Tag Archives: alcohol news

Glengarry Highland Scotch Whisky

Not to be confused with the similarly named Glen Garry, Glengarry takes its name from the traditional Scottish bonnet worn for centuries, including the days when tartan and kilts were banned.

It is an ongoing part of the range of whiskies produced by the Loch Lomond Distillery Company, and includes an NAS blend and two single malt expressions.

The blend is described as full-bodied, with a hint of peat smoke, while the NAS malt also has a smoky edge. The 12-year-old single malt is light and floral in character with grassy tones, matured in a mix of Bourbon, refill and recharred casks.

Glengarry is distinct from the much older Glen Garry blended Scotch brand, which was first produced by John Hopkins & Co in the late 19th century, before being acquired by the Distillers Company Ltd (DCL) some decades later.

First launched into the US in 2015, Glengarry is produced at the multi-functional Loch Lomond distillery in Alexandria, Dunbartonshire, which was built in 1966.

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple introduced in India

Consolidating its leadership position in the flavoured whiskey segment, Jack Daniel’s recently announced the introduction of Tennessee Apple in India. It will be the third flavoured whiskey to be introduced in India after Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire. The company would like to add more consumers to the whiskey category.

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple is crafted from the iconic Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, charcoal mellowed and matured in new American oak barrels, and apple liqueur made from the highest quality ingredients to deliver a delicious Jack Daniel’s experience. Jack Apple is a deliciously smooth and refreshing apple-flavoured whiskey that’s uniquely Jack.

The initial launch has taken place in Mumbai, Goa, Pune and Gurugram and will soon be rolled-out in other parts of the country.

“Mr. Jack was known for being an innovator and always exploring how to do things differently, including adding different flavours and ingredients,” said Jack Daniel’s Master Distiller, Chris Fletcher. “Tennessee Apple is a perfect blend of crisp, green apples enhanced by the sweet bold notes of Jack. It is like a freshly picked apple in a glass of Jack.” Currently, they have no plans to launch another flavour in the near future, he points.

Says Siddharth Wadia, General Manager – India, Middle East and North Africa, Brown-Forman Worldwide LLC, “After a great response to our other flavoured whiskey brands, we are excited about our latest offering to our consumers in India and I am sure will help us expand the Jack Daniel’s consumer franchise in the country. With in-home consumption on a rise and consumers looking for varied options, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple will surely connect with not only existing friends of Jack, but also enable us to make new friends.”

It’s available in retail stores (at 70 proof, 750 ml bottle) with a starting price of `2300 and it is recommended to serve Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple chilled – neat, on the rocks or with tonic water for people who love cocktails.

Bacardí Rum Launches Limited-Edition Five-Year Cask Finish Series with The Release of Reserva Ocho Sherry Cask Finish

To kick off National Rum Day, Bacardí Rum recently announced it is expanding its premium portfolio range with the launch of a limited-edition Bacardí Reserva Ocho Sherry Cask Finish. This new rare rum offering marks the start of a five-year collection, which will see Bacardí unveil a new cask finish offering annually through 2025, with the cask finish changing each year based on the type of barrel used for the additional aging.

Each of the premium rums from the Bacardí Reserva Cask Finish series will begin with a base of Bacardí Reserva Ocho, aged under the Caribbean sun, and then finished for several additional months in a unique barrel that will change year to year. The finishing process differs from the aging process by increasing the complexity of the spirit – in this case, adding subtle notes of chocolate and almond, which are not typically found in Bacardí Reserva Ocho.

This year’s inaugural release has been aged in American oak barrels for eight to 12 years and finished in an Oloroso sherry cask for just over two months. These additional few months in the sherry cask allow the blend to take on a sweet, smooth velvety texture with notes of caramel, vanilla, and orange, along with hints of walnuts and almonds. The result is a deep mahogany flavour that gives off the aroma of dried fruits, raisins, walnuts, and almonds. This luxurious libation is best enjoyed neat in a room temperature tasting glass to bring out the full flavours of the finish.

A family-owned brand, Bacardí has been creating premium rums for dozens of years in collaboration with its deeply knowledgeable Maestros de Ron (Master Blenders), all carefully chosen and trained in seven generations of rum-making expertise who then shape and carefully craft all of the products. The rum blends from the new Reserva Cask Finish series are similarly crafted by Bacardí Master Blenders who selected the esteemed Bacardí Reserva Ocho as the base because it is based off of the original recipe from the family reserve created in 1862 and is a symbol of the brand’s heritage. The Oloroso sherry cask was chosen as the first finish in the series due to its origins from Spain, much like Bacardí founder, Facundo Bacardí Massó,

“We could not be more thrilled for the launch of Bacardí Reserva Ocho Sherry Cask Finish to add to our Premium portfolio for a limited time. This is our first innovation for the premium range since the portfolio first launched in 2018, and we are excited to introduce four more innovations over the course of the next four years,” said Lisa Pfenning, Vice President, Bacardí for North America. “We have seen an increased popularity in premium rums throughout the years, namely sipping rums, and we hope our rum enthusiasts will appreciate the care and craftsmanship that has gone into blending the Reserva Cask Finish series – which will add new layers of beautiful and bold flavours to our smooth aged rums. Not only will the taste appeal to rum drinkers, but we believe that whiskey drinkers will find themselves reaching for a bottle of Bacardí Reserva Ocho Sherry Cask Finish as well.”

