Published Date

TORONTO, Sept. 17, 2021 /CNW/ - Forty Creek, the Canadian Whisky Distillery based in Grimbsy, Ontario, today announces the launch of Master's Cut, the debut cask strength whisky from Master Blender Bill Ashburn. As a cask strength whisky, Master's Cut is bottled at the same strength as it comes out of the barrel, offering a liquid that's still recognizable as Forty Creek with an added flair.

Master Blender Bill Ashburn is known for disrupting the industry with his innovative expressions, and the launch of Master's Cut is no exception. This time, applying a single pass, 100 per cent pot distillation process that's aged in a mixture of once used bourbon barrels and experienced Canadian whisky barrels, resulted in a masterful liquid that delivers notes of vanilla and wood, an aroma of candied fruit and florals, and a lingering spicy finish.

With Master's Cut, Master Blender Bill Ashburn stays true to the Forty Creek house style of balance and elegance by launching a cask strength whisky that creates synergy between strength and intensity of flavour.

"Our loyal followers have been asking for a cask strength whisky for quite some time," says Bill Ashburn, Forty Creek Master Blender, and 2020 Canada Master Whiskey Blender of the Year. "I have been working on producing a cask strength whisky for a number of years to get the right profile to remain true to the Forty Creek Style. Master's Cut is cask strength whisky done our way."

"Innovation is in our DNA," says David Allard, VP of Marketing, Campari Canada. "We're consistently producing whisky expressions that buck traditional whisky norms and our Master Blender Bill Ashburn is at the heart of that."

Master's Cut retails for $79.95 and is currently available for sale in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and PEI.

Forty Creek's recent Taproom collaboration with Niagara's premiere craft brewery, Bench Brewing reinforces the distillery's relentless commitment to innovate whisky products that Canadians love.

Through Taproom, excellence in craft beer and mastery of craft whisky come together in search of the equilibrium between liquid and oak barrels and beer and whisky.

The unique collaborative aging process involved Bench Brewing aging beer in Canadian Oak barrels that previously housed Forty Creek Confederation Oak Whisky, then returned to the Distillery to be used in a secondary aging of the whisky blend. The result: a whisky that delivers an outstanding flavour profile with spice, hops and an appealing bitterness paired with a citrus and mint aroma.

"This was a very special project for us," says Sarah Casorso, Master Brewer, Bench Brewing. "We have an extensive barrel aging program at Bench, but they are filled almost exclusively with local wine barrels. So, when we started talking to Bill and the team at Forty Creek about a 'shared barrel' collaboration, we jumped at it. It was a great opportunity to take some of their amazing Canadian white oak whisky barrels and share creative thinking from the craft beer and spirits worlds. Bench and Forty Creek are only about 15 kilometers apart, so it was a lot of fun and something that is innovative and uniquely local to Niagara."

Without using the 9.09% rule to add beer to the whisky, the beer notes come purely from the aging process and transfer through the oak barrels. Each whisky is packaged in a growler as a nod to the partnership.  

"We released our first Fortified series of beers from these barrels last fall and they were a huge hit. We're really excited for both whisky and beer lovers to try Taproom," adds Casorso.

As Forty Creek continues to elevate the standard of Canadian whiskies and create new expressions with both national and global appeal, the list of accolades continues to grow, encompassing Canada Whiskey Distillery of the Year and Canada Master Whiskey Blender of the Year as awarded at the 2020 New York International Spirits Competition, and an additional 3 awards at the esteemed, world-class 2021 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.


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As Acre Mezcal prepares for the next stages of growth and expansion, the brand is unveiling a new, thoughtful and expressive bottle design that clearly delineates each of the brand’s four hand-crafted varietals (Espadín, Cenizo, Tobala, Tepextate) that uniquely showcase the versatility of the agave plant.

Being an increasingly competitive and crowded category, Acre Mezcal has found a colorful way to stand out on the shelf - literally.  Each varietal has a designated color that reflects both the flavors and characteristics of that particular expression.

The Double Gold medal winning Cenizo has been given the Acre Gold color (Pantone 4505 CP) further connecting it to the Mezcal’s namesake Cabo resort, as well as reflecting it’s award winning characteristics.  Gold signifies Cenizo's dry and earthy texture.

Espadin's medium nose and slight spice is a sweet reminder of palm trees and sunshine while sipping cocktails with toes in the sand. Acre Blue (Pantone 7700 CP) conveys images of the ocean setting the scene for the perfect place to enjoy an Acre Mezcal cocktail.

Like a sultry summer day in a tropical paradise, Tobala has a medium nose, soft on the palate with a touch of fresh sweetness earning it Acre Red (Pantone 7622 CP) to illustrate its rich flavors of chocolate and tropical visualizations. 

