New product round-up

Coors Light rebrand, new gin to raise funds for hospitality sector, Madrí Excepcional UK launch

By Stuart Stone

- Last updated on GMT

More pours: which new products have launched in the past week?
More pours: which new products have launched in the past week?

Related tags Beer Spirits Whisky low2no Drinks

Amid a swathe of spirit launches, Molson Coors Beverage Company announced the rebrand of Coors Light and UK launch of Madrí Excepcional, while a new not-for-profit gin brand launched to raise funds for the UK's embattled hospitality sector.

Coors Light to rebrand as 'Coors' 

Molson Coors Beverage Company will rebrand 4% brew Coors Light as Coors from March 2021 off the back of a multimillion-pound UK marketing drive.

“Coors has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, becoming the leader of the premium 4% beer category, known for being a great tasting beer that always delivers on refreshment,” Sophie Jamieson, marketing controller for the Coors family of brands at Molson Coors said.

“Having reflected on the unique strengths of the brand we saw an opportunity to maximise its potential. 

“Our testing has shown that consumers love the new branding, finding it more distinctive and appealing, and by changing to simply ‘Coors’ we can build further momentum in the premium 4% beer category, while continuing to champion our refreshing great taste which is a clear point of difference for consumers.

“It also gives us the opportunity to introduce some incredibly exciting new products from the Coors family, starting with Coors Original later in the year.

“Our ambition is not only to propel Coors into the UK’s top five beers, which is why we’ve put significant spend behind the brand, but also to continue to scale our presence and expand our portfolio throughout what looks to be a very exciting year in 2021.”


New gin to raise funds for UK hospitality industry 

New not-for-profit gin brand, Hospitality Gin, has been created to support UK hospitality industry throughout the Covid-19 pandemic by pouring its profits into a dedicated Drinks Trust and Hospitality Action fund.

The hospitality industry employs more than 3m workers in the UK and raised £39bn in taxation in 2017. However, during lockdown, just 11% of hospitality businesses were able to operate normally.

In light of measures such as the 10pm curfew on pubs, bars and restaurants, Hospitality Gin’s founder Tom Lord joined forces with North Yorkshire’s Cooper King Distillery to create the philanthropic pour. 

I’d been looking for ways to help the people that needed it most when the idea for Hospitality Gin hit me,” Lord said. 

“I’d been advising as many people as possible on the best next steps for their personal situations, but at the end of the day, I’m not an employment lawyer.

“Most important was a managing a quick turnaround time to get the money to those who needed it as quickly as possible. That and having a cracking gin of course.” 

Hospitality Gin is available direct from the brand’s website for £37 per bottle, as well as from a number of wholesalers, including Master of Malt.


The Balvenie announces batch seven of Tun 1509 Series 

Single malt Scotch whisky, The Balvenie, has announced the release of the seventh bottling in its Tun 1509 series.

The 52.4% ABV Balvenie Tun 1509, Batch 7 – a non-chill filtered whisky, marrying 21 unique casks – comprises liquid from Sherry Hogshead, Ex Bourbon American Oak Barrels and DoubleWood Refill Sherry Butts, which were used once to finish DoubleWood before being filled with New Make and aged.

Commenting on the release of Tun 1509 Batch 7, Balvenie master blender David Stewart MBE said: “The Tun 1509 series has been hugely popular with whisky enthusiasts over the years and I'm in no doubt that this expression will receive a similar response. 

“Batch 7 showcases this remarkable liquid resulting in a deep and rich Balvenie. It is intensely spicy with sweet aromas of dried fruits, notes of candied orange peel, golden syrup and honeycomb on the palate”


Molson Coors reveals Madrí Excepcional​ 

Molson Coors Beverage Company has announced the UK launch of 4.6% lager Madrí Excepcional – its first collaboration with Madrid’s La Sagra Brewery.

Madrí Excepcional will be available exclusively on draught the UK on-trade from 19 October and has been breweed to capitalise on the fast-growing world lager category, which now makes up 24% of the lager market in the UK according to CGA.

“We’re so excited to be bringing this great collaboration with Carlos and the team at La Sagra to UK drinkers,” Ryan Mcfarland, regional business director, Western Europe at Molson Coors, said. “In these incredibly challenging times for the hospitality sector we’re continuing to invest in the future and support our customers with innovative new products which will encourage people to visit pubs and bars when they’re able to do so.  

