With the holidays right around the corner, the new releases are hitting shelves, ready to be stocking stuffers. This week in particular was a busy one for both whiskey and agave releases. For starters, Diageo announced its 2020 Distillers Edition. This annual collection sees a core bottling from one of the brand’s distilleries and gives it a secondary fortified wine maturation.
Also announced this week was a new tequila and mezcal brand. What’s unique about this one is that it’s backed by one of the most legendary basketball players in the world. Who could that be? Here’s a hint: it’s not Michael Jordan. His tequila launched last year. Don’t worry, we won’t keep you in suspense for much longer. We’ve got all the details on this brand and more in Distiller’s Friday Roundup for November 20, 2020!
Last Chance for Distiller Pro Members to Get $20 Discount To Whiskies Of The World Virtual Experience
Last week we shared the news that Distiller Pro members would receive a $20 discount on the full price of the upcoming Whiskies of the World at home virtual experience, called W.O.W Them At Home. The one hour virtual masterclass is set for January 14th at 5:30pm PT/8:30pm EST, and is led by 10 whiskey experts from different distilleries around the world. Attendees also receive 10 sipping samples in a souvenir box along with a WOW branded souvenir tasting glass.
If you’re already a Distiller Pro member then you’ve received your code via email (if you didn’t receive it for some reason, please let us know right away at [email protected]). If you sign up for Distiller Pro between today and November 25th, you will receive the code via email a few minutes later.
Enter your Distiller Pro exclusive promotional code at checkout to drop your ticket price to $65.
The first three events have already sold out, so don’t wait — the discount code is only valid until all spots are reserved.
Remember, the discount code is active until November 25nd, 2020 at 11:59 PM.
Not Available In The Following Markets: AL, AK, AR, DE, HI, IA, ID, MD (Montgomery County only), ME, MI, MN, MS, MT, NH, NC, OH, OR, PA, UT, VT, VA, WV, WY.
Matthew McConaughey and Wild Turkey Honor “Local Legends”
This week, Matthew McConaughey and Wild Turkey took time to reach out to four “local legends” to speak about their work during the pandemic. These individuals were recognized as part of the brand’s “With Thanks” annual global give back campaign. As Wild Turkey Creative Director, McConaughey spoke personally with each individual in a virtual chat and surprised them with a token of appreciation to thank them for their efforts.
“The pandemic has affected all of us, so it felt more important than ever to recognize the unsung heroes who have consistently and steadfastly supported their neighbors and their communities,” said McConaughey.
“It’s often during the most challenging times that you see extraordinary acts of kindness and a commitment to help those in need,” said Wild Turkey Master Distiller Eddie Russell. “Wild Turkey was founded on community, and we’re grateful to work with Matthew to celebrate and lift up those who go above and beyond for their hometowns. These four Local Legends made an impact when it mattered the most and we’re thrilled to honor them.”
You can see the virtual chat videos here and see how these folks are helping their communities.
Wild Turkey Creative Director Matthew McConaughey and Master Distiller Eddie Russell /Photo Credit: Wild Turkey
Baker’s Launches Exclusive Fan Experience
This week Baker’s Bourbon announced a new initiative which allows those who have purchased their single barrel expression to track its journey. You can visit their website and enter in the serial number on the neck of your bottle. Then you can see the distinctive characteristics of your particular bourbon.
Additionally, for a limited time, you’ll be prompted at the end of your journey to enter a limited time program by adding your name, email address and date of birth. Then make sure to check your email to see if you’ve been selected for a special offer from the brand. This includes either a unique photo of yourself with Baker Beam and/or an exclusive tasting with Freddie Noe.
Diageo’s 2020 Distillers Collection Announced
This week Diageo announced the release of its 2020 Distillers Edition. This collection features some of the brand’s prominent single malt distilleries. These whiskies are made by taking a core bottling from the distillery featured as the base and giving it a secondary fortified wine maturation. For the second maturation, bespoke barrels are created with re-charred American oak bodies and charred cask heads made from new American oak. These bespoke casks are then filled with the fortified wine for a month and then the wine is dumped. Then the core offering from one distillation year rests for up to six months.
Diageo’s 2020 Distillers Edition Collection
Each bottle lists the date of distillation as well as the bottling date and batch number.
This bottling is made with Oban 14 Year distilled in 2006 and the wine here is Montilla Fino. It carries an SRP of $94.99.
This bottling is made with Talisker 10 Year distilled in 2010 and the wine here is amoroso sherry. It carries an SRP of $84.99.
This bottling is made with Lagavulin 16 Year distilled in 2005 and the wine here is Pedro Ximénez sherry. It carries an SRP of $109.99.
This bottling is made with Cragganmore 12 Year distilled in 2008 and the wine here is port. It carries an SRP of $84.99.
This bottling is made with Dalwhinnie 15 Year distilled in 2005 and the wine here is oloroso sherry. It carries an SRP of $84.99.
This bottling is made with Glenkinchie 12 Year distilled in 2008 and the wine here is amontillado sherry. It carries an SRP of $84.99.
