Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Global Spirits Industry’s Top Players: Taking Stock After Years Of Consolidation

(by Shanken News Daily) Analyzing the effect of consolidation after a decade and a half of deal-making, Shanken News Daily sister publication Impact has ranked the world’s top spirits companies—and compared today’s numbers with those in 1995.

The biggest mover in the consolidation game has been Pernod Ricard, which was in the top 10 in 1995 but with a low profile. Much of Pernod’s 24-million-case business (compared to 97 million cases today) was in France, where its Ricard and Pastis 51 brands dominated. Back then, the world’s top two spirits companies were IDV (GrandMet) and United Distillers (Guinness), followed by Seagram and Allied Domecq, which was born in 1994 after the merger between Allied Lyons and Pedro Domecq.

Guinness and GrandMet merged in 1997 to form Diageo, creating a spirits portfolio of unparalleled power, led by Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker, and Baileys. While the Diageo deal reshaped the global spirits landscape, it foreshadowed three mega-deals that would transform the business even further. Pernod Ricard was involved in all of them. In 2001, Diageo and Pernod Ricard acquired Seagram’s spirits and wine business, several months after Seagram announced it would exit the business to focus on entertainment. The Seagram deal fortified Diageo’s already-formidable lineup, adding powerhouses like Captain Morgan and Crown Royal. But it remade Pernod Ricard, energizing its portfolio with big-name brands like Chivas Regal and Martell. Four years later Allied Domecq went on the block, and Pernod was there again, collaborating with Fortune Brands, whose Jim Beam Brands unit was aiming to diversify. That deal added Ballantine’s, Beefeater, Malibu and Kahlúa to the Pernod portfolio, while Beam got Sauza, Courvoisier, Canadian Club and Maker’s Mark, among others. In 2008, one of the industry’s crown jewels—Absolut vodka—was put on the block. Seeing Absolut as the missing piece in the portfolio, Pernod again paid up—this time without a partner, acquiring V&S for approximately $9 billion.

Click HERE for the complete story. Please visit us at The Rum Shop for all your rum-related needs, including purchasing rum on-line, rum recipes, rum tasting notes, rum event information and rum consulting services. "Got Rum?" Magazine is back in circulation, get your free copy HERE.

Owsley Brown II Dies At 69

(by Shanken News Daily) Owsley Brown II, former chairman and CEO of Brown-Forman, died late Monday after a brief illness. He was 69. A great-grandson of Brown-Forman’s founder, Brown entered the family business in 1968, was appointed CEO in 1993, and, two years later, was named chairman. Under his leadership, the company was able to significantly expand the international presence of many of its brands—particularly Jack Daniel’s, Southern Comfort and Finlandia—as well as modernize its marketing approach. Brown retired from the role of CEO in 2005, withdrew as chairman in 2007, and left B-F’s board of directors in 2008.
In addition to his corporate roles, Brown was recognized for his philanthropic efforts. He served as fund chairman and president of the Greater Louisville Fund for the Arts, as well as a board member of several organizations, including the Actors Theatre of Louisville, River Fields, Inc., the J.B. Speed Art Museum, the Kentucky Center and The Partnership for Creative Economies. Brown is survived by his wife Christy, his three children Owsley III (Victoire), Brooke Barzun (Matthew) and Augusta Holland (Gill), and nine grandchildren. “Owsley was a personal friend to so many of us across the world, and we are all shocked and saddened by his premature death,” said Brown-Forman chief executive officer Paul Varga.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Brugal 1888 Rum Launch Event

(from Socially Superlative) On Wednesday evening, September 21st, 2011, a select few guests were invited to attend the launch of Brugal 1888, the newest release from the World’s Most Refined Rum. Brugal 1888 is a luxury rum from the Dominican Republic and is also the #3 rum in the world in terms of volume. Guests were able to taste and enjoy various cocktails mixed by several mixologists using Brugal 1888.

