Published Date

Heaven Hill Brands has signed an agreement to acquire Carolan's Irish Cream Liqueur and Irish Mist Liqueur through the purchase of 100% of the share capital of TJ Carolan & Son Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Gruppo Campari. The sale is expected to close August 1, 2017. 

The agreed acquisition of Carolan's and Irish Mist complements Heaven Hill Brands’ robust and growing portfolio. Carolan's is the second-largest selling Irish cream whiskey liqueur world-wide. The product is produced in Ireland from the finest Irish ingredients including fresh cream, honey and Irish whiskey.  Irish Mist has a long heritage as the first liqueur to be produced in Ireland. The Liqueur is a blend of Irish whiskey, honey and natural aromatic spices. Carolan's and Irish Mist were acquired by Gruppo Campari in 2010. 

“We are excited to add to Carolan's and Irish Mist to our portfolio of leading brands,” said Max L. Shapira, president, Heaven Hill Brands. “The historic brands are certainly complementary fits for a Heaven Hill portfolio built on quality and innovation. We look forward to building on the success these brands have achieved both in the US and around the world.” 

The Cream Liqueur segment of the industry has been a significant and stable category for decades. Representing approximately 3,000,000 cases, the cream category’s largest brands are nearly 20 percent of the total imported liqueur market in the U.S. Carolan's has grown over six percent since 2010 outpacing the bulk of the Cream Liqueur category. 

Likewise, the Irish Whiskey category, with which Irish Mist is closely related, has experienced similar growth dynamics to American Whiskey.  Since 2010, the category is up over 150 percent and expected to continue that significant growth for many years to come. A companion Irish Mist Blended Irish Whiskey was introduced in 2014.  

Carolan's Irish Cream was developed in 1978 and first launched in the UK in July 1979. Since then the brand has grown steadily and established itself as the world’s no. 2 Irish Cream Liqueur with sales in over 40 countries. Its superior taste is derived from the subtle blending of flavors, including natural honey sourced from the Clonmel area in Ireland – the word “Clonmel” derives from the Gaelic “Cluain Meala” which means Vale of Honey. Carolan's Irish Cream is named after the celebrated 17th century harpist, Turlough O’Carolan, a legendary travelling musician of that time. 

Irish Mist was the first liqueur to be produced in Ireland at Tullamore, County Offaly. The company history goes back to 1829 when the Tullamore Distillery was founded to produce Irish whiskey. 

Irish Mist is a blend of Irish whiskey, honey and natural aromatic spices. It was the first liqueur to be produced in Ireland and, while the bottle has changed a number of times over the years, the liqueur itself has remained true to its origins – the recipe has not changed, so you can be sure of the warming whiskey and honeyed sweetness, beautifully counter balanced by aromatic spices, that gives Irish Mist its wonderfully complex flavor and taste experience. 

Heaven Hill has been exceptionally active over a long period of time in expanding its portfolio through internal product innovation and acquisitions. Prior to the current agreed acquisition of Carolan's and Irish Mist, in 2015 the company acquired Deep Eddy Vodka, one of the fastest growing Vodkas in the U.S. 

Published Date

TORONTO, July 18, 2017 /CNW/ - The Dominion has been announced as Canada's Next Great Cocktail in the July issue of Canada's award-winning inflight magazine, Air Canada enRoute, and online at With the Caesar having ruled the nation's cocktail scene for many years, the country's leading bartenders were challenged to create a new signature cocktail using Lot No. 40 Canadian Whisky to help toast in Canada's 150th anniversary.

"As celebrations continue summer-long for Canada's 150th birthday, we are thrilled to announce The Dominion as Canada's Next Great Cocktail," said Andy Shibata, Air Canada's Managing Director, Brand. "As Canada's leading airline, we love celebrating Canadian talent across the country."

A coast-to-coast panel of the country's best bartenders were chosen to take part in a three-day getaway at Fogo Island Inn in Newfoundland and Labrador to collaborate on a new cocktail for Canadians. Led by Dave Mitton, Global Brand Ambassador for Lot No. 40 Canadian Whisky, the panellists included: Amber Bruce from Vancouver, Kate Boushel from Montreal, Samantha Casuga from Calgary (now based in New York), Shane Beehan from Halifax and Gord Hannah from Toronto.

"We asked the bartenders to create what Canada tastes like to them using our national spirit, Canadian whisky," Mitton said. "Boushel's cocktail is simple and easy, but still very interesting. She paired the whisky with ginger, berry preserves and cherry brandy and topped it off with sparkling apple cider to create a tall, refreshing cocktail that speaks to Canada very well."

"If I could describe The Dominion in two words, it would be 'magic hour.' It tastes like that warm feeling you get twice a day – just after sunrise and before sunset – when you're enjoying life with loved ones," Boushel says.

