Inventory for December 18th, 2016

In 2016’s last inventory Jose Cuervo launches it US4k Rolling Stones edition, the Spirit Business compiles a list of whisky brands to watch next year, the It’s Just the Booze Dancing blog boards a cruise ship and talks to the food and beverage managers, and Sipsmith gets sold to Suntory. Cheers!

It’s the last inventory of the year folks! We made it! Every year, I like to listen to Bob Dylan’s Christmas album to round out the holiday season. It’s joyfully insane and I’m particularly happy that he has a video to go along with one of the most prolific songs, “Must be Santa”. Consider this my gift to you. Isn’t it crazy that at this point in time, Bob Dylan is basically our drunk uncle crashing the office Christmas party? Happy Holidays and see you back here in 2017!

Jose Cuervo Debuts US4k Rolling Stones Edition

Jose Cuervo played a big role in the Rolling Stones 1972 Tequila Sunrise North American tour, and the brand just released a repackaged, rare liquid in the ongoing celebration of this homage. The Rolling Stones Tour Pick range is expanded by a limited edition bottling of its anniversary expression Jose Cuervo 250 Aniversario. The Spirits Business notes that “The bottle is adorned with the band’s iconic lapping tongue symbol cast in 14 karat gold, topped golden spikes and a glass blown stopper, and presented in a leather-bound guitar case.” Only 25 bottles of Jose Cuervo 250 Aniversario The Rolling Stones Special Edition are available in the US for a retail price of US$4,000.

Whisky Brands to Watch in 2017

“Almost all categories under the world whisky umbrella witnessed steady growth in 2016, as new distilleries opened at a rate of knots and multinational drinks groups coveted high-growth brands.” Thus, it only makes sense to keep an eye out on next year’s brands. The Spirits Business put together a list of who to watch. That list includes Starward Whisky, the High West Distillery, and Southern Comfort. They also note to “look out for a greater focus on terroir and single-estate products across the spectrum of world whisk(e)y, with US-based Buffalo Trace and WhistlePig, Ireland’s new Waterford Distillery and Japan’s new Akkeshi Distillery pioneering the trend”.

Booze Upon A Ship

Earlier this year “G-LO” from It’s Just the Booze Dancing went on a  4-night cruise aboard Holland America Line’s (HAL) brand new ship, the ms Koningsdam. Though that might not seem particularly notable, he wrote about his experinence for and also spoke to the ship’s Food and Beverage management, that included Dale DeGroff (aka King Cocktail), who works on the Holland American Lines’s cocktail program as a consultant, Francisco Fernandez (Senior Manager, Beverage and Signature Services at HAL), and Gerald Mosslinger (Vice President, Food and Beverage at HAL). They speak about every: from service, to the on-board whisky selection, and over to overly complicated cocktails. It’s a good read, very well worth it. See the complete interview here.

Beam Suntory Buys Sipsmith

It’s been a good year for Sipsmith and to finish it off, the Spirits Business reports that “Global spirits group Beam Suntory has taken a “controlling stake” in London-based craft producer Sipsmith for an undisclosed sum.” The deal is said to help Sipsmith establish themselves internationally and develop a deeper and wider distribution network. Beam Suntory now holds 100% of the voting rights and a majority position, “but existing shareholders retail a “long-term interest in the growth of the brand,” co-founder Sam Galsworthy told The Spirits Business over the phone.” “With incredible skill and passion, Sam and Fairfax [Hall] have built an extraordinary super-premium gin that is synonymous with London and the utmost craftsmanship,” Matt Shattock, chairman and CEO of Beam Suntory, said in a statement. “Beam Suntory’s move to take control of Sipsmith follows Pernod Ricard’s acquisition of a majority stake in German producer Monkey 47 and signals increased interest in “craft” gin producers by multinationals.”

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