The House of Camus launches an Irish whiskey

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Cognac producer Camus has unveiled a project to make an Irish whiskey, using old cognac barrels with ex-bourbon casks blended and aged on an Irish island.
Lambay whiskey takes its name from the island off the Irish coast near Dublin, which is owned by the Baring family, of Baring Bank fame.
The whiskey was unveiledbut it will be formally launched at the TFWA travel retail/duty free show in Cannes in October. It comprises a blend and a single malt, both 40% abv.
The suggested retail prices are €25-30 and €45-50 respectively.
The young spirit (4YO for the small batch blend and 7YO for the unpeated single malt) comes from West Cork Distillers. Camus master blender Patrick Leger, then blends the whiskeys and the casks are left on the island to marry and age.
The company has experienced the effects of a maritime climate on the ageing process through its Île de Ré Fine Island Cognac. Leger said that ageing close to the sea means more alcohol than volume is lost than in a ‘dry’ cellar and apart from possible salty notes, the humidity gives a roundness to the spirit.
Both Camus CEO, Cyril Camus and Leger were at great pains to stress that the whiskey is still “work in progress” but the three-year project is in its “final stages”.
Just as Lambay island is privately owned and strictly by invitation only, both parties see Lambay whiskey as a limited edition, luxury, bespoke product for discerning palates.
Camus said there are no immediate plans to build a distillery on the island but growing barley on the island and using it for distillation is a possible long term plan.

An article from Drinks International by Christian Davis
http://drinksint.com/news/fullstory.php/aid/7241/The_House_of_Camus_launches_an_Irish_whiskey.html

Conigliaro debuts cocktail bar in Cognac

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Renowned drinks expert Tony Conigliaro has opened a new Cognac-focused cocktail bar in France, marking his first international venture outside of the UK.
The new bar, called Luciole, is located on the banks of River Charente in Cognac. Opening earlier this month, Luciole is housed in an historic building that was formerly a horse and carriage stables.
The bar has a vast and unique Cognac selection representing the whole of the Cognac category. Carefully curated by Conigliaro and his business partner Guillaume Le Dorner – who will manage the premises ­– the collection is displayed on the “Cognac Wall”, a signature feature of the bar.
The 50-cover bar offers an “all-encompassing Cognac experience”, where guests will be able to stay, dine and familiarise themselves with all of the leading Cognac houses. An accessible drinks menu allows visitors to discover Cognac through a variety of angles: age statement, vintages, terroirs, crus and brands.
The cocktail menu features 18 drinks, with a focus on Cognac. House creations include long refreshing drinks such as a Spitfire – Cognac VSOP, crème de pêche, lemon juice, sugar syrup and white wine, and Conigliaro’s twist on a classic New York Sour, which matches a Cognac sour with a peach liqueur.
Shorter, more “serious” drinks include Avignon, which combines Avignon incense, Cognac and Roman chamomile syrup – which is part of a drink series on meditation and religion named after the French city, also known as the “City of Popes”.
The kitchen, a partnership with a local chef, currently offers a simple menu of classic French bar food. Sharing plates include classic French charcuterie and saucission, as well as local cheeses and a tartlets menu.

An article from The Spirits Business by Nicola Carruthers
https://www.thespiritsbusiness.com/2017/08/conigliaro-debuts-cocktail-bar-in-cognac/

The World’s Most Expensive Cognacs

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1. Hennessy Beauté du Siécle Grand Champagne Cognac If you thought Hennessy’s Richard Hennessy was pushing the boat out at an average of $3543, then wait till you find the Beauty of the Century on a wine list – its average retail price is $111,046. It does come in a melted-aluminum chest, though, and the bottle is Baccarat crystal. The spirit is pretty rare too, with the youngest component being 47 years old.

2. Louis XIII de Rémy Martin Rare Cask Grande Champagne Cognac

3. Louis XIII de Rémy Martin Black Pearl Grande Champagne Cognac The Louis XIII range is expensive even at the entry level ($2840 average price), but with up to 1200 eaux-de-vie from Grande Champagne going into it, that’s to be expected. Add on Baccarat bottles and you start really pushing the boat out. The Rare Cask bottling was put together by previous cellarmaster Pierre Trichet and has an average price of $27,404, while the Black Pearl (again in a Baccarat decanter) will set you back $23,644 on average.

4. Hine 250th Anniversary Cognac With a history stretching back to 1763, it’s unsurprising that Hine has plenty of old stocks of Cognac in its vaults. This was released to mark the company’s 250th anniversary (obviously) and is a vintage 1953 Cognac and it’s in a specially designed decanter. All of which goes some way towards justifying the $15,994 average price tag.

