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The products tasted in The MA's Virtual New Products Showcase

By The Morning Advertiser

- Last updated on GMT

Interested in joining the showcase? Email Hazel.Batchelar@wrbm.com
Interested in joining the showcase? Email Hazel.Batchelar@wrbm.com

Related tags Spirits Wine Rum Whisky Gin Cocktails

More than 30 operators took part in The Morning Advertiser's first Virtual New Products Showcase, in which a series of tastings were undertaken.

Operators who signed up to the event, the first of many to come, received a box containing spirits, wine, cocktails and soft drinks, which they were then talked through by drinks experts during the virtual event.

The brands involved in the first Virtual New Products Showcase were:

Symphonia’s Apple Rum


We are delighted to introduce Symphonia Apple Rum, our first foray outside the world of gin.

Caribbean rum has been re-distilled with a local Irish botanical, adding a gentle spiciness, then infused with sweet Jonagold apples from County Armagh, the Orchard of Ireland, making this spirit taste like apple pie in a bottle.

It is important for us to make the most of local Northern Irish produce and we started to think about what we could do with Jonagold apples.

These are a cross between Jones and Golden Delicious which grow locally. We thought these delicious, sweet dessert apples would be better paired with a rum, rather than a gin.

The final inspiration came as we were exploring botanicals from the local countryside.

What the delegates said

  • "I thought the apple rum was interesting because I'm not aware of any others like this"
  • "We are looking to add the Apple Rum to our existing portfolio in the summer when things reopen"
  • "The rum is outstanding and supplier explained the product very well and was very knowledgeable"
  • "The Symphonia Apple Rum was a standout to us, it's different to other rums and certainly something we'll be looking to stock"

One of these stood out, our sophisticated chemical analysis showed it had flavour molecules closely related to those of nutmeg and cloves and we knew these spicy flavours would be the perfect partner to the sweet Jonagold apples.

Our Apple Rum is truly innovative, previously rum has often been about the spirit being the dominant element with oak ageing, or heavy spicing with vanilla.

Here the apples are the star of the show, and rum is the soft spirit element that plays the supporting role.

Good Earth Kombucha


The nation’s itching for pubs and bars to reopen and premium soft drinks are set to be in great demand this summer, so it’s a good time to introduce something new.

Good Earth is a vibrant new brand with an attention worthy soft drinks range of refreshingly different low sugar and organic Kombuchas – a big trend in drinks with impressive growth predictions of 29% per-annum Market Watch 2020.

Regardless of the ‘good for you’ vibe, it’s taste that tops the list when choosing to order. With all-natural ingredients, Good Earth has blended bold and exciting flavours to deliver new taste experiences which earned them Product of The Year 2021 (chilled fortified drinks category). They’re planet kind too.

Available in 275ml bottles and soon 250ml can serves, Good Earth Kombucha comes in natural; Ginger; and Pomegranate & Blueberry. Each is clean on the palette, with the finest of ingredients and natural juices lifted by a gentle tongue tingling fizz from friendly bacterial cultures.

What the delegates said

  • "This kombucha was very different to others we've tried, it is refreshing and not overpowering"
  • "I really enjoyed the flavours offered in this range as it offers different options"
  • "This has really made us think about stocking kombucha"

Our Kombuchas are ambient drinks, but we think best served chilled, for cocktail ideas and chance to try, speak to us at tradeenquiries@goodearth.co.uk

McConnell's Irish Whisky Five-Year-Old Blend


McConnell’s is one of the oldest Irish Whisky brands on record – and also one of the most celebrated.

Now, after 90 long years, this legendary whisky has been restored to barrooms and saloons from Belfast to Boston.

Aged five years, McConnell’s fine blend of Irish malt and grain whiskies is gently rested in select bourbon casks, bringing beautiful overtones of vanilla sweetness – with the quality of the finest Irish spirit in the background.

Cromac Distillery

The original home of the iconic brand was at Cromac Distillery, which produced whisky until it closed its doors in 1930.

What the delegates said

  • "This is a really interesting whisky with a fascinating background"
  • "It was good to find out more about the whisky and its background, really helps to understand"

It’s fair to say the brand had its fair share of troubles over the 150 years of production, with fires blazing through the bonded warehouse, prohibition and war times.

Our New Home

With the brand being revived, we plan to move back into the city of Belfast and once again produce a whisky that embodies what Belfast is about.

Tasting Notes

Nose: Light citrus notes, peppered spice and vanilla undertones.

Taste: Earthy fruits, Butterscotch & Vanilla sweetness, white pepper followed by an oak woodiness.

Finish: Sweet, Spice, Oak, with lingering ripe fruits.

