The monthly round-up of what’s new in low/no, beer, cider, wine, spirits, RTDs and mixers.
SPIRITS & LIQUEURS
The Balvenie Sixty
USP: Created to celebrate malt master David Stewart MBE’s 60-year career at the distillery, the whisky is The Balvenie’s oldest liquid to date. It is a single cask from 1962 with notes of oak, toffee and roasted coffee. 71 bottles are being released globally.
The Macallan Harmony Collection Smooth Arabica and Intense Arabica
40% and 44% abv
USP: The new expressions, which take inspiration from the Ethiopian Arabica coffee bean, form the second edition of The Harmony Collection by The Macallan. Made with input from “coffee experts”, the liquids were aged in a combination of American and European oak sherry casks for a “rich” finish with notes of vanilla.
Cotswolds Hedgerow Gin
USP: The gin uses Cotswolds Dry as a base, which is then blended with sloe, damson, blackberry, plum and elderberry juice. It was inspired by the “abundance of fruit and flora found in the British hedgerows in late summer and early autumn.”
BrewDog Distilling Co Bad Beer Vodka
USP: BrewDog’s latest spirit is distilled using any beer that “isn’t up to BrewDog’s exacting standards in their brewery in Aberdeen”. The vodka, which is packaged in a recycled glass bottle and using a wood pulp label, is available in three flavours: Original, Vanilla and Marshmallow, and Tropical Guava.
Martin Miller’s Winterful Gin
USP: The seasonal gin utilises the botanicals commonly used in mulled wine such as cinnamon and orange peel. It draws on the brand’s dual heritage by using English distilled gin which is then blended with Icelandic spring water for a “smooth taste and soft mouthfeel”.
Smirnoff Cherry Drop
USP: As flavoured vodka grows in popularity, Smirnoff has added Cherry Drop to its existing flavoured range which includes Raspberry Crush, Mango & Passionfruit and Berry Burst. Mark Jarman, head of Smirnoff GB, also noted cherry as a “trending flavour”.
Elements of Islay Cask Edit, Bourbon Cask and Sherry Cask whiskies
46% abv (Cask Edit) and 54.5% abv (Bourbon Cask and Sherry Cask)
£44.95, £59.95 and £64.95
USP: The “re-imagined” core range of blended malt whiskies by Elements of Islay features three expressions, each “inspired by a different element of maturation”. Cask Edit combines two single malts aged in bourbon and sherry casks.
The House of Angostura Zenith rum
USP: Targeting rum collectors, 195 bottles have been produced globally, with 40 bottles available in the UK from Berry Bros & Rudd. It is made from a blend of Angostura and Caroni distillery rums which have been aged for around 20 years.
Rosebud Preserves Elderflower Gin Liqueur
USP: Drawing inspiration from Rosebud Preserves’ Gooseberry & Elderflower Jam, the gin liqueur combines Elderflower syrup with a London Dry from The Spirit of Masham Distillery. It joins the Seville Orange Marmalade Gin Liqueur in Rosebud’s alcoholic drinks range.
Plantation Rum Guyana 2007
USP: Guyana is the fourth edition of Plantation’s ‘Under the Sea’ collection which “celebrates marine animals native to the great terroirs of rum.” The rum was first matured for 13 years in ex-bourbon casks, before being shipped to France where it was aged for an additional two years in French oak casks.
Neurita Citrus Tequila and Neurita Rosa Tequila
USP: Designed to appeal to gin and tonic drinkers, Neurita hopes to educate consumers on tequila and drive category growth. Neurita Citrus Tequila is made with Sicilian orange and tangerine, while Neurita Rosa Tequila is infused with raspberry, strawberry and pomegranate extract.
The King of Soho Copacetic Vodka
USP: Launched in celebration of National Vodka Day on October 4, the vodka is a first for gin brand The King of Soho. Available online and in Gerry’s Wines & Spirits, it is distilled using English wheat and has notes of “toasted crumpet” alongside a “touch of lemon zest and black pepper”.
The Lakes Distillery x Simon Rogan Reflections single malt whisky
USP: The Lakes Distillery created the single malt in collaboration with chef and Lake District restaurant group owner Simon Rogan. Rogan said: “Working with The Lakes Distillery on this special collaboration has been an absolute pleasure, especially since we have created something that celebrates our beautiful home in the Lake District.”
