Tag Archives: liquor

Epitome Reserve Whisky Review

In this video we review the limited edition Epitome Reserve Rare Grain Whisky that was launched recently by United Spirits, a Diageo Company. With only 2000 bottles made yet this is India’s first 100% Rice Grain whisky which celebrates India’s iconic people that have shaped the various landscapes and industries that they’ve been in.

The ABV percentage is 46% of this whisky and check out our Exclusive First Review of what we thought.

This video is for entertainment purpose only and the magazine, channel and the host do not promote alcohol consumption.

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.”

Best places for Drinking Around the World

While drinking at night is very popular, day drinking during Covid times has also gained traction. There are a huge variety of day drinking destinations and beverage options around the world, from public parks in South Korea to cozy bars in Belgium to the beaches of Brazil. We look at some of the best drinking destinations in alphabetical order, first by country and then by city.

Mendoza, Argentina is ideal for day drinking

The entire Mendoza wine region is designed for day drinking, with its affordable wine tastings, winery lunches with wine pairings and beautiful weather year-round. But the creme de la creme of Mendoza winery lunches is the five-course lunch with (bottomless!) wine pairings at Bodega la Azul in the Uco Valley.

Yerevan, Armenia

The best things to do in Yerevan, Armenia, is drink wine. Saryan Street is the city’s “wine street”, famous for its Karas Wine. A great atmosphere for getting work done while enjoying a glass of wine or two.

Maffra, Australia

On a sunny day, both locals and visitors love to do some weekend day drinking by meeting up with friends, sitting around and trying some of Blue Gables’ amazing wines. There is nothing better than sipping from a chilled bottle of Moscato wine, sharing a wood-fired pizza and relaxing in this chilled-out environment.

Melbourne, Australia

There is no better way to spend a sunny day drinking in Melbourne, Australia than sipping prosecco outside at one of Melbourne’s many famous bars.Light, bubbly and refreshing, prosecco is the perfect drink to linger over as you relax in the sun.In recent years, Australian producers have mastered the art of Italian prosecco and you can find their drops all over town. The Australian proseccos come from the King Valley region, produced by Italian migrant families Dal Zotto and Pizzini. A seat at Arbory Bar on the Yarra River, next to Flinders Street station, offers a change of scenery and a unique venue in the middle of the river. Ponyfish Island is where your prosecco adventures in Melbourne continue in the shade of the Southbank bridge. It’s the kind of quintessential hidden bar that Melbourne is known for.

Sydney, Australia

The Bondi area in Sydney, Australia is the perfect place to day drink among other cheerful day drinkers. This is mainly due to the Bondi beach and Bondi Junction areas being popular with backpackers who don’t need much of an occasion to get their party on. It’s a popular pastime for the working holiday-makers in Sydney, who often start day drinking after an early finish on a Friday. This can continue throughout the weekend and culminates in the Sunday session which starts sometime on Sunday morning and ends when the pub closes.Most pubs in the area open early and have a very casual feel so you needn’t get dolled up for day drinking session.The ideal day drink in Bondi is beer and wine is also perfectly acceptable for those of us who can go the day-drinking distance on the vino.

Brussels, Belgium

A mere 20 minutes from the bustle of Brussels’ Grand Place, you’ll find the commune of Saint Gilles. Described by its mayor as the place where the world comes to meet, it’s an opportunity to see the real Brussels, Belgium. Here, alongside fabulous Art Nouveau buildings by the architect Victor Horta, you’ll find life lived among friends and family. You’ll find that life plays out both around you and with you in the bars of Saint Gilles.If you’re a fan of Belgian beer, then there are plenty of choices to sit back and enjoy day drinking in Brussels with a favourite brew. One popular venue is Union and Egalite which keeps more than 90 beers in a long bar studded with chandeliers. Make a day drinking date with a glass of the splendid Orval, and feel the sheer pleasure of being in Brussels.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Without a doubt, the favourite location for a spot of day drinking is Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro.Either way, Copacabana Beach is awesome at all times of the year. And the drink of choice is Caipirinha. This is the most famous cocktail anywhere in Brazil. It is made from a spirit called cachaça, which comes from sugar cane. The cocktail is very simple to make: simply crush ice, lime juice and brown sugar, and then mix in some of the cachaça.Capirinhas are incredibly refreshing and very, very cheap to get anywhere in Brazil, making them perfect for day drinking in the hot sun.