According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S., the rum category revenue increased by 5.9% in 2020, with most of the growth attributed to High-End Premium (8.7%), Premium (7.5%) and Super-Premium (3.7%) categories. Premium rums are an increasingly growing segment and there is no better time to announce the launch of the new programme than this very moment. According to Nielsen, Rum Cask Finishes revenue is growing by over 190%. As Cask Finishes are most commonly found within the whiskey segment, Bacardí is seeking to entice whiskey drinkers to explore outside of the category through the launch of its new five-year Reserva Cask Finish Series. Be sure to keep an eye out to see when the next four finishes will be announced through 2025.

To accompany the launch of this new product, Bacardí is teaming up with famed celebrity photographer, Cam Kirk, to create an original NFT (non-fungible token) inspired by the Bacardí Reserva Ocho Sherry Cask Finish. The partnership between Bacardí and Kirk is the embodiment of the rum brand’s ethos, Do What Moves You, which is a guiding principle rooted in self-expression and connectivity, celebrating creativity and individuality – something that Kirk puts forward in each of his many endeavours. The synergies between Kirk and Bacardí, formed by their shared passion for music and desire to move people both physically and emotionally, laid the groundwork for a natural partnership.

“Every time I take on a new project, I approach it with the highest level of precision and passion. I saw that exact precision and passion from the Master Blenders when they introduced me to the new Sherry Cask Finish and it was my honour to capture it for a fellow rum fan,” said Kirk. “This is my first-ever NFT, so I knew it had to be a truly special collaboration.”

Top Bar Trends for 2021

The top bar trends for the new year include creative ways bar owners are adapting to save their businesses and preserve bar culture.

Off-Premise Alcohol Sales

For bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, off-premise sales will be an essential bar industry trend in 2021. Many businesses have already dipped their toe into alcohol takeout options, but the new year will see a surge of off-premise alcohol sales. The pandemic gave this already growing segment a boost and we expect breweries, distilleries, and beer distributors to get in on the action. Off-premise sales can take several forms:

Cocktail Kits – These drink kits are popping up on takeout menus everywhere. The perfect kit contains all the ingredients, and sometimes the tools, needed to create signature cocktails at home.

Growler Pours – Regulations on growler fills vary by state, but where allowed, growlers provide a safe option for beer enthusiasts to enjoy craft beer from their favourite brewery.

Adult Slushies – These boozy slushies are the adult version of your favourite childhood treat. States like Pennsylvania allow the sale of these frozen cocktails for takeout. To-go cocktail containers and supplies make it easy to send customers home with adult slushies or mixed drinks.

Whole Bottle Sales – Liquidation of liquor inventory was a knee-jerk reaction when the pandemic hit, but whole bottle sales by bars and restaurants are predicted to continue in the new year.

Alcohol Delivery

The intricate laws governing alcohol delivery were loosened in the last year, giving bars and restaurants in some states the opportunity to offer alcohol options on their delivery menu.

The demand for alcohol delivery will only continue to grow in 2021 as the expectation for convenience climbs ever higher. To take advantage of this trend, bars and restaurants may have to jump through a few hoops to make sure they are abiding by state and local regulations.

Curated Subscription Services

If the theme of 2021 is “drinking at home” then curated subscription services are another bar trend that helps to connect bar owners with their customer base, beyond just basic alcohol delivery. Some bars have kept their bartenders employed by putting them to work on cocktail subscriptions that channel their mixology talents into a slightly different medium.

Breweries are partnering with subscription services like Tavour, an app-based business that notifies subscribers immediately when new, highly rated craft beers become available for shipping. For wine bars, a hand-selected bottle with a handwritten note from the in-house sommelier makes a special monthly subscription box for wine lovers. These types of services will continue to become more creative and more sought after in the new year.

Digital Shops and Merchandise

Branded merchandise is nothing new for bars, but you can expect a more sophisticated digital shopping experience in 2021. For many bar websites, the merchandise page used to be an afterthought with a limited product offering. Standard merch might include a branded t-shirt, a shot glass, and maybe a beer glass or two.

Bars will be upping the ante and making improvements to their merchandise selection to include branded growlers, bar tools, and high-quality apparel. If customers can’t visit their favourite watering hole, they can show their support by bringing a little piece of the bar into their home.

Craft Canned Cocktails

The canned beverage trend was already quite popular when the pandemic gave it an even bigger boost. Now canned hard seltzer and canned rose wine aren’t the only stars of the show. Ready-to-drink cocktails in a can are an appealing bar trend for a few different reasons.

For one, the quality of canned cocktails has vastly improved and you can expect a perfectly blended drink that rivals a made-from-scratch cocktail. Also consider the safety benefits of offering your customers a pre-packaged beverage verses a hand-mixed cocktail. To top it off, a canned cocktail is a convenient option for imbibing in the comfort of your own home.