Balblair Age Statement Collection Debuts in the US
This week Balblair announced its age statement collection would be arriving in the US. This collection was first revealed in June 2019 in other markets and is a departure from its previous vintage-only releases. Each single malt is bottled at natural color with no chill filtration at 46% ABV. In addition to the new age statements, the brand has also revamped its packaging.
Balblair Age Statement Collection /Photo Credit: Balblair
The 12 year matures in American oak ex-bourbon and double-fired American oak. It carries an SRP of $69.99.
The 15 year matures in American oak ex-bourbon and finishes in first-fill Spanish oak sherry butts. It carries an SRP of $119.99.
The 18 year aged in American oak ex-bourbon and is then finished in first-fill Spanish oak sherry butts. It carries an SRP of $209.99.
The 25 year matures initially in American oak ex-bourbon and is finished in Spanish oak oloroso sherry casks. It carries an SRP of $699.99.
The Balblair core collection is now available in the U.S. across eight states (CA, CO, IL MA, NH, NJ, NY and TX). Also, consumers can find the whiskies online and at fine retailers in each market. Beginning in 2021, Balblair will be available in additional markets.
Westward Whiskey Introduces Pinot Noir Cask
This week Oregon-based Westward Whiskey launched its Pinot Noir Cask finished American single malt whisky nationwide. Previously, this release had been limited to Oregon. This American single malt whiskey is fully matured before undergoing a secondary finishing process using French oak casks which held pinot noir wine. The whiskey matures for up to two years in these casks. The whiskey is created in partnership with a handful of iconic Willamette Valley producers, including Bergstrom Wines and Suzor Wines, among others. It retails for $89.99.
Additionally, the brand has also revamped the packaging for its core portfolio which includes a Stout Cask finish ($89.99) and the classic American Single Malt ($69.99). All three core releases are now available nationwide.
Buffalo Trace Releases 1995 Vintage O.F.C. Bourbon
This is the fifth limited-edition bourbon (and the fourth offered for sale) named after the O.F.C. Distillery, a National Historic Landmark known today as Buffalo Trace Distillery. Distilled in 1995, this Kentucky straight bourbon aged for 25 years before its bottling in 2020. Like previous releases, this bourbon will arrive in a wooden display box containing a provenance card. Inside the wooden box lies a crystal bottle with real copper lettering inlaid in the bottle with a hand applied paper label.
O.F.C. Vintage Bourbon 1995 is available in limited availability beginning December 2020. It carries an SRP of $2,500.
Andalusia Releases the First Bottled-in-Bond Texas Whiskey
This week, Andalusia Whiskey Co. based in Blanco, Texas released a Bottled-in-Bond Single Malt. This marks the first Texas bottled-in-bond whiskey released in the state. It is made from 100% malted barley and is aged for four years in 53-gallon, char #4 oak barrels. Of course it’s bottled at 100 proof. The whiskey is available exclusively at the distillery in the Texas Hill Country with an SRP of $70.
“Quality and authenticity have been our focus from day one,” said Co-Founder Ty Phelps. “We always knew we wanted to create a bottled-in-bond whiskey because it represented quality,” he continued.
“The Texas whiskey industry has seen amazing growth in both the number of distillers and quality of products. So it is important to us that we create something we are proud to share with people,” said Co-Founder Tommy Erwin.
Mezcal and Tequila Brand Lobos 1707 Launches, Backed by LeBron James
This week mezcal and tequila brand Lobos 1707 debuted its trademark in Mexico and the US. The independent spirits brand is backed by none other than basketball legend LeBron James. James and his partner Maverick Carter are part of Main Street Advisors’ (MSA) investment group which co-led the investment in Lobos 1707 with Mezorio Spirits. Notably, there are other NBA basketball players in the MSA investment group: Draymond Green and Anthony Davis.
“I knew the first time I tasted Lobos 1707 Tequila that it was special. When I learned more about the brand story and leadership team, I knew I wanted to be a part of it,” says James. “Lobos 1707 is about celebrating the strength of the group and bringing people together. It’s about shared passion and values. I love sipping tequila with my friends, and we want a brand that speaks to us.”
There are four expressions in the Lobos 1707 portfolio, three tequilas and one mezcal, which will be available online and in New York, California and Florida this month. The brand expects to expand nationwide in early 2021. The tequilas are produced in Los Altos, Jalisco and the mezcal is made in Oaxaca; all are 100% agave releases.
Lobos 1707 Tequila and Mezcal /Photo Credit: Lobos 1707
The Extra Añejo tequila is aged in American white oak for three years followed by a finishing in Pedro Ximénez barrels. It carries an SRP of $149.99.
The Reposado tequila is aged in American white oak for 6 months. Then a portion of the brand’s Extra Añejo tequila is added. This is followed by a finishing in Pedro Ximénez barrels. It carries an SRP of $47.99.
The Joven tequila is carbon-filtered and then finished in Pedro Ximénez wine barrels. It has a SRP of $44.99.
The mezcal is made from 100% espadín agave which are roasted in a conical Oaxacan open fire pit. After distillation it is bottled at 42% ABV. It carries an SRP of $54.99.
Looking to get your hands on one of the Diageo’s 2020 Distillers Edition Collection bottling?
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