The monthly round-up of what’s new in low/no, beer, cider, wine, spirits, RTDs and mixers.
Lochlea Cask Strength Batch 1
USP: Lochlea’s new single malt is the first in a new series of annual special bottlings from the Ayrshire-based distillery. Aged in first-fill ex-bourbon and Oloroso sherry casks to emphasise the “fruit, nut and cereal flavours”, the whisky is made using barley from Lochlea’s own barley fields which surround the distillery.
Johnnie Walker Master’s Cut
USP: The limited-edition whisky is produced by former Johnnie Walker master blender Dr Jim Beveridge, who retired from his role in 2021. With 1,000 bottles available, the whisky blends a single grain from one of Johnnie Walker’s oldest distilleries with a “full-flavoured” single malt to create a “rich, smooth, candy-like” Scotch. Global brand director Julie Bramham said: “During his career, Jim was renowned for his skill and dedication to quality…Master’s Cut truly is a celebration of Jim’s career, marked in a bottle.”
Glengoyne Teapot Dram – Batch No. 009
USP: The Teapot Dram tells the story of an old distillery tradition where workers would be given three fingers of whisky, three times a day. “The less-seasoned members of the distillery team would, to save face, discreetly pour some of their untouched drams into a copper teapot which sat on the canteen windowsill, ready for their older colleagues to enjoy later,” the distiller said.
The Teapot Dram is described as a “bold, sherry matured limited release” matured exclusively in first fill European and American oak sherry casks.
USP: LVMH’s Belvedere 10 is made from the single harvest of one rye field on an estate in north-east Poland, and it is inspired by the vodka making process used in 1910, when the distillery was first established. The vodka is packaged in a brutalist-inspired sculpted bottle.
Bladnoch Distillery: The Dragon Series
46.7 – 53.1% abv
£550 for the full collection
USP: The Dragon Series consists of five single malt whiskies that celebrate the “natural unpredictability” of whisky making. Bladnoch’s master distiller Dr Nick Savage said: “We have attempted to demonstrate the resultant beauty that occurs from the natural unpredictability inherent within our whisky making process, which we endeavour to control over the decades. These five expressions of The Dragon Series have evolved to really capture the essence of each iteration of our process.”
Rozél Rosé Vodka
USP: Produced by IBC Brands, which also produces Hawksbill Rum and Cactus Jack’s, the new vodka draws influence from the flavours of Provence rosé wine with the aim of attracting more drinkers to the vodka category. It has notes of raspberry, peach and grapefruit, and is pink in colour as IBC looks to tap into the “popularity of pink drinks”.
USP: Distilled using wheat sourced solely from Altamura, Italy, it is thought to be the first vodka available in the UK of this origin. It can be purchased from Boutinot from June onwards.
Dead Man’s Fingers Vanilla
USP: The latest addition to the Dead Man’s Fingers rum range has notes of vanilla and butterscotch with a new clear bottle design which is made using an “increased volume” of recycled glass. Available to order now, the rum will also be rolled out in Asda from mid-May.
InchDairnie Distillery RyeLaw
USP: RyeLaw whisky is the first release from InchDairnie, and will be available in retailers such as Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Fortnum & Mason. The cereals have been mashed using a Meura mash filter, which the distillery claims is one of only two used in Scotland, and then fermented using a rye-specific yeast to help develop flavour. Distillery managing director Ian Palmer, said: “While we are rooted in Scotch whisky tradition, we have explored what is possible when agriculture meets industry and innovative technologies combine with methodology, to create a superb rye whisky that is sure to excite palates.”
Kavka Orchard Plum & Apple Vodka
USP: Distilled in the Polish town of Sandomierz, Kavka’s latest vodka has a “natural sweetness” and can be drunk on its own or with a mixer. The brand strives to pay tribute to the vodka-making heritage of Poland by drawing on traditional production methods.
USP: The new single malt is the third batch of The Cadboll Estate collection. Aged for 15 years, the limited-edition whisky was produced using barley from Glenmorangie’s Cadboll Estate which lies between the Moray Firth and the Dornoch Firth. It is said to have a “nutty and spicy” finish with notes of “honeysuckle, peaches and cream”.