The private invite was held at Ink48 Hotel at Press Lounge located on the rooftop of the hotel. Unfortunately, it happened to be raining that night, but that did not stop the event one bit as guests mingled outside enjoying the New York skyline and listening to the beats from the DJ who provided music for the event. Guests were also treated to an array of hors d’oeuvres and a special buffet set aside of various cheeses, salads, and jumbo cocktail shrimp.

Click HERE for the complete story. Please visit us at The Rum Shop for all your rum-related needs, including purchasing rum on-line, rum recipes, rum tasting notes, rum event information and rum consulting services. "Got Rum?" Magazine is back in circulation, get your free copy HERE.

Impact’s “Hot Prospects” Rank U.S. Market’s Most Promising Wine And Spirits Brands

(by Shanken News Daily) Shanken News Daily sister publication Impact Newsletter has chosen its latest crop of “Hot Prospects”—the U.S. market’s most promising wine and spirits growth brands. The winners must have annual depletions of at least 50,000 cases and no more than 200,000 cases, while having achieved at least 15% growth in 2010 and solid progress in the two years prior to that.

A total of 72 brands are on this year’s list, 28 of which sold more than 100,000 cases. Several are likely to pass the 200,000-case threshold and enter Impact “Hot Brand” territory by year-end—including Beam Inc.’s Red Stag, Kendall-Jackson’s Murphy-Goode and Royal Wine Corp.’s Bartenura.

In addition to Red Stag, spirits Hot Prospects over the 100,000-case mark include DonQ rum (Serrallés USA), RonDiaz (Crosby Lake Spirits), Wild Turkey American Honey liqueur (Skyy Spirits), Russian Standard Original vodka (Russian Standard USA), Familia Camarena Tequila (Gallo), Pearl vodka (Luxco), Milagro Tequila (William Grant & Sons USA), Ruskova vodka (AnSon Imports) and Hendrick’s gin (William Grant & Sons USA). A further 11 spirits Hot Prospects winners were at less than 100,000 cases.

In wine, Hot Prospects at more than 100,000 cases include Bandit (Rebel Wine Co./Trinchero), Pacific Rim (Banfi), Noble Vines (DFV Wines), Redtree (Cecchetti Wine Co.), Little Black Dress (Excelsior Wine Co.), Middle Sister (Canopy Management), Newman’s Own (Rebel Wine Co./Trinchero), HobNob (WJ Deutsch & Sons), Cantine Riondo (Riondo USA), Don Miguel Gascon (Gallo), Down Under Cellars (Bronco), Matua Valley (Treasury Wine Estates Americas), Catena (Winebow), New Age (Quintessential Wines), Fünf (Schmitt Söhne) and Lunetta Prosecco (Palm Bay International). Some 33 wine brands under 100,000 cases also achieved Hot Prospect status.

Brand competitors, distributors and retailers will be watching closely to see whether these Hot Prospects can maintain momentum over the course of the next several years to become big-volume brands. A complete list and a report on the 2010 Hot Prospect winners will be published in Impact’s October 1&15 issue.

Indie Spirits Entrepreneurs Gather in Chicago on September 28th, 2011

Over 100 Indie Spirits and Over 60 Exhibitors at Inaugural Chicago Indie Spirits Expo

Distilled events is proud to announce the first Chicago Independent Spirits Expo. Since its inception, the Independent Spirits Expo has showcased an eclectic group of limited production, high quality spirits in a casual informative setting. In addition to giving attendees the opportunity to sample an amazing variety of unique and genre-redefining spirits, the Expo offers attendees a rare opportunity to meet the distillers, owners, importers, and entrepreneurs responsible for bringing these terrific products to market. The Expo’s guests include consumers, members of the trade and the press.