Premium Products

Quality over quantity is another common theme for 2021. All the time spent in quarantine has resulted in many drinkers becoming quite educated about mixing their own cocktails. This has a far-reaching impact on the industry because educated consumers expect the best and they’re willing to pay for premium spirits and ingredients.

Bars can take advantage of this shift by offering a smaller cocktail list that features local, sustainable, or top-shelf spirits. Use illustrative drink descriptions on your menu and don’t neglect the mixers. Premium bar ingredients like homemade bitters and infused simple syrups can elevate the cocktail experience even more.

Outdoor Drinking Spaces

The past year has shown that outdoor activities are safer than indoor activities, which has left many bars looking for ways to create outdoor drinking spaces. The question becomes, how do you provide an outdoor drinking space when you have no available space? For bars located in certain parts of the country, the outside temperature alone is a huge obstacle to overcome.

In 2021, bars will become more creative with their approach to outdoor drinking. Alleys, parking lots, and sidewalks will be transformed into temporary drinking spaces and remodels to balconies and rooftops will increase. To battle the cold temps and create an outdoor winter destination, bar culture will start to include a different type of BYOB in the form of bring your own blanket.

Advanced Online Ordering

Online ordering is a big part of the pivotal shift to reduce contact in the hospitality industry and allow consumers to perform most functions digitally. As the platforms designed for online ordering become more advanced, we will see enhanced options for bar service.

Instead of ordering drinks directly from a bartender, online ordering and digital payment can be performed by mobile phone to reduce person-to-person contact. In the past, online ordering was commonly used prior to arriving at the destination. In 2021, we’ll see online ordering being used as a method of ordering drinks and food onsite.

Social Media Presence

Social media is the gathering place where many go to feel like they are connected. With the present challenges imposed by the pandemic, an increased social media presence provides a way bar owners can connect with their customer base in spite of an onsite closure. But in 2021, maintaining a social media presence goes beyond just making regular Instagram updates.

Weekly video tutorials that put the mixologist front and center help to keep customers loyal to their favourite bar. Videos can be posted for free or offered as a subscription service to increase revenue. Many bars will start offering digital gatherings like wine or whiskey tastings in conjunction with an alcohol purchase so customers can follow along virtually.

For bar owners in 2021, the stakes are much higher than they’ve ever been. The bar industry trends that will shape the future bar scene are being adopted out of necessity rather than a need to keep up with changing fads. Diversifying revenue streams and providing safe, convenient methods of serving will continue to dominate bar culture for the unforeseeable future.

Prohibition, Illicit Alcohol and lessons learned from Lockdown

The highly contagious and lethal nature of Covid-19 forced governments worldwide to rapidly implement measures to stem the spread of the virus. In pursuit of social-distancing objectives, closing large parts of economies, implementing work- and school-from-home restrictions, and even imposing personal stay-at-home quarantines quickly became the new normal. At the same time, governments were challenged to keep alive industries that they had locked down, buoy the economy and maintain employment for millions of people who might otherwise be forced into the already swollen ranks of the unemployed.

Achieving public health goals while avoiding the economic and social consequences clearly presented a paradox to policymakers rarely if ever witnessed before.

Within this mixed bag of emergency measures is the case of forced restrictions on the production, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages, otherwise known as dry laws and collectively a modern version of prohibition.

Supply restrictions incentivise illicit markets and criminal activity

Sudden restrictions in access to legal alcohol create a downward shift in supply that causes increases in the demand for illicit substitutes and incentivises illicit suppliers to enter the market to meet that new demand. In the case of outright bans/dry laws, consumers are prevented from purchasing legal products and pent-up demand has no other option than to shift entirely to illegal markets.

This report provides evidence on both consequences. For example, customs and police officers in India reported a significant increase in consumers’ demand for illegal liquor and an uptick in seizures of illicit product. This trend repeated in Mexico, India, South Africa, Panama, Colombia, Namibia and Sri Lanka, all of which imposed prohibition measures on alcohol.

Furthermore, in South Africa the Institute for Security Studies reported an increase in criminal activity and that criminal networks active during the pandemic had added illicit alcohol to other illegal products they offer clandestine customers, such as narcotics. This trend was repeatedly observed in most places where dry laws were imposed, consequently, boosting criminal activity and shifting markets further into the control of illicit actors.

Beware of associated consumer health risks

Perhaps the most alarming consequence of alcohol prohibition measures was the exposure of consumers to health risks associated with toxic illicit alternatives. Beyond the fact that these illicit substitutes do not comply with sanitary, quality and safety regulations, the most hazardous are contaminated with toxic chemical additives.In the worst cases, people died from consuming illicit beverages as a substitute or as a perceived remedy to Covid-19.

In other cases, they were driven to engage in harmful behaviours, such as alcohol looting and panic buying, all of which undermine social distancing objectives and their exposure to the Covid-19 virus.

