Sipping in the sun

When buying bottles at Christmas time as gifts for friends and family, consumers are often reluctant to stray from ‘tried and tested’ well-known variants. However, carefree, balmy summer days are often a time when many are keen to try out something new. Ensure you don’t disappoint by stocking up on the refreshing treats highlighted over the next few pages, writes Gillian Hamill


Brand Central

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14 June 2018

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Now is an exciting time to be working in the off-trade industry. Not only have we witnessed an explosion in choice within craft beers in recent years, but a number of spirits categories have been bolstered by a new lease of life. Gin and whiskey are leading the way in showing how to innovate in style. Within the wine category, rosé remains a summer stalwart, perfect for breezy, carefree summer days.  And now, the cider category is also receiving an overdue injection of greater choice. Below, ShelfLife reports on the bestsellers and NPD that you can expect to hear a lot more about this summer.

Delivering greater choice in ciders

If we look at the beer and cider markets, we can see two very different dynamics. On the one hand, we have a beer market that offers an abundance of choice and on the other hand, we have a cider market where 90% of the sales come from just five brands!

Having entered the cider market just three years ago, Heineken Ireland now has two tasty cider brands, Orchard Thieves, already the number two brand in the category and now Appleman’s, anticipated to soon be a firm favourite among shoppers.

When Heineken Ireland launched Orchard Thieves in 2015, the company drew upon Heineken’s tradition and expertise in cider making to produce a great tasting cider specifically for Ireland. With Appleman’s Cider, the team has again produced a premium cider specifically for Irish tastes.

The Appleman’s brand has been designed for those looking for a cider that offers the perfect balance between dry and sweet; ideal for those who seek out and appreciate real quality and great taste.

Appleman’s Cider is a different cider to Orchard Thieves with a different taste profile and brand positioning which the company strongly believes will appeal to different consumers and shoppers. The cider category in Ireland is still extremely under-developed and it is Heineken’s belief that through increasing choice, it will also increase consumption occasions and ultimately grow the category in the long-term.

Consumers can pick an Appleman’s in the off-trade today, available in a 500ml can, a 500ml bottle and an 8 x 500ml can pack. The launch is supported with a fully integrated multi-media campaign, including TV, radio, outdoor and digital, after going live during the May bank holiday weekend.

Q & A with…Paula Conlon, Heineken Ireland’s customer marketing controller

Q: You recently launched Heineken 0.0% to deliver a quality non-alcohol beer experience. What research led you to develop this new offering and how do you expect it to perform in sales terms this summer?

A: Our latest innovation and permanent new family member, Heineken 0.0%, is exciting news for the retail sector. A non-alcoholic lager, with world-class taste, Heineken 0.0% is brewed by beer lovers for beer lovers. The launch comes as a response to Irish consumers’ needs and demands, driven by the global and local cultural trend toward living a balanced lifestyle.

Globally, the non-alcoholic category is expected to grow at 4.5% per year over the next five years. While the category is small and underdeveloped here in Ireland, it has seen steady growth year-on-year with little or no investment.

Heineken Ireland is working closely with customers to ensure that the category is developed here in Ireland. We are working in partnership with Ireland’s leading retailers to create awareness and maximum in-store standout for the shopper.

Q: What does Heineken’s sustainability strategy, ‘Brewing a Better World’ entail and why is sustainability an important focus for the company?

A: Sustainability is part of who we are at Heineken Ireland. It comes from our values – a respect for people and the planet. It is a strategic and business imperative for us. Our aim is to ‘Brew a Better World’ from barley to bar, while we grow our business.

We are in year seven of our 10-year sustainability programme, and on track to deliver on our ‘2020 Brewing a Better World’ commitments, which include protecting water resources, reducing CO2 emissions, sourcing sustainably, advocating responsible consumption, promoting health and safety and growing with our communities. We are very proud of our 162 year brewing legacy here in Ireland; in order to be around for another 162 years, we will continue to grow sustainably.

Q: Talk us through the brand’s new rugby campaign. How substantial an investment has been made within this and how do you believe this message will resonate with consumers?

A: Spearheaded by an Irish-made TV commercial, the Heineken Rugby campaign also features outdoor, digital and a robust social media strategy.