Calgary, Canada

Although it’s not your typical cocktail, any good Canadian will tell you there is nothing like a Caesar to kickstart your day drinking session. Caesar is its birthplace, Calgary, Alberta.Think of a Caesar as the spicy, wilder cousin of a Bloody Mary – vodka, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and Clamato juice (yes, that’s clam and tomato juice!), served with a celery salted rim and typically topped with delicious garnishes such as pickled beans, asparagus or olives. But don’t let the clam juice throw you off! This cocktail is super popular across Canada.

Ontario, Canada

For a day of activity visit Prince Edward County, Ontario, for a craft brewery tour by bicycle. The County lies a few hours outside of Toronto, and is an increasingly popular craft beer hub for locals and tourists alike.Prince Edward County (PEC) is farmland-turned-wine and beer region with a vibrant art scene and food that compliments it. As the day wears on, try Grandpa’s Coffee Stout at Parson’s as you relax in oversized Muskoka chairs. If you like sour beers, 555 Brewery is for you with its Jail Cell Sour Series. Their pizzas are delicious.Finally, end your day of beer and biking at Sandbanks Provincial Park in PEC. Here you’ll find Ontario’s white sand beaches lining some of the clearest freshwater in the world. It’s the perfect place to have a campfire and toast some marshmallows, and maybe enjoy a couple more evening brews as you relax beneath the stars.

Havana, Cuba

Havana, Cuba is known for its nightlife, but the truth is Cubans also love to drink rum during the day. Most tourists spend their time in Old Havana, which is a gorgeous and home to several bars claiming that Hemingway once drank there, but the more modern side of Havana, is where the locals go drinking.A good spot for day drinking in Havana is Playa del Estes, just outside of the city center. This beach is where locals visit on weekends. For a cocktail in Havana try 403 O’Reilly in Old Havana, a popular gin bar that also has other mixed drinks.

Český Krumlov, Czech Republic

Czech Republic is known for its beers. Český Krumlov is also filled with wonderful locations for an afternoon glass of local wine. The veranda at Papa’s Restaurant is ideal for a little picnic beside the Vltava River in the shadow of Krumlov Castle and indulge in some day drinking as you watch the kayakers pass by.

Épernay, France

Épernay is a great destination for champagne lovers. In fact, Épernay is the capital of the Champagne area! It is in Épernay where the most famous champagne brands like Moët Chandon and Mercier have their headquarters and vineyards, but there are also other independent champagne makers with interesting proposals.The champagne is produced in a very limited area, with very specific kind of grapes and a very specific process. Any drink produced out of this area or without following these rules cannot be called champagne; that’s why the champagne is so exclusive!Épernay is well connected by train, which makes of Épernay an excellent day drinking day trip from Paris or Reims.

Berlin, Germany

Beer is German’s drink of choice. Berlin, Germany is to join the locals for a frosty glass of cold beer, preferably at a sidewalk picnic table or another busy location that lends itself to people watching and meeting new travel friends.

Munich, Germany

Munich’s annual Oktoberfest festival is one of the best places in the world for some serious day drinking and a great party atmosphere.

Dublin, Ireland

O’Donoghue’s Bar is a historically significant drinking place located 15 Merrion Row in Dublin, Ireland. It is a popular pub that has attracted tourists from all over the world for over 50 years. O’Donoghue’s is known for its amazing, live, traditional Irish music, and it’s the place that introduced the popular band The Dubliners in 1960s. The bar is also frequented by other world renowned Irish traditional music bands and artists, whose pictures are displayed inside the pub.Considered to be one of the most authentic Irish pubs in the country, this bar does not only offer good entertainment, but also good drinks. A popular day drinking pub as well, O’Donoghue’s Bar is open from 10 am to midnight daily. There’s no better place to experience Ireland in an authentic way other than to gobble down a pint or two of Guinness while listening to traditional Irish songs.

