Brown-Forman unveils 2016 Kentucky Derby Woodford Reserve bottle

Brown-Forman has released details of the latest annual Kentucky Derby bottling of its Woodford Reserve Bourbon.

This year’s limited edition, which featured artwork from equine artist Thomas Allen Pauly, will be available nation-wide this month. The 1-litre bottle of Woodford Reserve carries an SRP of US$43.99.

Woodford Reserve has held ‘Official Bourbon’ status at the Kentucky Derby for 18 years, with Brown-Forman releasing annual bottlings of the brand in commemoration.

The 142nd Kentucky Derby takes place at Churchill Downs race track in Louisville, Kentucky on 7 May.

In results for the nine months to the end of January, reported by Brown-Forman earlier this month, the Woodford Reserve Bourbon range posted a 30% jump in sales, based on a 27% increase in volumes. The company also held talks with Beam Suntory late last year, after the whiskey rivals disputed the alleged trademarking of the term ‘double-oaked’ in a Woodford Reserve brand extension.

Wolfburn Distillery’s Wolfburn Single Malt Whisky – Product Launch

A new Scotch whisky distillery built on the ruins of a 19th-Century production site in Thurso has released its first product.

Wolfburn Single Malt Whisky will go on sale from this month, its owners said today. An “Inaugural” expression, made from the distillery’s first casks, is also available, with 875 bottles going on sale for GBP200 each.

The launch follows a revival of Thurso’s Wolfburn Distillery, which closed about 150 years ago but has been reopened on the original site by a consortium of private investors.

Quintessential Brands’ The Dubliner 10 Year Old Irish whiskey – Product Launch

Quintessential Brands’ The Dubliner 10 Year Old Irish whiskey

Category – Irish whiskey, 42% abv

Available – From this month

Location – Domestic and global Travel Retail, specialist whiskey retailers

Price – SRP GBP50 (US$73) per 70cl bottle

Quintessential Brands has released a limited-edition ten-year-old Irish whiskey under The Dubliner brand.

The whiskey is distilled in copper pot stills and matured in ex-Bourbon casks. “The Dubliner Irish Whiskey has had an incredible start launching at Dublin Airport last year and sales to date in Ireland, Australia and the USA have been really encouraging,” said Sinead O’ Frighil, Irish Whiskies marketing manager at Quintessential Brands. “It is well known that the growth of Irish whiskies is at an exciting stage and we have high hopes for our approachable and smooth 10 Year Old Single Malt in domestic and Travel Retail markets internationally.”

Zafra 30 Year Old aged rum from Panama

An exquisite expression long rested in oak barrels in the tropical regions of Panama, Zafra 30 Year Old aged rum is presented as a luxury limited edition of 6,720 bottles from hand-selected bourbon casks.

The Zafra Master Series, well known for the 21 year old Master Reserve, gained worldwide attention upon its debut in 2009 by Dana Importers of Miami, Florida.

This 30 year old luxury rum debuted at the VIP Tasting Bar of the 2016 Miami Rum Renaissance Festival to the amazement of many serious rum enthusiasts.

The color is deep mahogany. Aromas of luscious old oak over rich dark fruit lead to buttery dark brown caramel and vanilla. On the palate, a perfectly balanced entry of bitter wood, vanilla and honey blossoms into a warm and complex mid-palate accentuated with echoes of sherry and bourbon. The very long finish remains balanced to the end.

Zafra 30 Year Old aged rum is the result of a legendary life-long master blender’s talent, persistence and attention to detail. This limited edition rum expression is among the very finest from Panama.

The 750ml bottle retails for about $190.

Moët Hennessy releases Ardbeg Day Dark Cove

Michael Heads, Ardbeg distillery manager, said that the special bottling of Ardbeg Dark Cove “pays homage to the shadowy past of Ardbeg’s coastline.”

Ardbeg Day, is an annual event held by the brand. Ardbeg Committee members will be attending special tasting events being held across the world. Committee members can smuggle in a guest to the venue, keeping in style with the history of whisky smugglers on its base, the Isle of Islay.

Heads added: “In true smugglers’ style we will be keeping the finer details of this year’s Ardbeg Day celebrations under wraps a little longer, but rest assured they will be as intriguing as Ardbeg’s clandestine past.”

