The monthly round-up of what’s new in low/no, beer, cider, wine, spirits, RTDs and mixers.
Appleton Estate 17 Year Old Legend
USP: Appleton’s latest rum is a limited-edition release with only 180 bottles available via The Whisky Exchange and Harvey Nichols from July 3 onwards. The rum is inspired by the estate’s original J. Wray & Nephew 17 Year Old, which is thought to have been the inspiration for the Mai Tai cocktail. Joy Spence, master blender, said: “This project has been years in the making…In carefully re-creating the beautiful taste profile of the original rum, we’ve created an expression that is a tribute both to our own heritage, and to the heritage of the classic cocktail craft.”
USP: Wolfcraig Distillery’s first-ever gin is the product of a collaboration between whisky industry veterans Richard Paterson OBE and Ian MacMillan. Wolfcraig director Jamie Lunn said: “Anyone in the whisky world will understand what a big deal Richard and Ian bringing their decades of experience into creating their own original premium gin is.” The gin is described as “juniper-led” with 17 botanicals including raspberry and wild thyme.
Vapoura Golden and Spiced rums
42% abv each
£50 – £65
USP: Vapoura is a new English rum brand looking to introduce new consumers into the category while appealing to existing rum drinkers. The Golden rum is said to have flavours of tobacco, chocolate, vanilla and caramel, while the Spiced rum combines citrus notes of blood orange with spices such as turmeric and black cardamom.
Silent Pool Kaffir Lime Expression Gin
USP: Silent Pool’s latest gin is led by notes of kaffir lime leaf, a “hidden hero ingredient” in the distillery’s original gin recipe. The launch also marks the beginning of a partnership between Silent Pool and The Ivy (Castle View and Cobham), which will see both venues introduce a specially curated serve, the Kaffir & Champagne Sour.
Benriach The Forty and The Forty Octave Cask Matured
43.5% – 51.5% abv
£3,200 – £3,800
USP: Benriach’s two new whisky expressions were created by the distillery’s master blender Rachel Barrie using a combination of rare peated casks from the 1970s – a time when the Speyside region was producing predominantly unpeated whiskies. Benriach The Forty will be available as an ongoing release in specialist retailers, while The Forty Octave Cask Matured will be available as a global travel retail exclusive in selected international airports.
Highland Park Cask Strength No.4
USP: Launched ahead of the Orkney-based distillery’s 225th anniversary, Cask Strength No.4 uses a combination of ex-bourbon and ex-port casks – a first for Highland’s Cask Strength series.Gordon Motion, master whisky maker, said: “For me, a cask strength whisky really celebrates an individual’s whisky journey, best enjoyed with your own personal level of water and ice added. The peat from our home in Orkney gives the whisky a completely different character with aromatic heather smoke and unexpected contrasts in sweet and smoky flavours.”
Citadelle Rouge gin
USP: Citadelle’s latest gin expression has flavours of cranberry, raspberry, blackberry, blackcurrant, and rhubarb alongside 19 botanicals, including juniper, coriander, orange peel, cardamom, and cinnamon. The gin, which is described as “naturally fruity”, is distilled with “no artificial ingredients or colouring”.
Sphynx Tequila range
USP: Created by Yorkshire-based couple Sukhvinder and Imran Javeed, the new brand has four products on offer: Blanco Tequila, Añejo Tequila, Añejo Cristalino, and Extra Aged Añejo Black Oak. The brand owners are encouraging spirits drinkers to try their tequila neat to enjoy the “natural flavours” of agave.
Lancaster Spirits Company Raspberry & Rose Gin
USP: In a first for the distillery, Lancaster Spirits has launched a flavoured gin ahead of summer. Described as “juniper forward” with notes of raspberry and rose, brand owners recommend serving with prosecco and soda for a spritz-style serve.
Glenglassaugh 12YO, Sandend and Portsoy
45% – 51.1% abv
£50 – £60
USP: Glenglassaugh’s new collection features three whiskies inspired by the Scottish coastline. The bottles also draws inspiration from the distillery’s location, with glass ripples to imitate the sand and sea, and touches of colour to mimic sea glass.
