Inventory for November 9th, 2014

It’s officially winter so grab a warm drink and curl up with this week’s inventory: world’s best whisky hails from Japan for the first time, Diageo swaps Bushmill in return for some Cuervo Tequila, two Buzzfeed writers try their hand at homemade Fireball, WhistlePig releases a new whisky, and alcohol-free wine is all the rage in Dubai.

Non-drink related news are rare here but what you really shouldn’t miss is tonight’s Lichtgrenze. On the 25th anniversary of the fall of Berlin’s wall its former route, which runs through the center of Berlin, will be illuminated by several thousand balloons.
1) World’s Best Whisky Hails from Japan
For the first time in World’s Whisky Bible 12-year long history, a Japanese whisky has been named the winner. The Suntory’s Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 is distilled near Kyoto and, according to Whisky expert Jim Murray, is “near indescribable genius” with “a nose of exquisite boldness and thick, dry, [and] as rounded as a snooker ball”.
The Guardian notes that Japan’s oldest whisky distillery Yamazaki has produced a limited run of 18,000 bottles which are sold online or in specialist shops at $160 a pop.
2) Diageo Swaps Bushmill in Return for Cuervo Tequila
The Spirits Business reports that the giant British drinks group “struck a deal with the Tequila group to acquire the remaining 50% of Don Julio” that it doesn’t already own. Cuervo’s production is terminated early and they also received $408 million. In return Cuervo will receive Bushmills Irish Whisky.
The deal expects to close early in 2015 and will allow Diageo to achieve its long term goal of building its super, ultra premium tequila portfolio which its already grown by purchasing rapper Sean Combs’ DeLeon Tequila and Peiligroso.

3) Buzzfeed responds to poisonous Fireball Whisky
Oh Buzzfeed … After the American site, known for its “20 best drinks to make at any occasion” lists, learned that Fireball whisky has an antifreeze ingredient in it, it decided to take matters into its own hands. Two staff writers dreamt up five horrific ways of making their own and taste tested them on their poor colleagues.
Mixes include Jack Daniels and Red Hots candies, Jim Beam Bourbon and Big Red spicy, cinnamon flavored gum, Jack Daniels Whisky and cinnamon extract, and “The Artisan Blend”: Crown Royal, cinnamon sticks, and a splash of tabasco. To absolutely no ones surprise, none of the mixtures came even close to tasting “good”. Fun experiment though!
4) WhistlePig releases The Boss Hog: Spirit of Mortimer
Last week WhistlePig proudly announced the arrival of The Boss Hog: Spirit of Mortimer, a follow-up to last year’s straight rye whisky. Dedicated to WhistlePig’s departed mascot, a heritage pig named Mortimer, each bottle is sealed with a pewter top which depicts its winged namesake. Bottled at full barrel strength WhistlePig hopes to continue The Boss Hog’s legacy with this new premium whisky.
5) Alcohol-free Wine Popular in Dubai
But not just any wine: “a 24-karat gold suffused sparkling beverage” as Forbes reports. Restaurant supplier Lootah Premium Foods has begun ordering monthly shipments of Lussory Gold sparkling non-alcoholic white wine. It’s being marketed as the classier, yet still halal, alternative to Pepsi.
While gross sounding, this is a smart business moves in the United Arab Emirates where even in more liberal cities like Dubai, hotel bars and restaurants must obtain a special license to serve alcohol. The wine is produced by Dismark Products in Spain with a German technique that removes all alcohol.

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