Verona, Italy

Dining al fresco in the town square, dressed to the nines, wearing designer shades and sipping a great cocktail might seem like the ways of the rich and famous, but any Italian tourist can enjoy this day drinking tradition!Walk along the rim of Piazza Bra in the heart of Verona, Italy to see cafes filled with locals and visitor alike. Mid-day they might be enjoying antipasti, formaggio, or a late lunch, but in their glasses, many will sport the blood orange aperitif very popular in this region, an Aperol.Nicknamed “Ape” by the locals, this liquor can be served on the rocks, or more commonly in an Aperol Spritz – a combo of Aperol, Prosecco, soda and an orange slice. However you serve it, this drink is meant to be enjoyed during happy hour, to open your palate for the evening meal to come!

Negril, Jamaica

When you are in Jamaica you will always hear people say “give me a Red Stripe” when they are at the beach bar. They are referring to Red Stripe beer, the most popular beer brand in Jamaica.Negril Beach is a few miles of white sand beach dotted by hotels and the quintessential beach bars. You can basically work your way down the beach, stopping at the various beach bars to enjoy a Red Stripe beer or a rum. The beach bars are also a great place to people watch, enjoy the vibes and make new friends. At the end of your day drinking, you’ll get to watch the famous Negril sunset.

Maldives

Day drinking cannot get any better than on an exotic island resort in the Maldives. The Paradise Island Resort, otherwise known as Lankanfilnolhu in the north atoll in the Maldives, is a pristine white sand luxury resort island best for strolling around… with vodka, of course!The Maldives is a tropical country and it gets pretty humid during the daytime, so the best way to beat the heat is by sipping a coconut vodka cocktail. The extremely refreshing coconut vodka is served at the Hulhangu bar, a sea-facing bar at the Paradise Island Resort. To give it a more exotic touch, the drink is served in a traditional Maldivian coconut. The refreshing flavour of the coconut, mixed with vodka and topped with lemon and mint leaves, is the ideal beverage to drink on a sunny afternoon at the beach.Hydrating and refreshing, sipping a coconut vodka cocktail at the Hulhangu bar’s seafront porch is something that everyone should have the good fortune to experience.

Mexico City, Mexico

Xochimilco in Mexico City is a series of canals that wind around chinampas, or artificially created islands with small farms, sometimes referred to as ‘floating gardens’. Bright, gondola-like boats crowd the canals, manoeuvred by a driver with a long pole. A boat can fit up to 20 people, and you can rent one by the hour. Smaller boats weave around the bigger ones, selling all kinds of snacks and beverages.Michelada is a Mexican beer cocktail. A litre-sized soda cup is filled with lime juice and Dos Equis beer, then the rim is smeared with spicy Mexican tamarindo candy and chili powder.Mexican Tequilas too are world famous. Mezcal is a Mexican spirit made from agave. Tequila is technically a type of mezcal, but while tequila is only made from one type of agave plant (blue agave), mezcal can be made from 28 types of agave, including blue agave.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

One of the best places to enjoy a day of relaxing day drinking is in Amsterdam. It’s actually acceptable in the Netherlands to sit on a lovely cafe balcony and sip on a beer in the afternoon while you people watch and chat with friends. Luckily, you don’t need to only drink Heineken. There are lots of great cafes and beers to choose from. A favourite spot in Amsterdam is Brouwerij ’t IJ. This craft brewery in Amsterdam (next to a windmill!) is open all afternoon and closes early in the evening, so you actually need to get started early if you intend to sample their fantastic beers. Otherwise, you can head up to Amsterdam Noord to sample beers from the Oedipus, another great craft brewery.

Marlborough, New Zealand

The New Zealand wine region of Marlborough is superb area in which to day drink your way through a series of amazing wineries. You can easily rent a bicycle and cycle through ten wineries in a small area… or you can hire a driver and make it a heck of a lot easier. Whichever way you decide to go, Marlborough is a great wine region where Sauvignon Blanc dominates, but smaller grapes will win your taste buds.Here in Marlborough you’ll find small boutique wineries like Gibson Bridge Winery and the up-and-coming Wairau Cove, alongside internationally known Cloudy Bay, and if you want a beer at the end of the day, there’s always the craft brewery, MOA!

El Nido, Philippines

When considering the best places in the world for day drinking you’d be amiss to exclude El Nido in the Philippines from your list. El Nido is an eco-tourism hotspot with beaches are to die for and (very importantly!) the booze is cheap!When you’re sitting on the beach, being served chilled, fresh coconuts filled with generous amounts of Filipino Don Papa rum is the best experience.