Therefore, the sombre lesson about prohibition and illicit alcohol is found in the collective harm, serious injury and reported death counts.

Prohibition reduces tax collections and constrains budgets

Taxes collected on alcohol at various points along the legitimate supply chain are traditionally an important source of revenue for many governments. Consequently, a fiscal priority is to stop the revenue leakages associated with the sale and consumption of untaxed illicit alcohol.

During the pandemic, tax and revenue authorities from India, South Africa, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Mexico, United States, and Kenya, for example, all reported significant drops in taxes collected on alcoholic beverages.

Consequently, the lesson learned from lockdown is that governments that implement draconian supply restrictions on the alcoholic beverage sector end up depriving their own treasuries of much-needed fiscal revenue. While it is difficult to imagine that Finance Ministers would be surprised by this result, perhaps this situation highlights the need for Finance Ministers and Health Ministers to improve coordination, consultation, and joint impact assessment of proposed laws.

This report also finds that in addition to the immediate drain on treasury revenues, negative impacts on future fiscal collections can be significant. The longer legal businesses are sidelined, the greater is the opportunity for illicit traders to capture market share and fortify demand for their untaxed, unregulated products. Under these circumstances, regaining revenue losses can take years, especially if there follows a period of economic depression and high unemployment.

In all cases, reduced tax revenue resulting from a government’s own alcohol prohibition laws puts extra burdens on its ability to pay for policing criminal activity, including cross-border smuggling activities, that underpins illicit trade. Mounting expenses in the face of declining revenues put considerable strain on government budgets at a time when fiscal stimulus is needed most.

Prohibition sidelines legitimate businesses and depresses formal job opportunities

Emergency restrictions on alcohol production and sales have had an outsized impact on legitimate industry, jeopardizing long-term employment and growth, while fuelling a parallel underground market that further harms the legal sector’s ability to rebound once restrictions are lifted.

While it is challenging to evaluate the full effect of prohibition laws on an industry that employs millions of people in primary and secondary sectors, any job losses – especially those lost via a government’s own alcohol bans – are particularly debilitating in countries where the overall unemployment rate is already high. Taking South Africa as an example where prohibition measures have had severe impacts, it is estimated that over 165,000 South African jobs were lost during the first alcohol ban.

A few words about the post-pandemic recovery

As governments move from crisis management to recovery planning, the findings from this report suggest that valuable lessons from alcohol prohibition can usefully shape the most constructive and inclusive ways to build back economic activity, employment and growth.

The alcoholic beverage sector and its multiple and varied secondary industries are significant contributors to GDP and employment – and tax revenues – in virtually every economy worldwide.

Because of this, the sector will be an important part of the recovery. But governments should think twice about sudden increases in excise taxes levied on alcoholic beverages as a means to replenish budget shortfalls. A quick fix approach could end up being as reckless as the imposition of prohibition laws, resulting in lower consumption of legal beverages, smaller pools of tax collections and an increase in demand for untaxed, cheaper illicit alternatives.

Moreover, policymakers would be wise to note that this sector and the people who work there have already been particularly hard hit by prohibition measures. Governments must anticipate that prohibition sidelines legitimate businesses and depresses formal job opportunities.

There are a great number of alternatives to increasing excise taxes, and consideration should be given to a portfolio of time-proven regulatory measures that can complement taxes, not undermine them.

Ensuring accessibility of regulated taxable products will generate legitimate and significant levels of tax revenues. Governments cannot collect taxes on products that are not sold or on illicit products that exist outside of tax regimes.

Imposing sanctions on the bad actors that supply markets with fakes or smuggle contraband across borders will help plug fiscal leakages by disincentivising the supply of illicit, untaxed products.

Increasing consumer awareness about the harms of illicit alcohol is an important measure that governments can use to steer people away from harm and into the legal, regulated and taxable marketplace.

In all cases, the result can be greater tax collections on a larger pool of legal, taxable product – with the knock-on value of economic growth and reduced consumer risk.

Government actions need to be carefully considered and finely balanced in dealing with the challenges associated with Covid-19.

The conclusions of this report, for example, delineate four lessons for avoiding the negative consequences associated with the imposition of alcohol prohibition laws. They also suggest the value to Finance, Trade and Health Ministers of improving coordination, consultation, and joint impact assessment of proposed laws.

There is also a role for private and public partnership dialogue on ways to prevent illicit trade. If new restrictive measures are being considered, governments should consult and cooperate with industry to ensure that any restrictions are temporary in nature, proportionate and sustainable. Any such measures should be accompanied by appropriate public health messaging and reinforced by responsible retail standards.

Governments must also ramp up implementation of enforcement measures to ensure that illicit trade activities caused by the pandemic do not become permanent features of the post-pandemic economy. All stakeholders have an interest in stamping out illicit trade in alcohol and all benefit from collective action.

In the face of a health pandemic, such as Covid-19, it is recommended that governments: Avoid prohibition laws as emergency response measures to protect people from the spread of virus. The benefits are conjectural, while the negative consequences are many and counterproductive to interdependent health, employment, and economic objectives.