Circumstance Distillery Single Grain Wheat Whisky
USP: A first for the Bristol-based B Corp distillery, the new single grain is also thought to be one of the first English wheat whiskies. The mash for the whisky used 70% malted English wheat and 30% malted English barley, which were fermented on Bavarian wheat yeast for 14 days prior to distillation. The whisky was then aged in ex-bourbon casks for 3 years. Approximately 500 bottles will be available in the initial launch.
Bimber Ex-bourbon Oak Casks Batch 4 Single Malt
USP: London’s Bimber Distillery has released its oldest small batch whisky to date, deriving from American oak ex-bourbon casks laid down in 2017. Bimber spokesperson Matt McKay said the launch is also the distillery’s largest release. He added: “We hope that Ex-bourbon Oak Casks Batch 4 will quench some of the continued global demand that we’re seeing for our London single malt whiskies.”
WINE & FORTIFIED
Quinta Boavista Grande Reserva da Vinha do Levante
USP: A combination of Arinto and Viosinho grapes, Vinha do Levante is the first white wine to have been produced at the Quinta Boavista estate. It will be available exclusively from Harrods.
Amandla Freedom Blush Rosé
USP: South African wine brand Amandla will be releasing its new rosé into Sainsbury’s, adding to its existing UK portfolio which consists of a Sauvignon Blanc and a Shiraz/Zinfandel. The brand describes itself as a “100% black female-run business” which aims to celebrate women in the wine industry and South African culture.
Hambledon Première Cuvée Rosé
USP: This is the first rosé version of the company’s Première Cuvée. The new wine is a blend based on the 2016 harvest, with some reserve wine from Solera tanks and barrels. The wine was bottled in 2017 and disgorged in 2022 and it is a blend of 87.5% saignée Pinot Meunier, 5.2% red Pinot Noir and 7.3% Chardonnay.
Echo Falls Sparkling Summer Garden
USP: Sparkling Summer Garden is the latest addition to the brand’s Fruit Fusions portfolio. Alexandra Colson, senior brand manager for Echo Falls, said: “We know the brand already plays an important role in recruiting younger people to wine and it’s our job to bring fresh innovations to the table to ensure wine stays relevant. “The launch of Echo Falls Sparkling Summer Garden does just that. Not only does it target existing fruit cider and RTDs drinkers who take pleasure in a refreshing flavour profile, but it also takes inspiration from the ongoing spritz and experimental G&Ts trends.”
Porta 6 Brut Sparkling Wine
USP: The Portuguese wine brand has launched a new white wine in Asda, which brand owners describe as a “delicious alternative to Cava and Prosecco”. It is made using 70% Arinto, 25% Fernão Pires and 5% Chardonnay grapes. The bottle label features a painting of Lisbon by street artist Hauke Vagt.
Fat Crush white wine
USP: Fat Crush is a new brand with the aim of making “uncomplicated” wine for consumers who are less familiar with the wine world. Made from unoaked Chardonnay and Viognier grapes from Languedoc, the white wine is described as “the perfect all-rounder for any occasion.”
Toro Loco 2022 rosé
USP: Available exclusively in Aldi, the 2022 vintage is made using 100% Bobal grapes from the Spanish Utiel-Requena region. The wine will also feature Toro Loco’s new label design as brand owners look to modernise the bottles while making it easier for customers to identify the product.
Canned Wine Co. Sparkling Chardonnay
USP: The Canned Wine Co. has added a 100% Chardonnay sparkling wine from Italy to its existing range of canned wines. CEO Simon Rollings said: “Adding a sparkling wine to the range was the obvious next step for us. The sparkling wine market in the UK continues to grow and we wanted to offer our customers a sparkling option, with the added convenience and environmental benefits that cans offer.”
Gonzalez Byass Tio Pepe En Rama
USP: González Byass has launched the 14th edition of its unfiltered and unclarified Fino, Tio Pepe En Rama, in the UK. Antonio Flores, master blender at González Byass, described the Fino as “straw yellow with an olive-green background with golden glints. It displays intense, very expressive aromas of the starter yeast, nuts, apple, fresh herbs and chalk. On the palate, it is captivating, fresh, intense, smooth and creamy.”