The campaign emanates from the insight of ‘What divides us, unites us’. Rugby supporters may be divided by their loyalties towards different teams, but they are united by the sport itself and the values associated with rugby. We believe this will resonate with rugby fans around the country.

Q: The craft beer market has exploded in Ireland in recent years. How do you ensure your beer and cider brands can continue to compete among the broader choice now available on the market?

A: With over 160 years of a strong brewing tradition, and an innovative mind-set, Heineken Ireland now offers more choices in the beer and cider categories to our consumers and shoppers. In 2017, we launched Heineken Light, with lower calories and a lower alcohol content. Following on from Heineken 0.0%, we have the launch of Appleman’s – a beautifully simple and balanced cider – and the increasingly popular Orchard Thieves, which we launched three years ago. With these brands, we are able to say that Irish shoppers have more choice in cider.

One to watch

Included in Diageo Reserve’s world class portfolio, Ketel One Vodka has passed through 11 generations of the Nolet family

Included in Diageo Reserve’s world class portfolio, Ketel One Vodka has passed through 11 generations of the Nolet family

Ketel One Vodka is distilled by the Nolet family in Schiedam, the Netherlands, who have meticulously crafted spirits for over 325 years.

A premium craft vodka and a liquid of extraordinary quality, Ketel One Vodka is made using carefully selected European wheat and a unique combination of modern and traditional distilling techniques.

Combining modern column distillation, with the unique liquid produced by copper pot stills, the brand states the result is an exceptional product, both crisp to taste and soft on finish. The original coal-fired pot still, Pot Still Number One, otherwise known as “Distilleerketel #1”, is the inspiration for the name of this Dutch vodka.

Passed down from father to son for 11 generations, the Nolet family has maintained the highest standards in crafting the world’s finest spirits.

Ketel One Vodka has remained unassailable as the best-selling of all vodkas for six years in a row as well as the top trending vodka for the fourth year, according to the Drinks International Brands Report 2018.

Ketel One vodka is included in Diageo’s Reserve world class portfolio of luxury spirits. Diageo Reserve the exclusive spirits partner to Taste of Dublin 2018, with tasting experiences and interactive masterclasses taking place throughout the four-day festival in Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens from 14 – 17 June, culminating in the World Class Bartender of the Year Irish Final. For more information, check out World Class Ireland on Facebook.

Open to experimentation

The Open Gate range offers three flavoursome beers

The Open Gate range offers three flavoursome beers

The brewers at the Open Gate Brewery have introduced a new range of beers from “the home of innovation and experimentation” at St. James’s Gate in Dublin. The range of three beers includes Open Gate Citra IPA (5% ABV), which lead Open Gate brewer Peter Simpson describes as “a balanced beer packed with Citra, Centennial and Cascade hops for juicy fruit and bitter citrus notes”. This stands alongside Open Gate Pilsner (4.5% ABV), which is dry-hopped with Amarillo and Cascade hops for “a zingy, citrus taste profile and a clean, slightly bitter finish”.  The Open Gate range also includes ‘Open Gate Pure Brew’ the full flavoured, non-alcoholic lager, which launched earlier this year.

These flavoursome new beers are available in bottle format, in off-licenses nationwide now. To find out more about The Open Gate Brewery and its beers, visit

Time to Spritz!

Aperol is an Italian bitter apéritif most famously found in the Aperol Spritz. The orange colour is unmistakeably vibrant and it is becoming increasingly common to see people enjoying this refreshing serve in trendy bars and restaurants throughout Ireland.

The allure of Aperol Spritz is predominantly driven by those who have fond memories of this drink while sitting on a sunny terrace in Italy or enjoying some Après Ski in the French Alps. However, in the more modest climate of Ireland, the popularity of the Spritz continues to grow due to its refreshing nature and low ABV.

It is a simple serve consisting of three key elements; three parts Prosecco, two parts Aperol, one-part soda water, all over ice with an orange wedge served in a large wine glass. You are likely to see people enjoying an Aperol Spritz after work or before dinner to stimulate the appetite; the Italians call this occasion ‘Aperitivo’. It is becoming increasingly popular in Ireland, as demonstrated by the rising popularity of Aperitivo-style drinks like the Aperol Spritz or its cousin, the Negroni cocktail.