Ensure availability and access to legitimate products that conform with social-distancing objectives without inducing demand for illicit substitutes.

Avoid the imposition of “emergency tax” increases on alcohol. A quick fix approach could end up being as reckless as the imposition of prohibition laws, resulting in lower consumption of legal beverages, smaller pools of tax collections and an increase in demand for untaxed, cheaper illicit alternatives.

Ramp up implementation of enforcement measures to ensure that illicit trade activities caused by the pandemic do not become permanent features of the post-pandemic economy.

Oaksmith Whisky – A blend of Scotch Malts, Bourbon and Japanese craftsmanship

The global premium spirits company Beam Suntory has combined its knowledge and expertise of premium spirits from across the globe to bring to India, a truly International blended whisky, ‘Oaksmith Gold’. It is a first of its kind spirit with the best of Scotland and The United States of America by blending premium aged Scotch Malts, aged Kentucky straight Bourbon – some from distilleries over 200 years old – with world class Japanese craftsmanship. Oaksmith Gold and its blend are a celebration of craftsmanship and global collaboration, combining the best of East and West in a beautifully crafted 6-edged bottle. A celebratory ode to the impeccable Japanese craftsmanship, Oaksmith Gold is an iconic global brand starting off from India, bringing in an unmatched international experience with every sip.

What makes it truly gold?

The ingredients do the magic. From Grain to Bottle, Oaksmith Gold is a spirit with a smooth taste. It delicately blends high quality aged Scotch Whisky Malts from the lush highlands of Scotland with aged Kentucky Straight Bourbon whisky from The United States of America using impeccable craftsmanship of Japan. As a result of this world class unique blend created by one of the most celebrated master blenders globally – Shinji Fukuyo, the man with over 30 years of experience creating the most famous award-winning Japanese whiskies in the world such as Yamazaki and Hibiki – the taste of Oaksmith Gold is rich, smooth and refined. On the palate, the flavour profile is mild but full body with woodiness from the oaks casks, on the nose, it is rich fruity and has a sweet top note followed by a hint of smoke (peat), on the finish, it is clean and smooth making it very delightful. This makes it perfectly suited to tickle the taste buds of connoisseurs and beginners alike.

Aged Bourbon Whiskies from the Americas

Elegant. Smooth. Refined. That is what four years of aging in newly charred American white oak barrels does to the bourbon, which goes into the delicate Oaksmith Gold blend. A method tested over more than 200 years of time – a method as old as the distillery that produces it.

Aged Scotch Malt Whiskies from Scotland

Oaksmith contains carefully selected Premium and Aged Scotch Malt Whiskies that speak of the pride and confidence of some of the most charming distilleries in Scotland. Crafted as nature intended, these precisely selected whiskies are known for wholesome maltiness, honeyed sweetness, a delicious creamy texture, and as much character as the Highlands of Scotland!

The Impeccable Craftsmanship of Japan

Japanese dedication to quality and craftsmanship is world renowned. Oaksmith Gold is a perfect representation of Takumi which in Japanese means ‘artisan’ or ‘skillful’ as it is an ode to Japanese craftsmanship. The rare blend has a fine balance of smokiness, sweetness and smoothness that was crafted by world renowned Shinji Fukuyo – Chief Blender at Suntory, the founding house of Japanese Whisky – after spending hours meticulously selecting aged spirits in oak barrels. The name – Oaksmith is a tribute to this craftsmanship, and the fine oak casks that Beam Suntory’s whiskies are aged in. From seed to sip, Oaksmith Gold is gentle on the nose and strikes a balance between the oak’s woodiness with notes of rich fruity sweetness giving it a clean and smooth finish. Further, to truly match it to the local palate, he travelled across the length and breadth of India to understand the nuances of Indian food and flavours and what could match perfectly with them.

What constitutes The Perfect Serve?

This beautifully crafted whisky blends well into any cocktail and pairs well with almost all flavour profiles of food. However, the perfect serve of Oaksmith Gold, is a celebration of purity, authenticity and high quality that comes alive recommended as 45 ml poured in a pre-chilled, wide mouthed whisky rock glass. Add signature Oaksmith Gold spherical ice for this Takumi ritual, if not, four big ice cubes or six small, and finally add water to taste, but no more than the pour size (45ml in this case).

Pricing and Availability

Oaksmith Gold brings Japanese mastery – otherwise a super-premium and luxurious phenomenon – to Indian whisky price points to elevate the product experience many notches above the standard segment offering. Oaksmith Gold is currently available in the states of Maharashtra, Telangana, West Bengal, Karnataka, Chandigarh, Goa, Assam, UP and ranges from Rs. 630 to Rs. 2,000 for a 750 ml bottle.

Blended, not stirred! Bacardí Rum celebrates with Limited Edition Fruity Frozen Cocktail Kits

Bacardí Rum has partnered with ‘Poptails by LAPP’ to launch a limited run of delicious Fruity Frozen Cocktail Kits for rum lovers to enjoy just in time for the revival of summer in the UK. Frozen cocktails are having a real moment and are currently the seventh most ordered serve for summer 2021, showing their universal popularity as Brits look to cool down from the summer heat.