Tepeztate earned Acre Green (Pantone 5753 CP) with a medium nose of fresh flavors causing lingering aromas of fresh cut grass and mountain air with notes of sweetness and grapefruit rinds. A true connection to the agave fields from which it comes.

No matter the bottle color, each bottle of Acre Mezcal immediately connects the drinker to its origin with complete transparency, as the brand has included information on the producers, as well as the sustainable production process.  Additionally, the specific small batch details are included along with the detailed tasting notes for that particular varietal.  

 Acre Mezcal already stands out for many reasons ranging from taste, quality, sustainability and origin story.  Now, the bottles’ label design will help tell the Acre Mezcal story long before the first sip.

Published Date

Longmont, Colo., Sept. 16, 2021 -- New CBD seltzer brand James & James 

launches as the first craft sparkling beverage made with full spectrum, hemp flower-derived CBD extract sourced from in-house hemp. Each 12 oz glass bottle of James & James features 25mg of CBD sourced from its parent company CFH Ltd.’s Colorado farm. 

As the latest product by CFH, Ltd., a vertically integrated, Colorado-based CBD bioscience company and USDA Certified Organic hemp farm founded in 2014, James & James only uses hemp sourced from hand-harvested flower. Hand-harvesting flower leaves out the unwanted fats, waxes & chlorophylls that exist in the stalks, stems & leaves of the plant and increases efficacy by preserving the delicate trichomes where the vast majority of the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids reside.

“Our team owns and operates its own farm, so we can ensure the highest quality hemp is in every bottle,” says Jim Ott, chief executive officer and founder of CFH and James & James. “We start by developing the genetics, we grow and harvest the hemp flower on our farm and we formulate in our lab. We also do in-house and third-party testing to establish quality, consistency and traceability.” 

Hemp grown on CFH’s Colorado farm is non-GMO and pesticide and herbicide free. All CFH products, including James & James, are made from industrial hemp and contain less than 0.3 percent THC. 

“With James & James, you will always know where your CBD is coming from,” says Ott. “With that peace of mind, we can relax, unwind, and rebuild after a hard day or strenuous activity with a drink designed to help us do so.” 

James & James craft sparkling hemp beverages are available to purchase online nationwide and in select retail stores throughout Colorado and Wyoming in two flavors: Cucumber Mint and Cherry Vanilla. Both flavors are carbonated, light and refreshing with the subtle touch of earthy hemp and are naturally alcohol-free, caffeine-free, gluten-free and contain zero calories, sugars/or carbs.

James & James sparkling hemp beverages are best enjoyed chilled or as a mixer in a favorite cocktail to neutralize the free radicals that come from consuming alcohol. Available in 12oz glass bottles at $4.99 and packs of four at $19.99, James & James can be purchased online and in select stores throughout Colorado and Wyoming.

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AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND (September 15, 2021) – Intriguing, bewitching, beguiling and utterly delicious, Scapegrace Black is the world’s first naturally black gin, a viral sensation that swept New Zealand and sold out in just one day. Today, Scapegrace Black is now available in the United States at a suggested retail price of $39.99.

The New Zealand-based Scapegrace Distillery was founded by brothers-in-law Mark Neal and Daniel McLaughlan in 2014. Scapegrace Gin was created with the mission to not just break the rules, but to create their own, enabling them to create a product so special that won them “World’s Best London Dry Gin” at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London in 2018 for its Gold Gin. The award-winning, boundary-pushing brand was created with the mission to break all the rules but one: every great gin starts with great botanicals. After years of trial and error with different botanicals and distillation techniques, Scapegrace has created Scapegrace Black, a black gin that changes color.

Scapegrace Black begins, like all quality gins, with intense juniper and the addition of premium, exotic botanicals. Master distiller Anthony Lawry, one of New Zealand’s first single malt whisky distillers, uses a combination of local sweet potato, aronia berries, pineapple and saffron, as well as butterfly pea flower sourced from Southeast Asia, to create a flavor profile that has wowed bartenders and gin fans worldwide.

“It has never been part of the brand ethos to follow what other distillers were doing,” says co-founder Mark Neal. “We decided that if we were going to make a flavored gin, we were going to do it our own way. By experimenting with different botanicals, we discovered we could make a naturally black liquid with very particular botanicals and distinct flavors. It took us about a year to bring this liquid to life.”

To make a great gin is a difficult task. To craft one that is naturally black – which technically is the absence of color – but with the emotion of big, botanical-forward flavor, takes skill and technique only a few can achieve. The temperatures must be absolutely precise, and the sequences have to be very specifically defined.

