Juracan Rum

Juracán Rum

The Hurricane Rum Company bills itself as a cause-led brand with a difference: £8.50 from the sale of each bottle of its debut Juracán rum - a 45% abv blend of five pot and column still, oak barrel-aged rums from across the Caribbean - is contributed to charity ShelterBox, which works to help families in the Caribbean affected by the devastating hurricanes of 2017.

The business is co-founded by Arlo Brady, CEO of Freuds (the branding firm behind the well-known Product (RED) initiative). He told The Grocer: “In alcohol there are very few cause-related products, and when you dig in those products are pretty poor and don’t actually have a material impact. With our business model we give about eight times what any other cause-related product would.”

Three thousand bottles of the rum’s ’001’ blend, have been made. It has launched exclusively into Selfridges (rsp: £56/70cl). However, Brady said he wanted to create other, more accessible blends.

“The objective is a great tasting product that does real, genuine good. The way to do that is to scale it. It’s nice to build the brand in a luxury niche but I see us over time making more accessible variants.”

Founder's Choice

Cotswolds Distillery ‘Founder’s Choice’ Whisky

The fledgling distillery’s latest release is a cask-strength (60.9%) single malt matured in re-charred American oak red wine barrels, which the brand claims gives it “a fruity spirit, with toffee oak and red fruit notes as well as a beautiful deep colour”.

It has rolled out into Harvey Nichols and online specialist retailers (rsp: £64.95).

It comes after the Cotswolds Distillery’s core single malt (46% abv) made its national supermarket debut in Waitrose earlier this year with the retailer’s autumn range review.

Cotswolds is one of several English distilleries to hit the whisky market ove the past twelve months, after years maturing stocks of the spirit.

Prior to the launch of its whisky, it made its name - and demonstrated the viability of its brand to investors and shoppers - with Cotswolds Gin.

Yuk Brew

Yuk Brew

Up-and-coming Manchester craft brewery Seven Brothers has made waves with two collaborations this month. The first, a tie-up with Kellogg’s, saw the brewer ‘upcycle’ unusable cornflakes (those Kellogg’s considers too ‘ugly’ to sell) into a Throwaway IPA.

The second, Yuk Brew Craft Lager (4.3% abv) is a collaboration with Mercury Prize-winning rock band Wolf Alice.

The beer is only available in the on-trade and specialists for now, but it is understood one of the major multiples and a major home delivery operator have requested meetings with the brewery.

Seven Brothers mounted a £500k crowdfunding drive in October, offering up 5.88% of its equity to help finance its expansion with new brewing kit, sales and operations staff and growing its pub estate.

The campaign is still running, and at the time of writing, it had raised £349k from 578 investors.


Freixenet 0.0% Prosecco

Freixenet’s segway into prosecco may well be the smartest move the popular cava brand has ever made: its Italian fizz has racked up a whopping £17m in value sales since its summer 2017 launch.

This means it is already the UK’s fifth bestselling sparkling wine (not including champagne) [Nielsen 52 w/e 8 September 2018]. 

Thus this latest NPD, which is created with a low temperature distillation system the brand claims “keeps the natural aromas of the grapes” makes perfect sense given the current craze for moderation.

Rosé and white variants hit Tesco this month, with further listings “to be announced” (rsp: £5/70cl).

J&B Rare

J&B Rare

Upmarket wine and spirits merchant Justerini & Brooks has lined up the first national retail listing for its well-known J&B Rare whisky brand.

Justerini & Brooks this May reclaimed distribution rights for the brand - it had been distributed by Diageo GB and available only in c-stores and specialist retailers since 1997.

It has now rolled into Waitrose (rsp: £22.50/70cl), with J&B eyeing “many varied opportunities in 2019 and beyond to further elevate distribution of the brand in the GB on and off-trade”.

“We believe the timing is perfect,” said Justerini & Brooks MD Chadwick Delaney.

“Consumers are more and more concerned with provenance, heritage and brand stories. Originally enjoyed by maverick men and women and brought to eminence by the Hollywood rat-pack, J&B Rare has amassed a rich heritage, alongside delivering a quality blend that is enjoyed neat as a cocktail.”