A top trending sherry

Established in 1844, Tio Pepe is one of the best-known sherries around the world

Established in 1844, Tio Pepe is one of the best-known sherries around the world

Tio Pepe is one of the world’s most famous sherries. The brand has been around since 1844 and is named after José Ángel de la Peña, the Uncle Pepe of the bodega’s founder Manuel María González Ángel. At the time, Fino was still a very local Andalusian product, and it was his uncle who encouraged him to commercialise it on a wider scale. Tio Pepe is one of the few commercial sherries that mention its Carrascal and Macharnudo vineyards on the label; two of the best areas for Palominio grape cultivation, to the North West of Jerez de la Frontera.

Tio Pepe has bagged itself the title of Top Trending and Best Selling Sherry Brand in Drink International’s recent Annual Brands Report. This sherry will prove an excellent drink for summer months as it can be used to make a number of cocktails.

Full of zeal from New Zealand

Villa Maria is now the number one New Zealand wine brand on the market

Villa Maria is now the number one New Zealand wine brand on the market

Sir George Fistonich founded Villa Maria Estate in Auckland in 1961. With vision and determination, he has steered the company to a position where it has become New Zealand’s leading wine award-winner. At the age of 22, Sir George harvested his first grapes in 1962 and made his first wine under the name Villa Maria.

Today, Villa Maria has grown to employ more than 250 permanent staff and exports wine to over 50 countries worldwide.

A family-owned New Zealand winery, Villa Maria has been New Zealand’s leading wine award-winner, both nationally and internationally since the early 1980s. The repositioning of the Private Bin Range has seen sales surge. Villa Maria is now the number one New Zealand wine brand on the market. It is also the fourth most admired wine brand in the world according to Drinks International 2018.

Challenging preconceptions about beer

Villa Maria is now the number one New Zealand wine brand on the market

Villa Maria is now the number one New Zealand wine brand on the market

Brew Dog was established in 2007 and is brewed in Ellon, Scotland, in a state-of-the-art eco-brewery. One of the most technologically advanced in the world, from there, the team strives constantly to challenge people’s preconceptions about what beer is and how it can taste. Owners Martin Dickie and James Watt became bored of industrially-brewed lagers and ales dominating the UK beer market and so decided to create a great, new craft beer.

Fast forward ten years, and Brew Dog has now over 1,000 employees, 70,000 shareholders and 46 bars. The company donates 10% of its profits to charity. It has also made the decision to move away from all plastic can holders and use fully recycled and recyclable boxes. This will have a highly positive impact on the brand image. Adding to this, the brand scored three golds and one silver in the 2014 World Beer Awards.

Brew Dog has a wide range of beers from Punk IPA to Elvis Juice. However, it is the Indie Pale Ale that has the most potential for the summer months. This 4.2% pale ale delivers light hints of pear and banana, set against a caramel and biscuit malt backbone. It is portrayed as an icon of independence which is a fitting theme for the summer.

Super-premium herbal liqueur

Jägermeister Manifest delivers a full-bodied, robust blend of flavours

Jägermeister Manifest delivers a full-bodied, robust blend of flavours

For the first time in its history, Mast-Jägermeister SE, the well-known family-owned company and maker of the most successful herbal liqueur on the market, will be unveiling a premium line extension: Jägermeister Manifest. The first ever herbal liqueur in the super-premium category will be available in Ireland from this month onwards.

The elaborately crafted extraction of now more than 56 botanicals, the two-fold maturation process in small and large oak casks for more than 12 months, and a higher alcohol content (38% ABV) come together to create a nuanced composition that redefines the herbal liqueur segment. Manifest is a full-bodied, robust blend of flavours. Slightly sweet notes of anise and dried fruit give way to subtle spice and aromatic bitters, finishing in a marriage of vanilla and barrel oak.

The new clear glass bottle features a hand-applied Jägermeister emblem that underscores the tawny copper colour of the super-premium liqueur. Jägermeister Manifest is served as a chilled shot in a custom tumbler.

Targeting an exclusive group of consumers, only 60,000 bottles of the premium liqueur can be produced in the first year.

Members of the Hubertus Circle, an international network of bartenders, conducted the first blind tastings, and their reactions to this “captivating composition” were overwhelmingly positive.