Never Say Die Small-Batch Bourbon
USP: The producer of “England’s own Kentucky Bourbon” has released its second expression with 2750 bottles available of the small batch launch. The brand launched in 2022 with its “world-first” Kentucky Bourbon that is both ocean-aged and then further matured in England at Derbyshire’s White Peak Distillery.
USP: After its launch in Mexico in 2022, Nocheluna’s Sotol spirit is now available in the UK. Deriving from Chihuahua, Mexico, the spirit is distilled using the native Sotol plant in an effort to highlight lesser-known regions in Mexico.
Ardray blended Scotch whisky
USP: Ardray is Beam Suntory’s first new-to-world blended Scotch release, made using whiskies from distilleries across the Highlands, Islands and Lowlands of Scotland. Ardray was created in partnership between Beam Suntory’s chief blender for Scotch, Calum Fraser, and Suntory’s blending team in Japan. Not rooted to a single distillery, the company said Ardray will be a “digital-first brand, with its ‘brand home at Ardray.com”. Ardray will launch initially in four cities worldwide – London, Shanghai, Los Angeles and New York.
Scallywag The Chocolate Edition
Douglas Laing has released Scallywag, The Chocolate Edition. The 100% sherry cask matured limited edition Speyside Scotch malt whisky marks the sixth annual ‘Chocolate’ bottling from the Scallywag brand. The release is limited to 4,200 bottles.
Shropshire Distillery’s Spring Vodka and Grapefruit & Hop Gin
40% and 42% abv, respectively
£32 and £40
USP: The new Spring Vodka, a first for the company, takes its name from the local water it’s blended with – Wenlock Spring. The new Grapefruit & Hop Gin is distilled using American Cascade hops and dried grapefruit for a “zesty citrus pine flavour balanced with light floral notes”.
Limited Whisky’s 1996 Deanston
USP: Whisky Partners has lined up a new brand that will release “rare single cask whiskies” on the first day of the month. The first is 1996 Deanston – a non-chill filtered whisky that has been aged for 26 years.
Clear Drop Rum
DropWorks, founded by industry expert Lewis Hayes, has released un-aged rum, Clear Drop. The rum is produced using cuts from a long, slow distillation process. “The drop contains rich flavours of fresh blueberries and banana created from its own cultivated yeast strain which is the world’s first three-strain symbiotic yeast”.
Hayes said DropWorks is set to become the “largest rum distillery in Europe”.
M&S Collection Hattingley Valley English Sparkling Brut
USP: Created as part of a collaboration between Hattingley Valley and Marks & Spencer, the sparkling wine is a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir Precoce grapes sourced from South England. The wine will be available in M&S stores nationwide.
USP: Produced across a selection of plots at Château Roubine, Amistà Provence rosé is a blend of 60% Grenache Noir, 20% Cinsault, 10% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre. 10,000 bottles are available.
Barón de Ley Seduction Rosado de Lágrima 2022
USP: Brought to the UK by Kingsland Drinks, Rosado de Lágrima is a rosé made from Garnacha Tinta grapes from the Finca Los Almendros in the Rioja Oriental sub-region. Part of Barón de Ley’s Seduction range, brand owners are looking to target younger wine drinkers while also appealing to existing Rioja consumers.
Casa Ferreirinha 2014 Reserva Especial
USP: With a production of 16,415 bottles, Douro wine Casa Ferreirinha 2014 Reserva Especial will reach the market at the end of June. Vinified at Quinta da Leda in Almendra, the blend mainly consists of estate-grown grapes, from a property currently encompassing around 170 hectares of vineyards.
Balfour Winery’s still wine range
USP: The range, from English winery Balfour, will eventually comprise six wines and the first three to be released are: Nanette’s Rosé 2022 (£25), Liberty’s Bacchus 2022 (£25) and Luke’s Pinot Noir 2022 (£35). The range features a new label, designed to echo the architecture of the producer’s winery.
Champagne Moutard Grand Cuvée Brut
USP: Champagne Moutard’s signature Grand Cuvée Brut is available in a range of sizes, from half bottle through to Jeroboam. Described as a “bright Champagne with a juicy mix of black cherry and candied pink grapefruit”, the blend comprises 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay from 20 year old vines. Available through Lanchester Wines.