Krakow, Poland

Hot mulled wine is quite popular in many places, but have you heard of hot beer? “Hot” and “beer” are two words that one wouldn’t normally associate together, but hot beer is actually is an interesting beverage and if you are visiting Poland, you must try it.Hot beer is served in most bars all over Poland. However, the bars in Krakow are especially popular.Wrega Pub is located in the Kazimierz area of Krakow, making it an ideal place to enjoy some day drinking after a spot of sightseeing.

Lisbon, Portugal

Ginjinha is a liqueur synonymous with Lisbon, Portugal. Made from Ginja or Morello cherries, sugar and fortified wine, it is the go-to drink for locals and visitors alike, and any visit to Lisbon would be complete without sampling at least one Ginjinha in Lisbon.The famous cherry liqueur was drunk by the late Anthony Bourdain when he filmed his television show, No Reservations, in Lisbon. Apparently, he enjoyed a number of glasses of Ginjinha with the locals.Porto’s most famous tipple is undoubtedly port wine. This sweet, fortified wine originates a few hundred kilometres upstream in the Portugal’s Douro Valley, but thankfully you don’t need to go far to start enjoying it. The cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia, just across the river from Porto, have been storing oak barrels of port wine for centuries.

South Africa

Wine tasting is a great excuse for day drinking, and it allows you to sample delicious wines in beautiful settings.Visiting South Africa’s Cape Winelands is the perfect excuse to start day drinking delicious wines early in the morning.

Soju in South Korea

South Korea is by far one of the best day drinking destinations in the world. South Korea is actually the country that consumes the most alcohol in the entire world, because of their great love for soju, a traditional Korean spirit. You will find day drinking to be a common activity among the locals. Most convenience stores have tables and chairs set up outside for people to enjoy their snacks, beer and soju any time of the day or night.

Girona, Spain

There is one form of day drinking that is perfectly acceptable throughout the Catalan province of Spain – taking a vermouth.Vermouth is a big deal in Catalonia, with Vermouth bars opening around 11:00 am, and closing around 3:00 or 4:00 pm. Vermouth is a fortified wine, served over ice, with a lemon slice and often an olive stuffed with anchovies on the rim. It is best enjoyed with a few little tapas, including a tortilla espanola, olives or anchovies.The best place for vermouth in Catalonia is in Girona, in the Costa Brava.

Malmo, Sweden

Winters in Sweden are a challenge. Enter Akvavit, or Aquavit, to the rescue. Aquavit is an alcohol that has been used to warm the Scandinavian body, mind, and spirit since the 15th century.Akvavit is distilled from grain and potatoes, and is flavoured with herbs and spices. It has a distinct flavour that admittedly has to grow on you. But once it does, yippee, as it provides a nice warm feeling to ward off the early darkness and short winter days.Not for the faint of heart, Aquavit is 40% alcohol by volume, or 80 proof by US standards. It will kick your butt and take you prisoner if you have too much.Still, Aquavit is such an important part of Scandinavian culture that it is used to toast weddings, graduations and Christmas dinners. Typically served as shot, it is consumed after singing a song, called a snapsvisa or a “schnapps song”.

Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok, Thailand is good for many things – seeing all the temples, eating your body weight in pad Thai and spending the day in the sun with a Chang beer. And if you’re going to do this, there’s only one place to do it right: Khao San Road.

New Orleans, USA

While you can find daiquiris and Irish coffees anywhere, only the Tropical Isle Bar in the French Quarter sells Hand Grenades. The recipe for the Hand Grenade originated here in the late 1980s and is patented by its owners. The drink is frozen and sugary sweet, with a melon flavour, and it is served in a tall green container shaped like a hand grenade. This is all perfect to mask what it actually contains – vodka, rum, gin, grain alcohol, and melon liqueur!The Tropical Isle Bar even has its own mascot for the Hand Grenade and over a million drinks are sold every year!

San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA

When it comes to day drinking piña coladas, there is no better place to enjoy the pineapple, coconut and rum concoction than Barrachina in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Barrachina, a restaurant nestled in the heart of Old San Juan, claims to have been the birthplace of the piña colada in 1963. Be advised though, there is disagreement that the piña colada originated a few years prior at the Caribe Hilton.