The Indy Sprits Expo’s director, Dave Schmier, says: “The goal of the expo has always been to provide a forum where the small entrepreneur can showcase their spirits.” The selection of spirits at The Indy Spirits Expo will cover a full spectrum of the best and the newest brands in the marketplace: from a variety of vodkas and gins to cognacs and absinthes.

With the growing micro-distillery movement in the US, domestically crafted products are strongly represented by brands from across the country as well as the burgeoning mid-west distilling movement. The Independent Spirits Expo has been a tool for small brand owners to expand their audiences for the past five years. This is the first time the Expo has been presented in Chicago and local producer Marty Duffy using his extensive work in the local spirits world to bring together many new distillers and Independent spirits brands along with the bar and restaurant trade in order to make the Chicago Independent Spirits Expo a key event in the local spirits scene.

Additionally, the Chicago Indie Spirits Expo features a pre-show industry roundtable discussion. The roundtable is sponsored by The Beverage Testing Institute, The American Spirits Exchange, Phoenix Packaging and media partners Food Industry News and The Tasting Panel.

Click HERE for the complete story. Please visit us at The Rum Shop for all your rum-related needs, including purchasing rum on-line, rum recipes, rum tasting notes, rum event information and rum consulting services. "Got Rum?" Magazine is back in circulation, get your free copy HERE.

Introducing Seven Fathoms ~ Handcrafted, Small Batch, Premium Rum from the Cayman Islands

Experience the Depths of Seven Fathoms Rum™ ~ A Wave of Artisan Innovation
Seven Fathoms Premium Rum is a handcrafted, artisanal premium rum that is distilled locally in small batches exclusively in the Cayman Islands. Unlike any other rum, Seven Fathoms is matured under water at a depth of seven fathoms (42 feet). This unique and innovative maturing technique creates superior characteristics and complexity. Seven Fathoms is a distinctive spirit made by meticulously aging the rum underwater in the pristine Caribbean seas giving Seven Fathoms a depth of flavor and smoothness that is incomparable. Seven Fathoms 80 proof rum, is limited production premium rum, created in individually numbered batches.

Seven Fathoms is handcrafted by Master Distillers Nelson Dilbert and Walker Romanica at the Cayman Island Distilleries adjacent to the cruise terminal in Georgetown, Grand Cayman. Seven Fathoms is distilled using a Christian Carl copper pot still. The company uses locally grown organic sugar cane, which is grown on a farm at the East End of the island. Once distilled, the rum is pumped into used Jim Beam barrels and then taken out to a secret location offshore of Grand Cayman. Here, the rum is placed for aging at a depth of 42 feet, or seven fathoms, under the water. The gentle motion of the waves and the alternating pressure of the water during the rising and ebbing tides helps push the rum deep into the pores of the oak barrels, extracting all of the rich oak and bourbon flavors from the wood, creating a complex rum with extraordinary depth of character and flavor.

Click HERE for the complete story. Please visit us at The Rum Shop for all your rum-related needs, including purchasing rum on-line, rum recipes, rum tasting notes, rum event information and rum consulting services. "Got Rum?" Magazine is back in circulation, get your free copy HERE.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pernod Ricard USA will Introduce Malibu Rum Winter, a Limited Edition to be Available from October through December at $13.99 a Bottle

(by Shanken News Daily) Continuing the seasonal spirits extension theme it’s employed with Beefeater gin (Beefeater summer and winter-themed special editions appeared last year), Pernod Ricard USA will introduce Malibu Rum Winter, a limited edition to be available from October through December at $13.99 a bottle. Malibu Winter is a blend of Caribbean rum with real coconut flakes suspended in the liquid which, when consumed, dissolve slowly in the mouth. Brand manager Sheila Senhouse says Malibu Winter will “attract current and new consumers to the brand by offering a unique drinking experience during this non-traditional Malibu consumption season.” After sliding by 65,000 cases in the U.S. from 2007 through 2009, Malibu righted the ship in 2010, increasing 1.9% to 1.635 million cases, according to Impact Databank.

