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Top 10 new products in October

Russian Standard firebird sleeve

With a taste for all things Russian currently in vogue, vodka brand Russian Standard is going back to its roots with its first limited edition sleeve. Making its debut in Global Travel Retail, the ornate design is inspired by the magical Zhar Ptitsa firebird, famed

in Russian folklore and tradition. Said to boast feathers that burn in jewel-like hues of orange, yellow and red, the bird was thought to be a bringer of both blessings and doom to its captor.
Set to go on sale at airports in December, the firebird sleeve houses a bottle of Russian Standard Original and will carry no additional cost. Made exclusively in St. Petersburg, Russian Standard is the third most distributed vodka brand in Global Travel Retail with its 13% growth this year outperforming the vodka category.

CONTACT: Russian Standard +44 (0)20 3036 0289

Dom Pérignon Rosé ‘03 Jeff Koons gift box

Having put his name to Bordeaux first growth Château Mouton Rothschild’s 2010 label last year by scribbling a silver ship over a Pompeii fresco, American neo-pop artist Jeff Koons has since turned his attentions to Champagne.

To coincide with the release of the house’s 2003 rosé, Koons’ latest wine hook-up is with Dom Pérignon, for whom he’s designed “Balloon Venus” – a fuchsia pink stainless steel sculpture intended to evoke the experience of opening a bottle of Champagne, which can be made to order for €15,000. Those with more modest bank balances can still get a slice of the Koons magic via this limited edition gift box emblazoned with the design and featuring the artist’s signature. The Champagne inside boasts a metallic pink DP shield and foil designed by Koons. Chef de cave Richard Geoffroy describes the fizz as “voluptuous, with a velvety texture and a hint of liquorice”.

RRP: £345.

CONTACT: Moët Hennessy UK +44 (0)20 7808 4400

Absolut Amber

We all know whisky responds well to oak, and earlier this year were privy to the textural transformation gin undergoes when it spends time in barrel, but what about vodka? Not one to rest on its laurels, Absolut has decided to challenge the status quo and experiment with oak ageing. The result? Absolut Amber, which sees the base spirit rested in gently roasted oak, giving it added richness and complexity. Blurring the lines between white and brown spirits, the final blend is created from batches of Absolut that have been separately aged in Swedish oak, American oak and Bourbon casks in order to achieve heightened depth.

Mathias Westphal, global brand director for Absolut describes the outcome as “a new taste experience”. According to its makers, Absolut Amber has “a rich aroma of caramel, vanilla, roasted oak and a touch of smoke, with a smooth, mellow palate”.

RRP: US$25.

CONTACT: Pernod Ricard +44 (0)20 8538 4484

Elephant Gin

While the UK market is awash with craft gin at the moment, this newbie caught our eye and piqued our interest. Inspired by the African elephant, Elephant Gin has an ethical heart, with 15% of profits going to foundations that support the preservation of African wildlife. According to its creators – Robin Gerlach, Tessa Wienker and Henry Palmer – the 45% abv London Dry Gin is made from “carefully selected ingredients to capture the essence of Africa”.

Inspired by the pioneering spirit of 19th century explorers and the botanical discoveries they made, the gin is distilled using 14 botanicals sourced from the continent, including Savannah “superfruit” Baobab, the blackcurrant-like Buchu plant and African Wormwood. The juniper dominant gin boasts “an undertone of mountain pine, herbaceous notes and a smooth palate”. Time to fill up your trunks…

RRP: £29.49/50cl.


Brancott Estate Flight Sauvignon Blanc

Tapping into the current thirst for lower alcohol wines is Marlborough-based Brancott Estate, with its airily titled Flight Sauvignon Blanc. Launching in the off-trade, its makers assert that the “light and fresh” Sauvignon style is in no way compromised in the flavour or complexity front. Through early harvesting and carefully controlled fermentation, Brancott has been able to craft a wine that manages to pack a flavour punch despite weighing in at just 9% abv, staying true to the ripe, fresh style of Sauvignon the estate hangs its hat on. Brancott claims the grapefruit and passion fruit aroma compounds in Flight are at “notably higher levels” than its lower abv competitors.

