Pernod Ricard announces the sale of Glenallachie distillery


Pernod Ricard, the world’s number 2 in wines and spirits, announced today the signing of an agreement with Billy Walker, Graham Stevenson and Trisha Savage of The Glenallachie Consortium, an independent Scottish company producing whiskies and offering a premium selection, for the sale of the Glenallachie distillery, located in Scotland.
The acquisition has been operating through Pernod Ricard’s subsidiary, Chivas Brothers Limited.
The transaction includes the Glenallachie single malt brand and the MacNair’s and White Heather blended scotch brands.
The closing of the transaction is subject to the customary conditions and will take place before the end of 2017.

An article from Vinexpo Newsroom


Moët Hennessy acquires Washington’s Woodinville Whiskey Company.

The whisky industry is on the move, with a lot of acquisitions and mergers in 2017.
On 12 July, Moët Hennessy, the wine and spirits division of LVMH, announced the acquisition of Woodinville Whiskey Company (WWC).
Founded in 2010 by friends Orlin Sorensen and Brett Carlile, WWC has established itself in the world of crafted whiskeys focused on Washington’s state market only.
Mr. Christophe Navarre, President and CEO of Moët Hennessy, said, “We are convinced that Woodinville fits very well within the Moët Hennessy portfolio. Orlin and Brett have done a great job to establish Woodinville Whiskey as an iconic brand in Washington state with significant potential for expanded distribution through our US and international networks. While we are no strangers to whiskey, with our Glenmorangie and Ardbeg single malts, we have much to learn from Orlin and Brett about American distilling and look forward to this important new partnership.”
Mr. Sorensen added, “We are very proud about what we have accomplished since founding Woodinville Whiskey Company just a few years ago. As we considered the many strategic opportunities before us, it was clear that being part of the Moët Hennessy portfolio and distribution network will allow us to reach our goals much more quickly. Brett and I are thrilled to continue leading the business and to be part of the accelerated growth we expect to achieve as part of Moët Hennessy, and its parent LVMH, the world’s leading luxury goods company.”
Situated in the town of Woodinville, a dynamic beverage hub with more than 100 wineries, microbreweries, distilleries, and cidreries with more than 300,000 annual visitors, WWC established a new tasting room in 2014.
After launching in 2015 its new five-year-old Straight Bourbon, WWC was awarded “Whiskey of the Year” for 2016 by the American Distilling Institute. Its five-year-old Straight Rye followed in 2016, and was named Best Rye Whiskey for 2017, also by the American Distilling Institute.

An article from Vinexpo Newsroom



A cat that was poisoned by antifreeze, later renamed ‘Tipsy’ after its ordeal, was saved by Australian vets who just so happened to have a bottle of vodka lying around.
A black tomcat has used up one of its nine lives when it was brought into the RSPCA animal hospital in Wacol in Queensland, Australia with acute renal failure. As reported by ABC News, the cat was rushed to the vets after being found near a tyre store in Lowood, west of Brisbane, suffering from the effects of antifreeze consumption.
According to vet Sarah Kanther, Tipsy had less than an hour to live. Fortunately for the feline, one of the nurses happened to have a bottle of vodka lying around and both Kanther and vet nurse Dylan Gerard were able to quickly administer it in a diluted form via in IV drip.
The enzyme in the body that breaks down the antifreeze also metabolises alcohol, and as Kanther explains, “once you put the alcohol into his blood it metabolises that instead, and gives the antifreeze time to pass in a less toxic form”.
The vets have been unable to contact Tipsy’s owners and it remains unclear as to whether the cat was intentionally baited.

An article from The Drinks Business by Phoebe French

Grape Britain: UK merry on organic wine as sales soar


Rise in number of environmentally conscious consumers lead to boom in sales of organic wines, beers and spirits.
It is made from grapes grown without pesticides and chemicals, is kind to the environment and rarely triggers hangovers. Sales of organic wine are booming in the UK as part of the growing trend for “conscious consumerism”.
According to the organic food and farming group the Soil Association, sales of organic beers, wines and spirits rose by 14.3% last year to reach nearly £6m, driven by strong demand for wines where consumers are increasingly seeking “natural” ingredients and reassurances about provenance. Still a relatively small share (2.2%) of the overall UK organic market, sales are now growing at double the rate of the market as a whole.

An article from The Guardian by Rebecca Smithers


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The Tequila Regulatory Council (TRC) is threatening to sue Dutch brewer Heineken over its use of the word ‘Tequila’ in its Tequila-flavoured Desperados beer brand.

The TRC, a trade group of Mexican Tequila producers, claim that the beer is in violation of its DO rules, which state that to use the word ‘Tequila’ a beverage must contain a significant quantity of the spirit.
Desperados is a beer flavoured with Tequila and lemon and aged in Tequila barrels, however the TRC claim tests carried out in Madrid prove that it doesn’t actually contain any Tequila and therefore does not qualify to claim use of the name.
The council has been preparing a case against Heineken’s Desperados brand for the past 10 year but haven’t had the funds to pursue it, until now.
“We cannot permit someone unscrupulously to affect Tequila’s prestige,” Ramón González, CRT director-general said speaking to the Financial Times. “Either they take the word Tequila off it, or they put some Tequila in.” If they refuse, “we’ll have no choice but to fight this [in court]”.
It comes shortly after the sale of George Clooney’s Tequila brand Casamigos to Diageo for $1 billion, signalling the category’s continued move upmarket. Further highlighting its growing success, in February José Cuervo, the world’s biggest Tequila producer, raised more than $900m through an IPO.

An article from The Drinks Business by Lauren Eads



A distillery claiming to be Scotland’s first fully organic whisky distillery has officially opened, three months after starting production.

The Ncn’ean distillery, which occupies former farm buildings on the remote Drimnin Estate on the Morvern peninsular in Argyll overlooking Tobermory and the Sound of Mull, claims to be the first organic distillery in Scotland. It will locally grown organic barley and spring water to make its “experimental” whiskies, it said.

In addition to its organic status, the distillery has been designed to use green electricity that is generated on the estate from a hydro-river scheme, and re-uses waste heat through the warehouse. The by-products of the distillation process will be used as feed and fertiliser for the estates farms.

According to the distillery will produce just under 100,000 litres of pure alcohol each year, and is set to release its first batch of “young, light” whisky in 2020. However next month it is launching an offer whereby 60 members of the public will be able to buy a barrel that yields 300 bottles, for around £3,000 each.

The distillery, which as designed by master-distiller Dr Jim Swan received investment from the Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and a £431,291 grant through the Food Processing, Marketing and Co-operation grant scheme, last year, db’s sister publication, The Spirit Business reported.

An article from The Drinks Business by Arabella Mileham