5. A. Hardy Le Printemps Cognac

6. A. Hardy l’Ete Cognac

7. A. Hardy Privilege Caryota Cognac The Hardy name has been part of the Cognac tapestry since 1863, when an Englishman of that name relocated to the Charente. The first two of these Cognacs are part of a four seasons series, with the Printemps (Spring) bottling – in a Lalique decanter, naturally – hitting an average price of $15,830. The other bottling (Summer) is also clad in Lalique and costs $15,024. The Privilege bottling (also in Lalique) is made from pre-1014 eaux-de-vie and carries an average price of $13,327.

8. Pierre Chabanneau Fine Champagne Cognac Originally an independent producer and shipper of vintage Cognacs, Chabanneau later became part of the Camus Cognac house. These vintage bottlings date back to the 19th Century, explaining the $13,326 average price tag. At least they don’t come dressed up in a fancy bottle, though.

9. Martell Premier Voyage Cognac Released for the company’s 300th anniversary in 2015, the older eaux-de-vie in this bottling are from 1868, so it’s certainly got rarity value. It also has a swish decanter and a wooden stand. Only 300 were released, so that extra rarity boosts the price to $12,021.

10. Hennessy Timeless Cognac This one ticks all the boxes, really. It’s from a run of 2000 bottles and it’s a blend of the 11 best vintages of the 20th Century. Released in time for the Millennium frenzy, it – almost inevitably – arrives in a Baccarat crystal decanter.

An article from Wine Searcher
https://www.wine-searcher.com/m/2017/08/the-worlds-most-expensive-cognacs

Jim Beam releases vanilla-flavoured Bourbon

Beam Suntory has expanded its Jim Beam Bourbon range with the launch of a vanilla-flavoured expression in the US.
Jim Beam Vanilla blends Madagascar vanilla bean liqueur with Kentucky straight Bourbon whiskey.
Bottled at 70 proof, the new expression has hints of “oak and caramel” Bourbon notes, and a “sweet vanilla” aroma.
Bartenders who received early samples of the product have suggested mixing Jim Beam Vanilla with cola and a cherry garnish.
Jim Beam’s global brand partner actress Mila Kunis will be featured in social and digital content around the official campaign launch this autumn.
“I’m thrilled to collaborate with my friends in Kentucky to debut Jim Beam Vanilla,” said Kunis. “If you’re like me, you love the taste of Bourbon but are sometimes looking for something a little different. Jim Beam Vanilla is perfect when I want a touch of flavour.”
Jim Beam’s seventh generation master distiller Fred Noe, added: “Jim Beam pioneered flavours in the Bourbon category several years ago and the trend has continued to grow. We are always innovating, and are proud to offer a variety of flavours in our portfolio.”
The new expression joins the brand’s flavoured portfolio including Apple, Kentucky Fire, Honey and Red Stag by Jim Beam Black Cherry.

An article from The Spirits Business by Nicola Carruthers
https://www.thespiritsbusiness.com/2017/08/jim-beam-releases-vanilla-flavoured-bourbon/

Puni whisky makes UK debut

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Puni, Italy’s first and only malt whisky distillery, will make its UK debut this month thanks to a sales and marketing agreement with distributor Magnetic Brands.
The Italian distillers will introduce its ‘Nova’ and ‘Alba’ three-year-old whiskies to the UK which have been distilled with imported Scottish pot stills at its modern facility in Glurns in the Vinschgau valley, Italy.
“Puni’s a fantastic ‘best-kept secret’ in the whisky world,” said Dave Steward of Magnetic. “Few have heard about the area, let alone the whisky – but both are a delight.
“The family’s been determined to get everything just right – as shown by importing genuine Scottish stills and bringing over whisky experts to install them. This attention to detail, the area’s climate and unique ingredients mean these are truly special whiskies.”
Puni’s first whisky was released in 2015 using local rye and its stock is barrel-aged directly beneath the distillery in a converted WWII military bunker.