Made entirely from Canadian rye, and distilled in Windsor, Ontario, Lot No. 40 serves as the perfect base spirit for Canada's Next Great Cocktail. It is copper pot-distilled and then aged in virgin white oak casks to give off baking notes of cinnamon, clove, cherry and black pepper.

As of June 26, 2017, The Dominion is available exclusively at The Keg Steakhouse + Bar locations across the country during the summer season. The full feature on the Canada's Next Great Cocktail program can be found in the July issue of Air Canada enRoute magazine, available on all Air Canada carriers throughout the month of July, and online at

Published Date

Recently, McCain Foodservice undertook a pilot program with some of Canada’s leading independent restaurant operators to determine whether ‘size matters’ when it comes to menu appetizers.

In recent years, appetizer sales have been struggling, with servings down 6.3% year over year.


A recent consumer survey conducted by McCain Foodservice, examined Canadians’ perceptions of portion size and found evidence to suggest that for many people, less is becoming more:

  • 42% say they eat less than they did 10 years ago;
  • Canadians are twice as likely to say that portion sizes in restaurants are too large than too small;
  • 66% agree that it’s healthier to eat smaller portions;
  • 63% say that for them, dining out is about quality not quantity;
  • And 58% would like to see restaurants offer two sizes of appetizers: small and regular

Recognizing Canadians are looking to try a few new dishes at restaurants but want them in small portions and at lower price points, McCain Foodservice created the McCain Appetizer program, working together with independent operators to determine whether offering snack size apps would increase overall sales or cause consumers to trade down from regular sized apps.


McCain found the key success of the program was offering small portions of craveable and trending apps from McCain like Potato Bites and Battered Cauliflower. As these items are trending on menus across Canada, offering these items at an accessible price point entices consumers to add them to their regular purchase or in addition to ordering beverages.


The program ran over a three week period in select restaurants across Canada. Over the course of the trial, operators found an increase of 10-15% in appetizer sales. The program ensured ease of preparation, incremental profit opportunity and supporting POS tactics.  

Published Date

July 17, 2017 – The history of Port goes back to the late 1600s, with one important chapter beginning in 1692 when Job Bearsley, an English merchant, travelled to Portugal to venture into the wine business, founding the company now known as Taylor Fladgate. This year, Taylor Fladgate celebrates its 325th anniversary as one of the oldest and most renowned Port producers in the world. To mark the occasion, Taylor Fladgate releases a special limited-edition bottling that arrives in the U.S. this month, and recently joined forces with single-handed yachtsman, Ricardo Diniz, to re-enact Taylor Fladgate’s first shipment of Port.


Adrian Bridge, Managing Director of Taylor Fladgate, comments: "Our history is often the history of Port itself, because in 325 years we have always been in the front line. We have pioneered new categories of Port, introduced sustainable viticulture, developed leading-edge viniculture whilst preserving traditional practices and opened challenging paths for markets that are now fundamental to the wine business. Port is one of the great classics in the wine world today, partly due to Taylor Fladgate’s tireless work throughout generations.”


To commemorate the milestone, Taylor Fladgate’s blending team has drawn on their extensive cask aged reserves to create a special blend of fine oak-matured Ports selected for their depth and richness of flavor. The limited-edition Taylor Fladgate 325th Anniversary Reserve Tawny, released in a special 1692-style bottle, is a fitting tribute to Taylor Fladgate’s long history and mastery of the art of cask aging and blending.



(20% ABV; $37.99 SRP; Toiriga Nacional, Toiriga Francesa, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Roriz, Tinta Cão, Tinta Amarela)


TASTING NOTE:    A rich, figgy nose with a background of toffee and mocha, notes of plum and apricot, spicy hints of black pepper, nutmeg and fleeting scents of jasmine, all come together in a heady complex harmony. Dense and luscious on the palate, with a wonderful velvety smoothness. The mellow flavors of butterscotch and molasses merge with rich jammy red berry flavors, a perfect blend of youth and maturity.

FOOD PAIRING:    Pairs well with figs, almonds, pecan pie, desserts made with coffee or caramel, and crème brûlée. It can also be served at the end of the meal with walnuts or dried fruit and it can be slightly chilled in the summer.


The reenactment of Taylor Fladgate’s early days took place in May 2017 when a cask of the Taylor Fladgate 325th Anniversary Reserve Tawny Port was loaded onto a fully restored yacht named #Taylor325 at the quayside of the River Douro close to the Taylor Fladgate lodges. From there, Diniz sailed with the cask to London in the manner that would have been familiar to Job Bearsley in the 17th century. A leading ambassador of Portuguese culture, Diniz comments: “This is an important part of Port and Portugal’s history and something I am proud to represent and share.”


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