We’re on day two of the U.S. government shutdown and regardless of one’s political affiliation, things are starting to get annoying. So what has this meant for the drinking industry? Quite a bit. Companies waiting on approval for label designs are sitting on their hands, with BeerPulse estimating about 400 labels a day stacking up. And with Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau employees on furlough, no one is around to approve new breweries. Thankfully though, companies can still pay excise taxes on the agency’s website.
Jack Daniels has announced that its formerly limited Master Distiller #1 bottle will be available nationwide at retail locations across the United States. Previously only available at duty-free shops and Tennessee, the bottle is the first in a planned series paying tribute to all the past master distillers of the company and will be available at a price tag of $24.99 for a 750ml bottle.
Jack Daniel’s parent company, Brown-Forman, is planning to expand and open a distribution center in France in January. The corporation will also be opening a new European operations center headquartered in Amsterdam, and will be moving its Finlandia team there from its current base in Louisville, Kentucky. The move makes perfect sense for a company that relies on European sales to account for 30% of its total net sales.
One of the world’s most consumed spirits brands is finally getting an extension. Jagermeister Spice will be arriving in stores in limited quantities at a retail price of $22.99 per 750ml later this month. This coming on the heels of the new Wild Turkey Spiced and various other flavored offerings, it poses the question: are companies attempting to replicate the somewhat inexplicable flavored vodka phenomenon with other spirits in hope of replicating the success? Is this really innovation? (Either way, a review is forthcoming.)
And finally today, congrats to fellow whiskey scribe Fred Minnick. America’s favorite ascot-wearing, photographer boozehound is on a roll as of late with his new Whiskey Women book (review forthcoming) and other articles in fancy magazines when he’s not traveling the globe judging at competitions. Now he’s scored another job for which most would trip over themselves: “Bourbon Authority” for the Kentucky Derby museum. Fred will be hosting private tours, tastings, cocktail sessions and other events for the museum. If you’re in Louisville or planning a trip there any time soon, it may serve you well to book a session with Fred. Kentucky proud, indeed.