Here’s the low-down on this month’s beer, cider, wine, spirits, no/low and RTD product launches:
BEER & CIDER
BrewDog Planet Pale
What they say: “Following the re-launch of Lost Lager in the spring, we established that 70% of beer drinkers are more likely to purchase a beer made in a sustainable way, presenting a huge opportunity to grow frequency and penetration with a planet-friendly beer offering, that can be enjoyed responsibly. With its sub-5% abv, new BrewDog Planet Pale offers a solution for retailers that balances session-ability with flavour, providing the sweet spot for this style of beer.” The beer replaces BrewDog Pale Ale.
Vocation’s Imperial Banana beer
What they say: The new brew is a chocolate and banana stout aged in oak barrels, and blends 12-month aged, six month-aged, and fresh beer. The double-mash stout uses extra pale malt, jumbo oats, wheat malt and chocolate to produce an 11.4% stout with intense notes of dark chocolate and banana.
Duvel Distilled 2021 and Duvel Barrel Aged 2021
40% abv and 12% abv, respectively
What they say: Duvel Distilled 2021 is a 10-year-old distillation of Duvel. The product is launching this autumn in celebration of the Duvel brewery’s 150th anniversary year.
Duvel Barrel Aged Batch No 6 The Jamaican Rum Edition is the sixth consecutive vintage of the Duvel Barrel Aged release, but the first to be matured in Jamaican rum barrels.
Fuller’s Vintage Ale 2021
What they say: “Fuller’s Vintage Ale 2021 has at its heart Pale Ale and Caragold malts combined with DRC, a Double Roasted Crystal malt, to deliver toffee and raisin sweetness. Turning to hops, it showcases younger UK varieties for their luscious fruitiness. Endeavour brings plummy tones, while Olicana and the as yet unnamed experimental hop CF182 add tropical and orange notes. All complemented, as ever, by the zesty marmalade character of Fuller’s famous yeast.”
Rathfinny 2018 Sparkling Rosé
What they say: “The fourth release of our vintage Rosé is brut in style like our previous vintages, containing a low sugar content of just 5.3g/l which showcases the red-fruit style from the increased presence of Pinot Noir within the blend.”
Champagne Fleur de Miraval ER2
What they say: Following the launch of Champagne Fleur de Miraval ER1 in October 2020, Brad Pitt and the Perrin and Peters families have announced the release of the second edition – ER2 (E for exclusively and R for rosé). The second edition is made up of 75% of Chardonnay and 25% Pinot Noir.
Amy x Liquid Diamond prosecco
What they say: TOWIE star and TV personality Amy Childs has collaborated with wine brand Liquid Diamond to launch Amy x Liquid Diamond. The white prosecco is available for retailers to pre-order now ahead of a December launch. The collaboration will include a rosé in the new year.
Nice Wine bag-in-boxes
11.5 – 13.5% abv
What they say: The wines (all vegan):
- Nice Sauvignon Blanc (11.5% abv) is a classic French white from the Cotes de Gascogne region
- Nice Pale Rosé (12% abv) is from just outside Montpellier
- Nice Malbec (13.5% abv) hails from Mendoza in the foothills of the Andes
Graham Beck Artisan Collection Yin & Yang
What they say: The story began in May 2016, as Graham Beck cellarmaster Pieter Ferreira and winemaker Pierre Klerk embarked on their final classification tasting of the year’s base wines. Klerk created a final blend of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay and Ferreira suggested to also look at a mirror image of the blend by using the same components, but with Chardonnay in the lead role. They became Yin (Pinot Noir) & Yang (Chardonnay).
Gosset Celebris Rosé 2008
What they say: “The decision to make a Celebris is made at harvest time, when the must undergoes a series of blind tastings for texture, freshness, minerality, depth, structure, and longevity, which also determine the direction of the cuvée. Very few years offer the conditions for producing this prestigious wine and full expression of the Gosset style. The year 2008 saw complex climatic conditions, and the unique personality of this vintage stems from the weather conditions at the time of the harvest which took place in dry, sunny weather that cooled off at night. The result is elegant, lively, and structured wines with a strong potential for maturation.”
