Stateways Sept-Oct 2014

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

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StateWays Q Q September/October 2014 32 celebrates in its latest release, Wild Turkey Diamond An- niversary. "It's a fantastic whiskey for a serious collector or whiskey afi cionado," Floor explains. Jimm's son Eddie Russell, who has made whiskey with his father for more than 30 years, developed the idea for Diamond Anniversary around the time his father was cel- ebrating his 45th anniversary as a Master Distiller. This extra special whiskey, which honors Jimmy as a father and mentor plus his 60 years of service, is crafted from rare barrels aged for 13 and 16 years. "He taught me everything I know, so I wanted to craft some- thing that refl ected all of the invaluable knowledge he passed on to me; something that was worthy of one of the greatest Master Distillers of all time," Eddie Russell says. The limited edition mingles the 13- and 16-year whiskies and has nods of approval from Jimmy and Eddie. The 91 proof Dia- mond Anniversary has a suggested retail price of $124.99 and started to roll out nationally in small quantities in August. This follows on the heels of two 2013 releases: Wild Turkey Forgiven and Wild Turkey Spiced. "In the past year, Wild Turkey has continued to lead within the category with two unconven- tional products," Floor explains. "Wild Turkey Forgiven is a mix of Bourbon and high-proof rye whiskey, and we sold out of that almost immediately. Wild Turkey Spiced, a Bourbon with spices typically found in island spirits, is aimed at bringing spiced rum drinkers into the category." Up next for Wild Turkey comes the launch of Ameri- can Honey Sting, a limited edition that will hit shelves this fall. "American Honey Sting pays homage to our heritage in the fl avored Bourbon space," Floor says. "It's an interesting area with so much growth potential." While Wild Turkey has a legendary distiller in Jimmy Russell, Buffalo Trace's legend was Elmer T. Lee. Al- though his work as a Master Distiller didn't span six decades like Russell's, Lee is credited with creating the fi rst single barrel Bourbon 30 years ago. He served as a Bourbon ambassador for years for Buffalo Trace and had a single barrel Bourbon named for him when he retired. To honor Lee, who passed away in 2013 shortly before his 94th birthday, Buffalo Trace released a commemora- tive Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Bourbon in April. Bottled at 93 proof, this Elmer T. Lee models the standard Elmer T. Lee with its square bottle but features a black label embossed in gold lettering with Lee's signature as well as Lee's profi le on the front label and details about his life and legacy on the back label. The product launched in limited quantities with a retail price of $34.99. Diageo's Bulleit has been a huge hit, growing 73 per- cent between 2012 and 2013, according to Beverage In- formation Group research. "Bulleit's success has as much to do with the authentic relationships that Tom Bulleit has formed with trade and bartenders around the country as the quality product inside the bottle," Briese explains. But Bulleit is not the only Bourbon Diageo is banking on. In February, Diageo started the Orphan Barrel Whis- key Distilling Company. Located in Tennessee, Orphan Barrel's goal is to rescue forgotten barrels of rare whiskey and share them with others. Its fi rst two variants, Barter- house Whiskey and Old Blowhard Whiskey, came out in March, and a third, Rhetoric Whiskey, was released in June. All three were discovered among the warehouses at Louisville's Stitzel-Weller facility. Aged 20 years, Barterhouse Whiskey has a suggested retail price of $75. Like the distinctive personality it ex- udes in fl avor, its packaging refl ects the inspiration be- hind the whiskey's name. The vintage label is colored in khaki and brown and features a fox who has just made a deal at the local trading post. The Old Blowhard label features a whale exhaling through its blowhole with nautical blue coloring and powerful fonts that highlight the spirit's 26-years-aged statement. Old Blow- hard carries a suggested retail price of $150. Rhetoric Whiskey, whose stocks were also discovered at Sitzel-Weller, is a limited craft Bourbon that is aged 20 years in its fi rst re- lease but will be progressively aged for fu- ture releases with a 21-year-old released in 2015 and so on. The progressive aging gives whiskey aficionados the opportunity to collect a Rhetoric Whiskey series and compare the expressions as they mature. Rhetoric's packaging features a gold label with a rising hummingbird, and its background, which resembles the oak barrels that it's aged in, will become deeper in color with each release to emphasize the aging process. Rhetoric has a suggested retail price of $85. Before Jack Daniel's had gar- nered the attention it has today, Frank Sinatra had marked it as one of his favorite drinks. Sinatra became one of the brand's most loyal fans, a relationship that has endured even years after his death through Frank Sinatra Enterprises. Wild Turkey's Master Distiller, Jimmy Russell. Rhetoric Orphan Barrel Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel

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