ABV: 42%

Hinch Distillery


Hinch Distillery situated in the rolling County Down drumlins and only 10 miles from the city of Belfast is the latest Irish Whiskey and Gin distillery to join the world wide renaissance in the Category.

Irish Whiskey has been the fastest growing Spirits category in the world for over a decade and the upwards rise is set to continue post the pandemic.

Hinch Distillery is the brainchild of local successful entrepreneur Dr Terry Cross and it was his vision and significant personal investment that has resulted in the now completed and in production working state of the art distillery.

What the delegates said

  • "The whisky tasted very good and having a tutored tasting and drinking it neat was an eyeopener"
  • "It's certainly a good whisky with a great story behind it"

The Hinch Whiskey and Ninth Wave Irish whiskey brand is currently being exported to 20 plus countries around the world and despite the ongoing difficulties to international trade the company goes from strength to strength.

The distillery has a magnificent visitors centre including a retail shop, conference and wedding facilities, public bar and a brasserie serving up the finest ingredients from Co Down.

With the reputation of the company growing around the world the recent brand successes in the Far East and Russia were matched by a national roll out across the USA into 26 States by RNDC the second largest distributor in a country which has been leading the way in the global Irish Whiskey comeback.

As a footnote the company won the accolade of “World's Most awarded Gin 2020” for the Ninth Wave Irish Gin in 2020 and with the distillery now built and ready for visitors 2021 is going to be a big year for the team at Hinch Distillery.

Rademon Estate Distillery – Shortcross Gin and Irish Whiskey


Rademon Estate Distillery was founded in 2012 by Fiona & David Boyd-Armstrong creating Northern Ireland’s first Independent Craft Distillery.

The inspiration came from Fiona’s passion to rekindle the lost art of distilling in Northern Ireland.

The couple set out to create a gin with a vision of re-defining what an Irish gin should and could be, while becoming the first gin to be distilled in Northern Ireland.

What the delegates said

  • "There are so many gins out there and this one has a point of difference"
  • "Good story and a great liquid, really enjoyed it"

The distillery released its first product Shortcross Gin in 2014.  Shortcross Gin takes it’s name from their local village, Crossgar.

In Gaelic or Irish, Crossgar means the “Short Cross”, the distillery is proud to have their village name on each and every bottle they distill.

Shortcross is inspired by the distillery’s surrounding’s at Rademon Estate, where Fiona and David have strived to capture the essence of their unique location in each and every bottle of their gin.

The distillery is set alongside the tumbling Ballynahinch River amidst the rolling green hills and dense forests of county down.

The journey to create Shortcross Gin begins with drawing water from their historic estate well.

Then four key botanicals are foraged from the forest and gardens that surround the distillery, Elderflowers, Elderberries, Apples and Wild Clover. The only gin in the world to distil white wild clover flowers.

Shortcross Gin is distilled in a bespoke 450L Copper Pot-Column Still with two seven plate enrichment column that was crafted renowned coppersmith Christian Carl.

After distillation, Shortcross Gin is hand bottled, labelled and individually wax dipped to create a truly hand crafted spirit.

The Rademon Estate Distillery, distil a unique range of spirits that include the Bar Tenders Series 1 Gin and a naturally flavoured, pink gin with no added sugar called Rosie’s Garden Gin with further information available at www.shortcrossgin.com​.

In June 2015 the distillery began production of Irish Whiskey with the first release planned in summer 2021.


Contact: Fiona Boyd-Armstrong

E:  svban@fubegpebfftva.pbz

Socials – Facebook //Twitter // Instagram @ShortcrossGin @ShortcrossWhiskey @RademonEstate Distillery



Sipful is a new, ambitious and innovative drinks brand founded by husband and wife team.

Sipful was born from a gap in the market for super fresh and authentically flavoured canned and ready-to-drink Cocktails.

We use 100% natural ingredients and flavours whilst avoiding the addition of any unnecessary additives, resulting in an honest and natural product that meets the discerning pallet of the modern customer.

Sipful Organic Bubbles

This organic Airèn canned White Wine was carefully selected for its light body, low acidity and subtle flavours.

What the delegates said

  • "This sort of thing is going to work really well when we reopen for outdoors only – simple serves in lightweight and recyclable cans"
  • "Really good products, especially the mimosa"

Placing emphasis on authenticity and balance. Delicate stone fruit aromas are elevated by a gentle carbonation, to create this refreshingly elegant, Organic wine in a can.

Sipful Blood Orange Mimosa

A modern classic, the Sipful Blood Orange Mimosa introduces a natural sharpness that’s sooo moreish, it makes this one of our best-selling drinks! Refreshing on the palette and balanced in flavour, this drink offers you something a little bit different.

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