Monday, April 21, 2014

Knob Creek® Bourbon Takes to the Air Waves With First-Ever Television Ad

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CLERMONT, KY--- Knob Creek® Bourbon, the World's #1 Selling Super Premium Bourbon, debuts its first-ever television commercial today. The new advertisement, which will air nationally throughout the year, highlights the big, full flavor of Knob Creek, as well as the brand's long-time dedication to crafting quality, pre-prohibition bourbon. The campaign, titled "Bookerisms," features the brand's creator and original steward, Booker Noe, a charismatic sixth-generation master distiller who represented the authenticity and craftsmanship of Knob Creek. Noe was integral in the world of bourbon, having pioneered The Small Batch Bourbon Collection®.

The Knob Creek® portfolio, which in addition to their original Bourbon also features Knob Creek® Rye, Knob Creek® Single Barrel Reserve and the new Knob Creek® Smoked Maple, has grown 20 percent in the past year, outpacing the overall bourbon category which has seen a 14 percent increase in the same period*. Riding this strong momentum, Knob Creek aims to reach new consumers and current fans through its television commercial while deploying a 300 percent increase in media investment.

"While super premium bourbons have become more popular in recent years, Knob Creek has always been the category leader -- even without the use of television advertising," said Rob Nelson, Senior Brand Manager of Small Batch Bourbons at Beam Inc. "As we continue to grow this authentic, legendary bourbon brand, we've decided the time is right to take things up a notch and allow Knob Creek to reach new audiences on TV."

The new advertisement, part of a broader brand campaign that also spans digital media and retail activation, takes on a non-traditional, animated format and focuses on the product's age, flavor, trusted quality and true bourbon heritage, highlighting a memorable quote from Noe: "If you're not completely satisfied with the big, full flavor of our bourbon, just send back the unused portion and we'll drink it for you."

"More than 20 years ago, dad set out to distill a pre-prohibition style bourbon with big, full flavor, not knowing it would become the World's #1 Selling Super Premium Bourbon," said Fred Noe, seventh-generation Beam Master Distiller, 2013 Bourbon Hall of Fame Inductee and Booker Noe's son. "He would be proud to see the growth of his brand and watch his words inspire TV viewers as they've done for bourbon drinkers for decades."

Knob Creek worked with Chicago-based marketing and advertising agency Walton Isaacson to develop the concept and bi-coastal digital production and creative design studio Brand New School to bring the advertisement to life.

Knob Creek's first-ever television advertisement premieres nationally on television networks such as AMC, FX, TBS and NBC Sports, as well as digitally on the AOL, Microsoft, Scripps and NBC family of websites. For more information on Knob Creek, visit:www.KnobCreek.com or www.facebook.com/KnobCreek or follow @knobcreek.
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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Indio Spirits - Idaho Moonshine

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Indio Spirits - Idaho Moonshine -- 50% ABV, 750 ml.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Maker’s Mark® Unveils Art Installation by Renowned Artist Dale Chihuly in Honor of the 60th Anniversary of the Bourbon Revolution

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LORETTO, Ky-Maker’s Mark®, the pioneer of handcrafted bourbon, is commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Bourbon Revolution by paying tribute to the vision of the founders of Maker’s Mark® bourbon, Bill Samuels, Sr., and his wife Margie Samuels, with the unveiling of an original artwork, The Spirit of the Maker. Created especially for Maker’s Mark by renowned artist, Dale Chihuly, it is the first of Chihuly’s work to be on public display in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The Spirit of the Maker will be on permanent view at the Maker’s Mark Distillery beginning March 27.



The Spirit of the Maker is not just an extraordinary work of art, but a symbol and an homage to the vision and spirit of Bill Samuels, Sr. Sixty years ago, Bill had a dream to create a bourbon that, for the first time, tasted good and was in good taste and would not “blow your ears off,” the measure by which bourbons were judged at the time. What he wanted to do more than anything else was create a bourbon that would redefine and transcend the industry by appealing to bourbon and non-bourbon drinkers alike, so he burned the 170-year-old Samuels family recipe and introduced Maker’s Mark. Unknowingly and unintentionally, Bill Samuels, Sr.’s handcrafted creation served as the shot that started a Bourbon Revolution, transforming bourbon from a “commodity” to a premium handcrafted spirit, and giving rise to the modern era of bourbon.

