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The Find: December 2013

Posted on  | December 2, 2013   Bookmark and Share
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DAMOISEAU AIMS TO EXPAND THE RHUM AGRICOLE MARKET

The small, craft-ish category of Rhum Agricole has a new player: Rhum Damoiseau, the leading producer of Guadeloupe. Essentially the opposite of industrial rum distilled from molasses, Rhum Agricole production begins with aromatic fresh sugarcane juice and yields a more terroir-driven spirit. Damoiseau is bringing to the U.S. a Virgin Cane Rhum Blanc (SRP $32), featuring natural sugarcane aromas and tropical flavors; and VSOP ($42), aged four years in re-charred bourbon casks, imparting a mahogany color and long, smooth finish. Imported by Clément USA, Rhum Damoiseau is currently available in NY, NJ, CT, MA, DC and FL; additional markets will open in 2014.

 damoiseaurhum.com

BOOM! HERE COMES LOCK STOCK & BARREL RYE

Cooper Spirits Co., the firm that was founded with the release of artisanal French liqueur St-Germain, has stepped into the whiskey realm with Lock Stock & Barrel Rye. Created with demanding spirits connoisseurs in mind, LSB is double-distilled from 100% rye, unfiltered, and aged for 13 years in charred American oak barrels. Robust and spicy, the whiskey is potent at 101.3 proof, with a distinctive toffee character. It’s a limited run, but with national availability and a nostalgic graphic appeal; SRP $119.

cooperspirits.com

 

 

DEVOTION ORANGE VODKA MAKES GLUTEN- & SUGAR-FREE OFFICIAL

Devotion is the first vodka brand to get approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) to have the words “Gluten-Free” and “No Added Sugar” printed on the bottle. Granted, many spirits not based on grain are gluten-free, but Devotion, which is 100% corn-based, is the first vodka certified as such. Also, Devotion teamed up with Allen Flavors (maker of Arizona Iced Tea) to develop a process of eliminating sugars as a flavoring agent in vodka. Energized by the TTB approval, the company plans a roll-out to all 50 states in 2014. Devotion features five flavors (Wild Cherry, Coconut, Blood Orange, Black and Blue and “The Perfect Cosmo”) along with the original; SRP is $19.99.

devotionvodka.com

 

 

OLD SCHOOL: ‘SOBIESKI SILVER’ TARGETS AN UNDER-SERVED SENIOR DEMOGRAPHIC

“A pet peeve of mine has always been the way the spirits industry only speaks to the LDA to 35-year-old consumer base,” complains Chester Brandes, CEO of Imperial Brands. “It’s like after 35, you can’t be sexy or cool or have a life.” Brandes is betting that older consumers are a lucrative, untapped market. His Sobieski Silver campaign kicked off at The Villages, a retirement community in Palm Bay, FL, which houses 70,000 people and contains four liquor stores.

Sobieski—the fastest spirits brand ever to reach
1 million cases in the U.S. market—began doing tasting seminars at The Villages’ social clubs around a “Truth in Vodka” theme. Quickly, The Villages became Sobieski’s largest account in Florida. “This group likes the plastic 1.75ml bottles with handles, and they are concerned with the price value relationship,” explains Brandes. “Nobody in this business was engaging them. They are brand loyal, until someone gives them a reason to switch, and that’s what we did.”

Sobieski Silver is moving across the country into other markets, and Brandes is working on a program to celebrate bartenders.“Not mixologists,” he emphasizes. “I’m talking about bartenders who have been interacting with consumers for 30 years and don’t make cocktails that require 20 ingredients.”

ibrandsinc.com | truthinvodka.com

 


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