BarHappy Officially Launches Its Website and iPhone App

(By Shanken News Daily) BarHappy — a free resource to help consumers find food, drink and other entertainment deals in their city—has officially launched its website, www.barhappy.com, and iPhone mobile app. BarHappy’s database comprises more than 15,000 venues across 18 cities, including Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York and Washington D.C. The interface allows users to search across many criteria, such as the kind of deals they’re looking for, the neighborhood and the venue type. Businesses keep up with their own profile pages in real time so deals and information are current, and registered users can earn rewards by giving them ratings.

Bacardi USA Introducing the “OakHeart Challenge”

(by Shanken News Daily) Bacardi USA is introducing the “OakHeart Challenge,” a series of simultaneous nationwide bar events designed to support the launch of Bacardi OakHeart, on September 15. Through the program, Bacardi aims to get more than 25,000 consumers to sample the new extension on the same day, at the same time. Bars in several key markets, including Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, New York, Nevada, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Washington D.C. and Wisconsin, will be hosting OakHeart Challenge events. Rolled out in the U.S. earlier this month, Bacardi OakHeart is a 70-proof, spiced blend of Bacardi Superior and Gold priced at around $12.99-$15.99 a 750-ml that aims to take on rival Diageo’s Captain Morgan in the spiced rum segment.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Mount Gay Goes Nautical

(Photo above: Mount Gay Rum honors their sailing legacy with the launch of a nautical themed limited edition bottle to be sold at duty free shops in select countries)

(by The Rum Connection) Mount Gay Rum has been associated with the sailing community for over three centuries. This year, to honor the brand’s commitment to the world of sailing and the rich history from which it stems, Mount Gay has created the “Nautical Limited Edition” representing the beginning of a nautical series featuring maritime signal flags.

This collectable bottle of Mount Gay Eclipse Rum features the nautical flag design of the letter “M” and is designed to be enjoyed on board or wherever rum lovers celebrate the sailing legacy of the brand.

The Mount Gay Rum Eclipse Nautical Limited Edition “M” design is released this month in various global travel retail locations such as in Australia, New Zealand, Spain, France, Germany and the UK, and also on board Brittany Ferries and P&O, priced at parity with the standard Mount Gay Eclipse Rum.

This limited edition will also be exhibited at TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes 19th to 23rd September (Marine Village Foyer 1A).

Click HERE for the complete story. Please visit us at The Rum Shop for all your rum-related needs, including purchasing rum on-line, rum recipes, rum tasting notes, rum event information and rum consulting services. "Got Rum?" Magazine is back in circulation, get your free copy HERE.

Rum Is the Answer, What Was the Question?

(Photo above: Yo ho ho and 111 bottles of rum. Soaking in the sights at the Rum Bar in Phoenix)

(by Dawson Fearnow with Phoenix New Times) You'd think if you owned a bar exclusively dedicated to rum, you'd be happy to hear that the world's oldest spirit was suddenly très-trendy. Well, not so much if you're Dwayne Allen, co-owner of the Rum Bar in downtown Phoenix. In fact, this generally-genial Jamaican native was downright perturbed at the suggestion that this sugar cane-based spirit is being called trendy.

"Rum is in our blood, my friend," Allen tells me when I phone. "It's been around long before other such alcohols and spirits and is synonymous with the island lifestyle. There's nothing trendy about what we are doing at the Rum Bar," he says in his distinctly friendly-yet-deadly-serious tone. "You'd better get down here and let me show you what rum's all about."
So let's set sail to this rum-soaked tropical paradise in the heart of the urban jungle. Just be sure to leave behind your images of hangovers past, fueled by popsicle-colored daiquiris and cheap dark or spiced rums, which are often made from lower quality Grade C molasses and have "terrible flavor," according to Allen. (We're looking at you, Captain Morgan.)