Spectacular in appearance and scope, The Spirit of the Maker salutes those who have pioneered and redefined genres, refusing to be constrained by convention. The installation, made entirely of hand-blown glass elements, is a remarkable kaleidoscope of colors, shapes and forms. Visuals include deep browns and vibrant ambers emblematic of the Kentucky whisky, crystal blues reflective of the water from the Distillery’s limestone spring-fed lake, as well as and rich crimsons and reds evocative of the signature red wax that has become an international symbol associated uniquely with Maker’s Mark® bourbon.

“We wanted to further enhance the distillery experience for all visitors by offering something that was distinctive to any distillery anywhere in the world,” noted Maker’s Mark Chief Operating Officer Rob Samuels. “Dale, much like my grandfather, Bill Samuels, Sr., is an innovator who also revolutionized a genre: the art of glass blowing. We knew he was the perfect partner.”

Said Dale Chihuly, “I’m very excited about creating a unique installation at the Maker’s Mark Distillery, one of the most beautiful and historic landmarks in the country, in celebration of their 60th anniversary.”

Maker’s Mark is also in the final stages of completing a permanent exhibition of historic artifacts at the Distillery, which will include the original pot still that Bill Samuels, Sr., used to handcraft the first small batch of Maker’s Mark®, the first Maker’s Mark barrel ever made, and an exact replica of the original papier-mâché bottle designed by Margie Samuels. Margie is also responsible for creating the Maker’s Mark® name, label, font and iconic red wax that each bottle is still hand dipped in today, making every bottle unique.

Maker’s Mark recently announced the addition of a third still at its facility in Loretto, Kentucky, which will be totally identical in equipment, operation and inefficient process to that which exists today and to that which existed sixty years ago when Maker’s Mark® was first crafted. The third still, which will begin construction in April of this year and be completed in the summer of 2015, will enable Maker’s Mark to increase production capacity by fifty percent. Additional enhancements have been planned in order to continue enhancing the visitor experience in anticipation of more than doubling the number of guests to the Distillery over the next decade.

The viewing of The Spirit of the Maker and the Maker’s Mark historical artifacts will be available during regular operating hours, Monday through Saturday from 9:30am-3:30pm and Sundays from 11:30am-3:30pm. For additional information please visit the Maker’s Mark website atwww.makersmark.com or contact the distillery Visitor Center at 270-865-2099.
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Diageo Launches A New Spirit Based On J&B Scotch Whiskey - J&B Urban Honey

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Diageo announced today that it is to launch J&B URBAN HONEY, a new Spirit Drink based on J&B Scotch Whisky, which has been designed to open up the category to a new generation of men and women.

J&B URBAN HONEY is a 35% ABV Spirit Drink made from J&B Scotch Whisky infused with honey and is a characterful drink that creates a balanced and smooth liquid. The taste has been created to be distinctively fresh when consumed neat, on the rocks or mixed in a cocktail.

J&B URBAN HONEY is clearly labeled as a Spirit Drink on its front label, while also differentiated from the parent brand with the use of a honeycomb pattern, a city skyline illustration and a prominent ‘bee’ illustration, ensuring compliance with Scotch Whisky Association guidelines.

Since its creation, J&B Scotch Whisky has been a bold andJ&BUrbanHoneyLogo innovative brand with a witty, playful edge. As Dougal McGeorge – Global J&B Brand Director – explains this has been fundamental to the development of the new Spirit Drink: “Creation of J&B URBAN HONEY is true to the urban roots of the J&B brand and its reputation for re-invention in the whisky category. The rapid growth of flavored Spirit Drinks made

J&B a natural choice for us as we looked to drive innovation.”

J&B URBAN HONEY will be launched in Spain starting in April 2014.
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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Jack Daniel’s Announces 2014 Dates for “Live at the Landmark” Concert Series

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LYNCHBURG, TN--The 2014 dates are set for “Live at the Landmark” – a one-of-a-kind concert series sharing great music with other great American landmarks from coast to coast.

Featuring some of the hottest, up-and-coming artists and rock bands, “Live at the Landmark” brings whiskey and music together at iconic American landmarks in New Orleans, San Francisco, Chicago and New York before a finale at the ultimate landmark – the Jack Daniel distillery, in Lynchburg, Tenn., the oldest registered distillery in the United States.

“Beginning with the formation of Lynchburg’s Silver Cornet Band nearly 150 years ago, Jack Daniel set the stage for great whiskey and music that continues today,” said Laura Petry, Brand Director for Jack Daniel’s. “In celebration of that special relationship, we’re proud to provide this unique opportunity for fans across the country to experience the influences and styles of today’s bands.”

