Brand extensions for The Famous Grouse, a mass market cognac from Rémy Martin, and two new Riojas from Faustino have been unveiled by Maxxium UK this week. The global sales and distribution company Maxxium Worldwide, which is a joint venture between Highland Distillers, Rémy Cointreau and Jim Beam Brands, began trading under its new name in the UK this month. The launches deliberately coincide with the introduction of the new corporate identity. Probably the most controversial of the new products is Grouse Rush, a premixed spirit based on The Famous Grouse whisky. It will be going on limited test in the Scottish on-trade with the aim of targeting younger consumers and introducing them to the parent brand. Maxxium will be anxious not to repeat the experience of UDV in the mid 1990s when it tried to expand the franchise of Bell's whisky with derivatives such as Bell's and cola, Bell's and Irn-Bru and Bell's and lemonade. The company is also producing The Famous Grouse Vintage Malt, a vatted 12 year old malt which includes both the Macallan and Highland Park malts.It will retail at £21.99. The Rémy Martin VS Grand Cru is the only VS cognac made entirely from grapes grown in the Petite Champagne area. It is designed as an introduction for new cognac and brandy drinkers to the Rémy range. This is a reversal of a long- held strategy of the cognac house not to compete in the mass market end of the category dominated in the UK by Martell and Courvoisier. The two new Riojas are Faustino de Crianza 1996 and Faustino de Autor 1994 (see story page 56). The company is also bringing out a collection of premium bourbons which will be available in limited quantities. They are Booker's, Baker's, Knob Creek and Basil Hayden's. Managing director Paul Grimwood (pictured) said: "These new product developments, each answering a clearly defined consumer need, have strengthened our range of premium wines and spirits so we are a one-stop contact point for the trade." {{DRINKS }}