Les Rendez-Vous de Billecart-Salmon No 2
What they say: Launched in 2020 with No 1 Meunier, these cuvées were created after cellar experiments carried out by the house’s tasting committee. The latest expression, No 2, is 100% Pinot Noir, 2014 base wine from the villages of Ambonnay and Verzenay of the Montagne de Reims.
SPIRITS & LIQUEURS
Boatyard Sloe Boat Gin
What they say: “Developed and distilled in Co. Fermanagh, Ireland, the new release will be a permanent addition to the range as this style of gin remains popular with consumers beyond the festive period. To create the new expression, Boatyard Distillery is following a classic recipe and is steeping wild-harvested sloe berries for six months in a bespoke gin. 420 grams of sloe berries are used in each bottle.”
Adnams’ Copper House Blackcurrant Gin
What they say: “The native berries are a hero ingredient in the distillation process, creating the distinctive flavour of the new Copper House Blackcurrant Gin, with Hhad distiller, John McCarthy, using around 40kg of East Anglian blackcurrants for every 1,100 bottles produced.”
Glenfiddich x Mr Porter
What they say: Glenfiddich has partnered with men’s online fashion platform Mr Porter to create a whisky. The 20-year-old Speyside single malt is said to produce “layers of fudge, spiced oak and caramelised Demerara sugar”. The release is limited to 1,500 bottles.
The Oxford Artisan Distillery’s The Graduate Oxford Rye Whisky
What they say: The Graduate is the fourth batch of Oxford Rye whisky. It has been bottled at the highest strength so far and consists of 1,428 bottles. Harvested in 2017, the grain for this release was grown seven miles from the distillery, in soft, sandy soils.
Johnnie Walker Blue Label Ghost and Rare Pittyvaich
What they say: The fourth release in the limited edition series explores the “distinct character of exceptional and very rare whiskies from one of Scotland’s most short-lived distilleries – the Speyside ‘ghost’ distillery of Pittyvaich”. The distillery opened in 1974 and closed in 1993.
AnCnoc 2009 Vintage
What they say: Highland single malt whisky brand AnCnoc has added a 2009 vintage whisky to its portfolio. The new expression, which is made at the Knockdhu Distillery in Aberdeenshire, is matured in a combination of first-fill Spanish oak butts and ex-bourbon American oak barrels.
Havana Club Rum of Skepta
What they say: “Rum of Skepta marks an exciting new venture for Havana Club, as the brand’s talented maestro del ron Cubano worked alongside a musician for the first time to create a spirit designed to appeal to the next generation of rum drinkers with a natural affiliation to rap music and street culture.”
El Tequileño 1959 range
£40 – £150 (all 700ml)
What they say: El Tequileño 1959 Platinum (£40), El Tequileño 1959 Reposado Gran Reserva (£50), El Tequileño 1959 Añejo Gran Reserva (£70) and El Tequileño 1959 Reposado Rare (£150) are now available to UK retailers via Ten Locks.
Becky Davies, head of commercial at Ten Locks said: “There’s a clear trend for trading up as drinkers are prepared to spend that bit more on an indulgent or unusual drink so we know the UK is ready for the premium, high quality 1959 tequila range from El Tequileño.”
Cotswolds Bourbon Cask Single Malt Whisky
Cotswolds Reserve Single Malt Whisky
What they say: The Cotswolds Distillery has launched two whiskies: Cotswolds Bourbon Cask Single Malt Whisky, the latest addition to the distillery’s Cask Collection, and Cotswolds Reserve Single Malt Whisky.
Cotswolds Distillery founder, Dan Szor said: “We always planned to launch a Bourbon Cask Single Malt ever since 2014 when we founded the distillery. Our house style is to produce spirits with big flavours and by using first-fill ex-Bourbon casks, which arrive at the distillery with their staves soaked in Bourbon whisky, we ensure a full and rich flavour for this wonderful cask strength expression.
“Our new Reserve Single Malt joins our range of single malt whiskies. We’re excited to launch this smooth, elegant and approachable whisky expression which has been aged in first-fill ex-Bourbon casks and STR [shaved, toasted and re-charred] ex-red wine casks.”