Santa Ynez, California, USA

The Santa Ynez Valley in southern California, USA, is a fantastic place for drinking! The Santa Ynez Valley is a wonderful part of the world where the sun shines warmly for much of the year and winters are mild. The rolling hills are covered in vineyards and horse ranches. The quiet roads curl around between fields and buildings.This region is also renowned for its chardonnay and pinot noir grapes, and is home to around 120 wineries. Many of these California wineries open their doors to people who want to come and indulge in some wine tasting.

Sonoma County, USA

Wine is life in Northern California. The north part of the state is known for its vast range of wineries, wine makers and wine culture.Sonoma County is one of the spots that you can’t miss. If you are looking for a day of great wine, day drinking and some beautiful scenery, Sonoma County is the place to go. It is a short twenty-minute drive from the Santa Rosa Airport or roughly two hours from San Francisco International Airport. Bourbons, Tennessee whiskies are also popular in US bars.In India, Goa and Pondicherry are also ideal locales for drinking. Feni is a popular tipple of Goa. Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore are big markets. Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Kolkata and Nashik are other popular cities for drinking.

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.

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.

Gujarat High Court admits petition challenging prohibition

The petition has argued that the government cannot decide what a person will eat or drink inside the premises of one’s house. The petition has invoked the ‘Right to Privacy’ in challenging the prohibition law. The Gujarat government’s Advocate General Kamal Trivedi said the petition should be filed in the Supreme Court as the apex court had upheld the Act in its 1952 judgment. He contended that the law validated by the apex court cannot be overturned by the High Court.

Petitioners say matter should be heard on merits

The petitioners, however, argued that the matter should be taken up on merits, as the provisions challenged in the pleas are materially different from what they were in 1951 as they have been amended over the years. They added that the right to privacy was not recognised as a fundamental right in 1951 when the Supreme Court upheld the validity of the provisions in the prohibition law.The batch of petitions have challenged the constitutional validity of sections section 12, 13 (total prohibition on manufacture, purchase, import, transportation, export, sale, possession, use and consumption of liquor), 24-1B, 65 of the Gujarat Prohibition Act, 1949, and sought them to be declared as ultra vires Article 246 of the Constitution.The provisions are “arbitrary, irrational, unfair, unreasonable, and discriminatory…and despite prohibition being in place for more than six decades, a steady supply of liquor continues to be available through an underground network of bootleggers, organised criminal gangs and corrupt officials”, the petitioners who were represented by senior advocates such as Mihir Thakore, Mihir Joshi, Devan Parikh and Saurabh Soparkar said.“With expanding interpretation of the right to life, personal liberty and privacy, as contained in Article 21 of the Constitution, a citizen has a right to choose how he lives, so long as he is not a nuisance to the society. The state cannot dictate what he will eat and what he will drink,” one of the pleas said.

Right to privacy is a fundamental right’: SC

The Supreme Court in another judgment had held that the right to privacy is a fundamental right and is an integral part of the right to life and liberty. Privacy is a right to be enjoyed by every human being by virtue of his or her own existence. It also extends to bodily integrity, personal autonomy, compelled speech and freedom to dissent or move or think. The right to privacy is to restrain government and private actions that threaten or hinders the privacy of individuals.

Regulation, and not prohibition, is what Gujarat needs: Devan Parikh, advocate

Devan Parikh, one of the advocates to the petitioner in a YouTube post by Vibes of India, has put forth the argument that the petitioners are not “asking for the removal of the prohibition policy lock, stock and barrel. We are asking the government to draw a fine line.”He pointed out that advertising of liquor in many parts of the world is not based on the alcohol content or intoxication. “Alcohol is sold basically for its refined taste. The kind of liquor that was available (when prohibition was introduced in 1961), there was some justification to have a rider. But after all these years and the knowledge base we have, the law needs a relook. Petitioners are saying balance the liberty a person can have, the choice a person can have. If it has an ill impact, then deal with those issues. You cannot throw the baby with the bath water.”