In support of organizations that do things the right way, the Jack Daniel’s “Live at the Landmark” concert series is proud to benefit charities along the way.

Confirmed dates, landmarks, bands and charities include:

  • April 4, 2014 – New Orleans, the Old U.S. Mint featuring The Airborne Toxic Event, benefitting The Louisiana Museum Foundation.
  • April 11, 2014 – Chicago, Germania Place featuring The Joy Formidable, benefitting Sweet Relief Musicians Fund.
  • April 17, 2014 – San Francisco, City Hall featuring St. Lucia, benefitting Operation Gratitude.
  • May 8, 2014 – New York City, Statue of Liberty featuring Capital Cities, benefitting Charity: Water.
  • May 17, 2014 – Lynchburg, Tenn., Jack Daniel Distillery featuring Old 97’s.

For a chance to get tickets to one of the “Live at the Landmark” shows, visit www.jdliveatthelandmark.com. Fans must be at least 21 and in an eligible area to win tickets. You must have a ticket to attend. Additionally, you can enter to win a grand prize trip for two to the final event at the ultimate landmark in Lynchburg.

Follow history in the making on Twitter and Instagram @JackDaniels_US, the destinations for all live and behind the scenes coverage. Consumers are encouraged to use #JackLIVE to join in the conversation.

The 2013 series featured Okkervil River at Grand Central Terminal in NYC; Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears on the U.S.S. Midway in San Diego; Metric at Pearl Stable in San Antonio; Delta Spirit at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles and Eagles of Death Metal in the shadow of The Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

For updates and more information, including program, venue and band details, visit www.jdliveatthelandmark.com.
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Chicken Cock American Whiskey Celebrates New Flavor by Declaring First Annual National Cherry Bounce Day

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CHARLESTON, S.C., March 26, 2014 --George Washington is rumored to have chopped down a cherry tree or two in his time. Perhaps it was to supply the ingredients for his most beloved libation. George Washington's favorite liquor was his wife Martha's recipe for Cherry Bounce, one of 18th century America's most popular and high-spirited beverages.



In honor of National Make Up Your Own Holiday Day, Chicken Cock American Whiskey declares from this day forward March 26th will be National Cherry Bounce Day. To celebrate, Chicken Cock decided to launch its own version of our forefather's favorite libation. But as a brand with roots tracing back to 1856 is inclined to do, Chicken Cock has seen Martha and George and raised them one by adding some natural cherry cola flavor to its 21st century version.

With a colorful history spanning three centuries, the original Chicken Cock was infamously a staple of Prohibition-era speakeasies, including the Cotton Club, where it would be smuggled inside in non-descript tin cans. After almost a century-long hiatus following the destruction of its original distillery, Chicken Cock is back with a vengeance, selling more than 150,000 bottles (12,000 9L cases) in 2013, making it one of the hottest craft liquor brands to launch (or rather re launch) last year.

"As a brand originally launched 19 years before Jack Daniels, it was only appropriate that we dig through the archives to introduce our next flavor. We've given our Cherry Bounce flavor a modern spin by making it a cherry cola infusion," said Matti Anttila, president of Island Club Brands, which owns Chicken Cock. "We think our Founding Fathers would approve, and that is cause for some serious celebration."

Cherry Bounce joins the current Chicken Cock flavor range featuring Southern Spiced, Cinnamon and Root Beer, all launched in 2013. Flavored whiskeys are the fastest growing segment in the bourbon industry, accounting for nearly 75 percent of growth among all whiskeys (Source: New York Times and Nielsen).

Cherry Bounce can be enjoyed as a cold shot, benefiting from Chicken Cock's specially designed, quick-chill aluminum bottle, a nod to the brand's distinctive bootlegged tin cans. It can also be served with cola and other similar beverages.

Cherry Bounce is now available at select retailers in South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Texas, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Virginia and Florida.
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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Beam Inc. Stockholders Approve Acquisition by Suntory Holdings


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At a special meeting today, stockholders of Beam Inc. (NYSE: BEAM) formally approved the pending $16 billion acquisition of Beam by Suntory Holdings. Upon completion of the transaction, each share of Beam common stock will convert into the right to receive $83.50 in cash (subject to applicable withholding taxes).

