categories to register net sales increases were Canadian whisky, US whiskey and tequila.
Shockingly in that time, North America was the only region to grow sales, driven primarily by a massive increase in off-premise (liquor stores) sales during the pandemic.
Diageo Owned Spirits /Photo Credit: Diageo
Brown-Forman sells Canadian Mist to Sazerac
Last week Brown-Forman announced the finalization of its sale of Canadian Mist to Sazerac. The sale includes the brand itself as well as the Canadian Mist distillery in Canada.
By selling Canadian Mist, Brown-Forman has exited the Canadian whisky category completely in order to focus on its more premium American brands like Woodford Reserve.
Canadian Mist is currently the third best-selling Canadian whisky brand in the world and has been under the Brown-Forman umbrella sine 1971.
Canadian Mist /Photo Credit: Canadian Mist
Woodford Reserve Kentucky Derby Mint Julep Cups For Charity
Every year Woodford Reserve announces its silver and gold Kentucky Derby Mint Julep Cups. The proceeds from the sale of the cups go directly to different charities every year. Last year the brand sent proceeds to the John Asher Memorial Scholarship Fund at Western Kentucky University. This year, they’re going to the Permanently Disabled Jockey Fund.
Woodford Reserve is also honoring the 50th anniversary of Jockey Diane Crump becoming the first female to ride in the Kentucky Derby.
There are 121 silver plated cups and 25 gold cups available for purchase online for $1,000 and $2,500 respectively. Both the silver and the gold cups are available for purchase now, and unlike in past years, the cups will be shipped directly to you.
Woodford Reserve Kentucky Derby Mint Julep Cups /Photo Credit: Woodford Reserve
Boozy Ice Cream Is Now Legal in NY State
In somewhat sillier news, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation this week to allow the production and sale of ice cream and other frozen desserts infused with alcohol. According to the law, ice cream may not contain more than 5% alcohol by volume and only individuals over the age of 21 may purchase it.
New Releases On The Horizon
We try to keep an eye on all of the label approvals that go through the TTB (The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) so we know which releases to look out for. Here are a few of the most interesting looking approval submissions we’ll likely see in the not-too-distant future. Keep in mind that ABVs listed are also subject to change.
TTB Label Approvals
Colkegan 10 Year Anniversary Sherry Cask Finished Single Malt 4 Year
This release celebrates the 10th anniversary of New Mexico-basedSanta Fe Spirits distillery.
What we know: This American Single Malt was aged for 4 years in American white oak barrels before being finished in PX Sherry casks. This bottling carries an ABV of 46%.
Town Branch Bottled in Bond Kentucky Single Malt 12 Year
This bonded American single malt is the oldest release yet from the Lexington, KY based distillery.
What we know: Bottled at 100 proof, this whiskey aged for 12 years in ex-bourbon casks.
Tomintoul Cigar Malt
What appears to be the newest release from Tomintoul is a Speyside single malt whisky aged in Sherry butts.
What we know: Master Distiller Robert Fleming selected Oloroso Sherry butts from Andalucia, Spain to mature this whisky. Tomintoul Peated Single Malt is also added to the mix. This bottling carries an ABV of 43%.
George Dickel Tennessee Single Barrel 15 Year
This single barrel whiskey from George Dickel was distilled at Cascade Hollow Distillery in Tullahoma, Tennessee.
What we know: Aged for at least 15 years, it carries an ABV of 47.6%.
If you’re down in Australia, try getting your hands on a bottle of Lark Symphony No. 1.
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