For more information, visit

Pink perfection

Beefeater Gin is kicking off the summer in style with the launch of its highly-anticipated Beefeater Pink. With Beefeater Gin as its base, the brand states the addition of strawberries to its classic flavours of citrus and juniper, creates a beautiful, natural and refreshing spirit especially when served with a quality tonic.

Master distiller Desmond Payne MBE spent months perfecting the pale pink expression of Beefeater Pink with the end goal of achieving the best pink gin on the market, not the first.

While creating the blend of Beefeater Pink, Payne took inspiration from creations by the distillery’s pharmacist founder James Borrough, such as raspberry gin and cherry brandy to give Beefeater Pink a truly distinctive taste and a visually vibrant look with its statement summer shade.

Bottled at 37.5% ABV, and with a RRP of €25 per bottle, Beefeater Gin is stocked in all major retailers and off-licences nationwide.

For more information on Beefeater Pink, follow the brand on social media @beefeatergin or check out the website,

A vision in Violet

Boë Violet Gin is infused with violets, creating a gin full of style with a light, delicate taste

Boë Violet Gin is infused with violets, creating a gin full of style with a light, delicate taste

Boë Violet Gin is hand-crafted and lovingly created in small batches under the watchful eye of the company’s master distiller at its distillery in Stirlingshire, Scotland.

A gin of the highest class cut to exactly 41.5% ABV, Boë Violet Gin is truly distinctive with standout qualities.

The subtleties of Boë Violet Gin are all in the selection and preparation of its botanicals; that fine balance of herbs and spices so crucial to its distinctive taste and quality and the unique use of premium spirit.

Juniper berries and their flavoursome oils are at the heart of this complex gin distillation. Also included are aromatic coriander, angelica, ginger, orris root and cassia bark. Warmth and flavour come from the grains of paradise. Orange and lemon peel are there too, delivering a hint of citrus, together with cardamom seeds, liquorice, almonds and the peppery tones of the cubeb berry.

Boë Violet Gin is infused with violets to create a stylish gin with a light, delicate taste. The colour of the gin is enhanced by adding natural colour at the end of the process, reflecting the sweet taste of violets. According to the brand, it is incredibly smooth with a distinct presence of gin, slightly spiced leaving a wonderful lingering delicate finish of sweet violets and when served, distinctively eye-catching.

Exploring new possibilities

The creators of Brockmans shared a view that gin could be something more exciting, different and delicious than the traditional brands. So they set out to explore new possibilities in taste and push some boundaries to see where gin could go.

Brockmans set out to be different. Its creators wanted a new style gin. One with a recipe that went beyond juniper, into more avant-garde territory. Something distinctive that would shake well with new mixers and create exotic cocktails. In their quest for new experiences, consumers are increasingly looking for interesting flavours and sensations and Brockmans certainly delivers.

In fact, its makers describe Brockmans as being like no other gin. It is intensely smooth with a soft, fruity character derived from the carefully selected botanicals used in distillation. Italian juniper berries provide pine, lavender and camphor notes. Spanish lemon and orange peel add zesty citrus. But the unique use of dried wild blueberries and blackberries give Brockmans its most distinctive flavour.

Youngest and freshest on market

 Smooth and juicy on the palate, Santa Rita 120’s new Sauvignon Blanc delivers zingy acidity on the finish

Smooth and juicy on the palate, Santa Rita 120’s new Sauvignon Blanc delivers zingy acidity on the finish

Ireland’s favourite wine brand, Santa Rita, has added a couple of new and exciting lines to its portfolio, just in time for summer.

Best-selling line Santa Rita 120 sees the addition of a new 120 Early Harvest ‘Fresh Sauvignon Blanc’ to complement the range of varieties already available. The aim is to have the youngest, freshest Sauvignon Blanc sold on the market. The Sauvignon Blanc grapes were picked in Chile earlier this year and will go into the first wines to be bottled and exported from the 2018 vintage.

The grapes making up this wine are sourced from the cooler regions of Colchagua Costa and the Maule Valley. According to Santa Rita 120 winemaker Oscar Salas, “the cool climate and early picking results in a low alcohol but high acidity wine that is refreshing, with notes of peaches, nectarines, citrus and pineapple on the nose. Celebrate summer by living la vida 120!” (RRP €12.50).