Bacardí Fruity Frozen Cocktail Kits will be available to pre-order from 18th August for £35, exclusively on the Poptails By LAPP website. Perfect for cocktail lovers who yearn to evolve their mixology skills while creating easy-to-make, crowd-pleasing cocktails within minutes when entertaining.

Cocktail enthusiasts will be able to choose between two kit flavours – a tropical coconut and pineapple kit made with bold and fresh Bacardí Coconut to make a Rumstar Colada frozen cocktail (a twist on the classic Pornstar Martini), or a zesty berry kit which includes all the ingredients to make a delicious frozen Red Berry Daiquiri with tangy and sweet Bacardí Raspberry to enjoy and sip in the sun.

The Bacardí Fruity Frozen Cocktail Kits will keep summer going and transport you to a tropical paradise with a vibrant drinks experience – all from the comfort of your own garden and without needing any extraordinary bartender expertise, just a blender! The kits both feature the new limited edition Bacardí Raspberry and Bacardí Coconut bottles in addition to LAPP’s non-alcoholic flavoured Poptails that arrive frozen. Just blend for 10 seconds with the fruity expression from Bacardí and other recipe ingredients for the ultimate tipple.

Inspired by the Caribbean heritage and vibrant personality of Bacardí, the new limited edition bottles will make you feel like your back yard is a beach, bringing a summer holiday vibe to any bar cart or back bar. The design also reflects the natural flavours of the ingredients in Bacardí Coconut and Bacardí Raspberry, showcasing fresh flavour inside and out.

“With many Brits staycationing in the UK this summer, August will finally bring us some much-deserved heat and how better to celebrate than with a frozen cocktail!” says Marie Peyto, Brand Director for Bacardí Rum UK. “After partnering with key bars across the UK to bring delicious frozen cocktails to the public, we wanted to create a way for people to also enjoy at home with Bacardí Rum just in time for summer’s hot finale. Now anyone can create bar-quality frozen drinks in their own kitchen with our new Fruity Frozen Cocktail Kits in partnership with LAPP – complete with new eye-catching Bacardí Coconut and Raspberry bottles that are perfect for summer entertaining”.

Continuing the tropical, vibrant, and fun experiences this summer, Bacardí also announces the arrival of its new drink-dispensing billboard which will serve fruity frozen cocktails to the sun-lovers of London, creating a slice of paradise on the Thames. The public will be able to sample both Bacardí Coconut and Bacardí Raspberry in complimentary frozen cocktails on 21st and 22nd August from 12:00pm to 19:00pm at Observation Point, Southbank, and can vote for their favourite for the chance to win one of 10 Fruity Frozen Cocktail Kits to enjoy at home, in the flavour of their choice.

Carlsberg India enters wheat beer segment with Tuborg White

Carlsberg India enters the premium wheat beer segment with the launch of Tuborg White. This new Tuborg offering is beyond any ordinary lager. It is a cloudy drink with a smooth refreshing taste with a subtle fruity twist. It is yet another premium beer from the portfolio of Carlsberg India that provides consumers who are seeking beverages with a new taste profile that can be enjoyed with friends and family.

Over the last decade, the wheat beer segment has developed wide acceptance in India with a loyal base of consumers. There is an opportunity to expand this segment with the right liquid providing a consistent refreshing taste.

The recipe for this brew was developed specifically to appeal to Indian consumers by expert brewers in R&D center in Copenhagen, Denmark. It delivers the consistency and perfection that Tuborg is known and loved for across the world. The new brew has been launched across Maharashtra in 500ML Can and 330ML glass bottles with an attractive launch price of `170 and `140 respectively. This is the most premium priced offering in the Tuborg portfolio and in line with the choice of ingredients and its standout packaging.

Referring to the launch, Partha Jha, Vice President Marketing, Carlsberg India said, “The launch of Tuborg White reinforces our commitment to the Indian market. Tuborg White is a unique European style brew specially customised for the Indian consumer. With the easy-to-drink refreshing liquid layered under a delicate fruity twist, we are sure it will be loved not only by lager drinkers, but all consumers looking for a change from the regular. With our manufacturing & distribution capabilities, we are confident of expanding the category and will continue to offer exciting choices to our consumers from their favourite brand.”

Tuborg White is currently available in Maharashtra and will soon be launched in other states in the coming months.

Alcobev Sector enhances customer delight, thanks to Artificial Intelligence

In 2019, Swedish whisky distillery Mackmyra released Intelligens, said to be the ‘world’s first’ whisky created using AI. Mackmyra collaborated with Microsoft and a Finland-based tech company – Fourkind, and using customer feedback data, they created AI algorithms which picked up recipes that were a delight for the end-consumer.

