New England?s Toppers Mountain winery has released its two flagship wines to much acclaim.
Sitting at 900 metres elevation, Toppers Mountain has a growing reputation for cool-climate wines, including the 2013 Toppers Mountain Gewürztraminer and the 2011 Toppers Mountain Red Earth Child, is a blend of Nebbiolo, Shiraz, Tempranillo and Tannat.?
The newly released Toppers Mountain Gewürztraminer has received much praise, winning a number of trophies at the 2013 New England Wine Show, including the joint Trophy for the Best Wine of the Show as well as The Best White Wine of the Show.
?We take inspiration from Alsace for our Gewürz,? said Toppers Mountain owner and winegrower, Mark Kirkby.
?We aim for headily and distinctively aromatic and spicy, textural without oiliness and a fine line of acidity.?
Kirkby said the Red Earth Child comprises a different percentage of available red fruit varieties each year depending upon the vintage. ?
?Our aim is to create the best red blend possible from the vineyard, reflecting a ?sense of place?, whilst maintaining stylistic integrity,? he said.?
?2011 vintage was a very cool one, with only 12 days over 30 degrees. In saying that, the wine has captured the vineyard?s rich flavours and assertive tannins which are characteristic of this blend. It is a wine that really opens up with air, so some time in a decanter works well.?
By Clyde Mooney ? editor Australian Hotelier
The evolving South Bank Corporation charged with the progression of Brisbane?s dynamic foreshore has listed the heritage-soaked Plough Inn Tavern.
Opened in 1885, the Plough is part of the iconic riverfront destination under the charge of the South Bank Corporation (SBC), which emerged from Brisbane?s World Expo hosting in 1988.
SBC is offering the concurrent 99-year leasehold via an expression of interest campaign through the Queensland office of Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL), with the current long-established tenant under contract for another ten years.
JLL?s Paul Fraser told TheShout the offering is a rare one, as investments in this area are unusual and the potential for ?revisionary uplift in value? when the tenant?s lease expires is significant.
?With record low interest rates, money has never been cheaper,? said Fraser.
?This opportunity allows a purchaser the enviable position of being cash flow positive from day one, and come lease expiry time in ten years multiple options present themselves with the asset?s value being truly unlocked.
?I am yet to see a more compelling investment opportunity in this space.?
The Plough recently enjoyed a large renovation, and is located just a block from the world-renowned Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre in the heavily patronised South Bank precinct, which enjoys the company of 10 million tourists annually.
Following the Queensland State Election, in 2013 the Newman Government transferred control of SBC to the Brisbane City Council.
By Sacha Delfosse - editor bars&club
The growth of Tequila Tromba is set to continue, as the brand announces plans to enter the US market, as well as the addition of key industry veterans to its local sales team.
Tequila Tromba will now be launching its whole range into the lucrative US market in April, and it has locked in distribution for the brand in Illinois (through Tenzing Wine and Spirits), and in Maryland/DC (through Craft Wine and Spirits).
Tequila Tromba?s Australian brand manager, James Sherry, will be shortly relocating to the US to head up the launch.
?Our focus will continue to be working to change the perception of tequila and creating craft tequila lovers everywhere. We seem to have some already as we?ve spotted bootlegged bottles being poured at bars across the country,? said Tequila Tromba co-founder and CEO, Eric Brass.
?As the US sells more than 70 times the amount of premium tequila than Canada and Australia, it?s natural for Tequila Tromba to move into this market next. We took a strategic approach, only to making this move once we were well established in our home bases.?
Locally, the brand has recently hired Alex Ross ? the ex-owner of iconic Melbourne cocktail bar Ginger, and former sales manager for Think Spirits ? to take on the role of Tequila Tromba sales and brand activation manager for Asia Pacific.
Ross will be responsible for all Tequila Tromba trade and consumer brand activity, and will be looking to expand the brand?s influence in the Australian and New Zealand markets, working closely with Local Craft Spirits and Neat Spirits, who distribute the brand in Australia and New Zealand respectively.
?I?m really excited to be joining the Tromba team. It?s a fantastic opportunity, to take the responsibility to help build the Tromba brand, and to work solely with tequila, which I love.
?It?s also a great opportunity to work with such a passionate ownership team, and in Marco Cedano, one of the finest tequila brains in the industry,? said Ross.
Local Craft Spirits has also recently expanded its team, with Nigel Weisbaum ? former Club Suntory manager, and Mojito Joe manager ? taking on the role of national sales manager.
By James Atkinson
Jack Daniel?s Tennessee Honey recently passed the one million case mark globally in trailing twelve month depletions, according to brand owner Brown-Forman.
Reporting its financial results for the third quarter ended January 31, 2014, Brown-Forman said its North American whiskey portfolio continued to grow globally, with the Jack Daniel?s family of brands enjoying strong demand across all price points and brand extensions.
?Innovation has also been a source of outperformance for the Jack Daniel?s trademark, including the launch and global rollout of Jack Daniel?s Tennessee Honey,? the company said.