Rise of rosé

With Europe seeing a massive uplift in sales of rosé wine and consumer trends showing a movement towards paler styles, a new line has been added to the Santa Rita range. The limited release Santa Rita Rosé is a beautiful, light salmon-pink in colour, the nose is very fresh, fruity and expressive with a predominance of strawberry, raspberry and delicate citrus notes.

It’s made by winemaker César Catalán using 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Syrah grapes, the latter being grown in the coastal area of Colchagua where the Humboldt Current coming up from Antarctica works together with the continental winds to create a cooling effect on the area. This results in wines with higher acidity and elegant aromas. The grapes are all hand-picked to keep the berries intact on the way to the winery, where they are then de-stemmed and very gently crushed to obtain the signature pale pink colour of the wine. This is a perfect aperitif wine, one to share with friends in the garden as the sun goes down, but it goes equally well with shellfish, salmon, salads and chicken (RRP €12.50).

Crisp acidity and vibrant colour

Founded in 1997, Doña Paula in Mendoza, Argentina, celebrates its 21st anniversary this year. Spanning 703 hectares of prime vineyard sites, Doña Paula owns all the land it makes wine from which helps to ensure a high level of quality from grape to glass. With the promise of sunshine in the air, the Argentinean producer is bringing a new rosé wine to the Irish market.

“Malva, a flower native to Mendoza is the first to bloom, announcing the arrival of spring,” says head winemaker Marcos Fernandez, discussing the Doña Paula Rosé of Malbec. “Like the Malva, this rosé celebrates the coming of a new season with a brand-new vintage. I wanted to make a rosé that is fresh in style and pale in colour, but also one using the grape that Argentina is world renowned for: Malbec.

“In order to achieve this,” Fernandez says, “the Malbec grapes are handpicked particularly early in the season, usually in late March or early April. In this case, it is over the first two weeks of February to keep a crisp acidity and vibrant colour. This early picking also ensures the rosé is bottled in March and on sale in Europe by April, making it the first 2018 rosé from Argentina on the market.”

Passion for life!

The Cuervo Passionfruit Margarita cocktail is best made using Cuervo Tradicional Silver and is ideal for sunny days

The Cuervo Passionfruit Margarita cocktail is best made using Cuervo Tradicional Silver and is ideal for sunny days

Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday which takes place annually on 5 May, to commemorate the victory of Mexico’s soldiers when France attempted to invade in 1861. 150 years later, Cinco de Mayo parties take place worldwide and celebrate all things Mexico; tequila included. The birth of tequila is all down to one man, Jose Antonio de Cuervo, whose legacy lives on to this day. In 1795, Jose Cuervo was the first person to ever be granted a licence to produce and distribute tequila.

Fast forward to 2018 and Jose Cuervo is the number one tequila in the world today with a wide portfolio including Jose Cuervo Especial, Jose Cuervo Tradicional and Reserva de la Familia. The deep flavour of Cuervo should be savoured, either in a cocktail or sipped neat or on the rocks. This summer, Jose Cuervo is putting a twist on the classic cocktail with the Cuervo Passionfruit Margarita. Best made using Cuervo Tradicional Silver, it is a perfect drink for the coming sunny days.

By staying true to its method of tequila production, Tradicional has earned itself a number of notable awards for its quality and taste. Jose Cuervo Tradicional Silver is 100% agave tequila crafted using methods originated by the Cuervo family over 200 years ago.

Refreshing low-calorie option

A summertime favourite in Ireland, Kopparberg enjoys an enviable position as the number one fruit cider in the category with 62% volume share of the off-trade and 81% of the on-trade, according to Nielsen MAT to December 2017.

The best-selling fruit cider has now added a refreshing low-calorie variant to its range; Kopparberg Raspberry Light. At only 84kcal and 4% ABV, this ‘light’

At only 84kcal and 4% ABV, Kopparberg Raspberry Light is a refreshing low-calorie variant

At only 84kcal and 4% ABV, Kopparberg Raspberry Light is a refreshing low-calorie variant

variant is on trend as consumers become more health conscious, seeking out low calorie options which don’t compromise

on taste. Available in a sleek 250ml can, Kopparberg Raspberry Light launched in Dunnes Stores this month, and will follow in other stores just in time for the summer months.