Adnams Distiller’s Choice First Fill Sherry Cask Whisky
What they say: Made with 100% malted barley, the spirit was placed in a first fill Oloroso Sherry cask in February 2015 and matured until September 2021. This Sherry cask has yielded a spirit of 63.9% and produced just over 300 bottles. This whisky is the first in a new range of limited-edition spirits named ‘Distiller’s Choice’, made by Adnams head distiller, John McCarthy.
East London Single Malt
What they say: “The 2021 East London Single Malt, coming in at 48% abv, was aged in a mix of casks to bring big, spicy flavours to their liquid. Think regenerated French oak, red wine, London Rye, Sonoma Rye and Bourbon and Kentucky Bourbon casks. The resulting aromas and flavours included peanut brittle, mandarin oranges, cigar box, chocolate oatmeal biscuits, honeysuckle, allspice, Szechuan peppers, apricots and cinnamon.”
Rooster Rojo Smoked Pineapple Tequila
What they say: Rooster Rojo’s master distiller experimented with various pineapples and different roast levels for over a year. Rooster Rojo uses red Spanish pineapples for this infusion. “Blended with Rooster Rojo Anejo Tequila it gives an exceptional result: a smooth but subtle drink which can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks, or in various cocktails”.
Vivir Café VS
What they say: Vivir Café VS liqueur is made using Vivir Tequila Blanco and is naturally flavoured with coffee beans sourced locally to the distillery in Jalisco, Mexico. The liqueur can be served neat or in cocktails such as the Espresso Martini.
Isle of Raasay Distillery’s Sherry-Finished Whisky
What they say: Alasdair Day, co-founder and distiller of Isle of Raasay Distillery, said: “There’s nothing better than relaxing with a dram or two of special Christmas whisky during the festive season. We want to celebrate this specific occasion on Raasay this year by releasing a seasonal speciality which departs, yet builds on our signature single malt, pushing the complexity and depth of our Scotch whisky flavours even further.”
Glenmorangie A Tale of Winter
What they say: With this wintry single malt whisky in mind, director of whisky creation Dr Bill Lumsden “took a parcel of Glenmorangie mellowed in bourbon casks and finished it in casks which once held Sicily’s fortified Marsala wine – loved for its sweet and fruity flavours. The limited edition he created enfolds the senses in fruit, honey and Brazil-nut toffee, knitted together with cinnamon, ginger and clove”. The whisky is 13 years old.
The Macallan x Jordi Roca The Harmony Collection, Rich Cacao whisky
What they say: This is the first whisky in a new series of single malts that will see the brand “progress its journey towards sustainable packaging”. The Macallan whisky maker Polly Logan collaborated with pastry chef Jordi Roca from Spain’s El Celler de Can Roca restaurant, visiting Roca’s chocolate factory, Casa Cacao. Aged using a combination of European and American oak casks, the result is “an exceptionally rich single malt whisky characterised by a deep, dark chocolate profile”. The Macallan Harmony Collection Rich Cacao is packaged in a fully recyclable and biodegradable presentation box, made using natural by-products from the chocolate-making process.
What they say: Sipello is described as having “sweet, bitter and floral notes” and it includes ingredients such as gooseberry, gentian, chuckleberry, orris root and red sandalwood – from which Sipello derives its natural colour. The brand is aimed at the on-trade and specialist retailers.
Tarquin’s Figgy Pudding Gin
What they say: “Think dried figs, fresh clementine zest, Christmas spice botanicals, and brandy-soaked cherry wood chips, with a dash of Pedro Ximénez sherry added post-distillation.”
BrewDog The Spirit of Tomorrow
What they say: “This brand-new portfolio brings all of BrewDog’s energy for innovation and experimentation into spirits.”
The portfolio includes:
- Seven Day Vodka – Original, Raspberry & Lime, Rhubarb & Lemon, Passionfruit & Vanilla
- 500 Cuts Rum – Original Spiced, Pineapple & Mango, Coconut & Vanilla, Cherry & Dark Chocolate
- LoneWolf Gin – Original, Cloudy Lemon, Cactus & Lime, Peach & Passionfruit
The Boston Bakers Irish Whiskey
What they say: The whiskey is a blend of three single malted whiskies from three cask finishes, created with a nod to the Irish neighbourhood communities which established across Boston and East Coast America during the last century. The Boston Bakers Irish Whiskey is distributed by Craftwork.
