The monthly round-up of what’s new in low/no, beer, cider, wine, spirits, RTDs and mixers.
LOW AND NO ALCOHOL
USP: Accolade Wines has claimed first-to-market access to “world leading de-alcoholising technology”, Zero Tech X. The company said the new, gentler process to remove alcohol means Hardys Zero wines “retain more of the aroma, body and flavour of full-strength wine and require less sugary additives versus traditional de-alcoholising techniques”. The range is available in three classic varieties – Shiraz, Chardonnay and Sparkling.
Decem light alcohol spirits
USP: The Decem range includes three light spirits: London Dry, made with distilled botanicals, Spiced Blend made with Caribbean rum, and Aperitif made with “heritage botanicals”. Decem was founded by Masterchef 2016 finalist Billy Wright.
Gordon’s Premium Pink 0.0%
USP: The latest alcohol-free innovation from the Diageo brand is available now in a 70cl bottle in Morrisons and will also be rolled out across other retailers. Gordon’s Premium Pink 0.0% is said to have flavours of raspberry, strawberry and red currant.
Spirit of George Fortnum & Mason Edition
USP: Inspired by the story of British climbing pioneer, George Mallory, The Big Hill Distillery’s gin features Nepalese botanicals. The founders work alongside Fairtrade farmers in Nepal to source ingredients from the Himalayas.
The English Whisky Co’s Platinum Jubilee Whisky
USP: The limited edition single malt commemorates Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. Aged in oak casks, its packaging features the Queens Royal Arms by permission of Lord Chamberlain.
Talisker Elements 27 Year-Old whisky
USP: Talisker Elements has been aged in three different types of casks. First in refill casks, followed by a second maturation in heavily-charred casks, and, lastly, given time to marry in old European Oak Puncheons. At natural cask strength, Talisker Elements “embodies classic Talisker campfire smoke with sweet notes that brings to life Talisker’s elemental contrasts of aromas”.
Heroes Drinks Two Guineas Spiced Rum
USP: £3 from every bottle of Two Guineas rum sold will be split equally between UK independent lifeboat houses, to “support the heroes of the sea, alongside the UK’s hospitality benevolent fund”.
USP: “Combining American Oak Oloroso and European Oak Oloroso casks, the 18-Year-Old unites Tamdhu’s signature fruity spirit and 18 long years of full-term sherry maturation to deliver layers of indulgent flavour and a deep natural colour which reflects the quality of the oak.” The whisky is bottled at 46.8% abv and non-chill filtered.
Edinburgh Gin Orange & Basil
USP: “Using both fresh and dried Valencian orange peel, the distillers have created fresh, crisp, citrus notes that delicately balance with subtle sweetness. The fresh basil is vapour infused giving the gin a refined aroma.”
Massingberd-Mundy’s Cacao Gin
USP: Cacao Gin from Massingberd-Mundy Distillery is described as “an indulgent, rich, dark chocolate gin with warming herbal notes and fresh menthol”.
The Glenlivet Distillery Reserve Collection
From 52.1% abv
USP: The 10-, 14- and 22-Year-Old single cask editions are packaged in 50cl bottles and available for pre-order from the brand’s website, with delivery expected in early May. The whiskies are bottled at cask strength and non-chill filtered.
Craigellachie Cask Collection – Craigellachie 13 Years Old Armagnac Cask Finish
USP: For the inaugural edition in the Cask Collection, the award-winning 13-year-old Craigellachie Single Malt, initially matured in American oak – a combination of re-fill and re-char Bourbon barrels – has been laid to rest in Bas-Armagnac casks sourced from the northernmost part of Gascony, in France, for just over a year, to undergo a second period of maturation. The collection is inspired by the distillery’s worm tub condensers.
The Kraken Roast Coffee
USP: The Kraken’s first flavoured rum is a “fusion of spiced Caribbean rum and fine Arabica bean coffee”.
Ardbeg Fon Fhòid
1ETH (approximately £2,600)
USP: Ardbeg has partnered with BlockBar, a direct to consumer non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace, for the release of the Ardbeg Fon Fhòid’s (Scots Gaelic for ‘under the turf’). The limited-edition release consists of 456 bottles, each corresponding to an NFT which will be minted on the Ethereum blockchain, verifying authenticity and ownership.
The Balvenie French Oak 16 Year Old
USP: The Balvenie’s French Oak 16 Year Old is finished in Pineau des Charentes fortified wine casks. The expression joins two new variants of cask finished whiskies, Madeira Cask 15 Year Old and PX Sherry Cask 18 Year Old alongside its core range including DoubleWood 12 Year Old, Caribbean Cask 14 Year Old and PortWood 21 Year Old to form The Flavours of The Balvenie range.