Every drop of Kopparberg is produced in an independent and family-owned brewery in the small town of Kopparberg, Sweden. Since launching with Richmond Marketing in 2006, Kopparberg has experienced over 12 years of consecutive growth and innovation in the Irish market.

Follow Kopparberg on Facebook and Instagram: @KopparbergIreland.

Where low is key!

Loki & Co. is initially available in three flavours; Apple & Elderflower, Strawberry & Lime and Orange & Mango

Loki & Co. is initially available in three flavours; Apple & Elderflower, Strawberry & Lime and Orange & Mango

Loki & Co. is an exciting new drink range set to shake up the ready-to-drink (RTD) category this summer. With consumers becoming ever more health and calorie-aware, Loki & Co. provides the perfect solution. This low calorie ‘seltzer’ is made with sparkling Irish natural mineral water blended with natural fruit flavours and wine to produce a less sweet and more authentic 4% ABV drink, with only 85 calories per 275ml bottle.

The drink which is low in calories, carbohydrates, sugars and naturally gluten free, is aimed at drinkers who are looking for an alternative to traditional RTDs and bland vodka and soda offerings. Loki & Co. comes in a 275ml bottle and is initially available in three flavours; Apple & Elderflower, Strawberry & Lime and Orange & Mango.

Loki & Co. has been created by Irish start-up drinks company RTM Beverages. Despite being less than a year old, the brand has enjoyed considerable success with distribution agreements in place in the UK and Europe. Loki & Co. is represented in Ireland by Richmond Marketing and is stocked by Dunnes Stores from this month onwards.

For sales enquiries contact: Richmond Marketing or e-mail:

Q & A with… Jonathan Smith, country manager, Reh Kendermann Ireland

Q: How does Reh Kendermann perform overall within the Irish market? Have you recorded sales growth?

A: We are pleased with our progress this year. We have noticed that the rosé sector has been under pressure, but we have seen some good sales development with our lower alcohol wines. A particular highli

ght is the B Secco range which is up 38% year-on-year.

Q: Which wines are your strongest sellers during the summer months and what are the reasons behind their success?

A: All our wines are well-suited to summer wine drinking, being light, delicate and fruity.
B by Black Tower (white, red and rosé) continues to perform strongly in Republic of Ireland, driven by great taste, range and competitive pricing. We are forecasting a great summer for the Bend in the River Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio, as we are running an innovative neck collar and media campaign with Cocoa Brown beauty products. This will start imminently and run throughout the summer months.

Q: How does the company continue to innovate to meet consumer trends?

A: Reh Kendermann has always innovated; 25 years ago Black Tower was a single white wine SKU. Today, we have a range of more than 20 wines from the original fruity white to a strong selection of non-varietal, varietal and lower alcohol and fruit-flavoured wines with B Fruitiful.

The B Secco range which is up 38% year-on-year, is a strong performer within Reh Kendermann’s portfolio

The B Secco range which is up 38% year-on-year, is a strong performer within Reh Kendermann’s portfolio

Q: What is the recommended retail price point across your range? How do you stand out from competitors within the same price bracket(s)?

A: We are very competitively priced against our rivals. The B by Black Tower range has a RRP of €6.99, the Black Tower range has a RRP of €10 and the Bend in the River range’s RRP is €10.

We stand out through innovative packaging and products. For example, the Black Tower range often produces creative limited edition sleeves for extra stand out on-shelf. Both Black Tower and the Bend in the River wines partake in very active and ongoing PR and social media activity to engage the consumer across multiple platforms.

Q: What would you say are Reh Kendermann’s proudest achievements within the wine industry?

A: Building Black Tower to become the world’s most successful German wine brand.

Not just lip-service to quality

Seedlip is the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirit, solving the ever-growing dilemma of ‘what to drink when you’re not drinking’. Launched to great acclaim in November 2015, Seedlip was an immediate sell-out in London’s Selfridges and is now served in more than 15 international cities and 150 Michelin starred restaurants.

With a RRP of €36 for 70cl, it is stocked nationwide by and leading off-licences, bars and restaurants.

Authentic taste of New Orleans

Southern Comfort Black will appeal to consumers looking for a bold whiskey profile

Southern Comfort Black will appeal to consumers looking for a bold whiskey profile

Southern Comfort Black is bringing a robust new blend to the iconic New Orleans brand. Using the strapline ‘For those who want their smooth Southern Comfort extra BOLD’, the launch campaign engages with younger spirit drinkers’ growing interest in American whiskey.

