The monthly round-up of what’s new in low/no, beer, cider, wine, spirits, RTDs and mixers.
Funkin Cocktails Passion Fruit Margarita and Pineapple Daiquiri
£3.50 each (14cl)
USP: The first two launches in Funkin’s new Double Shot range are both made with a double spirit measure as the brand looks to tap into the demand for higher abv RTD cocktails.
BrewDog Distilling’s Wonderland RTDs
From 10% abv
£3.90 per can
USP: The new range is available in five classic cocktail varieties: Classic Mojito, Classic Margarita, Espresso Martini, Cantarito Paloma, and Passionfruit Martini. Each cocktail can has differing levels of liquid depending on the drink, with recommended serving suggestions of ’shake’ and ‘chill’, to “ensure the perfect serve”.
SPIRITS & LIQUEURS
Cutty Sark Centenary Edition
USP: The 23-year-old blended Scotch whisky is limited to 1,435 numbered bottles. The edition is encased in a gift pack resembling a mainsail, with a cleat cork – a nod to the three-masted tea clipper, Cutty Sark, “which is the brand’s constant inspiration”.
Old Pulteney Port
USP: The second addition to Old Pulteney’s Coastal Series – a collection of four whiskies matured in casks from seaside locations around the world – is a single malt matured in Ruby Port Pipes and Ruby Port Barriques from the Douro Valley wine region of Portugal. Malcolm Waring, distillery manager at Pulteney, said the whisky has a “delicious balance of the rich, juicy flavours that comes from Port with the sea-saltiness that Old Pulteney is known for”.
Plantation Rum Sealander
USP: The latest rum in Plantation’s range blends three liquids from major rum producing locations: Barbados, Mauritius and the Fiji Islands. It is thought to be the first three-island rum in the world.
Mac-Talla Flavourscapes Flùran and Fogharach
53.8% abv and 54.2% abv respectively
USP: Flùran and Fogharach are the first two launches in Mac-Talla’s new Flavourscapes whisky collection. The packaging for the whiskies has been designed by artist and whisky expert Marzia Sileno to reflect the taste profile of the liquid. 420 bottles of each whisky are available.
Ballycastle Tiramisu Cream Liqueur and Blonde Chocolate Cream Liqueur
USP: Aldi has added two new cream liqueurs to its Ballycastle range as the supermarket looks to offer more affordable alternatives liqueurs such as Baileys. The Blonde Chocolate Cream Liqueur was awarded a silver at this year’s International Spirits Competition.
GlenAllachie Meikle Tòir range
48% abv – 50% abv
£50 – £51
USP: The GlenAllachie Distillery has launched a new brand within its portfolio featuring four peated single malt whiskies. The Meikle Tòir range consists of The Original, The Sherry One, The Chinquapin One and small-batch release, The Turbo 2023 Edition. All Meikle Tòir expressions underwent a longer-than-average fermentation time of 160 hours, adding an “ester-rich character” to the whisky.
Eden Mill Art of St Andrews 2023
46.5 % abv
USP: Eden Mill has released the 2023 edition of its Art of St Andrews single malt collection – a series of annual expressions celebrating local artists – featuring packaging designed by Scottish illustrator Jill Calder. The whisky has been matured in a combination of Bourbon, Oloroso and Pedro Ximénez casks before being finished in ex-Grande Champagne Cognac casks.
USP: This whisky is a second edition release of Tomintoul’s 40YO, with 165 individually numbered bottles available globally. It is said to have a sweet, fruity flavour combined with notes of “oak spice and rolling tobacco.”
Tipplemill London Dry Gin
USP: The gin is Tipplemill’s first launch for the UK market. Based in South Lincolnshire, the distillery is home to the country’s tallest working windmill, and the spirit is thought to be one of the only windmill-made gins in the world.
Dunnet Bay Holy Grass Vodka
USP: Dunnet Bay Distillers has relaunched its Holy Grass Vodka with revamped packaging, featuring a QR code linking to information about the brand and the recommended serve for the drink. The new look packaging is rolling out in 97 Sainsbury’s stores across Scotland.
Fettercairn 16 Year Old
USP: Fettercairn has revealed the fourth annual release of its limited-edition 16 Year Old whisky, which will be available from selected whisky retailers. First launched in 2020, the annual maturation series focuses on Fettercain’s “tropical house style.”
Limoncello di Capri cream liqueur
USP: The new cream liqueur is a variation of the original Limoncello di Capri, created in response to increased consumer interest in the aperitivo and digestif categories. As with the original product, it is made using Sorrento lemons which are then mixed with cream.