“World lager is now the second biggest sector of the lager category in the UK, making up almost one in four pints of lager consumed. 

“Madrí Excepcional provides a new and unique option in this category for pub and bar operators and we’re confident will be a huge hit with consumers.”

Carlos Garcia, founder and CEO of La Sagra Brewery, added: “La Sagra is founded on taking the best of the diverse cultures that surround us and applying innovative brewing techniques to create great tasting beers that stand out from the crowd. 

“These principles are shared by Molson Coors and by working together we’ve created something really special in Madrí Excepcional, a unique fusion of the Chulapo way of life and British brewing heritage.”


Compass Box releases limited edition Peat Monster Arcana

Whisky maker Compass Box has announced the release of 8,328 bottles of 46% ABV limited edition Peat Monster Arcana to mark the its official 20th​ birthday.

Peat Monster Arcana is the result of a long-running experiment into oak and smoke. A cask strength version of The Peat Monster was further matured in three French oak custom casks for more than two years before being blended with malt whiskies from the Talisker, Miltonduff and Ardbeg Distilleries.

“We have been experimenting with French oak since the early days of our company,” Compass Box founder and whisky maker John Glaser explained. 

“Peat Monster Arcana is the first Compass Box to feature smoky whiskies matured in French oak. We’re delighted to be able to build on this experiment in our 20th anniversary year and we hope dedicated fans of The Peat Monster discover a new side to this charismatic whisky.”

Peat Monster

New Norwich-based spirits brand Gyre & Gimble 

Gyre & Gimble has launched a trio of new gins inspirited by the imagination and characters of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland​ author Lewis Carroll. 

Callooh Callay is infused with seawater from the North Sea off the Norfolk coast along with foraged samphire and lavender with 15% of all proceeds going to the Friends of Horsey Seals, a registered charity operating on the Norfolk Coast where thousands of seals come ashore every year to pup.

What’s more, Queen of Hearts is a cherry gin boating a sweet kick from custard apples according to the drinks maker while Nohow is a twist on the classic London Dry which includes a double dose of juniper.

Gyre and Gimble

Gleann Mòr Spirits Company re-launches Glasgow Gin 

Originally launched in 2017, Gleann Mòr Spirits Company has revived Glasgow Gin emblazoned with new branding boasting a newly commissioned version of Glasgow’s iconic Duke of Wellington statue, complete with traffic cone.

The new identity has been created by the multi-award winning agency Pocket Rocket Creative.

“Just like the city that inspired it, Glasgow Gin is fun, playful and vibrant, so we wanted the new look to reflect this unique personality,” Karin Mair, co-founder of Gleann Mòr, said.

“The Duke and his famous cone are instantly recognisable all over the world, and we think the relaunched bottle represents the true spirit of the city more than ever.”

“The new branding gives us a bolder and stronger presence, and perfectly encapsulates the gallus modern spirit inside. Our new animation means, too, that customers will hear about it straight from the horse’s mouth.”

Glasgow Gin

Maison Lanson releases Le Blanc de Blancs and Le Black Reserve 

Following an in-depth restructuring of its range of Champagnes, 260-year old Maison Lanson has unveiled new pours Le Black Reserve and Le Blancs de Blancs.

A non-vintage brut champagne, Le Black Réserve is a descendant of the Black Label composed of 50% Pinot Noir, 35% Chardonnay and 15% Pinot Meunier, while Le Blanc de Blancs is 100% Chardonnay.

As soon as winemaker Hervé Dantan arrived at Maison Lanson in 2013 he began creating these two cuvées with the desire to bring Lanson Champagnes further into the world of gastronomy.


Square Root creates ‘UK’s first’ crowd-sourced alcohol-free cocktail 

East London soda producer Square Root has added a Classic Mojito to it's range of alcohol free cocktails.

Millie Gooch, founder of the Sober Girl Society’s Instagram channel, asked her followers to vote for the cocktail they’d most like to see Square Root recreate in alcohol free form. Out of a Mojito, a Collins and a Daiquiri, Mojito was chosen as the winner.

The brand then developed three possible twists; the Classic Mojito, a green tea and lemongrass Mojito and a version with ginger and kaffir lime leaf. After another public vote, the Classic Mojito came out on top.

“The idea behind crowd-sourcing this new cocktail was to inspire non-drinkers and people who are looking to cut down their alcohol consumption to take ownership over their choices,” Square Root co-founder Robyn Simms said.  