Microsoft, IBM and other tech companies are active in alcobev

Microsoft, IBM and other digital technology players were making significant forays into the alcobev industry. And the big boys of the alcobev industry soon realised how transformative this could be for the industry itself. They had seen the dividends the retail sector was earning and one by one, they started introducing digital technologies in their processes and the going has been good. Microsoft pitched to Danish multinational brewer Carlsberg for the ‘Beer Fingerprinting Project’ and the two used machine learning to good effect. They fed with beer ingredient characteristics to map out and predict beer flavours, shortening the time it takes to develop new beers. Then there was US-based Sugar Creek Brewing Company which tied up with IBM to use AI to improve its beer manufacturing line where there was a monthly beer spillage amounting to $30,000.

Diageo’s ‘What’s Your Whisky’ is so so customer-centric

One of the global leaders in alcoholic beverages, Diageo launched ‘What’s Your Whisky Selector’, an innovative digital experience that has found favor and flavor with many a whisky connoisseur. What did ‘What’s Your Whisky’ do? It simply used AI and ML to analyse customer’s flavour preferences (variety of sweet, fruity, spicy and smoky flavours found in Single Malt whiskies) and recommended a Single Malt whose flavour profile most closely matched the customer’s taste. Customer delight is something no company would want to miss out on. Diageo rolled-out this experience in Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Greece, Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands. Ok, it is not available in India which boasts of the largest base of whisky drinkers! Diageo said that intelligent automation is deployed in over 100 applications across its business. “Through predictive analytics, machine leaning and robotics process automation, we are growing more productive and more competitive.”Around the same time, other alcobev behemoths such as Beam Suntory, Bacardi, AB InBev, Pernod Ricard and others had also started putting their money on AI, ML and robotics to enhance manufacturing and operational processes and importantly on introducing a new dimension to customer experience.

A lot is brewing in AB InBev’s Beer Garage

Belgium-based AB InBev has something brewing in its ‘Beer Garage’ wherein machine learning is at play. AB inBev has invested in data-driven solutions to help improve beer brewing on the production side, while on the customer side, it is enhancing its customer engagement programme. The world’s largest beer maker (Budweiser, Stella Artois, and Corona) is using low-cost sensors and machine learning to predict malfunctioning in its brewery, getting to fix it before it happens and thus avoiding huge downtime. Beer Garage is scaling the company’s existing capabilities in AI, ML, Internet of Things, Cloud & data analytics, automation and robotics, and exploring emerging technologies such as Blockchain, AR & VR and others. Innovation at AB InBev drives its commercial strategy, supply chain, and is building sustainable business to improve lives in communities around the world. These technologies are providing the company with unprecedented insight into the needs of its consumers and customers and supporting the growth of the beer category.

Beam Suntory Mexico plant uses drones in agave fields

Beam Suntory, the world’s third largest premium spirits company, deployed drones and AI in its Casa Sauza project. Drones helped the company get an accurate inventory of the agave (Tequila) plants in the fields and to reduce the time it takes to complete the inventory. An AI process is applied to ensure only agave plants, not weeds or any other material, are counted. The inventory data is loaded and tracked in the Sauza Blue Harvest application and later transferred to SAP for SKU tracking. The drone technology is used to manage, monitor and increase crop productivity, and to assist in diagnosing the health and vitality of the agave plants. Beam Suntory is also using digital manufacturing from Rockwell Automation and Cisco to overhaul its business models, improve efficiencies, streamline logistics and update its network. “The future’s promising for Beam’s IT infrastructure and for our networks, and how we can leverage automation and productivity, improving our flavours and our brands. It’s very important to Beam, and I think we’re really moving forward in a good direction,” said Amon Hogue, Senior Network Architect at Beam Suntory.

Pernod Ricard Winemakers gets accurate grape yield

Early this year, Pernod Ricard Winemakers, the premium wine division of Pernod Ricard, took on board Complexica, a leading provider of AI software for supply and demand optimisation. It went live with Complexica’s Decision Cloud software platform in Marlborough, New Zealand in what is Pernod Ricard’s largest global technology project. It plans further go-lives in Australia for finished goods planning and production scheduling, followed by Australian and Church Road winery operations, which forms part of a wider programme of activity to enable the business to utilise technology to work faster, smarter and safer. Pernod Ricard Winemakers also engaged Trellis to support its business and supply chain operations by providing accurate grape yield, quality, harvest timing and procurement cost prediction across Australia and New Zealand.

Bacardi’s cool cocktail-making app

Bacardi this year launched a new cocktail-making app that has helped those who were dishing up new cocktail recipes during the pandemic. The app aims to reimagine the bar setting, besides giving bartenders a platform to showcase their talent. The app launched in the US and UK helped boost consumer confidence in making cocktails at home. Bacardi also signed up EPAM which streamlined the spirits manufacturer’s digital environment by implementing a digital platform for multiple brands including Bacardi rum, Grey Goose vodka, Breezer, Patron Tequila and more. The DevOps automation platform resulted in 16 times greater website development capacity, and a 42% reduction in infrastructure costs.

