Distiller’s Friday Roundup – March 13th, 2020

March 13, 2020

This week saw a few new releases, though it seems that the industry has been slowed by the spread of the coronavirus. Many releases are likely on hold as sporting leagues, festivals and holiday celebrations are all postponed around the country and world. First up in new releases this week is Bombay Bramble, a new gin infused with raspberries and blackberries. Then, Wayward Irish Spirits shared news of The Liberator Inaugural Release Tawny Port Finish, the first release from the new distillery. Next, a brand new tequila brand called Penta kicked things off with three new tequila offerings. Finally, Johnnie Walker announced an ultra-limited 40 year blended whisky to celebrate its master blender’s 40th anniversary with the brand. For all of the information about these releases and other tidbits from around the spirits world, read on.

And from all of us here at Distiller.com, we hope you and your loved ones are all staying safe and healthy. Cheers to you.

Coronavirus To Cause Untold Damage to Drinks Industry On St. Patrick’s Day

This week, COVID-19 (a.k.a. the coronavirus) was officially designated as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. With hundreds of thousands of cases reported worldwide, and thousands of deaths, governments across the world are canceling large parades and celebrations in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus. Chicago, New York City, Boston, Seattle and Los Angeles have all canceled their St. Patrick’s Day parades. Even Dublin, Ireland canceled its festivities.

St. Patrick’s Day Parades Canceled Across The World

St. Patrick’s Day is one of the biggest drinking holidays in the United States, where customers were expected to spend over $6 billion on drinks, decorations and clothing according to Bloomberg.com. For many drinks-related businesses around the world, St. Patrick’s Day is one of, if not the biggest revenue driver of the year. With people practicing social distancing and governments warning citizens to avoid public gatherings unless necessary, the impact on bars, stores and other parts of the drinks industry is likely to be monumental.

Bacardi Debuts Bombay Bramble Gin

The latest gin in the Bombay lineup is Bombay Bramble, a gin infused with ripe blackberries and raspberries. Master Distiller Dr. Anne Brock and Master of Botanicals Ivano Tonutti collaborated to create Bombay Bramble. The name “Bramble” comes from the popular 1980s Bramble Cocktail, essentially a Gin Sour with a splash of blackberry liqueur.

Bombay Bramble is bottled at 37.5% ABV and has a suggested price of £23 ($30 US). This gin is available in select UK markets as of March 13th, 2020.

Wayward Irish Spirits Launches The Liberator Inaugural Release Tawny Port Finish

Wayward Irish Spirits is a new brand, though the family traces its history in Ireland back to the 1400s. The first release from Wayward is The Liberator Inaugural Release Tawny Port Finish. As the name suggests, the whiskey finished for nine months in ex-Tawny Port casks after an initial aging period in first fill ex-bourbon casks. The blend is made using 25% 13-year-old single malt, while the remaining 75% of the whiskey in the blend aged for 4 years.

The Liberator Inaugural Release Tawny Port Finish / Photo Credit: Wayward Irish Spirits

While this whiskey is the first release from Wayward, it is also the first in the brand’s Liberator range. This range is made up of whiskeys sourced from other Irish distilleries that are then blended and finished on the brand’s estate. The Liberator Inaugural Release Tawny Port Finish is bottled at 46% ABV and has a suggested price of $65 per 750ml bottle. Only 700 bottles were produced for this release.

Penta Tequila Launches Brand With Three Offerings

Penta Tequila is a new tequila brand created by winemakers from Napa, California in collaboration with agave producers in Mexico. The brand is launching with three tequila offerings available in California, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas, with plans for New York to follow as of March 2020. The name “Penta” comes from the greek word for “five” and is a references to the legally protected designation of five origin states for the production of tequila.

Penta Tequila Diamante Reposado Cristalino is aged for 7 months in oak barrels and charcoal filtered. It is bottled at 40% ABV and priced at $100.

Penta Tequila Reposado is aged for 9 months in a variety of barrels. It is bottled at 40% ABV and is priced at $125.

Penta Tequila Añejo is aged for an average of 14 months in a combination of new and seasoned Hungarian, French and American oak barrels. It is bottled at 40% ABV and priced at $150.

Johnnie Walker Master’s Ruby Reserve Celebrates Master Blender

Johnnie Walker Master’s Ruby Reserve 40 Year is a brand new limited-edition release that celebrates the 40 years that Master Blender Jim Beveridge has spent with the brand. Ruby, in this case, is a reference to the symbol of a 40th anniversary. All of the whiskies used in the blend aged for a minimum of 40 years. Included in those whiskies are some from ghost distilleries including Cambus, Carsebridge, Pittyvaich and Port Ellen. The blend also includes whiskies from Talisker, Royal Lochnagar, Glendullan and Cragganmore.

The whisky comes in a ruby colored Baccarat crystal decanter and is bottled at 43% ABV. Only 398 bottles were produced, making this whisky incredibly rare, and therefore incredibly expensive. The suggested price comes in around $19,600.
Johnnie Walker Master’s Ruby Reserve 40 Year / Photo Credit: Diageo


Quick hits from around the spirits world this week…

Rare Louis XIII Cognac Celebrates Paris in 1900

Louis XIII Time Collection: Tribute To City of Lights 1900 is a limited-edition cognac from Louis XIII that celebrates Paris in 1900. That year, Paris hosted the World Fair, a global festival of engineering and technical accomplishments. Just 2,000 bottles of this cognac are available worldwide as of March 2020 with a recommended price of €7000 ($7,880).

Baltimore Spirits Launches First Post Epoch Rye of 2020

Baltimore Spirits Company announced this week that it plans to release its first specialty whiskey of 2020 on Saturday, March 14th. Post Epoch Straight Rye Finished In Liqueur Barrels is a one-time-only expression made by filling a barrel that contained Baltimore Spirits Co.’s Singularities #1 liqueur with its Epoch Rye and finishing it for a year. The Baltimore, MD distillery is open from 12pm to 6pm March 14th, and bottles are priced at $59.99.

Post Epoch Straight Rye Finished In Liqueur Barrels / Photo Credit: Baltimore Spirits Co.

Paul John Debuts Nirvana Single Malt

Indian whisky producer Paul John has a new whisky out called Nirvana. Paul John Nirvana is an unpeated single malt created using Indian six-row barley and aged in charred American oak casks. Bottled at 40% ABV and priced at £30 (~$38 US), this whisky is available as of March 2020 in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, the UK, as well as Goa and Maharashtra in India with more countries to follow.

Ardbeg Made a Beer (For A Good Cause)

The folks at Ardbeg have announced a new limited-edition beer called “The Shortie Smoky Porter”, named after Ardbeg’s mascot the jack russell dog named Shortie. This beer is a collaboration between Brewgooder’s Global Gathering campaign which takes profits from beers sold to help clean water projects in Malawi. Of the hundreds of companies involved in the campaign, Ardbeg is the only whisky producer that joined in.

“Just like brewers, we ferment our malt. The only difference being, we hold on to the hops. We hope that Ardbeggians and craft beer lovers alike will enjoy this extra special limited edition,” said Ardbeg Distillery Manager Mickey Heads.

PLEASE NOTE – For spirits listed in this roundup that are available exclusively at distilleries, please keep in mind that many distilleries may be postponing events due to the coronavirus.

Going to try to get your hands on The Liberator Inaugural Release Tawny Port Finish?

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