The GlenAllachie 8-year-old and White Heather 15-year-old
£42.50 and £59.99, respectively
USP: GlenAllachie 8-year-old marries together spirit aged in Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso Sherry puncheons, along with virgin oak casks and red wine barriques.
White Heather 15-year-old is a blended Scotch containing both peated and unpeated malts from Speyside, Islay and the Northern Highlands along with grain whiskies.
USP: Ardbeg’s head of distilling and whisky creation, Dr Bill Lumsden, said: “Ardcore is a dram that wears its heart on its sleeve – its black heart! Created with roasted black malt, burnt to hair-raising levels, this spirit is all about substance. Notes of charcoal and sweet smoke make for an in-your-face nose, while potent notes of aniseed and dark chocolate stamp this bottle out as one fit only for the most Ardcore of fans.”
Whitley Neill Pineapple and Peach gins
USP: James Stocker, marketing director, Halewood Artisanal Spirits, said: “Tropical flavours are continuing to perform well in the spirits category, with our Whitley Neill Watermelon and Kiwi and Mango and Lime gins that we launched last summer proving to be some of our fastest selling flavours. Our new Pineapple and Peach gins continue to tap into this trend for tropical flavour combinations with brilliant, versatile liquids which we’re confident will prove extremely popular with consumers as we approach the spring/summer months.”
Badachro’s Bad na h-Achlaise Port Cask
USP: The unpeated Highland single malt is the latest cask expression in the distillery’s Bad na h-Achlaise series. Aged in bourbon barrels and refill hogsheads for several years, it has been vatted and filled in ruby port casks and matured in the Badachro dunnage warehouse for a year before bottling.
Berry Bros. & Rudd: 2017 Raasay distillery #23 bottling
USP: The 2017 Raasay single cask #23 chosen for this bottling was purely from the distillery’s peated distillate. After 3 years in a first fill ex-Bourbon barrel, it was split into two quarter casks, ex-Oloroso and PX, for 6 months then vatted back together.
Jura 14 Year Old American Rye Cask
USP: Initially matured in Jura’s traditional American White Oak ex-bourbon barrels, the whisky has been further matured in American rye whiskey casks to “add depth and complexity, with distinctive layers of spicy and aromatic flavours”. The rye casks are said to impart notes of cinnamon, vanilla, cacao and honey.
Bombay Citron Pressé
USP: Natasha Curtin, global vice president for Bombay Sapphire, said: “We know our fans have a curiosity for authentic and new flavour expressions, while tending to favour natural, premium ingredients with no added sugar. After our successful launch of Bombay Bramble, we are proud to be building out our flavoured portfolio and continuing to elevate the flavoured gin category with Bombay Citron Pressé – inspired by the iconic [cocktail], the Tom Collins.”
The Lakes Distillery’s The Whiskymaker’s Reserve No.5
USP: “Drawing inspiration from Cognac’s cellarmasters, The Lakes has taken the art of élevage to create a whisky with complexity and depth.” By frequently effecting change throughout the whisky’s maturation, whether by moving a cask’s location, or transferring the spirit between casks, The Lakes seeks to “evolve an array of intriguing layers of flavour from which they can blend the final whisky”. The whisky is matured in ex-Oloroso, PX, and red wine casks, comprising Spanish and American oak.
Douglas Laing & Co’s The Gauldrons Sherry Cask Finish
USP: Joining the core expression, which launched in 2017, The Gauldrons Sherry Edition is limited to 2,125 bottles. A marriage of single cask single malts from Campbeltown, the blended malt enjoyed a finishing period in Spanish sherry casks.
Copper Rivet’s Dockyard Gin Recognition ‘82
£35 (50cl bottle)
USP: Recognition ‘82 is a special charity edition Navy Strength Gin which commemorates the 40th Anniversary of the Falklands War and £5 from every sale will be donated to the Royal Navy Royal Marines Charity.
BEER & CIDER
Beavertown Potted Planets
£2.35 per 33cl can
USP: Potted Planets “has been created with rice grains to give it a lighter, dryer taste than your usual lager”. The graphics on the can are peel-off stickers.
Galipette Rosé cider
USP: Galipette Cidre has launched its Rosé cider, made with red-flesh apples, Pommes à Chair Rouge, from the orchards of Brittany and Normandy. The apples give the cider its rosé character, taste and amber colour.
£1.90 (66cl bottle)
Brooklyn Pilsner is a “pale golden, premium lager that layers clean malts with a balanced wave of bright hops, crowned by an instantly refreshing finish. Perfect for anyone to enjoy, it offers light toasty flavours and spicy, subtle citrus hop notes”. It has launched in the on-trade and will roll out to the off-trade later in the year.