Seven Bro7hers Pineapple Pale
USP: Salford-based brewery Seven Bro7hers will be launching its Pineapple Pale ale exclusively in Asda ahead of summer as the producer looks to make the most of seasonal occasions. The beer, which is vegan-friendly, is described as “light and fresh” with notes of “tangy pineapple”.
Brewgooder x Brooklyn Brewery Fonio Session IPA
£6 (4 pack)
USP: The new beer is thought to be the first in the UK which uses fonio grains. Derived from West Africa, the grain is considered to be a more sustainable variety due to its drought resistant properties and ability to grow without the use of pesticides and fertilisers. As part of the production, Brewgooder and Brooklyn are providing funds to support the development of rural communities within fonio farming countries.
Innis & Gunn Islay Whisky Cask
USP: First released in 2021 for a limited run, the beer is a Scottish red ale which has been aged in Laphroaig whisky casks. This launch will see it sold in Waitrose and Sainsbury’s for the first time, with a new gift carton to target the Father’s Day gifting market.
Salcombe Brewery Co Belgica
£25 (12 x 330ml)
USP: The Devon-based brewery has relaunched its Belgian pale ale which was first released for a limited run in March 2022. It is one of four beers in the brewery’s seasonal small batch range, which also consists of a session IPA, a chocolate stout, and a spiced farmhouse ale.
Budvar x Thornbridge Brewery Czech Mates
USP: Czech Mate is the result of Budvar’s first ever collaboration lager outside of it’s home country, Czech Republic. The Czech-style lager combines British-grown Maris Otter malt and Goldings hops from Kent with Budvar’s own yeast strain to create an “aromatic, crisp and beautifully balanced” beer.
RTDS & MIXERS
Whitebox Cocktails Tiny Tee’s Dirty Vodka Martini
USP: The latest offering from Whitebox is thought to be one of the first single serve dirty vodka martinis on the market. The RTD combines British wheat vodka with dry vermouth and green olive brine. It follows the launch of Whitebox’s Freezer Martini.
Funkin Cocktails Aperitivo Spritz, Lime Margarita and Berry Woo Woo
USP: Funkin Cocktails, which announced its B Corp certification earlier this year, has added three new serves to its RTD range. Ben Anderson, Funkin marketing director, said: “With lighter evenings already in full swing…cold and refreshing cocktails are going to be front of mind for shoppers, so our new additions are a great opportunity to help them expand their repertoire and drive additional sales in this hugely popular and fast-growing category.”
Hive Mind Sparkling Mead cans
USP: Wye Valley Meadery and Hive Mind Brewery have rebranded together under a new name – the Hive Mind Mead & Brew Co. As part of the rebrand, the company has launched a new range of Hive Mind Sparkling Mead in cans. Hive Mind’s Sparkling Mead range will now be available in 33cl cans individually or in a boxed four-pack containing all four flavours: ginger, elderflower, rhubarb and pure honey. Two more flavours, sour cherry and honey & hops, will also soon be added to the range, the company said.
LOW & NO
Eisberg Selection range
£6.50 – £7.50
USP: Produced by Schloss Wachenheim AG, the Eisberg Selection is a new range of alcohol-free wines which aims to target the “premium” market. The range consists of a sparkling Blanc de Blancs, a Pinot Noir and a Pinot Grigio. Dan Harwood, Eisberg UK key account manager, said: “The new Selection range is reflective of where the market is going. Consumers have understood 0.0% wines as a concept and now it is about elevating that and getting them to want to spend more.”
Mavrik Passion Star Martini and Espresso Martini
£11.80 (4 pack)
USP: Each 20cl can offers two servings, when poured into a traditional Martini glass, the company said. The new lauches sit alongside the four original alcohol-free drinks, available in 25l cans: Aromatic G&T, Cuban Mojito, Venetian Spritz and Storm & Spice.
Wolf Blass Zero
USP: Treasury Wine Estates’ Wolf Blass brand is launching its first non-alcoholic wine range in the UK. The range consists of a Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, Sparkling and Rosé. Ben Blake, head of marketing at Treasury, said: “We recognise there is sizeable and growing demand for no and low products in the UK, and consumers are leaning towards big brands within this space for reassurance on taste.Therefore, when developing this range, it was vital to deliver the same high quality level consumers have come to expect from the Wolf Blass brand.”