Four walls concept clarified

He further mentions that the petitioners are clear that you cannot do anything within the four walls. “If that is the case, I can consume drugs, I can commit any crime within my four walls. The four walls concept is not very well understood in this case.” The petitioners believe that one should have the liberty to drink in a manner that does not impact society at large or have adverse social repercussions. Devan Parikh referred to the Constitutional provision of principle of proportionality. “The Constitution permits you to put reasonable restrictions on the exercise of your rights, in public interest, in the society, and in your own interest… those interests have to be balanced. There is justification to put restrictions, put it, but in present times, does it make sense to have total prohibition. There is need for regulation not prohibition.”

Prohibition needs a relook

Taking the argument further, he said the rest of the country where there is no prohibition, are there problems or not. Will Gujarat have more problems if prohibition is lifted? “We are saying with the passage of time, people are more entitled… Constitution is a live organ and that this issue needs a relook. When prohibition was introduced look at the kind of liquor that was available then and look at the fatalities at that point of time.”Terming it as contradictory, government giving liquor permits on medical terms, he asked “a person consuming liquor for health reasons, will he or she not get intoxicated.” A person can permit in Gujarat for an annual fee of nearly ` 4,000 and the eligibility is that he or she should be above the age of 40 and should have some medical condition. Visitors too can apply for a temporary permit, but not the residents of the State.

Gujarat in a Gandhian-bind

The problem with Gujarat is that it has a perception problem. Gujarat is a state from where Mahatma Gandhi came who considered alcohol consumption as a social evil. Gujarat is caught in a Gandhian-bind. Devan Parikh asks the logic behind the prohibition in the name of Mahatma Gandhi. “With no disrespect to Mahatma Gandhi, I would like to state that Gandhi died in 1948 and at that time there was no prohibition in Gujarat till 1961. What happened during this interim period to Gandhiji’s advocacy?Till such time the High Court gives its verdict, we are going to see a lot of heightened activity from both sides espousing their causes and social media is going to flame it further. Meanwhile, liquor (including spurious) will be available through various ‘underground’ channels in Gujarat, a state which has seen many deaths due to illicit liquor. In 2012, 143 deaths were reported from Gujarat in a hooch tragedy.

Bengaluru shows the recovery path, alcohol consumption on the rise

Let’s say cheers to the ‘Pub capital’ and ‘Microbrewery capital ‘of India, Bengaluru. It is showing the way to the country that the pandemic should not upset social life with alcohol being an intrinsic part of social life. Consumption of alcohol is on the rise in Bengaluru and other parts of Karnataka and mind you there is considerable amount of ‘responsible drinking’ happening, with a few exceptions here and there.

The city which introduced pub, microbrewery and nightlife culture is slowly bouncing back, negotiating all the restrictions, ambiguous and unambiguous ones, placed by the government in its bid to check the spread of Covid-19. Though the bars and restaurants are tottering their way back into business, the end-consumer has found ways to keep the spirit going. This is good for the business. The end-consumer is infusing confidence in the liquor business as we witness increased liquor offtake.

Beer and IML offtake up

Consumption of beer has gone up by 38.98 % and Indian Made Liquor (IML) by 31.54% in the first five months of 2021, compared to the corresponding period in 2020 and the Karnataka Excise Department is laughing all the way to the bank. Liquor has been a money spinner for many governments and Karnataka is among the leading states to register good excise revenue. These are the first signs of recovery of the industry which like almost all other sectors was battered by the pandemic.

Karnataka hoping to touch `25,000 in Excise Revenues

Between April and August of 2021, Karnataka had sales of 87.56 lakh cartons of beer, up from 63 lakh cartons of beer in 2020. The trend was similar with regard to IML – 2.61 crore cartons in 2021, up from 1.98 crore cartons last year. Thanks to the end-consumer, the Karnataka Excise Department was able to cross the `10,000 crore revenue mark for the 5 months’ period, an increase from `7,755 crores during the corresponding period in 2020. In these five months, the Department has already registered 41.49% of its annual target and is hoping to surpass the target of `24,580 by the end of the financial year. In 2020, the Department had earned `23,332 crores, getting past the target of `22,700 crores.

