Dig Drop Reef Point
Alcohol-free beer brand Big Drop has added a new brew to its portfolio. Called Reef Point, the new 0.5% abv lager is a malt-forward brew made using Hallertau Hersbrucker hops – known for being high in aroma and low in bitterness – which imparts a honey aroma and a gentle bitterness along with ‘a delicate uplifting waft of citrus’. “Big Drop is on a mission to make any style of beer taste so good that you simply won’t miss the alcohol and Reef Point is a classic example,” says Big Drop’s head of production Johnny Clayton. “With this beer, we really wanted to expand our craft range, and in particular our vegan range, without compromising on flavour. I’m confident that we have just done just that by creating a beer that is well-balanced, full-bodied, aromatic and leaves you wanting more. It’s a beer for everyone to enjoy on any occasion and one that your waistline will thank you for whilst your taste buds are none the wiser.” Reef Point is gluten-free beer and contains 33 calories.
Cawston Press has unveil a new 1 litre range of Pressed Juices designed specifically for the on-trade. Made from 100% pressed juices and purees, the range contains five SKUs – Crisp Cranberry, Zesty Orange, Terrific Tomato, Sweet Pineapple and Cloudy Apple – with Pink Grapefruit to join the range in late this month. Due to a ‘gentle’ pasteurisation process, the juices hold a 15-month shelf life whilst ‘still matching the quality expected from chilled, not from concentrate juices’. “Consumers are continuously seeking quality when it comes to their choice of drink, which is exactly what we aim to offer with Cawston Press. Premium juices, as delicious on their own as they are as mixers. We use honest ingredients, with real flavour,” says Cawston Press head of taste Micah Carr-Hill.
John Paul Jones Providence rum
Rum brand John Paul Jones is kicking off its expansion this year with a new release. Called Providence, the rum is aged in Scotland in ex-Islay whisky quarter casks and is described as being ‘unique, smokey and dry’. Much like the rest of the distiller’s range, Providence will be steeped in spiral wrack seaweed, picked from the beach a stone’s throw from the birthplace of the 18th Century naval legend, John Paul Jones, from whom the company takes its name and inspiration. It is due to be released in the spring.
Compass Box Delos
Compass Box has launched a limited-edition Scotch whisky inspired by one of its older expressions. Priced at £265, Delos builds on the success of Asyla, which launched in 2001 and was retired in 2008. The new whisky uses older stocks to capture Asyla’s ‘vibrancy and soothing sweetness’. Malt whiskies from the much the Glen Elgin, Imperial and Miltonduff distilleries – all aged in American oak barrels – bring a ‘sweet yet mellow medley of ripe pear, pineapple, orange, and vanilla notes’, while the grain whisky ‘gradually builds to reveal guava, heather honey, and chai spices’.
Non-alcoholic drinks from ISH
Danish non-alcoholic drinks brand ISH is returning to the UK with a line-up of zero-alcohol version of sparkling wines, spirits, and pre-mixed cocktails. Drinks in the range include a Château del ISH Sparkling Rosé – a zero-alcohol sparkling wine alternative made with pinot noir and merlot grapes; and Caribbean Spiced Spirit – a take on Caribbean-style spiced rum made from de-alkalised rum and flavoured with vanilla, baked apple and nutmeg. ISH is also bringing to the UK its Mexican Agave, which it says recreates the distinctive flavour and body of a reposado tequila and other agave spirits in non-alcoholic form using organic agave and rested in oak wood to imitate a two to six-month aging process.
BrewDog Black Heart
BrewDog has thrown its hat into the stout category once again with a new draught offering for the on-trade. Black Heart is a 4.1% abv dry-Irish style stout that will go up against big hitter Guinness in a bid to offer drinkers more choice when it comes to the black stuff, according to the Scottish brewery. “We believe drinking beer is about discovery and experimentation, with a mountain of different types and styles available. However, when it comes to stout, there really is only one choice available in most pubs and bars and has been for many years,” says Alex Dullard, head of customer marketing. “Consumer testing and insight indicates Black Heart has the potential to drive further growth into the category and deliver profit for our customers, by attracting younger more affluent consumers that have all but given up on the chance of an alternative to the category leader.” Black Heart launches into the pubs and bars on 1 February, followed by a move into retail.
Nikka Aromatic Yeast
Japanese whisky brand Nikka is releasing two new single malt expressions in the UK that will be distributed by Speciality Brands on an exclusive basis. Both limited editions, the whiskies are Yoichi Discovery Aromatic Yeast and Miyagikyo Single Malt Discovery Aromatic Yeast. Both were created through ‘explorations of different yeasts to capture a palette of flavours and aromas’. The new Yoichi has a fuity and ‘almost sake-like flavour profile with ‘captivating’ peat smoke punctuated by fruity and floral notes while the Miyagikyo shows a deeply malty character with rich floral and fruity notes.
Jascots Wine Merchants has strengthened its South African line-up with two new producers – Nativo, and De Trafford Wines. The two new signings follow on from Jascots’ recent partnership with Spier Wine Farm. Wines from all three South African producers will be available to taste at the merchant’s portfolio tasting on 7 February at Westminster Chapel in London, alongside a range of other wines from its portfolio. “Our two new producers represent both the traditional and the modern sides of South African winemaking,” says Jascot head of buying Alastair Pyatt. “The wines from both De Trafford and Nativo are delicious and present excellent value whilst encompassing two very different styles. What ties the two wineries together is their dedication to capturing the characteristics of their individual sites, with minimal intervention in their cellar allowing the quality of their grapes to shine.”
Champagne Ayala has reinvented its Brut Majeur wine and also updated its bottle shape across its range. The new blend has been designed to underline the house’s ‘winemaking pillars’ with the amount of Chardonnay used rising from 45% to 55%. The blend also includes a greater proportion of reserve wines and is low dosage, with sugar per litre always under 6g. The whole range is now bottled in Ayala’s signature bottle, which brings a more premium feel and an updated visual identity, while also providing the ‘perfect’ bottle shape for the wines to develop over time. The new shape is inspired by the La Perle bottle, which was launched in 1995.
Van Houten 5 Colours
Hot chocolate expert Van Houten is giving baristas the opportunity to raise their hot drinks game with its new 5 Colours range. Available in Dark, Milk, White, Ruby, and Gold varieties, drinks in the new range have 100% chocolate content (except for Ruby, which has 94%) and can be used with dairy or plant-based milk to make hot and cold drinks. The company to worked with some leading baristas and chefs for the launch, including Dhan Tamang – five times UK Latte Art Champion, and Nicole Battefeld, German Brewers Cup Champion. “It was really important to us that the baristas themselves were fans of our chocolate grounds,” says Gareth Fitzpatrick, UK sales manager for Barry Callebaut Beverages, which owns Van Houten Drinks. “Each of them developed key recipes within their favourite drink category, ranging from chocolate flat whites, to frappés, to innovative hot chocolates and iced chocolate lattes.”
Glen Scotia 21-year-old single malt
Campbeltown distillery Glen Scotia has unveiled its latest expression – a limited-edition 21-year-old single malt. The 46% abv whisky is aged in a combination of refill bourbon barrels and refill American oak hogsheads, before a six-month finish in first-fill Oloroso sherry casks to add perfumed floral notes and has been matured to bridge the gap between Glen Scotia’s 18-year-old and its 25-year-old expressions. Limited to 2,500 bottles and with a price tag of £265, it is described as having sweet perfumed oloroso, spiced red apple, and peppercorns on the nose and flavours of baked red apples, plump raisins, spice, creamy vanilla, toffee, and sea spray.