Published Date

ST. LOUIS, MO (September 30, 2021) - 4 Hands Brewing Co., the St. Louis-based beverage company, announces today a new spirits brand with Withered Oak, a new innovative line of aged spirits. The Withered Oak brand has been thoughtfully crafted and curated by the team at 4 Hands Brewing Company and 1220 Artisan Spirits over the last four years. Withered Oak will launch with two exclusive, single barrel aged spirits: a 5-year straight bourbon whiskey and a 5-year rye whiskey. The brand will also feature a 4-year blended rye whiskey, aged in unique finishing barrels to add depth and flavor, to launch this winter. 

A limited allotment of Withered Oak Straight Bourbon and Rye bottles will be available for purchase at 4 Hands Brewing Co. (1220 S. 8th St.) on Friday, October 8th starting at 4 p.m. 1220 Spirits and Withered Oak will take over the first floor of 4 Hands Brewing Co., and STL Barkeep will feature specialty Withered Oak and 1220 cocktails for guests to experience. The Withered Oak Straight Bourbon and Rye bottles will only be available for purchase at 4 Hands Brewing Co. and not available in off-premise retailers. Select on-premise establishments will feature Withered Oak in a series of “Whiskey Wednesday” events (see more below). A 4-year blended rye whiskey will also launch this winter with a larger distribution footprint.

Withered Oak is the outcome of a creative partnership with MGP Ingredients, Inc., a leading producer of premium distilled and branded spirits. 4 Hands Brewing Co. and 1220 Spirits Founder and Owner Kevin Lemp sought out Sam Schmeltzer, one of MGP’s master blenders with nearly a decade of experience documenting, tasting and categorizing the world's best whiskeys, to identify the perfect profiles for Withered Oak. The careful consideration of whiskey barrel selections resulted in not only a unique blended rye, but the single barrel offerings. 

Kevin Lemp explains, “Our initial intention with Withered Oak was to identify an interesting selection of barrels for a 4-year blended rye whiskey. While working through the barrel inventory, we identified select barrels that were really special and warranted a single barrel release. It was somewhat of a happy accident, but we’re thrilled with the end product of not only our blended rye, but our bonus 5-year bourbon and 5-year rye whiskey.”

In regards to the partnership with the Withered Oak team, Sam Schmeltzer states, “Kevin came to me with an exciting proposition - free creative reign to select my favorite barrels among our vast selection. He said ‘I want you to do something that hasn’t been done before.’ That freedom allowed us to tap into some barrel selections to offer something totally different. It was a true collaborative process to dial in the flavor profiles.”

Kevin Lemp further states, “We wanted to choose from the finest catalogue of whiskey in the world and build a brand with integrity around it. MGP is the best partner for that,” says Lemp. “I like to trust talented people to express themselves. You can’t be in this business if you don’t value that. With the quality of the liquid in the barrels to start, combined with our team’s time and passion to finesse the finished product, we are thrilled to launch a sophisticated product like Withered Oak in the aged spirits space.”  

Staying true to the Withered Oak team’s reverence for high quality craft products, the inaugural 5-year cask strength bourbon and rye whiskeys will be released in very limited quantities. Each bottle has been individually filled and hand-stamped straight from the barrel at 118 proof. Aged for five years and meant to be sipped neat, Withered Oak’s Straight Bourbon Whiskey has notes of cinnamon, heavy caramel, and vanilla, with hints of oak. Withered Oak’s 5-year Rye Whiskey has notes of cinnamon, subtle hints of mint, clove, spice, and butterscotch, with a long mouthfeel finish.

“This is just the beginning,” says Head Distiller Andy Burgio. “Sam helped us identify a blend of rye and light whiskey for our blended rye that he’s never put together for anyone before. It’s a phenomenal product to begin with, but we have plans to put our own creative spin on the base spirit with unique finishing barrels.”  