RRP: £10.49

CONTACT: Pernod Ricard +44 (0)20 8538 4484

Jim Beam Maple

Buzzing from the success of Jim Beam Honey, Beam Inc has wasted no time in launching a new flavoured whiskey onto the market in the form of Jim Beam Maple. The Kentucky Straight
Bourbon has been infused with “natural flavours” to create a 35% abv sweet maple whiskey. Made using “an infusion process that rounds out the edges”, the nectar is said to boast a “warming maple and light caramel finish”.

Jim Beam Maple will be made available across the US this month in 750ml bottles. Its makers recommend it to be served chilled, on the rocks or in cocktails.

RRP: US$15.99.

CONTACT: Maxxium UK +44 (0)1786 430 500

50 Shades of Grey, Red Satin 2009

50 Shades of Grey author E L James has launched a range of wines inspired by the erotic trilogy. Both Red Satin (pictured) and White Silk are made from grapes grown in California. The wines carry a simple black label framed by a metallic diamond-shaped pattern and run with the tagline: You. Are. Mine.

“Wine plays an important role in Fifty Shades of Grey, adding to the sensuality that pervades a number of scenes,” says James, adding “I’ve always had a penchant for good wine, so combining two of my passions to blend Red Satin and White Silk was a natural extension of the series. I hope my readers curl up with a glass as they enjoy the romance between Anastasia and Christian.”

A blend of Petite Sirah and Syrah, Red Satin 2009 is said to boast flavours of black cherry, cocoa powder, caramel, vanilla, cloves, spices, and, somewhat fittingly, leather. White Silk 2012 meanwhile, is a blend of Gewürztraminer and Sauvignon Blanc.

RRP: £11.25 per 75cl bottle.


Johnnie Walker Blue Label Skylines

Inspired by the skylines of some of the world’s most instantly recognisable cities, unstoppable Scotch brand Johnnie Walker has released a limited edition range for its Blue Label line, engraved with seven different skylines. Architectural highlights of the chosen cities – Singapore, Hong Kong, Mumbai, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Auckland – have been etched onto the individually numbered Blue Label bottles and are accompanied by a bespoke sleeve.

Just one in 10,000 casks are handpicked by Johnnie Walker’s master blender to create its Blue Label blend. Adding to their rarity, the skyline bottles can only be snapped up at the airports of their respective cities.

“Travellers love to bring back mementos from their journeys that serve as a reminder of their experience. The Johnnie Walker Blue Label skyline range meets that need for our high-
flying consumers,” says global marketing director of Diageo Global Travel and Middle East, Steve White.

RRP: £250.

CONTACT: Diageo +44 (0)20 8878 2749

Chandon Brut

Champagne house Moët & Chandon has launched two sparkling wines made from grapes grown in Nashik in northwest India, onto the market.

Launched last week at the Four Seasons hotel in Mumbai, Chandon Brut and Chandon Brut Rosé will have a retail price of 1,200 rupees (£12) and 1,400 rupees (£14) respectively at select wine retailers and hotels in the city.

The pair will go on sale in New Delhi next month and will then be rolled out across other major Indian cities next year.

Made in the traditional method, the Brut is a blend of Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, while the rosé is a Shiraz dominant blend with a small percentage of Pinot Noir.

According to its makers, the Brut boasts “a bright and fresh fruit bouquet of citrus blossom, green apple with hints of tropical fruits and vanilla.”

The palate is described as “creamy” with “vanilla and toasty notes” and a “lingering” finish.

The rosé meanwhile, offers aromas of “ripe cherries, grapefruit, guava and rose petals”, and a palate of “mouth-filling small red fruits”.

Professor Green’s Remedy Pale Ale

It’s been a good year for red haired rapper Professor Green. Having recently gotten hitched to Made in Chelsea star Millie Mackintosh and opened a tattoo-themed nightclub INK in Leicester Square in collaboration with cocktail guru Gerry Calabrese, the London-born wordsmith has also secured a listing for his Remedy Pale Ale at Morrisons.

Made in partnership with London-based craft brewers Signature Brew, Remedy is an American- style pale ale made from British hops, which, according to its creators, boasts smooth malty flavours, robust hops, citrus aromas and a bitter finish. The 29-year-old rapper worked alongside the team at Signature Brew to develop the drop. “Remedy is a great tasting craft beer that we know our customers will enjoy. Its unique association with Professor Green means it’s sure to stand out on the shelf,” says Morrisons’ beer buyer John Gunton.

RRP: £1.79/330ml.

CONTACT: Morrisons +44 (0)20 3117 1800

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