All posts filed under: Spirits

Fast horses and slow whiskey

It’s not common knowledge that rye whiskey production originated in Pennsylvania and Maryland, where it reached its zenith in the late 19th century. Historically, each state produced a different style: Pennsylvania rye was spicy and bold, while Maryland rye traditionally presented more well balanced flavors.

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Functionals defining premium hydration 2.0

There’s little doubt this disruptive reinvention of the beverage category will impact wine and beverage alcohol consumption for a host of reasons. Among them is alcohol moderation or abstinence by younger consumers whose lifestyles already include frequent consumption of functional products. While beer and spirits producers have already found purchase in the category through brand extensions and acquisitions, wine producers don’t seem in any hurry to participate.

Orchestrating the microbiome of a whiskey

Ask Jack Daniel’s enthusiasts what they like most about their preferred whiskey and the term “consistency” comes up time and time again. According to Kevin Smith, a microbiologist who serves as the Distillery Manager of Reliability & Technical Services for the brand, “The character and consistency of our spirits are the result of several different factors, and that is what defines our terroir.” The concept of terroir expression in distilled spirits didn’t gain prominence until fairly recently, a shift driven both by research and best practices that determine desired flavors and character. While grain sourcing is proving to be a factor of this expression for single malts, the use of multiple grains – as seen in the Jack Daniel’s grain bill of 80% corn, 12% barley , and 8% rye – makes the influence of any one component more difficult to detect. “At Jack Daniel’s, we find that sourcing the highest-quality grains is far more important than the location in which the grains are grown,” Smith says. A grain bill is destined for conversion and …

Incredible bulk: The changing nature of the international bulk wine market is creating opportunities

It’s estimated that roughly 25 percent of the world’s wine production is sold as bulk wine, a segment that’s described by one broker as the industry’s “soft underbelly” and exists for most consumers in the form of virtual brands. With the rise in popularity of bulk wine-derived, private label brands (brands developed for retailers, hotel chains, and restaurants, which sell them directly to consumers) and more producers entering the market in recent years, bulk wine has shed its low-rent image and become a hot commodity. With a healthy 6 percent annual growth rate for the last six years—and no signs of lagging—capitalizing on the continuing growth that’s predicted for the global bulk market depends largely on where you sit in the value chain. Identifying opportunities means navigating between the supply side of producers, brokers, and contract suppliers, and the demand side that includes retailers and on-premise operators. Short-term supply outlook Staying one step ahead of expansions and contractions of the bulk wine market is key for short- and long-term planning. Increasingly, brokers and contract suppliers …

IBWSS Recap: a first for California

The IBWSS was the first-ever bulk and private label wine and spirits event in California Close to 1500 wineries, distilleries, importers, distributors and retailers met in San Francisco for the debut of the highly anticipated International Bulk Wine & Spirits Show on July 26 & 27. At the event, suppliers and buyers traded and attendees learned about the latest trends in bulk wine and spirits, including methods to use private labels as a way to win over customers, boost loyalty and drive new sources of revenue. The event saw unprecedented success with most exhibitors walking away with deals or potential contacts with buyers. Exhibitors had the chance to meet buyers from Gallo wines, Trader Joe’s, Kroger’s, Bevmo amongst many others.  Buyers came from all over the United States and were not limited to the vicinity of the Californian wine industry. In the post-event survey, 80% of the exhibitors reported a high level of satisfaction with the show quoting that they were pleased with the number and the quality of buyers that they met at the …

Day 1 of the IBWSS

The International Bulk Wine & Spirits Show (IBWSS) kicked off in San Francisco on July 26 with a packed exhibition hall and a keynote address from Bobby Koch, President and CEO of the Wine Institute. That led to a full day of presentations, workshops and master classes from some of the top names in the bulk wine and spirits industry.

Q & A with CEO Sid Patel, The International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show

San Francisco continues to be one of the world’s most important destinations for leading players in the wine industry, so it’s no surprise that a major conference dedicated to the private label and bulk trade is making its way to the city on July 26-27.

One step ahead of the premiumization curve

Brand creator David Ravandi, founder of 123 Organic Tequila, found success by staying one step ahead of the premiumization curve. It’s taken twenty years but tequila has finally shed its sophomoric image and graduated to the big league. The super-premiumization of the category which has grown by 72 percent over the last decade has reached triple-digit price points and produced consumers who are confident about quality when trading up. It’s estimated that 30 to 40 new tequila brands are being introduced to the market each year. Given this dynamic and highly-competitive landscape, the resources and talent required to propel a fledgling artisanal brand to success can’t be underestimated. Of the key milestones that mark tequila’s rise from joven shooters to cask-conditioned extra anjeo, the practice of aging resposado and anjeo tequilas in white French oak was pivotal. Introduced by artisanal brand creator and tequilero David Ravandi in the early 1990s in a tequila line that he subsequently sold, the practice is now de rigueur for ultra-premium aged tequilas. Inspired by oak-aging regimes favored by winemakers, Ravandi …