Butterfly pea flower, in its natural state, has electric blue petals. Steeped, the petals produce a rich, intensely flavorful tea, with that same neon coloring, and gorgeous, soft earthy, citrus notes. Using exact temperatures and timing with their botanicals, Scapegrace has created a truly spectacular gin with a vibrant flavor and beautiful, midnight hue.

The result is Scapegrace Black, a gin with an exciting nose of pineapple and lemon, followed by spicy juniper. The flavor profile of Scapegrace Black is unique, marrying a gin-drinker’s love of juniper with something dark, delightfully devious and beautifully unexpected. The sip is full-bodied on the palate, with unctuous pepper and oil, a hint of mint and dreamy undertones of starch mingling with tropical fruits. The finish offers visions of freshly mowed grass, sweet earth and herbs. Visually stunning when mixed with tonic and/or citrus, Scapegrace Black goes from noir to a light lavender.

“Scapegrace’s color change from black to purple occurs thanks to that butterfly pea flower in our botanical lineup,” added Lawry. “The petals of this flower contain a pigment called anthocyanin, which causes the color to shift when introduced to acidity like citrus. If you were to place lemon juice in a glass of butterfly pea flower tea, it would morph from deep blue to purple, finally to electric pink. In our case, it goes from jet black to lavender.”

From this small blue flower, a handful of other delicious botanicals, years of hard work, exacting science, the incredible distilling landscape of New Zealand and most importantly a sense of adventure, comes Scapegrace Black, an enchantress in a glass.

Scapegrace Gin is imported from New Zealand and distributed nationally in the U.S. by 375 Park Avenue Spirits, a division of the Sazerac Company. Scapegrace Black presents at a 41.6% ABV and is available at retailers nationwide and online at a suggested retail price of $39.99 (750ml). It joins the Scapegrace U.S. portfolio alongside Scapegrace Classic Dry Gin (42.2% ABV; SRP: $29.99/750ml) and Scapegrace Gold Dry Gin (57% ABV; SRP: $59.99/750ml). 

Published Date

September 13, 2021 - Louisville, KY – King of Kentucky is returning this year with the release of its fourth edition.  Hitting shelves in September, this will be the fourth release for the brand.  While the majority of this year’s volume will remain in Kentucky, the expression will also be available in limited quantities in Illinois and Ohio.

The 2021 expression will be a 14-year old Kentucky Straight Bourbon, and will produce approximately 2,700 bottles with a suggested retail of $249.99.

King of Kentucky was established in 1881 as a Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.  Brown-Forman acquired the brand in 1936 from Selected Kentucky Distillers and, by 1940, converted it to a blended whiskey until it was discontinued in 1968.  In 2018, Brown-Forman revived the lapsed label paying homage to the brand’s past.

King of Kentucky is an annual/on-going periodic release of a single barrel inventory featuring a barrel-strength, minimally-filtered proof presentation, with each release and every barrel being unique.  For this year’s iteration, Master Distiller Chris Morris chose 33 barrels to set aside for the limited-release product.

 “This year’s release comes from two production days-14 years ago-but a mere twelve days apart,” said Master Distiller Chris Morris. “Given the fact that each bottling is of a single barrel, the very slight difference in age is undetectable. All the barrels that were selected for this year are of the highest quality.”

 Due to the rarity of these barrels, there will be no defined annual volume. Just like the extra time it takes for the liquid to age, the package will also show a personal craftsmanship. Every bottle will tell the story of its origin through the details on the front and back of its package. All will be filled, bottled, wax-dipped, and numbered by hand with details including proof, age, warehouse location, lot number, serial number, and barrel number, all selected by Master Distiller Chris Morris.  

Taste Notes:  “Representative Barrel”

 Proof: 130.0

 Age: 14 years

 Lot: 06L06, Warehouse:I, Floor:3, Rick:7

 Color: Rich Umber

Aroma:  Deep notes of dried fig, dark caramel, and vanilla bean with a light chocolate sweetness all sharpened with a hint of caramelized orange and lemon peels and a pinch of cinnamon.

Flavor: Dark caramel and dried fruit coat a layer of dark baking spices and toasted coconut notes brightened with crisp notes of citrus.

Finish:  Crisp and dry with a hint of apple and citrus fruit.

For over 150 years, Brown-Forman Corporation has enriched the experience of life by responsibly building fine quality beverage alcohol brands, including Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee RTDs, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, Gentleman Jack, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, Finlandia, Korbel, el Jimador, Woodford Reserve, Old Forester, Coopers’ Craft, Herradura, New Mix, Sonoma-Cutrer, Chambord, Benriach, GlenDronach, Glenglassaugh, Slane, and Fords Gin.  Brown-Forman’s brands are supported by approximately 4,700 employees and sold in more than 170 countries worldwide.


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