From limited edition whiskies and new vermouth brands, to spiced rum and tequila liqueurs, we’ve rounded up some of the biggest new launches in the world of spirits.
Hernö Pink Bottle Gin
Swedish distillery Hernö has just unveiled its new, limited-edition Pink Bottle Gin. Founder Jon Hillgren claims that the launch came as a response to the ‘raft of flavoured and pink gin launches that… are watering down gin’s vast heritage and the craft behind it’.
Norway-based Aurora Spirit Distillery is set to launch ‘the world’s northernmost whisky’ next May.
The spirit is made with Nordic barley, pilsner malt and local spring water. After distillation, the spirit was matured in a mix of sherry casks, bourbon casks, and new oak barrels in underground storage vaults once part of a network of tunnels used by Nato during the Cold War.
The Bivrost Niflheim is the first of a series of limited editions that the distillery is planning to release biannually until their flagship Bivrost Whisky will be ready in 2025.
It’s said to be ‘fruity and sweet on the nose. On the palate it has a nice balance of sweetness, wood and spiciness, with a long and sweet finish’.
The distillery will be hosting a virtual presentation of the new release on 23 April.
The gin’s base consists of 96% organic wheat GNS. The spirit is heated to 60° and additioned with a spicy mix of juniper berries, coriander seeds and strawberries. The maceration lasts for 18 hours, before the remaining botanicals (including rose petals, cassia, black pepper, lemon zest and vanilla) are added. The liquid with the mix of spices and botanicals is then distilled and diluted with water from Hernö’s own well to bottling strength.
‘More and more “gin” is emerging that tastes anything but like juniper,’ says Hillgren. ‘That is why I believe that there needs to be greater compliance with the EU’s definition of what may be called just gin…
‘This latest tongue-in-cheek protest launch is our call out to people not to destroy gin’s heritage and history. It is a pink bottle of gin; the liquid is obviously transparent. It offers fruity and floral notes that so many are asking for but most importantly, it packs a juniper punch thanks to the extra amount of juniper used.’
The Duppy Share Spiced
Nothing’s going to stop spiced rum, not even a global pandemic. The latest that landed on our desks (well… our front doors) is a spicier expression of Duppy Share rum.
The new spirit is made with a base of aged Caribbean rum from Worthy Park (Jamaica) and Foursquare (Barbados) distilleries, infused with mainly pineapple and kola nut, plus vanilla, ginger, clove, nutmeg, orange, grapefruit and basil.
The Duppy Share suggests to mix its spiced expression with ginger beer, soda or cola, or to use as the base ingredient for a twist on classic cocktails such a pineapple Daiquiri.
Raasay While We Wait – Last Orders
The Isle of Raasay Distillery in Skye, Scotland, has revealed its fifth and final instalment of its single malt Scotch whisky series, While We Wait. It marks the end of the distillery’s countdown (which has taken five years) towards releasing the first legal single malt scotch whisky from the island.
Combining peated and unpeated spirit, matured in bourbon barrels and finished in first- and second-fill Tuscan red wine French oak casks for 18 months, Last Order has ‘smokiness on first nosing, a dry peatiness on the palate, and a dash of orange zest from the nose, with an oaky and buttery finish’.
‘Our team are constantly looking to push the boundaries of whisky making,’ said distillery co-founder Alasdair Day, ‘exploring the effect that different finishes and casks have on the flavour profile, and this spirit is the perfect embodiment of our ethos.’
Cazcabel Coconut liqueur
Another day, another liqueur, this time from Cazcabel Tequila, which has launched a new coconut expression. The use of coconut is a nod towards the ingredient being one of Jalisco’s biggest exports and is a follow up to the already launched coffee and honey expressions.
‘With flavoured spirits and premium tequila both experiencing huge global growth, adding another flavoured tequila to the Cazcabel range was a natural step,’ said brand owner, Paul Ferguson. ‘The flavours offer a great way to introduce new consumers into the tequila category.’
Mooted as a sipping tequila, Cazcabel Coconut is also recommended as a base for twists on classic long drinks and cocktails, such as the T&T (tequila and tonic) and Margarita.
J.J Whitley Watermelon & Lime Vodka
The only vodka in this week’s roundup, Halewood Wines & Spirits’ new J.J Whitley expression comes in the form of a watermelon and lime variant.
Said to deliver ‘a tropical burst of watermelon, lime oil and vanilla on the nose, with a sweeter yet subtle spiced finish on the palate’, the vodka has been released to satisfy drinkers after something refreshing for the summer months.
‘People want lighter and fresh flavours, but also want a drink with an edge – a slight sharpness that hits the palate,’ said Halewood’s marketing director James Stocker. ‘The subtle bitterness of the lime does exactly this and is a complete contrast to the vibrant watermelon.’
Suggested serves include The Watermelon Wonder Punch (J.J Whitley Watermelon & Lime Vodka, dry white wine, lime juice, lemonade) and Watermelon Caipiroska (J.J Whitley Watermelon & Lime Vodka, lime wedges and sugar).
Hotel Starlino Vermouth & Aperitivos
Luxury spirit and wine company Biggar and Leith has launched a range of vermouths and aperitivos under the Hotel Starlino brand.
Hailing from the Vergano family’s Torino Distillati in Piedmonte, northern Italy, the three drinks are a rosé, arancione and rosso and made by master distiller and winemaker Beppe Ronco.
‘Torino is the birthplace of vermouth and here at Torino Distillati we’ve been making them for around 100 years,’ he said. ‘We are seeing a huge resurgence of interest in vermouths and aperitivos and wanted to create something new, fresh and delicious to bring this forgotten but wonderful category back to life.’
Starlino Rosé (a pink vermouth) is made by blending rosé wine, spirit, pink grapefruit peel, orange peel and eight botanicals; Starlino Arancione (an orange vermouth) combines white wine, an orange distillate – distilled from IGP-certified Sicilian blood oranges – plus seven other herbs and botanicals; and Starlino Rosso (a red vermouth) is a classic ‘vermouth di Torino’, made from a blend of Italian white wine, Sicilian Ansonica and Cataratto wines, Marsala, and various botanicals.
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