Whiskey lovers can sample the Withered Oak Straight Bourbon and Rye at a special tasting event series, “Whiskey Wednesdays,” at exclusive partner restaurants and cocktail bars across St. Louis. Starting Wednesday, October 13 through December 20, St. Louisans can sample Withered Oak with featured cocktails created by the bar team at Brennan’s (October 13), <a href="">Juniper and Scottish Arms (October 27), Whiskey Ring (November 10), Platypus (December 1), and more. The first official Whiskey Wednesday kicks off Wednesday, October 13 at Brennan’s in the Central West End, where a special Withered Oak and Brennan’s collaboration cigar will also be available alongside the single barrel whiskeys. 

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Published Date

28 September 2021 – Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris is returning to Paris Expo Porte de Versailles from 14 to 16 February 2022 for its third edition, marking the resumption of in-person events for the wine and spirits industry. By offering a comprehensive and inspiring range of products with a powerful international resonance, the Vinexposium group’s flagship event is reiterating its commitment to becoming THE global benchmark and a key date for trade members.

Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris will be the first major international event of 2022 and it marks the resumption of full-scale tastings. Highly awaited by the global wine and spirits industry for the variety of products on show and its business meetings, the event is now focusing on promoting attendance by key buyers, including those from outside the EU who are showing a strong interest in the exhibition.

Over three days, more than 2,800 exhibitors will convene in Paris to showcase their latest vintage, their flagship products and rare bottlings, all of them delicious pours to be shared with connoisseurs from around the globe. The desire by French wine marketing boards to join forces by being stakeholders in the event is stronger than ever and the event will group together all of France’s wine regions, alongside an impressive line-up of international wine regions. In total, representations from 23 countries will celebrate the reunion of the wine and spirits community in the heart of the French capital next February.

The event, which will cover four halls at the entrance to the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles exhibition centre (halls 3, 4, 5 and 6), will cater as much to the small winegrowers as to the major international brands. Household names such as François Lurton, Gérard Bertrand, E. Guigal, Maison M. Chapoutier, Domaine Paul Mas, Castel Frères, Maison Sichel, Bernard Magrez, Grands Chais de France and Gh Martel & Cie Champagne will be attending, alongside less prominent vineyards well worth discovering, such as the Aquitaine Independent Winegrowers and family-run properties like Vins Chevron Villette, Vignobles Vellas and Château Castigno, to name a few. Hall 5, set aside for international producers, will welcome wines of Luxembourg, Advantage Austria, Tenuta Lamborghini, Wines of Lebanon, Wines of Germany, Cesari, Carpineto, Consorzio Di Tutela Della Doc Prosecco, Consorzio Tutela del vino Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco, Gaja, J. Garcia Carrion, Viniportugal Wines Of Portugal, Hammeken Cellars and Flechas De Los Andes, for example.

Alongside wines in Hall 3, the Be Spirits by Vinexpo area and its huge Infinite bar will bring together spirits from all backgrounds, ranging from micro-distilleries through to well-known brands. Attendees will include the Armagnac marketing board BNIA, Calvados Château du Breuil, Cognac Lheraud, Distillerie Warenghem, Gin de Binche, Glasgow Whisky, La Martiniquaise, Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association and Distilleria Bertagnolli.

“Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris is above all an event that brings people together and creates a sense of community. People welcome their clients there from a wide range of backgrounds to give international exposure to local, innovative products, from the little treasures to the prominent growths. Paris will host a celebration in 2022 and we are very much looking forward to being reunited with everyone once again”, stressesRodolphe Lameyse, CEO of Vinexposium.


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Global beverage leader Diageo has opened its first carbon neutral distillery in Lebanon, Kentucky.  The site will support the local community with 30 full-time jobs while also sourcing 100% non-GMO corn locally. The 72,000 square-foot facility has the capacity to produce up to 10 million proof gallons per year and has begun distilling Bulleit Bourbon using electrode boilers that are powered by 100% renewable electricity throughout the cooking, distillation, and dry house processes. Bulleit is the first and lead brand being produced at the Diageo Lebanon Distillery –and supplements existing production at the nearby Bulleit Distilling Co. in Shelbyville, Kentucky.