Tamdhu Cigar Malt III
USP: The latest edition in Tamdhu’s Cigar Malt collection, the whisky is inspired by the “pairing of cigars and single malt”, according to distillery manager Sandy McIntyre. The whisky is matured in European oak Oloroso sherry casks, resulting in notes of gingerbread, honey and dried fruits. McIntyre said: “Cigar Malt III is testament to Tamdhu’s unwavering commitment to full-term sherry cask maturation, boasting an unparalleled depth and character.”
Littlemill The Vanguard Collection – Chapter One
USP: Only 250 bottles are available of the first edition in Littlemill’s new Vanguard Collection of whiskies. Four expressions are set to be released altogether. Chapter One is a 45-year-old whisky, first distilled in 1977 at Littlemill’s original site Bowling, West Dunbartonshire.
USP: Blackeye Gin was formulated by rugby legends and the hosts of The Good, The Bad & The Rugby podcast, Mike Tindall, James Haskell, and Alex Payne. £1.50 from each purchase of Blackeye Gin goes towards a fund to support the future of rugby. The gin, made at Hawkridge distillery, is described as citrus forward.
Samuel Gulliver’s & Co The Fine Drop English whisky
USP: The Fine Drop is a single malt English whisky distilled at The English Whisky Co in Norfolk, and bottled exclusively for England Rugby by Samuel Gulliver & Co. The whisky is matured in ex-red wine French oak casks from Margaux, Bordeaux. The expression is released in honour of 20 years since the men’s England Rugby team won the Rugby World Cup back in 2003 when, with 28 seconds remaining, Jonny Wilkinson scored a drop goal.
Hotel Chocolat’s Rum and Raisin Velvetised Cream
USP: The latest launch is inspired by tropical fruits, and is made with Caribbean rum and red raisins. The drink has been “velvetised with vodka, dark chocolate and real cream ready to be enjoyed over ice”. The product is a limited-edition bottle sold exclusively at Tesco, in store and online.
The Oxford Artisan Distillery’s Black Pine Whisky
USP: To mark the 400th Anniversary of the Oxford Botanic Garden, The Oxford Artisan Distillery has launched limited-edition Black Pine Whisky to celebrate Hobbit Day on the September 22. The rye whisky, inspired by ‘Tolkien’s Pine’, comes with either a box or coaster created from wood of the black pine which grew in the Botanic Garden for nearly 200 years and is best known for its association with JRR Tolkien.
Tomintoul’s single malt cask finishes
USP: Speyside single malt whisky Tomintoul has released a range of cask finishes, including Tomintoul Caribbean Rum Cask Finish, Tomintoul Cognac Cask Finish, Tomintoul Merlot Cask Finish, Tomintoul Pedro Ximénez Cask Finish, Tomintoul Pinot Noir Cask Finish, Tomintoul Tawny Port Cask Finish, and Tomintoul White Port Cask Finish. The non-age statement range aims to offer “complex and full flavoured single malt Scotch whisky at an accessible price point”.
Devil’s Botany London Absinthe
USP: “Traditionally distilled, clear and green-styled absinthes will cloud when diluted,” the company said. “This ‘louche’ effect occurs naturally from the organic compound anethole, found in green anise and fennel seed, which are used in absinthe’s distillation. Devil’s Botany wanted to create a modern absinthe that is still distilled with the required trinity of grand wormwood, green anise and fennel seed, but that allows the supporting flavours of other botanicals used in the distillation, such as lemon balm, peppermint and elderflower, to shine through. By creating an absinthe that does not cloud, a full bouquet of flavours remain crisp on the palate.”
Hibiki 21-Year-Old and Hibiki Japanese Harmony
£5,200 and £210, respectively
USP: The two limited releases are the latest centennial whisky offerings to mark the brand’s anniversary celebration. The limited-edition Hibiki 21-Year-Old is a marriage of malt and grain whiskies. The Hibiki Japanese Harmony, which sees a new bottle design, “brings the art of Monozukuri craftsmanship to life, and features motifs of snow, moon and flowers representing Japan’s changing seasons”.
Torabhaig Allt Gleann Batch Strength
USP: Torabhaig on the Isle of Skye has announced a new limited edition release, Torabhaig Allt Gleann Batch Strength. The release of Allt Gleann completes the current chapter of the Torabhaig Legacy Series, which charts the journey to 10 years old for this new distillery on the Isle of Skye.
USP: Aperitivo brand Savoia has added a citrus and spice variant, called Orancio, which is made using orange wine. The aperitif features orange, lime and bergamot, exotic flavours such as ginger, saffron and pomegranate, as well as gentian and rhubarb.
