Distiller’s Friday Roundup February 28, 2019By Stephanie Moreno
February is at an end, but it’s been a busy month of new releases for a variety of spirits brands. Firstly, Barrell Craft Spirits released its latest whiskey batch, Barrell Bourbon Batch 023. Next, Waterford Distillery announced its much anticipated first release, called Waterford 1st Cuvée Pilgrimage. Then, rum fans have something to look forward to this spring with a couple of updated Mount Gay rums. Finally, brandy enthusiasts can expect to see relaunched versions of two core releases from renowned California brand Germain-Robin. Check out the details on these releases and more news in Distiller’s Friday Roundup for February 28, 2019.
Barrell Craft Spirits releases the latest Bourbon Batch
Louisville’s Barrell Craft Spirits announced the release of its latest batch this week. Barrell Bourbon Batch 023 is a blend of straight bourbons distilled and aged in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana. The mash bills for each whiskey used corn, rye, and malted barley. The barrels used in this bottling were 10, 12, and 15 years of age. Batch 023 was bottled in Kentucky at cask strength of 107.78 proof and has a suggested price of $89.99.
Waterford Distillery launches its Inaugural Release
The first release for Waterford, an Irish distillery located on the site of the former Guinness Brewery, is here. Head distiller Ned Gahan crafted Waterford 1st Cuvée Pilgrimage by incorporating single distillates made from each of the 36 farms that Waterford distilled in its first year. This single malt release is limited to just 1,500 bottles. However, you must make the pilgrimage to the distillery to get your hands on a bottle.
Waterford’s Open Day and Inaugural Bottle Launch is set for April 25, 2019. Tickets are available now with 1,000 bottles sold exclusively at the event. The price for a bottle is set at €150 (~$165).
New Mount Gay Master Blender Updates Two Core Rums
In April 2019 Trudiann Branker became the new master blender for Mount Gay. With her appointment she began work revamping Mount Gay’s portfolio, beginning with two core bottlings from the Barbados rum brand. First, Mount Gay Black Barrel has been updated with a new blend which now includes rums aged from 3-7 years (formerly 2-7 years) and includes a higher proportion of pot still rums. Also, the finishing in deeply charred ex-bourbon barrels has been extended to six months, while previously it only finished for 4 weeks. The suggested price is $44.99.
Additionally, Mount Gay XO has been updated with an enhanced blend. It now includes rums aged from 5-17 years (formerly 8-15 years) and includes distillates aged in three types of barrels–American whiskey, bourbon, and cognac. Look for updated labels to include detailed barrel information and tasting notes along with Branker’s signature on each bottle. Mount Gay XO Triple Cask is bottled at 43% ABV with a suggested price of $64.99.
“It is an honor to be at the forefront of the exciting changes that Mount Gay will see in 2020, and I’m proud not only to be the first female master blender in Barbados but to be part of the team that will take Mount Gay from strength to strength,” said Branker.
Eclipse will also receive an updated label and will retail for $21.99. Expect limited editions of 1703 Master Select and a new Master Blender Collection to be released later this year.
New Mount Gay Master Blender Trudiann Branker / Photo Credit: Mount Gay
Germain-Robin Re-Releases Two California Brandies
An American brand founded in 1982, Germain-Robin incorporates cognac techniques and California-grown grapes in its production. In 2017, the brand was acquired by E.J. Gallo Winery. The re-release of these two brandies were created with the help of the brand’s co-founder Hubert Germain-Robin who worked alongside Gallo’s master distiller David Warter. Germain-Robin Brandy, its flagship brand, is made primarily with California colombard grapes distilled in an alembic still. It aged in French Limousin oak for 7 years. Only 1,400 6-pack cases are available for 2020. This product has a suggested price of $75.
The re-release of its XO expression is made primarily with California pinot noir grapes distilled in an alembic still. It is aged in French Limousin oak and is bottled at 80 proof. Only 900 6-pack cases are available for 2020, and it carries a suggested price of $125.
Germain-Robin Re-Releases Two California Brandies / Photo Credit: Germain-Robin
Tidbits From Around the Spirits World
Quick hits from around the spirits world this week…
Haig Club Clubman Lands in Miami
Diageo’s Scotch single grain whisky brand Haig Club Clubman has arrived in Miami and South Florida. Additionally, Haig Club has partnered with Inter Miami CF, Major League Soccer’s newest club, to become its official whisky. Furthermore, the whisky brand has collaborated with Inter Miami CF co-owner David Beckham in its promotion.
“I’m so excited that Haig Club is launching in Miami,” said Beckham. Miami is like a second home for me, it’s a city that has welcomed me with open arms – the energy and the people are all amazing. Launching Inter Miami CF this year is a really proud moment for me and to have Haig Club be a part of that is really special.”
Haig Club and Inter Miami CF will officially kick off their partnership on March 14th as Inter Miami takes on the LA Galaxy at its Fort Lauderdale Stadium.
The whisky is also now available at select bars, restaurants, and fine spirits stores in Miami and Fort Lauderdale with a suggested price of $24.99.
Buffalo Trace Announces US Availability for Blanton’s Gold Edition
This summer, bourbon fans in the US will finally be able to purchase Blanton’s Gold Edition. This 103 proof version had originally only been available overseas, but will be available in limited quantities this year and is expected to be released on an annual basis moving forward. Blanton’s Gold has the same recipe as the Original Single Barrel version, but is just sold at the higher proof. SRP is set at $120. Good luck getting your hands on a bottle.
Old Forester Unveils Immersive Bourbon Experience on Whiskey Row
To celebrate its 150th anniversary, Old Forester is opening the first-ever Whiskey Row Retreat, a unique, immersive bourbon apartment experience. The Whiskey Row Retreat experience includes a stay at an exclusive apartment on Louisville’s iconic Whiskey Row during National Bourbon Day, June 14th. The apartment is next door to Old Forester Distilling Co. which reopened as a working distillery and immersive tour center in 2018.
In addition to staying at the Retreat the weekend of National Bourbon Day, the contest winner and a guest will be invited to partake in special activities at the Old Forester Distilling Co., including experiencing the process of creating a barrel, joining Master Taster Jackie Zykan in single barrel selection, and custom cocktail classes, such as learning how to make the brand’s signature ‘Perfect Old Fashioned’.
To enter the Whiskey Row Retreat contest, fans 21 and older can enter by sharing an essay on why they should be chosen to win a stay at the Whiskey Row Retreat here. Entry deadline is April 20, 2020.
Inside Old Forester’s New Bourbon Apartment / Photo Credit: Old Forester
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