Dictador 2 Masters Ximénez-Spínola 1976 Edition
What they say: Dictador has announced its latest collaboration in the 2 Masters series, partnering with a historic winery, Ximénez-Spínola. The Dictador 2 Masters Ximénez-Spínola 1976 Edition is the tenth addition to the Dictador 2 Masters Collection of ultra-premium rums.
Massingberd-Mundy Pumpkin Spiced Gin
What they say: Infusing pumpkins grown on South Ormsby Estate, as well as from Red Hill Farm near Lincoln, with a blend of spices including cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves & vanilla, this gin is essentially a pumpkin pie without the crust.
Frapin Millésime 1989
What they say: “Frapin Millésime 1989 is a rare cognac, that required no blending, only the intuition and skill of the cellar master Patrice Piveteau, who used a combination of artisanal techniques, such as double distillation on the lees.”
Bombay Sapphire Premier Cru Murcian Lemon
What they say: This “super-premium expression” was “created to celebrate the region of Murcia in Spain and the stunning citrus that it produces, while shining a light on the long-standing relationships Bombay Sapphire has forged with its dedicated suppliers and farmers.”
Tiempo Reposado Cristalino Tequila
What they say: “Along with creating a 100% naturally grown agave tequila, Tiempo is working towards ensuring its practices are sustainable by providing living wages for its growing and production team, focusing on sustainable agave farming in the fields, cutting CO2 emissions, reusing agave waste and packaging with recycled glass and materials wherever possible.”
What they say: The brand launches in three flavours – ‘Pink’, a combination of tart raspberries and white chocolate, ‘Azzura’, a mix of kiwi, watermelon, cucumber and mint and ‘Dark Fruits’, with flavours of blackberry and blackcurrant. This flavour also changes colour when mixed with lemonade or tonic.
Spirit of the Downs Brandy
What they say: The product is small batch distilled using Chardonnay grapes from the 2019 vintage. It is aged in French oak to “provide a ‘VS’ style Sussex brandy”.
Maestro Dobel 50 1969 Tequila
What they say: An extra anējo Tequila matured in a combination of American and French white oak barrels before going through a finishing period in Sauternes casks. Available in Hedonism, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges.
The Deveron 10 Year Old Highland single malt Scotch whisky
What they say: The launch of the latest expression coincides with the roll out of a “bold new look” for the brand. “Bringing to life the distillery’s location, production process and rich flavour notes, the bottle’s new look tells the story of how the distillery is located near the small, coastal fishing town of Macduff, where the river meets the sea, near the mouth of the River Deveron to create a range of whiskies known for its notes of apple.”
Sprigster non-alcoholic shrub
What they say: Made by Wiltshire’s Pythouse Kitchen Garden restaurant, Sprigster is now distributed by Enotria & Coe. “The shrub infusion is inspired by the seasonal and home-grown produce sourced within Pythouse’s centuries-old walled garden, and its unique blend of ingredients acts as a delicious dry alternative to a gin and tonic. Sprigster is notably versatile and is a great natural alternative to add to non-alcoholic and alcoholic cocktails alike.”
Fever-Tree Damson & Sloe Berry Tonic Water
What they say: “Bringing handpicked damsons from Herefordshire and foraged wild sloes from the foothills of the Black Mountains together with a blend of warming spices including cardamom, star anise, nutmeg and cinnamon, the Refreshingly Light Damson & Sloe Berry Tonic Water brings a rich and fruity twist to your drink this autumn.”
Innis & Gunn 0.0% Lager
£28.99 (24 x 440ml cans)
What they say: The hops in the new Innis & Gunn 0.0% Lager are exactly the same varieties of Styrian Goldings and Super Styrian as in the standard 4.6% lager, but added at slightly different rates, as the zero percent Lager is lighter bodied. The malts vary from the 4.6% recipe by using only pale ale malt as its base, instead of a blend of lager malt and ale malt. “The ale malt in the zero percent lager beer promotes a reassuring maltiness, which is often hard to achieve in alcohol-free drink products,” the company said.
