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Award-winning spirits distributor Speciality Brands presented a line-up of exciting new additions to its portfolio last month during the second iteration of our portfolio tasting event.

Posted on 09th April 2024

Award-winning spirits distributor Speciality Brands presented a line-up of exciting new additions to its portfolio last month during the second iteration of its portfolio tasting event. The day saw an impressive 350-strong turnout for this trade-only event, which attracted a diverse array of industry talents, including top bartenders, journalists, retailers, and influencers, who travelled from across the UK and beyond to sample the range of products within the Speciality Brands portfolio.

The event marked the debut of several new brands across a range of categories joining Speciality Brands' portfolio in recent months; notable additions include Chichibu, Takamaka, Distillerie de Grandmont and Transcontinental Rum Line. It was also the inaugural trade show for Chopin Vodka, which joined the SBL portfolio last year.

Alongside the new brands, attendees to the event were also able to try a number of new products from existing brands within the SBL portfolio, including:

ABC de Christian Drouin (17% ABV, RRP £25), an innovative aperitif inspired by the centuries old French tradition of vermouth production alongside the artisanal calvados production of Normandy. ABC is a blend of apple juices and young calvados, aged in oak barrels and aromatised with a bouquet of plants and spices including cinchona, wormwood, cinnamon, orange, elderflower and yuzu. Guillaume Drouin, third generation of the Drouin family, began thinking about the history of French vermouth and after many years of experimentation perfected the recipe in 2023. Taking the botanicals usually found in the world of vermouth and combining them with apple juice and young calvados produced at the family distillery, they launched the first Apéritif à Base de Calvados, or ABC for short.

Amrut 2016 Ex-Bourbon Single Cask (60% ABV, RRP £150), a rich and powerful single malt whisky from Amrut made from 100% Indian grown barley and distilled and matured in the tropical climate of Bangalore. The whisky is bottled close to cask strength at 60% ABV and is the total outturn from an ex-bourbon cask. This whisky has been aged for seven years and two months in a single ex-bourbon cask, selected by Speciality Brands, before being bottled exclusively for the UK market. The cask has brought baking spice notes along with subtle vanilla to the fruity and malty style of Amrut's new make spirit, creating a complex and harmonious single malt whisky.

Hampden Estate also showcased some new products at the event, including Hampden Pagos (52% ABV, RRP £79) and Great House 2023 (57% ABV, RRP £115). They also unveiled a limited-edition giftpack for 2024, Hampden 8 Marks, a unique collection of 8 white rums covering a diverse spectrum of styles and ester levels. Hampden Estate, like many Jamaican distilleries, produces a wide variety of distillates, each with its own unique characteristics – from light and fruity to flavourful and funky. The 8 Marks Collection offers a journey to the heart of the distillery for all rum lovers.

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