Click HERE for the complete story. Please visit us at The Rum Shop for all your rum-related needs, including purchasing rum on-line, rum recipes, rum tasting notes, rum event information and rum consulting services. "Got Rum?" Magazine is back in circulation, get your free copy HERE.

Bottoms Up: Three Favorite Phoenix Rum Cocktails

(Photo above: The Dark & Stormy cocktail at J&G Steakhouse is the perfect late-summer cooler)

(by Dawson Fearnow with Phoenix New Times) Crisp, citrus-y and mixed liberally with ice, a nice tropical tipple is the perfect late-summer cooler. Here are three Valley bars serving up great rum cocktails.

1. The Dark & Stormy at the J&G Steakhouse at The Phoenician

J&G's serves up a delectable Dark & Stormy made with Goslings Black Seal Rum, John D. Taylor's Velvet Falernum, Stewart's Ginger Beer and fresh lime juice.

2. The Mai-Tai at Hula's Modern Tiki This classic Mai-Tai is made with Appleton Estate special gold rum, pineapple juice, orange Curacao, orgeat syrup and lime juice.

Suck down your third cocktail after the jump.

3. Rustyfarian at Citizen Public House

The Rustyfarian is an award-winning cocktail crafted with Zacapa dark rum, Drambuie, a medley of orange, lemon and lime juices--all garnished with lemon-lime zest.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Beam To Start Trading As Standalone October 4

(by Shanken News Daily) Fortune Brands’ board has approved final plans to spin off the company’s home and security products business by October 3, allowing it to begin operating as a pure-play spirits company trading publicly under the name Beam Inc. on October 4. Fortune Brands will receive a cash dividend of $500 million from the home and security unit prior to the spin-off, which remains subject to SEC and New York Stock Exchange approvals.

The separation of Beam from Fortune’s other former businesses has led to speculation that Beam brands like Jim Beam, Sauza, Courvoisier, Maker’s Mark and others could become acquisition targets, but Beam, which has ramped up its marketing spend by double-digits over the past year and a half—resulting in record sales in the three months through June, and a 14% increase to $1.38 billion in the first half of 2011—appears intent on remaining an independent player.

Binny’s Beverage Depot Of Chicago Continues Aggressive Expansion

(by Shanken News Daily)Binny’s Beverage Depot owner Michael Binstein plans to open two new stores this year in the greater Chicago market. In the last four years alone, he has expanded his beverage alcohol retail business from 19 to 25 stores, and now ranks as the leading independent retailer in Illinois. Binstein recently spoke with Shanken News Daily about his business, which will surpass $250 million in revenues in its fiscal year ending July 31.

SND: In the last four years, you’ve expanded from 19 stores to 25 stores, mostly through acquisition during a very difficult economy. Has your investment paid off?

Binstein: The honest answer is that the investment is paying off. Time is the ultimate test, and one needs a certain amount of humility. But there’s not a single acquisition, store opening or expansion of our model that I would take back.

SND: How has Binny’s been affected by the downturn in the economy?

Binstein: The best time to run into a market is when everyone is running for the exit doors. I think we’re contrarians by nature. Our most dramatic growth has occurred since the Cassandras and the pundits sounded the death knell for our economy in general and our industry in particular. Then there’s the fact that when you sign 99-year leases, which we do as a matter of practice when we can’t buy our own property, you’d better be prepared to ride out the business cycles that will always be a part of life. You can’t be a summer soldier and be in business. We monitor certain things every day, and one of them is customer count. The number of people actually walking through our front doors has been showing double-digit growth. Market share is healthy and growing. Sales have been helping growth, but all things considered, I think customer count is the single most important vital sign for all three tiers of our industry—not just for retail and not just for Binny’s.

Click HERE for the complete story. Please visit us at The Rum Shop for all your rum-related needs, including purchasing rum on-line, rum recipes, rum tasting notes, rum event information and rum consulting services. "Got Rum?" Magazine is back in circulation, get your free copy HERE.