New products round-up

Spirits dominate latest new launches

By Gary Lloyd contact

- Last updated on GMT

In good spirits: stronger drinks are leading the line this week for the new products list
In good spirits: stronger drinks are leading the line this week for the new products list

Related tags: Spirits, Cider, Beer, Low to no, Cocktails

Whether it's the fiscal boon awarded to the spirits sector through this week's Autumn Budget statement from Chancellor Rishi Sunak or just a buzz for Halloween, spirits are the top hitters for new products this week.

Dead Man’s Fingers Black and White rum variants added to Halewood portfolio

Dead Man’s Fingers has introduced two new variants to its rum portfolio – Black Rum and White Rum.

The Halewood Artisanal Spirits-owned business is taking an “unconventional approach” to some of the more traditional rum styles on the market. It said its White Rum is vibrant and full of character, with hints of vanilla and tropical fruit, making it ideal for delicious daiquiris, mojitos or even enjoying over ice with cola.

While, the Black Rum variant, which is a naval-style rum, bottled at 40% ABV, offers rich notes of molasses and dark, runny caramel. It is recommended for being served over ice with ginger beer, or as a base for cocktails, such as a Mai Tai or a Zombie.

Dead Man’s Fingers Rum global marketing manager Rachel Adams said: “Since its inception, Dead Man’s Fingers has been all about breathing new life into the rum category, challenging perceptions and experimenting with the latest flavour trends. This approach has helped us secure strong growth for the brand, making it the fastest growing flavoured/spiced rum range, which is also 85% incremental to category growth.

“With our new launches, we bring this same vibrant attitude to re-invigorate what are generally considered to be more traditional rum expressions, and ultimately continue to grow the category and bring more consumers in. Furthermore, with their eye-catching gold and silver bottles, they’re guaranteed to stand out on the shelf/back bar while also providing great gifting options in the run-up to Christmas.”

Dead Man’s Fingers Black Rum is available to all channels now, in 70cl bottles. While the White Rum (70cl at 37.5% ABV) is exclusively available via Tesco and Booker until 1 January, when it will be available to all channels

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Double delight: two variants launched by Dead Man's Fingers

Glenfiddich suits clothing brand Mr Porter for whisky tie-up

Scotch whisky brand Glenfiddich has teamed up with menswear brand Mr Porter to create a new expression of whisky that is limited to only 1,500 bottles worldwide.

This is the first venture into the world of spirits for Mr Porter, which will see the complex 20-year-old whisky that produces “layers of fudge, spiced oak and caramelised demerara sugar”.

The single malt has been curated by Mr Porter creative director Ben Palmer under the guidance of Glenfiddich malt master Brian Kinsman. They hand selected casks of new American oak, ex-Bourbon and European oak sherry casks, to bring together the “deep, silky smooth single malt”. This use of Glenfiddich's innovative Solera technique combines the three casks to create a bigger, richer and more complex flavour.

Kinsman said: “Innovation, craft, style and curation remains at the heart of both brands. Where Glenfiddich’s highly creative nature and diligent techniques have seen the brand create the best quality and innovative whiskies for 134 years, Mr Porter’s meticulous sourcing of the world’s leading lifestyle labels and brands has made it the world destination for style.”

Glenfiddich presented by Mr Porter will be available only to consumers based in the UK with an RRP of £300 per bottle.

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Limited release: each bottle of Glenfiddich presented by Mr Porter will cost £300

New vintage from whisky distiller anCnoc

Whisky business anCnoc has released 2009 Vintage this week, which is a special limited-edition expression.

It showcases the heritage and skill of Knockdhu’s small distillery team in creating what it calls “a distinctive yet approachable whisky, with passion, tradition and craftsmanship distilled into every bright golden drop”.

The variant is said to have a delicate spicy, woody nose that combines with anCnoc’s honey and citrus notes, having been matured in a combination of first-fill Spanish oak butts and ex-Bourbon American oak barrels. The taste profile is claimed to have flavours of rich spice, sweet green apple, dark chocolate and butterscotch, with a smooth finish.

Vintage 2009 is crafted at anCnoc’s Knockdhu Distillery in the small village of Knock, by Huntly in Aberdeenshire, where distillery manager Gordon Bruce and his long-standing team dedicate themselves to the traditional craft of making excellent whisky.