Guinness Cold Brew Coffee Beer
£5.50 (4 x 44cl cans)
USP: “Exciting existing Guinness drinkers with new ways to enjoy the stout, the new brew also aims to recruit new adult drinkers to the brand,” parent company Diageo said. The Guinness Cold Brew Coffee Beer launch is being supported by marketing spend in its first year, which includes social media, influencer and advocacy activity.
Docks Beer’s We Only Sing When We’re Fishing
USP: Grimsby’s Docks Beers has added a low strength lager to its range of craft beers. The 3.4% session lager, ‘We Only Sing When We’re Fishing’ is inspired by the town’s heritage and by one of the iconic chants sung by the fans of Grimsby Town FC.
Hogs Back’s Tongham TEA
USP: Surrey brewer Hogs Back is relaunching its flagship TEA, renaming it as Tongham TEA with new packaging that reflects its place at the heart of its community. For the first time ‘Surrey Farm Brewery’ appears on the new bottle label.
Churchill’s Grafite Tinta Roriz 2019
USP: Released following Churchill’s brand reboot, this wine is made with Tinta Roriz grapes grown in the Cima Corgo and Douro Superior. Tasting notes of blackberries and spices reflect the diverse and extreme growing terrior.
Cramele Recas Babele Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Rosé
USP: Romania’s Cramele Recas has rolled out a new Babele range, available at Laithwaites, featuring a Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, and Rosé.
Domaine de la Pousse d’Or 2020 vintage
USP: New wines for this vintage include Gevrey Chambertin Premier Cru La Perrière, situated in an old flat-stone quarry, capable of “making wines with backbone and are capable of ageing very well”.
Ferrari F1 Limited Editions dedicated to Miami and Mexico City
USP: The two bottles, like the previous Ferrari F1 Limited Editions, are Blanc de Blancs cuvées from the Trento-based producer Gruppo Lunelli.
Virgin Wines The Benevolent Range
USP: The Benevolent Range is a charitable wine collection to raise funds for Virgin Wines’ charity partners – British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal, The Leeway Domestic Abuse Charity, and Bright Start. The range includes a South Australian Cabernet Blend, a Chilean Pinot Grigio and a Carménère, also from Chile.
Platinum Jubilee Limited Edition English Sparkling Brut
USP: This year Queen Elizabeth II celebrates 70 years on the throne. To commemorate the occasion, Virgin Wines is releasing a Platinum Jubilee Limited Edition English Sparkling Brut. The wine, which is made in collaboration with East Sussex vineyard, Henners, is limited to 500 bottles and will be available from May.
Viña Leyda’s 2021 Single Vineyard Garuma Sauvignon Blanc and 2020 Reserva Pinot Noir
USP: Chile’s Leyda valley is known for many grapes, including Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. The Sauvignon Blanc is made from grapes grown in a single vineyard, while the Pinot Noir is made with grapes from two of the winery’s vineyards, one of which is situated only 4km from the Pacific Ocean.
Graham’s 1997 Single Harvest Tawny
USP: Graham’s Port has released its 1997 Single Harvest Tawny which marks the start of head winemaker Charles Symington’s career. The 1997 comes under ‘The Apprentice’ which is the youngest of three Single Harvest Tawny Ports in Graham’s The Cellar Master’s Trilogy, and it celebrates the knowledge passed from one generation to the next.
Cono Sur Bicicleta Sauvignon Blanc Blush
USP: The wine is predominantly Sauvignon Blanc, with “just a splash” of Cono Sur’s Pinot Noir to add berry hints and give it a light pink colour. Cono Sur Sauvignon Blanc Blush has launched in Nisa stores and online via Ocado, with further retailer listings to follow.
Mouton Cadet Organic Rosé 2021
USP: The wine is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes and Mathilde de Sereys de Rothschild said: “We want Mouton Cadet to look to the future. The addition of an organic and vegan wine to the collection is a response to our expectations for protection of the environment.”
Bacardi’s Tails cocktails
USP: After previously been available only in the on-trade, Tails RTD cocktails are available in the off-trade with “new look packaging and new recipes”. The range includes Rum Daiquiri, Whisky Sour, Gin Gimlet, Espresso Martini and Passion Fruit Martini.
Happy J’s alcoholic kombuchas
£15 (4 x 33cl cans)
USP: The “range of natural, low sugar, alcoholic beverages… utilise probiotic-rich organic kombucha” and comes in two flavours: Mint & Lime and Mango & Ginger.
Funkin’s Peach on the Beach and Long Island Iced Tea
USP: The Peach on the Beach is available in a 20cl Nitro can (5% abv), with the nitrogen infusion providing a foamy head. Peach on the Beach in also available in a 70cl sharing format (10% abv). Meanwhile, Long Island Iced Tea comes in a 25cl can (5% abv).