Top 10 spirits launches in June 2018

by Owen Bellwood

The first vodka made from Scottish oats, a navy strength gin with added sea salt and a barrel-aged absinthe are among our pick of the most exciting new spirits to launch last month.

In June, Pernod Ricard-owned Absolut unveiled two new flavoured expressions made with fruit juice, while Licor 43 launched a new line extension made with coffee. Meanwhile, Wild Turkey honoured master distiller Jimmy Russell’s 64-year legacy with the launch of its latest expression, and Diageo made its debut in the brandy category with the launch of a VS expression under its Cîroc vodka line. Click through the following pages to explore our full round-up of the most interesting spirits launched in June. Which new spirits products caught your eye last month? If we’ve missed your favourite, let us know in the comments section below.

The Lakes Distillery Steel Bonnets

Lakes Steel Bonnets Cumbria-based The Lakes Distillery unveiled the “world’s first” blend of English and Scottish malt whisky, called Steel Bonnets. The Lakes Distillery master whiskymaker, Dhavall Gandhi, handpicked the individual malt whiskies used to create the blend – which he describes as “something that has never been tried before". Bottled at 46.6% abv, Steel Bonnets has a "creamy, slightly nutty and full-bodied flavour with notes of vanilla, ginger, nutmeg and hints of dried fruit”. It is priced at £65 (US$85.50) For more information, click here.

Cîroc VS Fine French Brandy

Ciroc Brandy Diageo has entered the brandy category with the launch of Cîroc VS Fine French Brandy. Produced in the south of France by master distiller Jean-Sébastien Robicquet, the expression has been distilled in traditional alembic copper pot stills and matured in French oak barrels. It is then blended with aged brandies, resulting in “rich” notes of fresh fruit, vanilla and a hint of French oak. Cîroc VS Fine French Brandy is available for an RRP of US$35.99 in select US markets. For more information, click here.

Wild Turkey Master's Keep Revival

Wild Turkey Master's Reserve Wild Turkey Master's Keep Revival is the third expression in the Bourbon brand's Master’s Keep super-premium series. The expression pays homage to the 64-year legacy of Wild Turkey master distiller Jimmy Russel and is made with Wild Turkey Bourbon aged for 12-15 years and finished in 20-year-old oloroso Sherry casks. Limited to 1,600 cases, Wild Turkey Master’s Keep Revival is available at an RRP of US$149 from the Wild Turkey visitor centre in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. For more information, click here.

Absolut Juice Edition

Absolut Juice Edition   In the UK, Pernod Ricard-owned Absolut launched two flavoured vodkas made with fruit juice, each inspired by the Swedish summer and autumn. Available as a UK exclusive, Absolut Juice Edition comes in strawberry and apple flavours, each bottled at 35% abv. The products are said to answer demand from an increasingly health conscious consumer base. Absolut Juice Edition carries an RRP of £16 (US$21) per 500ml bottle. For more information, click here.

Douglas Laing & Co Port Dundas 40 Years Old

Douglas Laing & Co Extra Old Particulars June saw Independent Scotch bottler Douglas Laing & Co launch the latest expression in its Extra Old Particular range: a 40-year-old single grain single cask whisky from the closed Port Dundas Distillery. The Scotch whisky marks the brand's 70th anniversary and has been bottled at natural cask strength (59.1% abv). It is described as “absolutely bursting with gingerbread spicy sweetness, dark fruits and home baking”. Packaged in a moleskin-hinged box, Port Dundas 40 Years Old is available at an RRP of £350 (US$462). For more information, click here.

Licor 43 Baristo

Licor 43 Baristo Spanish liqueur brand Licor 43 launched a new line extension that contains coffee from the Canary Islands. The expression contains “rare” Arabica Typica coffee, giving the expression "complex and sophisticated" character. Licor 43 Baristo, priced €17.90 (US$21) will be available from selected retail stores in Holland, Germany, Brazil, Austria, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Canada and global travel retail. For more information, click here.

Royal Salute 28 Year Old Kew Palace Edition

Royal Salute   Pernod Ricard-owned blended Scotch whisky brand Royal Salute unveiled its latest expression, inspired by London's Kew Gardens. The latest release in the brand's Flask Collection is the result of a collaboration between Royal Salute’s director of blending, Sandy Hyslop, and perfumer Barnabé Fillion. Bottled at 40% abv, the new expression carries an RRP of US$790 and will be available in a set that includes a bespoke green porcelain flagon and flask, alongside a pouring funnel and wooden serving tray. For more information, click here.

Colonsay Beverages Brochan

Brochan-Oat-Vodka Gin and craft beer producer Colonsay Beverages has released Brochan, believed to be the UK’s first vodka distilled with Scottish oats. To make the vodka, oats were added to copper stills along with wheat and a small amount of rye before being distilled five times. An initial product run of 1,800 bottles has been released. Brochan is bottled at 43% abv and is available to purchase through select specialist wine and spirits retailers and on-trade venues at an RRP of £35 (US$46) per 700ml bottle. For more information, click here.

Copper & Kings Barrel Finished Absinthe Alembic

Kentucky-based brandy maker Copper & Kings expanded its range of absinth spirits with the launch of a barrel-finished expression. The aged absinth joins the brand's permanent range and has been bottled at 65% abv. Master distiller Brandon O’Daniel, said: “Copper pot distillation is a perfect vehicle for making intense, highly aromatic absinthe, and the double-distilled brandy base coupled with non-chill-filtration leaves a heady, leggy, viscous spirit." Copper & Kings Barrel Finished Absinthe Alembic is priced at US$55 for 750ml. For more information, click here.

Portobello Road Gin Navy Strength

Portobello-Road-Gin-Navy-Strength London-based gin brand Portobello Road has added a navy strength expression to its portfolio. The new gin is distilled with English wheat and includes sea salt as one of its botanicals. The brand will donate a portion of proceeds from sales of the new bottling to ocean welfare charities. Bottled at 57.1% abv, Portobello Road Gin Navy Strength will be available across both the on- and off-trade from July at an RRP of £26 (US$34) per 500ml. For more information, click here.