Diageo’s 2023 Spirited Xchange Special Releases
From 55% abv
USP: From Mortlach finished in ex-Kanosuke Japanese whisky and ex-Pinot Noir casks to the first Roseisle Special Releases bottling, this year’s Special Releases include: Mortlach ‘The Katana’s Edge’, The Singleton ‘The Silken Gown’, Talisker ‘The Wild Explorador’, Lagavulin ‘The Ink of Legends’, Roseisle ‘The Origami Kite’, Glenkinchie ‘The Floral Treasure’, Oban ‘The Soul of Calypso’, and Clynelish ‘The Jazz Crescendo’.
Balblair 21 Year Old
USP: This permanent addition to the Balblair portfolio was matured for 15 years in ex-Bourbon barrels before spending a further six years of maturation in Spanish oak butts. The Highland single malt whisky will launch first via The Whisky Exchange before a wider roll out at the start of October.
Gosset Celebris Vintage 2012
USP: Maison Gosset’s Vintage 2012 is a blend of 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Noir, packaged in an “environmentally conscious” gift box crafted from FSC-certified ash wood from France. 25,000 bottles are available.
Graffigna Pinot Grigio 2022
USP: The Argentinian white wine is made using grapes grown in San Juan and Mendoza. Head winemaker Fernando Mengoni said: “Due to the influence of the Andes, we have reached a very good balance between acidity and freshness; and also its floral and fruity profile. It’s an interesting and super drinkable wine.”
Castellore Dolce Amore Rosé
USP: Aimed at confectionary fans, Aldi’s new rosé is described to taste “just like the classic fruit salad sweets”. It has flavours of peach, raspberry and strawberry, with Sam Caporn MW saying: “This juicy, fragrant, fruity dry rosé has notes of raspberry, cherries, apricot and a hint of pineapple that remind me of the nostalgic fruit salad sweets.”
Brown Brothers Tarrango
USP: Available exclusively at Booths, Tarrango is a chilled red wine from Australia. Described as “light-bodied and juicy” with flavours of redcurrent and cranberry, the wine is made from the Tarrango grape – a cross between the Portuguese Touriga grape and the white grape, Sultana.
Valdivieso Caballo Loco Blanco N°1
USP: The Chilean wine is a blend of Limarí Valley Chardonnay with Moscatel, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Semillón and Viognier from vintages between 2017 and 2020. The UK release of the Caballo Loco Blanco also coincides with the 30th anniversary of Caballo Loco red.
Copper Crew canned wines
USP: Canned wine Co is to launch a range of wines under its recently-acquired brand The Copper Crew. The 18.7cl cans feature a new design, and the three-strong range of organic and vegan friendly wines, from Puglia IGP, comprises a Fiano, Rosato and Negroamaro.
Candour canned wines
New canned wine company Candour has launched with three products: Pale Rosé, a blend of Sumoll and Xarel.lo grapes from Can Sumoi, in Penedes, Spain; Dry Riesling, from Domaine L&R Kox in Remich, Luxembourg; and Lively Red, a blend of Blaufränkisch and Zweigelt from Groszer Wein in Burgenland, Austria. All cans are 20cl.
Adnams Chardonnay Fizz Brut and Pinot Noir Fizz Rosé
USP: Both wines are described as being “rooted in the heart of Languedoc-Roussillon”, and both are suitable for vegans.
LOW & NO
Mocktails Espress0% Martini
£10 (4 x 20cl)
USP: RTD brand Mocktails has launched its new alcohol-free Espress0% Martini into Sainsburys, adding to its existing range which features its Mockarita and Mockapolitan. The cans feature a nitro widget, which creates a foam when pouring to emulate the cocktail bar experience.
Pentire Coastal Spritz
USP: Adding to Pentire’s low/no portfolio, Coastal Spritz is blended with blood orange, sea rosemary and oakwood. The drink will be available in Waitrose, marking the brand’s first national supermarket listing.
Soldadera non-alcoholic tequila alternative
USP: Created by Maria Sehlstrom and Craig Hutchison, the founders of Ceder’s non-alcoholic gin, Mindful Brands is bringing non-alc tequila alternative Soldadera to market in blanco and coffee flavours.
Hutchison said: “In recent years tequila has seen a renaissance and its popularity has reached new levels, especially with on-trade and consumers’ greater appreciation of quality tequila. However, there are still very few options available for those looking for a non-alcoholic alternative, so we believe that Soldadera is well placed in the fast growing non-alc space.”
BEER & CIDER
Kopparberg Sweet Vintage Pear Cider
USP: Rob Salvesen, head of marketing at Kopparberg, said the new variant has a “sweeter, more accessible flavour than similar higher-abv products on the market”. The pear cider comes in both 50cl bottles and cans.