Bruce said: “We’ve been waiting 12 years for this vintage and it has definitely been worth the wait. This is a dram that has all the light, fresh qualities of anCnoc that are so loved by our drinkers, but there’s also a rich spiciness and complexity from its time in the casks.

‘It’s always a joy to release a new whisky out into the world. I’m particularly proud that the character of this new vintage captures the way we do things at Knockdhu, and the traditions we hold dear, yet it still tastes like a very modern single malt. [The expression] will be a real treat for whisky drinkers looking for something a little bit different to explore, or as a special addition to the Christmas list of anyone who appreciates a well-crafted single malt.”

AnCnoc 2009 Vintage is bottled in 70cl at 46% ABV, non-chilled filtered and with natural colour. Only 1,320 cases are available for UK and global markets, sold through independent and specialist retailers and whisky shops with an RRP of £50.

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Worth the wait: the new whisky has been ageing for 12 years

Black Cow Christmas Spirit vodka makes comeback

After the success of Black Cow Christmas Spirit in 2020, which sold out in just under 48 hours, the vodka brand is bringing back its limited-edition spirit for Christmas this year.

After initially launching in 50cl bottles, Black Cow Christmas Spirit will be available in 70cl bottles due to its popularity during last year’s festive season. Christmas Spirit, which launched for the first time in November 2020, is the brand's most successful launch to date after selling out in under two days.

The 70cl bottle (with an RRP of £32) takes its inspiration from the Christmas pudding, with citrus, cloves, cinnamon, figs, currents, raisins and vanilla all macerated in Black Cow vodka. The result is said to be a rich amber spirit packed with an elegant, festive spice flavour.

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Success breeds success: Black Cow Christmas Spirt is back

Adnams brings blackcurrant gin to the party

Suffolk-based Adnams has paid homage to the abundance of blackcurrants across East Anglia by producing a fruit-forward, hedgerow-style gin, using locally grown blackcurrants.

The native berries are a hero ingredient in the distillation process, creating the distinctive flavour of the new Copper House Blackcurrant Gin, with head distiller John McCarthy using around 40kg of blackcurrants for every 1,100 bottles produced.

Released this week, the new blackcurrant edition of the Copper House range is said to have been developed from a unique recipe, distilling East Anglian blackcurrants with a selection of familiar London Dry botanicals and a large helping of juniper berries. Adnams claimed the bitter-sweet blackcurrants and citrus-heavy juniper deliver a delicious duet on the palate, while sweet, warm, woody flavours come through on the finish thanks to the addition of intensely aromatic botanicals including star anise, liquorice root and cassia bark. 

McCarthy said: “The recipe called for lots of fruit and we were delighted to showcase the abundance of blackcurrants grown in East Anglia. We built the recipe from there; deciding to balance the crisp blackcurrant fruit and juniper’s tart citrus flavours with botanicals that deliver sweet, woody accents, producing a gin that's evocative of an English hedgerow.” 

Adnams Copper House Blackcurrant Gin has on sale at £29.99 per bottle, which is 40% ABV.

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Homage to East Anglian fruit: Adnams Copper House Blackcurrant Gin

First calvados from French producer Maisson Sassy

Maisson Sassy has released its first calvados from its orchards in Normandy, France.

Maison Sassy co-founder Xavier d’Audiffret Pasquier said: “For our Sassy Calvados, we have distilled a young fruity cider of one to three months old and used a column copper still to distil it, giving the eau de vie a fresh, clean fruit taste.

“We distil 10,000 litres of cider a day on the copper still, which runs 24/7 to give a continuity to the taste. We keep 30% of the previous year’s eau de vie in barrels and, on the last blending session before bottling, we add 70% of the new eau de vie to the 30%. This is Sassy’s version of a perpetual solera system.”

He added Sassy Calvados is 40% ABV and aged in oak casks for a minimum of two years. The ageing process starts in small oak barrels (300 litres) to bring structure to the eau-de-vie, which is then transferred into barrels up to 2,000 litres.

The company uses barrels that are between 40 and 80 years old, which are about to run out of tannins to highlight the fruit.