“Shareholder approval of the acquisition by Suntory is a reflection of the substantial value created for our investors over the past several years, culminating in this transaction,” said Matt Shattock, president and chief executive officer of Beam Inc. “We appreciate the confidence Beam shareholders have placed in our company over the years, and we’re pleased that confidence is being rewarded. Indeed, at the acquisition price of $83.50 per share, total shareholder return will stand at 106% since Beam began trading as a standalone spirits company in October of 2011. We look forward to joining with the spirits business of Suntory to create the world’s #3 premium spirits company, and to capitalize on the significant opportunities for our combined portfolio, routes to market, and innovation capabilities.”

The transaction remains subject to regulatory clearance in the European Union and customary closing conditions, and the companies expect the acquisition will most likely be completed during the week of April 28th.
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Diageo Wins Distiller Of The Year For Investing In Scotch

imageDiageo, the world’s leading premium drinks company, has been named Distiller of the Year 2014 by Whisky Magazine in recognition of the company’s investment in its Scotch whisky business.

The coveted accolade was awarded at Whisky Magazine’s annual Global Icons of Whisky awards, with Diageo congratulated on “putting its money where its mouth is” with its £1billion investment in expansion Scotch whisky production capacity across Scotland.

Whisky Magazine Distiller of the Year is judged by a panel of independent whisky commentators and is one of the most highly prized titles in the industry. The judging panel’s citation read: “Production capacity increased at many of its sites, an investment of nearly £150 million across the Highland Council area and more expansion plans to come, increasing grain capacity, a raft of new expressions and building new distilleries – Diageo has been putting its money where its mouth is for its brands and the category, proving that with great size comes great responsibility.”

The award of the overall title came after Diageo had earlier been named Whisky Distiller of the Year in the Scottish category of the Icons of Whisky awards in an earlier round of judging.

The award adds to the Distiller of the Year title which was given to Diageo by the US-based The Whisky Advocate magazine in December 2013, citing the company’s investment and commitment to its brands.

David Cutter, Director of Diageo International Supply Centre, who runs the company’s Scotch whisky production business from Edinburgh, welcomed the award on behalf of all the employees who work to produce Diageo’s portfolio of world leading brands.

“We are very proud of our Scotch whisky business and of the investment we are making in its future and it is gratifying to have that recognised and acknowledged by independent industry commentators and by Whisky Magazine.”

Dr Nick Morgan, Diageo’s Head of Whisky Outreach, who accepted the award on behalf of Diageo at the Global Icons ceremony, added: “We are grateful to the judges and to Whisky Magazine for this significant global award, which I was delighted to accept on behalf of all my colleagues in Diageo whose commitment, vision, skill and sheer hard work makes everything possible.”

Diageo produces Johnnie Walker, the world’s number one Scotch whisky brand, as well as a portfolio of other leading blended Scotch whiskies including Bell’s, J&B and Buchanan’s. The company also produces award-winning single malt whisky brands such as Talisker, Lagavulin, Cardhu and Dalwhinnie. Recent distillery investment announcements are linked to the growth of key Scotch whisky brands. Glen Ord Distillery near Inverness will see its capacity doubled to support the Singleton of Glen Ord brand, which is the fastest growing single malt in Asia. A major expansion investment at Mortlach Distillery in Speyside will support the launch of Mortlach as a global single malt brand later this year.

Diageo announced its £1billion Scotch whisky investment programme in June 2012. As well as the distillery expansions the company is also investing in new warehousing to store the additional spirit, with a major new bonded warehouse site being developed at Cluny in Fife.

In January the company announced the latest phase of the investment with a £30million plan to double capacity at the iconic Clynelish Distillery in Sutherland, taking the company’s capital programme in the Highlands to around £150million.

This adds to previous major investments by Diageo, including building a new malt whisky distillery at Roseisle in Speyside and a new state of the art cooperage at Cambus in Clackmannanshire.
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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Blank & Booth - Hot Mess Hatch Green Chile Flavored Whiskey

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Blank & Booth - Hot Mess Hatch Green Chile Flavored Whiskey -- 40% ABV, 375 ml.

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Winter Park - Bear Gully Classic Reserve Bourbon Whiskey

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Winter Park - Bear Gully Classic Reserve Bourbon Whiskey -- 53.5% ABV, 750 ml

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Presenting the Glen Grant 50 Year Old. The Time has Come.

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LONDON, 18 March,- This year Glen Grant is releasing an exceptionally rare edition, the Glen Grant 50 Year Old – a fitting tribute to the innovation and whisky craftsmanship woven into the legend of Glen Grant.