Dark Cove will be available as a celebration of Ardbeg Day on Saturday 28 May 2016 as part of the Islay Festival of Malt and Music, which usually takes place in May or June on Ardbeg’s island home.

Pernod Ricard’s Jameson Crested Irish whiskey – Product Launch

Pernod Ricard’s Irish Distillers unit has lined up the global launch of a new Jameson Irish whiskey expression. Jameson Crested is a blend of pot still and grain whiskey. The no-age statement iteration contains liquid that has been matured in a “high proportion” of Sherry casks as well as some whiskey that has been aged in Bourbon barrels.

Crested will be released this week in the UK off-trade, ahead of the following markets:

· April – Slovakia, France, Czech, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Portugal

· June – Poland

· July – Canada, Ireland and Mozambique

· August – Northern Ireland

Formed in 1966 through the merger of John Power & Son, John Jameson & Son and the Cork Distillery Co, Irish Distillers was bought by Pernod in 1988.

Edrington’s Highland Park Ice Edition – Product Launch

In blue tinted bespoke glass reflecting dazzling and glittering ice, the bottle shape has been designed to evoke the distinctive sharpness and coolness of the mythical and magical Ice Realm.”

Highland Park ICE Edition is available from specialist whisky retailers including Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt for an RRP of £190.

Tasting Notes: Highland Park ICE / 53.9% / 17 year old

  • Colour: Naturally radiant and vivid in colour; glacial, mirror-like brightness
  • Nose: Resplendent aromas of cool, fresh pineapple and ripe mango sorbet come to life in this celebration of glacial character. Silvery shards of smoke give way to the frosty kick of root ginger
  • Palate: Like the Ice Giants themselves, the palate is powerful yet mellifluous. In true Highland Park style the combination of an argent, misty peat smoke is intertwined with pearly iridescent vanilla seeds and overtones of molten orris root
  • Finish: Beautifully balanced, the creamy, rich, oily finish snowballs into long lingering woodiness and dry, feverish spices, providing a scintillating and harmonious whisky to savour

Destileria Serralles’ Don Q Rum Signature Release Single-Barrel Rum 2005 – Product Launch


Destilería Serrallés’ Don Q Rum Signature Release Single-Barrel Rum 2005

Category – Spirits, rum, 40%

Available – From this month

Location – US, nation-wide

Price – US$39.99 per 75cl bottle


Destilería Serrallés is to roll out a new range of single barrel rums under its Don Q brand.

The Don Q Rum Signature Release Single-Barrel Rum range starts with a 2005 expression released this month. A 2007 single-barrel variant will follow in 2017.

Only 6,000 bottles of the 2005 rum will be initially available, Destilería Serrallés said. It is the first single-barrel expression Don Q has released and has a taste profile described as deep woodiness, mingled with tannins and sweeter notes.

Destilería Serrallés is based in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Its US portfolio includes the Don Q range, La Reserva de la Familia Serrallés, Palo Viejo and Caliche Rum.

Berry Bros & Rudd puts Bourbon to the fore in Alba Reserve rebrand

Berry Bros & Rudd has renamed the Alba Reserve expression of its Glenrothes single malt Scotch whisky as the Bourbon Cask Reserve. 


The company said name change was for “the sake of simplicity and to aid consumer understanding”. Bourbon Cask Reserve is now on sale in the US for US$55 per bottle and will soon roll out to other markets including the UK and Taiwan, Berry Bros & Rudd says.

The product is matured exclusively in American oak refill Bourbon casks and is bottled at 40% abv.

Global demand for Bourbon has increased in the past few years, particularly in the US, where it has taken share from vodka. Bourbon makers such as Beam Suntory, which owns the Beam brand, have capitialised on the trend with new flavour extensions and expanded portfolios. Scotch distillers have also latched onto Bourbon trends by empahsiing the North American spirit’s role in some aging processes.

Last year, Diageo launched a premium range for Johnnie Walker with a rye cask finish matured in Bourbon barrels for ten years that it said “blends the flavour characteristics of Bourbon and rye” into the signature Johnnie Walker flavour. In May, Pernod Ricard rolled out the US-only Barrelhound

, which the company said aims to emulate the Bourbon profile, but from a Scotch perspective.