Neitiv’s Coconut Flower Beer
1.5% – 4% abv
What they say: “The range includes three types of lager: Ninkasi (sweet with a rich coconut finish), Menquet (bright and light with a hint of hops) and Dea Latis (crisp and soft with a mild hoppy finish). With the abv ranging from 1.5% – 4% and calories as low as 24/100ml […] the range has a beer for every taste.”
Big Drop’s Leafkicker
£16 (6-can pack)
What they say: This is a collaboration with Square Mile Coffee Roasters to produce a coffee-infused amber ale. The beer features Square Mile’s Red Brick Seasonal Espresso blend and Citra hops.
Shandy Shack’s Pale & Ginger
£24.99 (12 x 330ml cans)
What they say: “The new combination sees pale ale mixed with a glug of ginger ale for a refreshing, lightly spiced shandy”. The drink is 2.2% abv and 94 calories per 330ml ready-to-drink can.
New London Light Aegean Sky and Midnight Sun
What they say: “Midnight Sun has been carefully distilled and crafted using seven botanicals to create the core flavour distillate including elderberries, seaberries, kelp and samphire and a further seven natural flavours including lingonberries and pine.
“Aegean Sky has been… crafted using six botanicals to create the core flavour distillate including kumquat, bergamot, olive and rosemary, blended with a further six natural flavours including blood orange and rosehip.”
RTDS AND HARD SELTZERS
Tios Drinks’ hard teas
£32.99 (12-can pack)
What they say: Tios Drinks is a range of premium low calorie, low sugar and vegan ready-to-drink sparkling hard teas made with brewed organic white tea, premium alcohol and natural ingredients, served in recyclable 250ml cans. The three flavours are: White Tea Mojito, White Tea Margarita and White Tea Light & Stormy.
Morrisons festive releases:
- Morrisons The Best Winter Spiced Fizz, £3
- Morrisons The Best Peach Bellini, £4
- Nozeco Bucks Fizz, £3
- Mulled Wine Bag in A Box, £4.99
What they say: “This Christmas, Morrisons has plenty of new festive tipples to enjoy with family and friends. The supermarket has introduced some exciting new festive bottles, offering a range that caters for lovers of fizz, mulled wine and non-alcoholic alternatives.”
What they say: “NIO stands for ‘Needs Ice Only’ meaning there’s no specialist equipment or ingredients needed to delight in an expertly crafted cocktail. The steps are simple: get a glass, fill it with ice and simply tear the corner of your sachet and pour the ready-made cocktail in.” The Sidecar includes St Remy XO brandy with Cointreau.
Waitrose and Heston Blumenthal’s Lazy Mandarin Negroni
What they say: “This negroni is truly lazy and can just be poured straight over ice, or for those wanting to channel their inner mixologist, combine 50ml of the negroni with 25ml of prosecco to create a delicious Negroni Sbagliato.” Available from November.
Noveltea’s La Fusión
What they say: La Fusión is a blend of 3-8 year aged Don Q Añejo Rum and loose-leaf oolong and green teas cold brewed for up to eight hours. The drink can be served over ice or in a cocktail.
1881 Distillery’s RTD G&Ts
£28 (12-can pack)
What they say: “1881 Distillery has unveiled a new ready-to-drink perfect serve gin can, enabling its popular Hydro Gin and Pavilion Gin to be enjoyed on-the-go. Hydro Gin is the distillery’s signature London Dry gin and Pavilion Gin is infused with Borders berries and hibiscus.”
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple & Tonic
£1.80 per can
What they say: “Created to entice G&T drinkers into the whiskey RTD category, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple & Tonic is a brand new SKU which marries the iconic whiskey with a crisp, green apple liqueur before fusing it perfectly with premium sparkling tonic water.”
Gosnells bag-in-box mulled mead
What they say: Gosnells will be selling 5-litre boxes for retail at £30, with free UK mainland delivery; or in 10-litre containers at £45 for parties – or for the growing numbers of pubs and bars intrigued by the potential of mead.
Berczy Winter Cola hard seltzer
£11.95 (4 pack)
What they say: “Winter Cola combines all-natural kola nut & lime, with their four-times distilled spirit and British sparkling spring water, it contains zero caffeine and is nut free.”