Home-drinking gives a push

Thanks to the end-consumers, who quickly adapted themselves to the pandemic situation, and found ways to get their supplies and to drink at home. The Covid-19 pandemic and its associated government measures to limit mobility impacted patterns and places of alcohol consumption. Home became central for survival, for hope, for businesses to have some continuity. Work from home; online shopping; online classes; drink at home; work-out at home and the like have become the new normal, even as businesses are slowly opening up, depending upon what restrictions each State Government keeps announcing on a frequent basis. Remember Lockdown 3.0 last year and when liquor shops reopened? It was crazy queues, not just in Bengaluru, but across the country. The Karnataka Excise Department recorded liquor sales of `45 crores on the first day of reopening, even before the shutters were pulled down at 7 pm. Around 3.9 lakh litres of beer and 8.5 lakh litres of IML was sold on just one day. And one store – Tonique which boasts to be Asia’s largest liquor boutique, made a whopping business of `4 crores on its first day of reopening.

Seek lifting of restrictions

Bengaluru has become a highly vibrant city in the recent past and restaurant and bars are open till 1 a.m, though at the time of writing all restaurants, bars, clubs and wine stores have to close by 9.30 p.m. The Bengaluru Hoteliers Association President, P.C.Rao who recently met the Chief Minister, Basavaraj Bommai tried to convince the government on lifting the ‘unscientific restrictions’. He asked ‘Does the virus come only at night or on weekends?’ Presently, the liquor business is driven by retail vends with night curfew in place and restrictions of seating in bars and restaurants. There is no online sale of liquor in Bengaluru, but people can buy at wine stores, in mega super markets which have a separate liquor outlet and boutique stores.

Mumbai doubles liquor revenue

It is not just Bengaluru or Karnataka which is witnessing growth in sales of liquor, it is happening across the country, though dampened by the pandemic. In Mumbai, liquor revenue doubled from `264.85 crores to `512 crores with the lockdown turning out to a blessing in disguise. The Excise Department here has set a target of `19,500 crores for 2021-2022.

Pune has the most drinkers

According to a 2020 survey by Statista, Pune topped all the cities with 39.02% people consuming alcohol, followed by Mumbai (37.87%), Lucknow (37.5%), Bhubaneswar (37.3%), Hyderabad (37.24%), Delhi (35.54%), Bengaluru (33.39%), Indore (33.33%), Jaipur (32.18%), Chandigarh (28.33%), Chennai (28.16%) and Kolkata (23.5%).

FY21 sees decline in IMFL sales

However, In FY 21, there has been a 12% decline in sales of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) compared to FY20, according to the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC). For the entire fiscal year, the total sales of IMFL was 305 million cases of nine litres each.

Positive trend in third and fourth quarters expected

The Confederation Director General Vinod Giri said that many states have showed a positive trend through the quarters and added that strong performance in the third and fourth quarters of FY21 ‘reflects the fundamental strength’ in the business. “It also confirms that there is no lasting shift against alcoholic beverages in consumption baskets.” The Confederation listed five states that helped recovery in liquor sales – Maharashtra, Goa, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Some states such as West Bengal, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh witnessed large decline in sales compared to the previous financial year. There is some interesting statistics when it comes to West Bengal. According to economic research agency ICRIER and law consulting firm PLR Chambers, West Bengal ranks second after Uttar Pradesh in terms of absolute number of people who consume alcohol – 1.4 crore. The five southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Kerala together consume as much as 45% of all liquor sold in the country.

Big players bet on recovery in fiscal 2022

Carlsberg’s global chief executive Cees’t Hart said, “Our business had another very volatile year with frequent changes in restrictions. In Asia, the situation is uncertain in a number of markets such as Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, India and also Malaysia due to the low level of vaccinations. In India, it’s a bit better. Infection rates are in decline. And there we see the off-trade more or less open to 90-95% and 70% in on-trade.” Beer sales in India grew in double digits in the quarter to June compared to the year-ago figure, but were still nearly half the sales in the pre-Covid corresponding period of 2019. However, Carlsberg’s India business grew 40% year-on-year in the quarter ended June. Similarly, Pernod Ricard, the world’s second largest distiller after Diageo, said it expects some recovery in India in fiscal year 2022. “For this year, we expect a gradual recovery. India was up 9% and was very resilient given the environment, while the underlying consumer-driven trends are clearly there,” said the Chairman of Pernod Ricard, Alexandre Ricard. The ICRIER report shows promise with India among the fastest growing markets for alcoholic beverages globally, with an estimated market size of USD52.5 billion in 2020. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.8% between 2020 and 2023. This indeed is music to the ears and we would like to hear from companies on how they are promoting ‘responsible drinking’.