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Top new products: August

Huxley Rare Genus Whiskey

Diageo’s “experimental collective”, Whiskey Union, has unveiled a new blended expression, Huxley Rare Genus Whiskey, comprising Scotch, Canadian and American drams. Whiskey Union launched in November last year and its latest expression is designed to “take whiskey drinkers into uncharted territory”.

The experimental blend combines Scotch, Canadian and American whiskies resulting in a “unique blend even greater than the sum of its parts”. The whiskey is named in honour of celebrated 19th-century anatomist TH Huxley, and the label features a ‘Mobsprey’ – a mythical hybrid beast combining characteristics of Scottish, Canadian and American animals. Following the marketing strategy of Whiskey Union’s first two launches, Smoky Goat and Boxing Hares, Huxley Rare Genus Whiskey will initially be made available in on-trade markets in Germany and Austria.

CONTACT:  Diageo,  +44 (0)20 8978 6000

RRP: €30

Limited edition Beefeater gin

In honour of the British film industry, Beefeater gin has created a limited edition bottle featuring its signature yeoman turned into an Oscar-like awards trophy. The launch coincides with the brand’s release of its Our London Media Awards, which invites consumers from around the world to vote for their favourite London films. British films shortlisted include Notting Hill, Love Actually, The King’s Speech, Blow Up, Austin Powers, Sherlock Holmes and Layer Cake.

To celebrate the awards, Beefeater’s global brand ambassadors have created eight cocktails inspired by the shortlisted films, from the Diamond Fizz, inspired by Snatch, to the Dog’s Nose Negroni, inspired by Oliver Twist. Links to the cocktail recipes can be found on Instagram and on Facebook. The limited edition bottle, set against the London skyline, will be rolled out globally this month.

CONTACT: Chivas Brothers,

RRP: £17.50

Purity Vodka bottle redesign

Swedish brand Purity Vodka has revealed a striking bottle redesign to give maximum on-shelf impact and back-bar standout The bottle has been optimised with the sharper facets emphasising the ‘Perfect Cut’ – the finest 10% of the spirit, or the heart of the heart – which will go on to become Purity Vodka.

Watermarked with ‘34’, the label references the 34 distillations used to produce the vodka. To emphasise provenance, the bottle wears a “craftsmanship shield” on the neck, carrying the bottle number, batch number, the signature of master blender, Thomas Kuuttanen, and a reference to Ellinge Castle, the home of the brand in Scania, southern Sweden. Purity Vodka’s new-look bottle is available in 700ml, 750ml, 1-litre and 1.75-litre formats.

CONTACT: Purity Vodka,

RRP: Approx £40

Le Grand Cros Aurélia 2015

Le Grand Cros is tapping into a growing consumer demand for full-bodied, food-friendly styles of rosé with its cuvée ‘Aurélia’ 2015. Launched this year, winemaker Julian Faulkner’s Aurélia cuvée is a Côtes de Provence rosé designed to offer drinkers a fuller-bodied take on the region’s classically light rosé. “I want to push the boundaries of what one can expect from a rosé and from Provence, so that we may consider certain rosés fine wines,” Faulkner said.

Predominantly made from Mourvèdre, with small amounts of Grenache and Syrah, Aurélia is a full-bodied rosé with a “creaminess” and “acidic tension” that set it apart from the traditional, lighter styles of rosé, Le Grand Cros said, adding that the wine had good ageing potential.

CONTACT: Asset Wines, +44 (0) 207 839 5652 

RRP: £29

The Neil McGuigan and John Torode Collection rosé

TV chef John Torode may have found Australia’s answer to Provençal rosé with a new pale pink wine made in partnership with McGuigan Wines. Using Pinot Noir grown in the Adelaide Hills, the rosé has been deliberately styled on Provençal rosé, which enjoys huge popularity in the UK owing to its pale pink colour, light body, red fruit flavour and dry, refreshing finish.

Martin Papcun, Wine Rack’s buying assistant, said the wine, which comes in a clear glass bottle, was the right pale pink and had the ideal flavour profile for the UK market, adding that he believed the fact it was made with Pinot Noir – which is prominently stated on the front label – would provide a further draw. The rosé comes under the MT brand, which is used for collaborative wine projects by McGuigan Wines and John Torode.

CONTACT: Australian Vintage, +44 (0)207 924 8850

RRP: £9.99

Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2008 and Rosé 2008

Moët & Chandon has released its Grand Vintage and Grand Vintage Rosé from the 2008 vintage. The new pair are the 72nd and 41st releases in the house’s vintage history, which dates back to 1842. The Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2008 is a blend of 40% Chardonnay, 37% Pinot Noir and 23% Meunier. Chef de cave Benoît Gouez described the wine as “vivacious and lively, with an underlying acidity that shows as a linear, focused palate”.

The Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Rosé 2008 is a blend of 46% Pinot Noir (of which 20% is red wine), with 32% Chardonnay and 22% Meunier. Gouez described the wine as a “floral and fruity wine with notes of hawthorn, leading to a fresh palate with raspberry, cherry and blood orange flavours”. Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2008 is now available in the UK with an RRP of around £44. The Grand Vintage Rosé 2008 will be available in September.

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

RRP: £59

Rolling Stones Reserva de la Familia Collector’s Edition

Tequila brand Jose Cuervo and one of the world’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands, The Rolling Stones, have joined forces to release two limited edition bottlings. Entitled The Rolling Stones Tour Pick, the two releases celebrate the role Jose Cuervo played in The Rolling Stones’ legendary 1972 North American tour, which was dubbed the ‘Tequila Sunrise Tour’.

A limited edition Rolling Stones Jose Cuervo Especial will be stocked in Asda stores nationwide this month at £12. Its Rolling Stones Reserva de la Familia Collectors Edition meanwhile, will be available at Selfridges.

CONTACT: Proximo Spirits,

RRP: £100

The Paper Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc

Marlborough producer Nautilus Estate has launched a single vineyard Sauvignon Blanc in the UK – The Paper Nautilus. The wine is produced in small batches and represents “an intimate knowledge of our estate vineyard site gained over 30 years”, said winemaker Clive Jones. He continued: “This is the result of hand-picked fruit from a single site that was fermented on solids at a warmer temperature in a large old oak cuve. The resulting wine has a more subtle fruit expression and greater textural qualities than the classic style.”

The name comes from the argonaut pelagic octopus, known as the paper nautilus, which while preferring tropical and sub-tropical waters is occasionally carried south by ocean currents to the cooler waters off New Zealand. The nickname ‘paper nautilus’ comes from the paper-thin white shells the creatures are encased in, one of which is depicted on the wine label.

CONTACT: Negociants UK, +44 (0)1582 797 510

RRP: £20.99

Iron Maiden Red ‘N’ Black Porter

Heavy metal band Iron Maiden is launching a Porter beer in collaboration with Robinsons Brewery, making it the third beer in the Trooper range. The new Red ‘N’ Black Porter has been designed by the band’s lead vocalist Bruce Dickinson alongside Robinsons’ head brewer Martyn Weeks. The pair say it aims to offer a modern take on a recipe that dates back to the 1850s.

It is the strongest in the range at 6.8% in bottle, or 5.8% in cask. The band’s first dark beer is named after a track from its latest album The Book of Souls, and is described as a full-bodied beer using a blend of chocolate and crystal malts to give “a roasted malt and caramel backbone”, with hints of liquorice and honey. Red ‘N’ Black will launch on 1 September and will be available until December in select Morrisons and Bargain Booze stores.

CONTACT: Robinsons, +44 (0)161 612 4061

RRP: £2.19 off-trade, £4 upwards on-trade

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