On 28 October 1963 a rather special cask was hand filled by a young man who, at the time, was unaware that this liquid gold would ultimately shape his destiny. It would slowly mature for 50 years until 25 November 2013, when it reached its zenith – a robust, full-bodied and perfectly balanced single malt of distinction.
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That young man, Dennis Malcolm, became the Master Distiller of one of Scotland’s finest distilleries, Glen Grant. The cask he watched over for half a century, containing a true masterpiece, is now ready to be presented to the world – once again proving that Glen Grant excels at making single malt – from barley to bottle.

Dennis Malcolm comments, “Only time measures our pursuit of perfection. Maturation cannot be rushed. Like people, casks mature at their own pace. I have protected and cared for this barrel for 50 years, letting it breathe and patiently waiting for the magic and interaction of whisky and wood.”

Only 150 bottles of this exclusive timeless collector’s item will be released globally. Each piece is unique and handcrafted in every sense – presented in a hand-blown crystal glass decanter, masterfully created and individually refined by the skilled craftsmen at Glencairn Crystal, the last family-owned crystal glass company in Scotland. Each decanter is hand engraved, hand numbered and finished with the number 50 in 18-carat gold lettering. The design of the decanter is an exact replica of Glen Grant’s tall, slender pot stills – a creation of Glen Grant’s legendary innovator, James ‘The Major’ Grant.

It is housed in a copper-lined Scottish oak box – made from new oak, worked by a skillful cabinetmaker with a practiced carpenter’s hand and an astute eye for detail.
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Each Glen Grant 50 Year Old comes with a certificate of authenticity, signed by Dennis Malcolm and every craftsman involved.

In an age beset by instant gratification, that which has been expertly crafted by hand – with skills honed and passed down through the ages – is a true rarity.

The Glen Grant 50 Year Old is the apotheosis of master craftsmanship: a wide array of age-old skills creating a collective masterpiece that is unquantifiable. It is both aged and timeless. But now, the time has come.

The Glen Grant 50 Year Old will be launched in Asia’s Travel Retail Market. It will be available in Hong Kong from Friday 21 March and shortly following in Singapore, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing and Taipei. As of June 2014, it will be launched internationally in other duty free and domestic markets.
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Monday, March 17, 2014

Diageo Defends Honor and Quality of Early Times Whiskey

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TULLAHOMA, Tenn., March 17, 2014  -- Claiming the integrity of Tennessee whiskey is "under attack" Brown-Forman's Jack Daniels asserts the only way for Tennessee whiskey to be a "premium product representing a world-class standard and utmost quality" is for it to be aged in new oak barrels.  Interestingly, according to the website of Brown-Forman owned Early Times whiskey (www.earlytimes.com/heritage/whisky.aspx), the brand is aged and barreled in "used oak barrels".  Therefore, by their logic, Brown-Forman has deemed its own product inferior.

Despite being a competitor to Early Times, Diageo has rushed to Early Times' defense.  George Dickel Master Distiller John Lunn provided perspective on the issue.  "At George Dickel we use new oak barrels, but that is because we choose to make whiskey that way.  We don't think there should be a law that says this is how we, or anyone else, have to make whiskey," explained Lunn.

Diageo firmly believes a single company should not be able to unilaterally determine the definition of an entire category.  At its base, it is anti-competitive and protectionist.  Diageo supports a return to the flexibility that Tennessee whiskey distillers have had for the past 125 years, up until last year when Brown-Forman convinced the Tennessee legislature to define Tennessee whiskey as the Jack Daniel's recipe. 

Guy L. Smith, IV, Executive Vice President, Diageo North America, and a former resident of Tennessee said, "Brown-Forman's sleight of hand legislation they managed to get passed last year, which many refer to as simply 'The Jack Daniels recipe law', creates an anti-competitive situation that will stifle innovation from skilled Tennessean distillers, both large and small."

Brown-Forman's assertion that rejuvenated barrels produce a lower quality product is false and the billions of dollars that consumers spend across the world on scotch and other whiskeys that are commonly aged in rejuvenated barrels is a testament to that.  The process of rejuvenating barrels is a technical and sophisticated practice and years of wood industry science have shown the maturation of whiskey in rejuvenated barrels produces the highest quality liquid. 

Continued Smith, "We feel that allowing distillers flexibility within a general set of guidelines helps create a thriving and competitive Tennessee whiskey industry.  And that is in the best interest of all distillers, large and small, as well as the state ofTennessee."
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