The 40% ABV premium Southern Comfort expression will be distributed by Hi-Spirits Ireland in the on-trade and off-trade. Southern Comfort Black features an innovative new blend which brings the brand’s whiskey credentials to the fore while still featuring creator M.W. Heron’s blend of fruits and spices.

The new expression has been crafted by Drew Mayville, Sazerac’s master spirits blender for Southern Comfort brand owner Sazerac.

Using digital and social media, consumers will be able to access the ‘Blacklist’, an interactive database of all stockists, to find their nearest outlet, and download a range of special offers to encourage trial.

Southern Comfort Black will specifically appeal to those looking for a bold whiskey profile, whether they enjoy it straight, on the rocks, or in whiskey-forward cocktails and mixed drinks. A high-profile launch campaign will encourage trial and give consumers the opportunity to put Southern Comfort Black at the heart of the repertoire of drinks they enjoy.

Southern Comfort Black joins Southern Comfort Original (35% ABV) and on-trade only Southern Comfort 100 (50% ABV) in the range distributed by Hi-Spirits Ireland.

To contact Hi-Spirits Ireland, call 01969 5577 or email

True sense of place and provenance

Dingle Original Gin is collected at 70% ABV and then cut to 42.5% ABV using the purest of water

Dingle Original Gin is collected at 70% ABV and then cut to 42.5% ABV using the purest of water

Dingle Original Gin hails from the Dingle Whiskey Distillery, which is proudly located in Kerry, along the Wild Atlantic Way. Although characterised as a London dry gin, it has a unique character and flavour profile thanks to its specific choice of botanicals.

The combination of flavour elements are macerated in spirit for 24 hours. Then, when the spirit is distilled, it passes through a flavour basket in the neck of the still. This process underlines the attention to detail that is an essential part of the brand’s whole approach to the art of distillation. Dingle Gin uses, amongst other botanicals, rowan berry from the mountain ash trees, fuchsia, bog myrtle, hawthorn and heather, for a taste of the Kerry landscape. It’s a formula unknown elsewhere and is calculated, among other things, to create a sense of place and provenance. The spirit is collected at 70% ABV and then cut to 42.5% ABV using the purest of water, which is drawn from the brand’s own well, 240 feet below the distillery. The blend of botanicals delivers a fabulously fresh, floral character that perfectly balances the traditional juniper.

Dingle Original Gin won the award for Best Irish Gin at the Irish Whiskey Awards 2017. For more information, visit

Nature’s magic

Mac Ivors Cider has won a number of prestigious awards

Mac Ivors Cider has won a number of prestigious awards

Apple growing lies at the heart of the Mac Ivors Cider business. With 100 acres of wonderful apple trees in the Orchard County, and 10 more acres of heritage cider varieties being planted in 2018, this will be the single largest heritage cider orchard in Northern Ireland.

Greg McNeice is a fifth generation apple grower whose journey into cider making was inspired by his mother’s French heritage and the beauty of his father’s Co. Armagh orchards.

Mac Ivors Cider Co. now produces Traditional Dry Cider, Medium Cider, Plum and Ginger Cider and last year it launched Vintage Reserve Cider.

Since the business started in 2011, it has since grown to selling in more than 1,000 outlets north and south of Ireland, in France, Italy, Denmark, Germany and Dubai.

2017 was a busy year with Mac Ivors Cider being recognised for its export achievements. The team also picked up other prestigious awards including a National Trust Fine Farm Food Award as well as collecting three gold medals in London’s Guildhall at the prestigious 2017 International Brewing and Cider Awards. The company also scooped a silver at Blas na hÉireann for its Traditional Dry Cider and Plum and Ginger Ciders and won the coveted Best Artisan Producer in Ireland at the same event.

2018 also promises great things. With a new summer campaign based around ‘Nature’s magic’, Mac Ivors will tell the story of how nature is at the heart of everything the company does, from the bees pollinating the flowers in its orchards, to the 14 different apple varieties that they grow, right to the moment someone experiences the crisp, apple refreshment of a Mac Ivors Cider. For more information, visit or call Sarah on 085 747 3179.



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