The last 48 hours were a busy period in the whisk(e)y world. Pernod-Ricard is on buying spree. Wild Turkey is launching a new super-premium rye. And, Johnnie Walker is releasing the last iteration of a super, super premium Scotch.
Wild Turkey, Master’s Keep Cornerstone Rye
The Cocktail Renaissance and Bourbon Boom also served to push rye whiskey back to popularity. Master Distiller Eddie Russel and his team at Wild Turkey were perfectly positioned for the second coming. In fact, they distilled a top-tier rye even during the dark days. With their position secured, Turkey is releasing their oldest rye: Master’s Keep Cornerstone Rye.
“Wild Turkey was one of the few legacy distilleries that remained loyal to crafting Rye even as vodka and gin became the new, hot thing,” says Russell in a statement. “Cornerstone Rye celebrates our continued commitment to the grain. As my own son Bruce has reminded me given his devotion to rye in working with the bartender community, it’s a fundamental part of our history.”
The result is a mix of nine and 11 year-old juice from Turkey’s #4 alligator char barrels. Russel’s blend clocks in at 54.5%.
Cornerstone’s official notes promise an “enticing, bold and spirited aroma. On the palate, it delivers notes of warm vanilla, black pepper and toasted rye, followed by a cascade of honey and baked apple.”
Only 16,000 bottles will be released. MRSP is set at $175.00 per 750 mL bottle. For additional info, check out www.wildturkey.com.
Johnnie Walker, The John Walker, Last Cask
Johnnie Walker is releasing 330 bottles of their ultra-lux The John Walker line and then wrapping up the whole project.
The limited series is a 40% ABV blend of whisky from nine distilleries that were around during company founder, John Walker’s lifetime.
“A vatting of exceptional single malt whiskies offers deeper, more robust aromas of dried fruits, with waves of citrus fruits unfolding from the distilleries of Glen Albyn, Cardhu, Mortlach, Clynelish and Dailuaine before culminating in the unmistakably warm and peppery smokiness of Talisker,” adds Master Distiller Dr. Jim Beveridge, OBE in a statement.
However, the coup-de-grace is marrying the whisky in a special barrel built from 100-Year-old staves. Unfortunately, this barrel is at the end of its life according to Beveridge. Hence, the end of the John Walker line.
Of course, no high end spirit is complete without a collectible bottle. The Last Cask is packaged in a “handblown Baccarat crystal decanter, with a bespoke design by Hand Engraver of Glass to Her Majesty the Queen, Philip Lawson Johnston.”
The last run will be sold in China with an MSRP of 21, 835 ¥ (about $25,000).
Pernod Buys Texas Whiskey Distillers
Last week, Pernod-Ricard ventured deeper into the American whiskey market with the purchase of Kentucky’s Rabbit Hole Distillery. They weren’t done there. The French spirits conglomerate just bought , a Lone Star State based whiskeY distiller.
“The TX Blended Whiskey distinguishes itself as a brand poised for tremendous growth. The team at Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co have done an excellent job developing the brand, and we are keen to build on this success,” says Pernod Ricard North America CEO Paul DuffY. “We will continue to reinforce the community of loyal TX brand ambassadors, both as we expand distribution and as we welcome consumers to the Whiskey Ranch.”
Pernod is the second largest producer of wines and spirits in the world, boasting $10+ billion in sales annually. The recent acquisitions are part of the company’s three Year ‘Transform & Accelerate’ plan.