Designed with sustainability at its core, the distillery is built to ensure that fossil fuels are not used during production.  By partnering with Inter-County Energy and East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC), Diageo is sourcing a mix of wind and solar energy to power the electrode boilers, onsite electric vehicles, internal and external lighting and equipment making the facility one of the largest of its kind in North America. The site has implemented virtual metering technology to advance visibility of water, electricity, and steam usage, collecting key data that is used to drive the company’s resource efficiency and sustainability. These technologies will allow the Diageo Lebanon Distillery to avoid approximately more than 117,000 metric tons of carbon emissions annually, the equivalent of taking more than 25,000 cars off the road for a year.

“Two years ago, we set a vision and commitment to build our first carbon neutral distillery in North America. Now that the Diageo Lebanon Distillery is operational, I’m incredibly proud of the innovative actions from our teams and partners to fully electrify the facilities and power them with renewable electricity. This is a significant step in our journey to create a low carbon future and be part of the solution to tackle the ongoing climate crisis,” said Perry Jones, President, North America Supply for Diageo.

In addition to the sustainability features of the new facility, Diageo implemented an optimized staffing model consisting of Bourbon Production Experts (BPE’s) responsible for all aspects of distillery, dry house, and operations. By rotating the BPE’s through each operational area to ensure depth of knowledge and flexibility, Diageo aims to accelerate the development of future leaders, ensuring a focus on gender equity and diversity to help shape the industry.

“At Bulleit, we believe we have a responsibility to our environment, our communities, and our planet. We are proud to initiate the production of Bulleit Bourbon at the carbon neutral Lebanon Distillery, as we take a significant step forward in the brand’s long-lasting commitment to sustainability,” said Sophie Kelly, SVP Whiskies, Diageo NA.

Bulleit brand’s continued commitment to sustainability

Bulleit has a long-standing commitment to sustainability and reducing its carbon footprint at the existing distillery in Shelbyville, Kentucky, which was honored with the award of Highly Commended for Sustainable Distillery of the Year at Whisky Magazine’s 2020 Icons of Whisky American Awards.

In 2021, the brand committed an annual $25,000 grant to support Kentucky State University students in the Master of Agriculture Sciences in Environmental Studies program for the next five years, helping build a pipeline of diverse talent into the spirits industry by supporting the sustainability leaders of tomorrow.

Bulleit recently partnered with American Forests to plant one million trees by 2025, providing a variety of environmental benefits including carbon sequestration, air purification, water conservation, and providing vital wildlife habitat.

The Bulleit Distilling Co. production is a zero waste to landfill site.

The Bulleit Visitor Experience includes a partnership with the non-profit Oceanic Global to ensure its tasting experience and cocktail bar aligns with The Oceanic Standard (TOS) a certification for venues that have adopted sustainable operating practices and are committed to eliminating single-use plastics.

Diageo’s plan to building a low carbon future

Combatting climate change and its associated impacts is at the heart of Diageo’s ‘Society 2030: Spirit of Progress’ action plan. The company has already halved the carbon emissions associated with its operations since 2008 and is now working to reach net-zero carbon across its direct operations by 2030, harnessing 100% renewable energy. As part of its action plan, Diageo is developing site-by-site roadmaps and is also working to achieve net-zero carbon across the entire supply chain by 2050 or sooner, with an interim milestone to achieve a 50% reduction by 2030.

Building on a long track-record of environmental, social and governance (ESG) progress globally, Diageo is now in the top 1000 companies in the world taking action to address climate change in a science-led and systemic way. The company’s goals in this space have been calculated in accordance with the principles of Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) and recently validated as meeting the criteria for the 1.5oC pathway.

Diageo is part of a pioneering group of organizations that are championing a green recovery and supporting the Sustainable Development Goals, through membership of the United Nations Global Compact, We Mean Business Coalition and other key global advocacy organizations. As a signatory to RE100, Diageo aims to source 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. In addition, Diageo has signed onto the global Race to Zero campaign, a commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 or earlier. In North America, the company joined the Renewable Thermal Collaborative to share best practices and work together to scale up renewable thermal energy.