An article from Drinks International by Shay Waterworth
http://drinksint.com/news/fullstory.php/aid/7281/Puni_whisky_makes_UK_debut.html

 

NEW BREWDOG BAR TO STRADDLE US MEXICO BORDER

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Ever controversial, BrewDog is planning to open a craft beer bar on the USA/Mexico border, making a physical statement about its values of “collaboration and inclusivity”, alluding to US President Donald Trump’s plans to build a 1,000 mile wall between the two countries.
Named ‘The Bar on the Edge’, the exact location of the remote bar remains a secret, but will aim to reflect the Scottish brewer’s ambition to expand to the “farthest reaches”.
All BrewDog has said is that half of the bar will be in Texas and the other half in Chihuahua, Mexico, and that it will be built out of old shipping containers.
The geographical border will be represented by a dotted line across the centre of the bar and along the venue’s outdoor seating area, with US beers served on the Mexico side and Mexican beers on the US side, as well as BrewDog’s range of craft beers, brewed in Columbus Ohio.
“Beer has always been a unifying factor between cultures – and our business was born from collaboration and an inclusive approach – so we thought it would be fun to place the bar a few feet further to actually cross the US-Mexico border too,” said James Watt, co-founder at BrewDog.
“We will request official permission from the local authorities to put it there and adhere to any red tape stuff, but I guess it would make it more difficult to build a wall if there’s a BrewDog bar in the way. We’re planning on putting the bar there anyway until someone tells us to move it.”
Although the bar will be nowhere near any regular footfall, BrewDog hopes it will become a “magnetic pole” for craft beer fans on both sides of the border to come together.
The announcement will be celebrated with a Tex-Mex craft beer event at the brewery’s DogTap taproom in Columbus, Ohio, this weekend, with beers from Texan breweries Alamo Beer Company, Brash Brewing, No Label Brewing, 512 Brewing, Copperhead Brewing and Buffalo Bayou set to feature alongside craft beer cocktails with Mexican mezcal and Tequila.

An article from The Drink Business by Lauren Eads
https://www.thedrinksbusiness.com/2017/08/new-brewdog-bar-to-straddle-us-mexico-border/

Demand for Wine and Spirit education ‘higher than ever’, says WSET

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New figures from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) reveal that demand for wine and spirits education is higher than ever, as more businesses recognise the return on investment in educated staff.
WSET, the largest global provider of qualifications in the field of wines and spirits, is reporting a record 85,487 candidates globally in the academic year finishing 31 July 2017, an increase of 19% on last year, marking 15 years of growth. The UK continued to lead the global table with candidate numbers up 14% to 19,401. However, Mainland China and USA followed closely behind both seeing impressive growth with candidates up 41% to 12,813 and 48% to 11,487 respectively.
Top 10 WSET Markets for the Academic Year 2016/17 (growth from previous year):
UK (+14%)
Mainland China (+41%)
USA (+48%)
Canada (+4%)
Hong Kong (+16%)
France (+32%)
Australia (+27%)
Taiwan (+5%)
South Korea (+13%)
Switzerland (+11%)
Trends behind the UK Growth
According to Wine Intelligence UK Landscapes 2016 Report (released June 2017) the number of regular wine consumers in the UK has dropped from 29 million two years ago to 28 million today. The silver lining for the trade is that wine consumers are showing higher spend per bottle and greater product interest when choosing wine to drink both at home and in restaurants.
The report notes that supermarkets are seeing consumers focus less on discount multi-buy offers and more on region of origin, brand awareness and recommendations, and generally becoming more adventurous with their choices. Evidence from a new study by Franklin & Sons has revealed similar behaviour for spirits purchasing, with consumers favouring more premium brands.
The need for more knowledgeable staff is therefore greater than ever, encouraging businesses to prioritise formal training and accredited qualifications for staff to cater to customers’ discerning tastes and drive profits.
Looking Ahead
In the last year, WSET expanded its global reach with the opening of its first international office in Hong Kong and launching courses in new markets including Czech Republic and Montenegro. WSET welcomed over 100 new Approved Programme Providers and there are now 750 Providers offering WSET courses to wine, spirits and sake trade professionals and consumer enthusiasts in over 70 countries. In the UK, a total of 243 Approved Programme Providers now offer WSET courses.
This year, as the USA remains a strong region for growth across the wine, spirits and sake arenas, WSET will be cementing its presence in the market with the appointment of a dedicated team on-territory that will nurture the future potential.
The new academic year will also see the release of the freshly updated Level 2 Award in Spirits and the availability of a full suite of printed materials for the Level 3 Award in Sake.
Ian Harris, WSET Chief Executive, says, “I am delighted to see that more and more businesses are recognising that education and well-trained staff are the foundations to better customer service and stronger profits. After another successful year for WSET we’re now setting out strategies to take our progress to the next level.”
Karen Douglas, WSET Director of Education, adds, “The new academic year will also see the release of an improved Level 2 Award in Spirits following the hard work of our Global Education team to make sure WSET offers the most up-to-date and best-in-class education through its network of Approved Programme Providers worldwide.”

An article from WSET Global
https://www.wsetglobal.com/news-events/news/2017/august/03/record-demand-for-wine-and-spirit-education/