?During the first nine months [of fiscal 2013-14], Jack Daniel?s Tennessee Honey grew underlying net sales by over 30 per cent, driven by double-digit gains in the United States and strong momentum in newly launched markets.?
Brown-Forman reported that underlying net sales in Australia were ?up low single-digits? overall.
Globally, Brown-Forman?s net sales grew five per cent to $US1.08 billion in the quarter, up eight per cent on an underlying basis.
By James Atkinson
The continued automation of Scotch whisky distillation will lead to a blandness in whisky, warns Burn Stewart Distillers master blender Ian MacMillan, who says the distilleries he controls are among a minority that still practice truly manual production.
MacMillan, who was in Australia recently, told bartenders at a trade tasting that he is a pure traditionalist in his belief that Scotch whisky must retain the craftsmanship of its origins.?
?One of the saddest things for me today is when I travel through some of the big name distilleries in Scotland, the first thing you notice is no people,? he said.
?They are almost moving to total automation, which for me is very sad ? it destroys the myth of what Scotch whisky is today.? [continues below]
Ian MacMillan at Top Shelf?
In spite of their automated processes, MacMillan said big distilleries still espouse plenty of rhetoric about their proud long histories and ?retaining their traditional values?.
?You?ll never see them writing on their boxes or their labels, ?this was made in a distillery full of robots or computer planners?,? he said. [continues below]
The Burn Stewart portfolio of single malt whiskies (photo by whisky-ledger.com)
MacMillan, who oversees production of the Bunnahabhain, Tobermory, Ledaig and Deanston single malts ? distributed in Australia by island2island Beverage Company ? said that strict laws in Scotland dictate that there are only three ingredients permissible in Scotch whisky ? malted barley, water and yeast.?
?I believe there?s a fourth ingredient, and that?s the people that make it,? he said.
?They have such passion about what they do, and you tell me of any computer panel that has that sort of passion for making liquid.?
?I believe that automated production in distilleries will lead to a blandness in whisky. Without that human element you don?t have that unique style,? MacMillan said.
Support sought for Spencer-Carr children's fundraiser
By James Atkinson
The hotel industry has bonded together to raise funds for the family of respected hotel broker Adam Spencer-Carr, who passed away suddenly earlier this year.?
Some of Spencer-Carr's closest associates have organised a fundraising dinner at Ivy Ballroom in Sydney on March 20. They supplied the following announcement to readers of TheShout:
"Adam Spencer-Carr was a respected hotel broker and champion of the hospitality industry, and he would have been known to many of you. His sudden and tragic death on Australia Day has meant that this is an incredibly difficult time for Adam?s family, and particularly his four children. Three of his children are very young at just 2, 7 and 11 years of age. Ultimately this is all for them, with funds directed into a trust fund for the children?s education and future.?
The hotel industry has bonded together to support this cause, and the response to the fundraiser invitation (pictured below) has been amazing.?
What: Adam Spencer-Carr Children's Fundraising Dinner?
Where: Ivy Ballroom?
When : 20 March 2014, 6.30pm until late?
For those interested in attending space is getting limited, so please see the above invitation for RSVP details.
For those of you unable to attend, please consider a gift to the Children?s trust fund. Any amount, large or small into the below trust account:?
Name: The Adam Spencer-Carr Children's Trust?
Account Number: 1531 4383?
Bank: Commonwealth Bank of Australia" ?
By Amy Looker, editor National Liquor News
Wild Turkey is giving consumers the chance to win the ultimate bourbon experience in a promotion that aims to lure value or mainstream bourbon drinkers to trial the brand.
Running until March 31, four Wild Turkey consumers aged 21 and over will be given the chance to win a trip to Kentucky where they will be immersed in all things bourbon, including the opportunity to bottle their own exclusive single bottle batch of Wild Turkey with the help of master distiller, Eddie Russell (pictured below).
The winners and their guests will also take in a behind the scenes tour of the Wild Turkey distillery, a day as a VIP at the world-famous Kentucky Derby, a visit to the Louisville Slugger Museum and a tour of the Kentucky Cooperage to see how Wild Turkey?s signature barrels are made.
Wild Turkey?s marketing director, Nicole Stanners, said the prize offered a once in a lifetime experience for Australian bourbon drinkers.?
?Wild Turkey Bourbon is one of the leading premium bourbons in Australia. Its heritage, quality and authentic credentials are unquestionable and this campaign, and the amazing prize will further cement its premium position in the minds of the trade and consumers alike,? Stanners said.?
?The promotion is an integrated campaign including YouTube pre-rolls and Facebook. For our customers, it provides exciting in-store theatre and the opportunity to trade up consumers from value or mainstream bourbon brands to the premium Wild Turkey bourbon.?
To enter, consumers need to spend $20 or more in one transaction on any Wild Turkey or American Honey product and submit their details via a dedicated SMS number or complete the entry form on the Wild Turkey Australian website.?