Digitization in alcobev still nascent

Though deployment of digital technologies is still in its nascent stages in the alcobev sector, there are a number of early adopters who have invested in digital technologies to not only create flavour profiles faster, but also for other functions, including packaging, logistics, marketing and other processes. It is no-brainer that AI has the power to transform the alcobev industry forever, albeit it is happening at a gradual pace. In fact, the pandemic has accelerated the pace of deployment of AI in the alcobev sector as online deliveries became common; home drinking was becoming the norm; and consumers were looking at new recipes. According to US-based FasTrax Solutions, total alcohol sales registered an increase of 25.5% in 2020, driven by digital marketing initiatives with AI at the core. It said in the US beer sales increased by 20.2%; wine by 30.1%; and spirits by 34.1%. Thanks to e-commerce, the sales figures are looking impressive in these difficult times. Also came along the virtual sommelier, guiding consumers on how to buy wine, how to grow vines and how to taste / judge them. In fact, some winemakers have started investing in AI in their vineyards wherein it gives insights into soil management, pest control etc. Experts believe that large vineyards will deploy drones to help growers manage their yield better. Robots will also be at work to improve efficiencies at the vineyard.

Smart factories’ the future

Capgemini, a global leader in consulting, digital transformation and technology services, has said that beverage manufacturing companies plan to build 40% more ‘smart factories’ in the next five years. It estimates that smart factories will contribute between USD 1.5 trillion and 2.2 trillion to the global economy. And what are ‘smart factories’? They are those that leverage digital technologies to gain significant improvements in productivity, quality, flexibility and service. Three key digital technologies enable the smart factor – Connectivity (collecting data from existing equipment and new sensors); Intelligent automation (drones, machine vision etc); and Cloud-scale data management and analytics. The alcobev industry, one of the oldest in the world, though maybe late entrant to the digitization mode, but has soon caught up. From robots to drones to AI to ML, technology is becoming a key driver for not just growth, but a new customer experience. After all, customer experience matters.

1 million cases in sales – Seagram’s 100 Pipers becomes the First and Only Scotch Brand in India to Smash the Record, yet again

Seagram’s 100 Pipers, the largest selling Scotch whisky in India, continues to achieve bigger milestones and set new benchmarks in the industry. It has proven itself to be a market leader, thought leader, and innovation leader. In the last business cycle, Jul’20 – Jun’21, 100 Pipers has broken not one but two records.

100 Pipers became the first and only Scotch brand in India to cross the 1 million+ case mark in annual sales, twice – a solid stamp on the consumers’ love for the brand.

Adding to this success streak, the brand’s premium variant ‘100 Pipers Blended Scotch, Aged 12 years’ crossed 100,000 Cases in annual sales for the first time ever since its launch in 2012. A notable performance by the aged variant – it is now the largest selling 12-Year-Old Scotch in India, confirming that “Age Matters” to the discerning Indian scotch aficionado.

Asserting its dominance in the Scotch whisky market, the brand had recently launched a new variant ‘100 Pipers Blended Malt Scotch, Aged 8 Years’. This is the first & only ‘100% Malt’ Scotch offering in the Standard Scotch category – a game-changing innovation by 100 Pipers.

With a global footprint spanning eight countries across Asia, Europe, Africa, Middle East and South America, 100 Pipers brings a truly international experience to the Indian consumers, with the widest range of unique Scotch variants. It is also the second largest Scotch whisky in Asia.

Commenting on the multiple achievements, Kartik Mohindra, Chief Marketing Officer, Pernod Ricard India said, “100 Pipers continues to shape the Indian Scotch segment and set new records. This is driven by its increased popularity among the younger, aspirational consumers who are resonating strongly with the brand’s purpose-led initiatives due to their uniqueness, authenticity and credibility.

Like, the international award-winning Legacy Project – which showcases endangered Indian art-forms via Limited Edition Packs and provides tangible livelihood support to artisans. Recognised internationally and in India by some of the most prestigious awards in the world for creative excellence, The Legacy Project won the Bronze Pencil at One Show Awards (New York), Merit at D&AD Awards (UK), Bronze at Spikes Asia, and multiple honours at Kyoorius Creative Awards.

Also, the 100 Pipers Play for a Cause platform that has been leveraging music for many years to raise awareness and funds for various social causes like meals for underprivileged, flood relief, etc. in addition to supporting the partnering musicians.

In addition to trendsetting campaigns, the young, aspirational consumers have also taken well to the newly launched 100 Pipers Blended Malt Scotch, Aged 8 Years. This category-first 100% Malt Scotch seeks to give younger consumers a unique experience that welcomes them into the world of Malt Scotch. With the discerning consumer increasingly experimenting with Malts, this eclectic and premium scotch showcases its craftsmanship and heritage that dates back to decades of scotch whisky making.

Overall, our strong performance over the years is a testament to great product craftsmanship, category first innovations, our differentiated and aspirational brand communication, and purpose-led initiatives – all coming together to help us build greater stature esp. amongst the younger consumers.”

As the largest whisky market in the world, India’s Scotch segment continues to be highly aspirational for whisky consumers. With sales hitting bigger benchmarks across variants and a keen eye on leading innovation, Seagram’s 100 Pipers is poised to continue as the dominant force in the market.