Published Date

New York, NY (September 15, 2021) – Delivering on its promise to share rare and special rums to spirits lovers, Holmes Cay Rum has built a reputation over the past two years by selecting and releasing an annual series of limited edition rums. Available today, Holmes Cay’s South Africa Mhoba 2017 marks the first time South African Rum has ever been sold in the United States and the first time that rum from the Mhoba Distillery is available stateside.   

“We are extremely honored to be the exclusive importer of the first US edition of this entirely unique artisan-distilled rum from the Mhoba Rum Distillery in collaboration with master distiller Robert Greaves," said founder Eric Kaye. “We are proud to present this truly one of a kind rum to spirits lovers for the first time in the US.”

The Mhoba Distillery uses hand-cut cane grown on the adjacent farm, and distills from fresh pressed cane juice on a crusher designed by Greaves.  Both commercial and wild African yeasts are used in fermentation.  The pot stills which produce this richly aromatic and flavorful rum were also designed and built by Greaves.  This edition has been aged for four years exclusively in South African whisky casks.  

Robert Greaves added, “When I first began distilling, my goal was to produce a spirit like a single malt whisky but made from our own sugarcane, grown on our farm. From the growing, hand-harvesting and crushing of our sugarcane right through to distillation in our self-built pot stills and the aging in ex-South African whisky casks, everything was done on our farm and distillery to create a pure rum which is truly unique.” 

The Holmes Cay South Africa Mhoba 2017 edition was aged for 4 years in subtropical conditions of the Mhoba distillery in the Mpumalanga province on the northeastern border of South Africa, before being bottled in New York State. Only four barrels were selected. No sugar, color or other flavors were added. The Holmes Cay South Africa Mhoba 2017 is bottled at full barrel proof of 59% ABV. 

Tasting notes:  Grilled pineapple and rich cane on the nose. On the tongue, white pepper, light treacle, tropical fruit, and a hint of toasted fennel seed. On the finish, young vegetation and a puff of smoke.

The Holmes Cay Single Cask South Africa 2017 is now available for wholesale orders with a suggested retail price of $109 (750 ml bottle).  It is distributed in New York, California, Oregon, Colorado, Arizona, Tennessee, Illinois, Texas and Washington D.C. and is also available throughout the US via various online retailers.

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Published Date

NEW YORK, September 28, 2021 - Champagne Henriot, the esteemed Champagne house founded in 1808, has announced the release of Cuvée Hemera 2006 ($185 SRP), the latest vintage release in the house’s long history of prestige cuvées. Champagne Henriot is one of the last remaining family-owned Champagne houses. It is known for its deep understanding of the diverse Champagne terroirs, in particular Premier and Grand Crus, with viticultural savoir-faire built over two centuries beginning with its storied founder, Apolline Henriot. The grapes for Cuvée Hemera 2006 are sourced entirely from the six original Grand Cru parcels that founded the house in the 19th century – paying tribute to the origins that lay the groundwork for centuries of prestige winemaking.

 “In every aspect, Cuvée Hemera is symbolic of Maison Henriot’s mastery of time,” says cellar master Alice Tétienne. “After 12 years of aging in the darkness and silence of our cellars, Cuvée Hemera 2006 still bears the freshness and liveliness of spring, while the minerality and floral notes of Chardonnay heighten the fruit-forward accents of Pinot Noir.” 

 “The name Hemera is a tribute to the Greek goddess of daylight and represents this Champagne’s lively style and precision, achieved only through winemaking wisdom passed down through the generations and the patient passing of time,” adds Gilles de Larouzière Henriot, CEO and President of Maisons & Domaines Henriot and eighth-generation member of the Henriot family. “Our team is excited to release this exceptional vintage, with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in equal parts, all hailing from the finest parcels of my ancestors’ six original Grand Cru villages.”


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