Old Pulteney Pineau des Charentes
USP: Distilled as part of The Coastal Series, Old Pulteney’s whisky is matured in ex-Pineau des Charentes wine casks, resulting in “sweet and light notes of candied oranges, warm spices and creamy vanilla”. The Coastal Series will be made up of four limited-edition expressions, which will be released annually from 2022.
Aberfeldy 15 Years Old and 18 Years Old
£55 and £95
USP: The two whiskies are the latest editions from Aberfeldy’s Red Wine Cask Collection, made with input from whisky expert Stephanie Macleod. 15 Year Old is finished in Cabernet Sauvignon wine casks from Napa Valley, while 18 Year Old finished in Tuscan red wine casks from Bolgheri.
Adriatico Caroni Cask Amaretto
USP: Adriatico Caroni Cask Amaretto combines Italian amaretto with a finish of Caribbean rum. The Caroni Cask edition sees Adriatico Roasted Amaretto aged for 12 months in Caroni Rum barrels from 1996. This is a limited release of 1,500 numbered bottles.
Andrés Brugal rum
USP: The ultra-premium rum was made by fifth generation maestra ronera Jassil Villanueva Quintana as “an homage to founder Andrés Brugal’s pioneering spirit of exploration”. This is the brand’s first release that “blends two double aged reserves with first fill single casks”. Thirty bottles have been allocated to the UK.
Hibiki Blossom Harmony
USP: The House of Suntory has lined up the release of Hibiki Blossom Harmony, a limited-edition blend featuring whiskies finished in Sakura casks. The Sakura blossom season in early spring has always been an occasion for celebration in Japan, the company said.
Sweetdram Wild Absinthe
USP: Independent botanical spirit specialist Sweetdram has released an absinthe which uses botanicals grown in its Edinburgh distillery garden, in a collaborative project with local company Radicle Gardens. Botanicals include sea wormwood, wild fennel, bay, santolina, horseradish leaf, marigold, eucalyptus, lemon verbena, purple sage, anise hyssop and sweet cicely.
Glenmorangie A Tale of the Forest
USP: This is Glenmorangie’s first whisky to be made from barley kilned with woodland botanicals. Director of whisky creation Dr Bill Lumsden “recalled how ancient Highland whisky makers dried their barley with all kinds of forest fuel”. He created a batch of spirit with aromas of pine needles and juniper, “laced with wisps of smoke”. Then he aged it in bourbon casks, including refill casks. The pack design was created by Thai illustrator Pomme Chan.
Diplomático Rum 2007 Single Vintage
USP: The 2007 vintage is the next iteration of the Prestige Range, which includes Diplomático Ambassador Selection and Diplomático Single Vintages from the years 2005, 2004, 2002, 2001, 2000 and 1997. The rum spent 12 years mainly in ex-bourbon barrels and single malt whisky casks. After being blended, the expression was finished for one year in Oloroso sherry casks.
RTDS & MIXERS
Gordon’s Premium Pink Gin and Lemonade
£2.19 (250ml can)
USP: Noting the growth of the RTD category, the new Gordon’s RTD will continue to cater to customers in search of “convenient formats”. Jessica Lace, head of Gordon’s, Diageo GB, said: “Following the success of Gordon’s Premium Pink and knowing the huge opportunity within the RTD category, we were keen to replicate the popular Gordon’s Premium Pink & lemonade in an accessible format for more consumers to enjoy.”
Moth French 75, Aperitivo Spritz and Pina Colada
USP: Moth has launched three new canned cocktails to add to its existing portfolio which includes a Margarita, Negroni, Espresso Martini, Old Fashioned and Mojito. Launched ahead of the festive season, Moth aims to target Christmas shoppers as the home cocktail craze continues.
Silver Circle Distillery Lan Y Môr Cocktail
USP: The premixed cocktail blends Silver Circle aquavit, a Scandinavian spirit, with elderflower, kelp, samphire and dill. It adds to Silver Circle’s existing cocktail range which includes its Coconut Espresso Martini and Damson Negroni.
Jamaica Rum Vibes
USP: Available in Rum & Lime and Rum & Ginger, the canned RTDs are made using Jamaican white rum with “no artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners”. The drinks, which will be sold in Co-op, aim to make Jamaican rum more accessible to UK consumers.