Ridgeview Blanc de Blancs 2018
USP: The wine is made exclusively from Chardonnay grapes, grown in the Ridgeview home vineyard planted in 1995, with “at least four years on lees to bring the full depth of complexity”. Simon Roberts, director of winemaking said: “2018 was a perfect year for growing grapes with excellent weather that continued all summer. We enjoyed one of our biggest harvests to date and Blanc de Blancs 2018 is a great reflection of that.”
LOW & NO
Funkin Cocktails Alcohol Free Passion Fruit Martini
USP: Funkin’s latest addition to its RTD cocktail range is the brand’s first-ever alcohol-free offering as the company looks to enter the growing low/no category. Ben Anderson, marketing director, said the drink is based on Funkin’s original Passion Fruit Martini Nitro Can, adding: “By perfecting the alcohol-free version of this iconic cocktail, this feeling will be something everyone can share, whether they’re drinking a little less frequently, or abstaining altogether.”
Marks & Spencer low/no range
0.5% abv each
£1.65 – £8
USP: Tapping into the demand for low/no options, M&S has launched a range of 15 new low/no drinks, including sparkling tea, RTDs and low/no beer. The collection features low/no versions of popular cocktails such as a lime mojito and a grapefruit & chilli Collins. Bryony Wilkinson, buyer for no/low drinks at M&S, said the range is “the culmination of over 12 months of hard work by our experts who have gone above and beyond to make sure these brilliant drinks promise all the flavour with none of the booze.”
RTDs & MIXERS
Luscombe Lime Crush
£26.50 (12 x 27cl bottles)
USP: Launched ahead of World Rum Day (July 8), Luscombe’s latest soft drink combines Brazilian limes and Sicilian lemons with sparkling water to create a “refreshing citrus” serve. Brand owners recommend pairing with white rum, mint leaves and a slice of lime to create a classic mojito.
£39.50 (24 x 44cl)
“Blue Hooch is an evolution of Hoola Hooch, enhancing the fruity tropical flavours that fans have grown to love, whilst introducing that signature Hooch citrus kick for a truly sessionable bev,” the company said.
Six Wives G&T
USP: Hampton Court Gin has launched its Six Wives gin as an RTD. The gin is mixed with tonic and infused with orange and thyme. The product is also available with light tonic.
VK & Soda
USP: VK & Soda is available in both Berries and Lime flavours. The varieties are based on the brand’s well-known Blue variant and the vodka, lime and soda bar call. Each VK & Soda 33cl can contains 69 calories and zero sugar.
No 3 Gin’s Gimlet cocktail
USP: The pre-made cocktail was created in collaboration with London’s Artesian Bar. Head bartender Giulia Cuccurullo said: “No 3 Gin and Artesian’s Gimlet collaboration was born from the elegance and approachable flavour of the gin itself. Bergamot was chosen for the lead flavour as it works well with No 3 Gin’s taste profile, highlighting its notes without destroying the structure of the cocktail. The result is a very elegant twist on this classic.”
BEER & CIDER
Stiegl Hell lager
USP: Euroboozer is launching the Austrian Helles lager in the UK on- and off-trade in 50l kegs and 500ml bottles. Martyn Railton, MD of Euroboozer, said: “We’ve been toying with the idea of bringing Stiegl Hell over for a while now, and with so many people falling in love with helles lager, now feels like the perfect time to introduce it to the UK market. I’m sure it will be very popular throughout the summer and beyond”.
Beavertown Sunlight Lite Lager
USP: Beavertown is relaunching its Sunlight beer ahead of summer as it looks to cater to consumers enjoying the warmer weather. Made from a blend of wheat, flaked torrefied maize and lager malt, it has a crisp “citrusy taste”.
Greene King’s Old Master Hen
£12 (2 x 50cl bottles)
USP: Old Master Hen is brewed at 7% abv and is bottled conditioned to mature with age, the company said. The ale is described as “strong and full-bodied, with a deep amber colour, masses of characteristic toffee and fruit, notes of citrus orange, and traditional English hop bitterness”.