Pressing takes place in October and November, with a slow alcoholic fermentation at 10°C to 12°C and maturation on fine lees. The apples are picked by hand to retain their fresh flavours, and not swept by tractor from the ground as is the norm for many large-scale producers.

Sassy Calvados’s mouthfeel is said to be dominated by green apples and white flowers backed by a surge of freshness. Its colour is light gold with shades of brandy. It has a nose of acidulous, tart apples.

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Debut calvados: the latest release from Maison Sassy

Don’t rush, take the sloe boat

Boatyard Distillery has launched a new variant called Sloe Boat Gin, which is bottled at 29.8% ABV in 70cl containers with an RRP of £29.50.

To create the new expression, Boatyard Distillery has followed a classic recipe and is steeping wild-harvested sloe berries for six months in a bespoke gin. Some 420g of sloe berries are used in each bottle, which the company claimed is more than any other sloe gin, which are then gently sweetened with sustainably sourced sugar. Nothing else is added to the spirit.

Completely natural, Boatyard Sloe Boat Gin is said to have an appealing Bordeaux colour and is rich with attractive fruit notes, including sweet plum and cassis, almond, juniper and sloe berries.

Sloe Boat Gin can be sipped neat or mixed in a variety of cocktails. The Boatyard team recommends to shake it in a Charlie Chaplin cocktail.

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Berry good: Boatyard Sloe Boat Gin at bottled at 29.8% ABV

TV campaign from Whitley Neill

Premium gin brand Whitley Neill launched its first ever TV campaign, which hit screens earlier this week.

The advertising campaign highlights the brand’s London provenance while showcasing creator Johnny Neill’s global inspiration behind the core four gins – London Dry, Rhubarb & Ginger, Raspberry and Blood Orange.

The new advert stars actress Evie Brodie in the lead role as she travels around the world enjoying the different flavoured expressions, finishing at The City of London Distillery, the home of Whitley Neill Gin. The voiceover is provided by actress and singer, Billie Piper.

Simon Jackman, Senior Global Brand Manager for Whitley Neill Gin said: “It’s been a big year for Whitley Neill Gin as we moved production to our City of London Distillery. We are continuing to drive awareness for the brand with the launch of our biggest ever ad campaign and first ever TV appearance. The campaign brings to life the ethos of Whitley Neill, featuring our new home at the City of London Distillery, as well as the countries and cultures that have provided the inspiration for our range of flavours. This will also be pulled through into all our social assets and POS materials that we will be providing for retailers and licensees over the next few months, helping to drive sales of the range in the run-up to Christmas”.

The £5m campaign, which runs from October to mid-December, will include the new TV advert as well as significant outdoor print advertising and social media support. 

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On the small screen: Whitley Neill is advertising its four variants

Pale & Ginger launch for Shandy Shack

British craft shandy brand Shandy Shack has added a new drink to its range in the form of Pale & Ginger shandy.

The new combination sees pale ale mixed with a glug of ginger ale for a refreshing, lightly spiced shandy the brand says “tastes like cosy nights by an open fire”. At a lower ABV of 2.2% and 94 calories per 330ml ready-to-drink can, the Pale & Ginger is said to be the perfect choice for ringing in the season’s Bonfire Night festivities in moderation.

Like Shandy Shack’s two other brews – the Elderflower Lager Top and the IPA Shandy – the Pale & Ginger is vegan, gluten-free, made from 100% natural ingredients and will launch on 5 November.

Ed Stapleton, Co-Founder of Shandy Shack co-founder Ed Stapleton said: “It’s been brilliant to see the incredible reception our shandies have received this summer, particularly when the sun was shining but we also want to challenge the preconceptions of shandy being a fair-weather drink, which is why we’re launching our tasty new Pale & Ginger shandy. Its spiced flavour profile makes it ideal for cosy winter nights in, and at 2.2% ABV, you won’t regret a few cans in front of the fire. It’s never been cooler to be pale and ginger.”

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Shandy Shack's new drink: pale ale and ginger ale in a can at 2.2% ABV

If you have any new products that are being released to the on-trade, email the details with high resolution images before Thursday at midday for potential inclusion on Friday’s article to tnel.yyblq@jeoz.pbz​​​​. 

Related topics: Spirits & Cocktails

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