“At Square Root we always want to be at the forefront of AF drinks development so it’s really exciting to be launching a never been done before project and crowdsourcing the idea for our new ready to drink product.”

In addition to the Mojito, Square Root already makes alcohol-free Gin & Tonic and Negroni at its soda works in Leyton, East London.

Square Root

New Brixton micro distillery creates Market Row Botanical Rum

Former Pernod Ricard executives Laurent Lacassagne, previously chairman and CEO of London-based Chivas Brothers, and Patrick Venning, ex-Chivas Brothers marketing director, have combined more than 50 years of spirits expertise to launch super-premium Market Row Botanical Rum from a new micro distillery they co-founded in Brixton Market.

Brixton Distillery Company’s Market Row Botanical Rum is a blend of Jamaican, Bajan and Dominican pot still rums from five award-winning distilleries, infused with Kenyan black tea, Nigerian hibiscus and red rose from Pakistan.

“We believe the market is ripe for a new, straight-talking and inclusive urban rum,” Lacassagne said. “We want to bring something new to the category - creating the same levels of craft, creativity and inclusivity to rum that is now seen in gin and feel we’re the right team to take on that challenge.”

Venning added: “Market Row Botanical Rum is inspired by the community where it's crafted and we’re working to support independent Brixton businesses and people by sourcing ingredients and skills locally to keep our ‘Brixton-Bottled’ botanical rum authentic and give something back to the community.”

Market row

Ten Locks adds spirit trio to on-trade range

New Manchester-based premium drinks firm Ten Locks has added Banhez Mezcal, Diablesse Rum and The Salford Rum Company to its on-trade portfolio this month.

“Our goal is to offer premium spirits of distinction with a clear point of difference to the trade, and that’s precisely what these brands are,” Becky Davies, head of commercial at Ten Locks, said.

“Every spirit is an example of incredible innovation – whilst respecting traditional techniques – that we know will excite bartenders and, in turn, discerning consumers seeking great taste, quality and brands that are relentlessly striving for positive change in their own way.

“Spiced rums are gaining huge traction and the appreciation they deserve. At the same time, the raft of new product development we’ve seen has started to swing towards high sugar and – at times – low quality products, much like pockets of the gin category. 

“Our partnerships with Diablesse and The Salford Rum Company mean we step into this sector proudly, with truly exceptional, extremely high quality and very authentic liquids with real profit potential and appeal. 

“Mezcal is emerging as the understanding of the category grows; it’s growing year on year mainly driven by it landing on the consumers’ radar as bigger players enter the category and they become more familiar with flavour profiles and serves. 

“We’re hugely excited about Banhez Mezcal; in addition to the brand’s brilliant, co-operative-led proposition, it’s the perfect premium gateway into the category. We expect big love for this beautiful brand.”

Ten Locks

Kingsland Drinks unveils pre-mix cocktail range

Manchester-based Kingsland Drinks has launched a vegan-friendly range of four gin and vodka pre-mixed cocktails including a classic gin and tonic, as well as a diet tonic variant, a strawberry infused pink gin, and tonic and a refreshing vodka, lemonade, and lime.

“With consumers increasingly shopping to ‘stock up’ their cupboards we have seen the pre-mix cocktail category grow due to the demand for multi-buys,” Nathan McGivern, marketing manager for Mix Up at Kingsland Drinks said.

“Much like shopping for beer; pre-mix consumers are looking for the convenience of having their go-to spirit combination in the fridge for when they fancy one. 

“Mix Up has been developed to tap into informal drinking occasions where convenient, lower calorie options are in strong demand.

“We know consumers are looking for value. This range is an attractive entry-level, branded option, that looks and tastes premium, aimed at winning shoppers who are looking to have fun with their favourite drinks at an affordable price point.”

Mix UP

Cotswolds Distillery launches Sherry Cask Single Malt Whisky 

English whisky maker Cotswolds Distillery’s new 57.4% pour is a marriage of Cotswolds single malt whiskies fully matured in American and Spanish oak hogsheads and butts, seasoned with Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez sherries.

The distillery uses 100% locally grown barley from the Cotswolds, which is traditionally floor-malted by hand at Warminster, Britain’s oldest working malting.

Nickolas Franchino, head of production at Cotswolds Distillery, said: "I love a sherry cask whisky as it is one of the truly iconic single malt whisky styles.  Good sherry casks give rich, fruity, spicy and nutty flavours that marry perfectly with the underlying malt character and are a joy to savour.”


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