Funkin Cocktails Salted Caramel Espresso Martini
USP: The coffee, vodka and salted caramel beverage is the latest in Funkin’s range of RTD cocktails. Due to be launched in November, the espresso martini is aimed at raising the popularity of cocktails in the colder months.
BEER & CIDER
Brimstage Brewery Birkenhop
£24 for 12 bottles
USP: The “green hop” beer, made in collaboration with charity The Callister Trust and community workspace organisation Make CIC, is made with “freshly picked hops, rather than dried ones,” according to Brimstage’s head brewer Adam Williams. The hops were grown in Birkenhead by volunteers from The Callister Trust and Make CIC.
Beavertown Brewery Fuzz Box Peach and Apricot Hazy Pale Ale
£2.35 (single can) or £26.00 (case of 12)
USP: Beavertown’s latest pale ale is part of the growing flavoured beer category. It is described as an “autumnal” beer made with peach and apricot pulp for a “tangy-sweet” finish.
LOW & NO
Citizen Spritz range
USP: The new range of non-alcoholic spirit alternatives features a Bitter Orange, Cool Lime, Pink Grapefruit and Passion Fruit. Made using botanical extracts rather than de-alcoholised spirits, the brand recommends combining with sparkling or soda water to “create a refreshing aperitif style beverage”.
Pentire Margarita and Coastal Spritz
£12 (20cl) and £21.80 (50cl)
USP: Adding to Pentire’s range of non-alcoholic spirits, the Margarita premixed cocktail combines Pentire Adrift spirit with agave, lime and chilli to create an alcohol free version of “one of the most classic cocktails in the world.” Coastal Spritz is a “non-alcoholic aperitif” with notes of blood orange, sea rosemary and oakwood.
Whitley Neill 0.0 range
USP: The gin brand is launching its first alcohol-free spirits in four flavours: Rhubarb & Ginger, Raspberry, Blood Orange and Spiced Dry. All four variants are made with Whitley Neill alcoholic gin before being dealcoholised using “the only spinning cone vacuum column still in the UK”. This method of dealcoholisation boils the liquid at a “much lower temperature” than traditional methods with the aim of improving flavour retention.
Eisberg 0.0% mulled wine
USP: Aimed at consumers who are “cutting down or cutting out alcohol this Christmas”, the vegan-friendly 0.0% mulled wine has “intense spiced and dried fruit aromas” to echo traditional Christmas beverages. It is made as an alcoholic wine to preserve the flavour of the grapes, before which the alcohol is removed.
Mother Root Marmalade Switchel
USP: The non-alcoholic aperitif blends Seville orange and botanical extracts with apple cider vinegar for a “tart” finish. The brand aims to revive the Switchel trend, describing it as “America’s most popular drink” in the Prohibition-era. It can be served with tonic or used in cocktails.
Echo Falls Orchard Fruits
USP: As Echo Falls continues its mission to bring younger people into the wine category, Orchard Fruits is the latest addition to its fruit wine range. It has notes of apple, plum and pear, and aims to “target existing fruit cider drinkers” who favour sweeter alcoholic drinks.
Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2022
USP: “It’s these more challenging years that we really see the strength and importance of our vineyard sites,” said technical director Jim White. “Despite the troublesome weather, the fruit was perfect, which is pretty remarkable, really.” The 2022 vintage is packaged in the brand’s new livery.
USP: This Sangiovese Chianti Classico Gran Selezione is produced at Il Caggio – a site at approximately 350 metres above sea level. Ipsus 2018 was produced in a limited run of 3,000 bottles. “We are aiming to obtain a vibrant, complex wine,” said export director Giovanni Mazzei. “A Sangiovese with a tangy crispness and an electric dynamism but one with impressive longevity as well.”
Broadland Drinks’ My Fave range
USP: Broadland Drinks has launched a multi-country wine range under the new My Fave brand, as it looks to champion “the nation’s favourite varietals”. The My Fave brand has launched with an Argentinian Malbec, South African Sauvignon Blanc and a Californian White Zinfandel. The label is designed to appeal to younger consumers, the company said.
Treasury Wine Estates’ 19 Crimes Chard bag-in-box
£14 (1.5 litres)
USP: Following the launch of 19 Crimes Red 1.5l bag-in-box last year and Revolutionary Rosé 1.5l bag-in-box this summer, TWE is extending its portfolio to include Chardonnay in the range. The launch is supported by an integrated marketing campaign which will include in-store activity, social and influencer engagement, and PR.