Supported in-store by A3 posters, fridge decals, bombursts, wobblers and necktags, the prize is open to one winner and a guest from NSW/ACT, QLD, VIC/TAS, and WA/SA/NT, and includes return flights to Kentucky, twin share accommodation, transfers and $1000 spending money.
Prize winners must be available to travel from 30 April to 8 May 2014 inclusive. Further details available here.
By Clyde Mooney ? editor Australian Hotelier
The Old Fitzroy in Woolloomooloo has come up for sale with the owner operator having responded to renewed investor confidence in the inner Sydney market. ?
The hotel is located in one of the country?s most densely populated areas and boasts bricks made by early settlers.?
It is home to Australia?s only live pub theatre and was the 2012 winner of Time Out magazine?s ?Pub of the Year?.?
Managing the expressions of interest campaign, CBRE?s Daniel Dragicevich told TheShout the historic venue should attract a variety of interested parties.?
?We see it appealing to a wide range of purchasers ? owner/operators, small groups or even commercial developers.?
The Old Fitzroy
With parts of the four levels virtually unused and graced with harbour views, Dragicevich says there is ?definite potential for adding value and profitability through a renovation?.?
?The area has undergone rapid gentrification, creating significant potential in and around the site,? said Dragicevich.?
The hotel was originally named the Fitzroy Hotel before a stint as The Revolving Battery during the 1980s.?
Another change of ownership saw it return to its first moniker, but loyal locals affectionately referred to it as ?the old Fitzroy? ? prompting an official name change to what it is today.?
By James Atkinson
Police believe that $700,000 worth of liquor stolen from a western Sydney distribution centre may have been transported to businesses in nearby Lurnea.
Between July and December 2013, large volumes of alcohol were stolen from a product distribution centre in Eastern Creek.
TheShout understands the distribution centre concerned was the Coles facility at 10 Roberts Road, however a Coles spokeswoman said it was a ?police matter? and as such she was unable to comment.
Detectives believe the thefts were carried out on 13 separate dates between July and December, with the thieves transporting the stolen liquor from the distribution centre in a large truck.
Champagne, vodka, scotch, rum, wine and RTDs were taken and detectives estimate the combined cost of the liquor stolen over the five-month period to be approximately $700,000.
Police from the State Crime Command?s Property Crime Squad formed Strike Force Glenlee to investigate the thefts and are now directing their attention toward the businesses that may have received the stolen liquor.
Investigators believe the stolen alcohol may have been transported to businesses in or around the Lurnea area.
Detectives appealed for anyone with information that may assist the investigation to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page.
Fred Siggins, from The Black Pearl in Melbourne, has been named Australia?s first ever Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition?winner.
Siggins will be Australia?s inaugural representative, competing at the international final in Moscow during May. The winner of that competition will be nurtured and championed by Bacardi to develop as a bar professional and spread their drink across the top cocktail lists around the world.
Siggins presented The Empire of Dreams, his Bacardi Legacy drink, together with an original Bacardi Daiquiri to a panel of three judges on the night to claim his place in the international final and was scored on his technical ability, his drink?s taste and aroma balance and the inspiration behind it. He was also judged on the success of his marketing campaign for the drink, which has included media relations, innovative social media work and strong support from both the Australian and international bartending community.
Aside from the drink?s huge appeal, it also had to satisfy judges that it could become a true Bacardi Legacy cocktail along with classics such as The Original Mojito, Original Daiquiri and Original Cuba Libre.?
His award-winning drink, The Empire of Dreams, was inspired by the art of storytelling and is a refreshing blend of fresh ingredients and Bacardi Rum, shaken over fair trade coffee beans. Throughout the competition, The Empire of Dreams has been lauded for its creativity, originality and potential to emulate Bacardi?s legacy of great drinks.?
Simon Difford, who flew in from the UK to judge on the night, said of the winning cocktail: ?A true Legacy cocktail is one that tastes great and is easily replicated by both bartenders and consumers around the world. It must be simple but great. That?s what it takes to be a future classic and a true Legacy cocktail. We felt that The Empire of Dreams had the right mixture of balance, great flavours and originality to earn a place amongst the greats.?
An overwhelmed Siggins said: ?I?m so proud of The Empire of Dreams and the epic efforts made by the other competitors. This has been a whirlwind adventure of new and great experiences. I want to thank Bacardi for this fantastic opportunity and I hope to do Melbourne and Australia proud by winning the global finals in Moscow.?
Since July 2013, Australia?s Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition has been one of the industry?s most hotly contested and talked about cocktail competitions. The competition has attracted over 130 of Australia?s finest bartenders, all vying for their cocktail creation to be heir to Bacardi?s legacy of original cocktails.?
The Empire of Dreams?(pictured) recipe:
50ml BACARDÍ Superior rum
30ml Fresh pineapple juice
10ml Apricot Brandy (Joseph Catron used)
10ml Fresh lime juice
5ml Orgeat Syrup (Crawley's used)
15 Espresso beans
?"A light tropical style drink shaken with fresh espresso beans for depth and earthiness. Well balanced with a frothy finish, strained and garnished with a rustic lime twist."