Winning heads and hearts

18 May, 2007

Japanese whisky producer Nikka is a must see at the Eaux de Vie stand. Founded by Masataka Taketsuru, who is widely acknowledged as the father of Japanese whisky, Nikka has two large distilleries producing Scottish-style whiskies with an eastern influence. Yoichi produces rich, peaty malts, while Miyagikyo makes fruity and more feminine-style malts.

Eaux de Vie managing director Neil Mathieson says: "The LIWSF is a good place to show off these new Japanese whiskies, not to mention our other producer's new product extensions." These include limited edition Cooley Irish Whiskey 14 Year Old single cask bottling, and Tyrconnell single malt whisky.

Plantation Rum will show four new additions to its range - Grenada 1998, St Lucia 2001, Nicaragua 1998 and Panama 1997 - and Maxime Trijol Cognacs will feature its new range of single cru vintage Cognacs from 1968, 1969 and 1970.

A cast of brand representatives from Citadelle Gin & Vodka, Edgard Leyrat Cognacs, Heaven Hill Bourbons, Bepi Tosolini Grappa and Château da la Raillerie Cognacs will be on hand to answer questions. Stand U20

Look out for five limited edition cask strength Armagnacs on the Château du Tariquet stand. The range is called Les Degrés Naturels and is the result of an experiment to age selected Armagnacs in Chardonnay barrels over the past 15 years. Each bottle is identified by its alcoholic degree, such as 53.3°, which is an XO Armagnac that is a blend from seven different barrels. The youngest Armagnac in the blend is 12 years old.

Clear Armagnac La Blanche, which recently made its debut on the spirits market after being given the go-ahead by French authorities, will be on show. Made from four

grape varieties - Folle Blanche, Ugni Blanc, Colombard and Baco Blanc - it is the first AOC eau de vie to impose strict rules from the vine through to the finished product.

Tariquet will present its whole range of Bas-Armagnacs. Highlights include its 15 Year Old Hors d'Age, 13 Year Old Le Légendaire, 30 Year Old blend L'Armagnac du Tariquet and its Vintage Armagnacs from 1988, 1990, 1992, 1993 and 1994. Château du Tariquet, which has nearly 1,000ha of vines in the Bas Armgnac region, is one of the largest vineyards growing Folle Blanche in the whole of the Armagnac appellation. Stand J72

Gonzalez Byass will be launching triple-distilled The London Gin. Described as "one of only a handful of gins distilled in London", it is blue in colour and contains 11 different botanicals. Retailing at £24.95, it is aimed at "prestige retail stores", according to managing director Martin Skelton. Revamped packaging for Brandy de Jerez Soberano 5 will also be unveiled. Stand M50

The newest addition to Halewood International's distribution portfolio, Lamb's Navy Rum, will be on show. The blend of 18 Caribbean rums from Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad is aged for up to four years in oak casks.

The company will also focus on two of its established core brands - Red Square Vodka and Parliament Vodka. Senior brand manager Caroline Reynolds says: "Halewood International has gained some great new brands over the past 12 months

and this is a great opportunity to bring this to life." Stand G40

Angus Dundee Distillers will be lining up a selection of its blended, single malt and single cask whiskies of all ages. Old Ballantruan peated Speyside single malt Scotch whisky will be on show, along with Glencadam Single Highland Malt. The Tomintoul Speyside-Glenlivet Collection, consisting of 10 , 16

and 27 Year Old expressions, will be also in the spotlight. Stand U30

Carlow-based The Hot Irishman is rolling out its new Irishman 70 Superior Irish Whiskey and The Irishman Single Malt. The company's revamped gift packaging and rebranded Coffee Liqueurs range will also be on show. Stand V22

Having recently completed a £1.3 million investment in new production facilities, Jersey-based La Mare Vineyards will be showing its Cream Liqueur Apple Brandy

and its range of liqueurs in blackcurrant, orange and raspberry flavours. Stand V30

At the EPM Brands stand, Wild Africa Cream will be on display. Made from a blend of fresh cream, caramel and distilled spirit from the Western Cape winelands, this premium liqueur features handcrafted African beadwork on its packaging. Stand U44

The Penderyn Distillery has launched two additions to its portfolio - Brecon Special Reserve Gin is made using 10 botanicals from across the globe, and Brecon Five Vodka is a 100 per cent wheat grain spirit that is column distilled five times.

Visitors to the stand can also taste Penderyn Single Malt Whisky, distilled on-site at the distillery in the Welsh Brecon Beacons, and Merlyn cream liqueur, a blend of Welsh malted barley spirit and dairy cream. Stand U62

Italian producer Distillerie Franciacorta has produced liqueurs and spirits since 1902. The new launch Vodka 40° will be on show. "The vodka lives up to the tradition of the great single malt whiskies with its bold character, delicate, beautifully rounded aroma and sweet flavour on the palate," the distillery says. Stand U40

Terra Spirits & Liqueurs will showcase its range of Irish Creams which includes Irish Pastures, Maloney's and Molly's. County Cavan-based Terra also produces private label spirit and liqueur brands for some of the biggest names in the spirits industry. Stand V20

Croatian premium vodka brand Akvinta, produced by Adriatic Distillers, will make its debut at this year's fair. Akvinta is filtered through five natural elements - charcoal, marble, silver, gold and platinum.

"Akvinta is a result of a quarter century of research with a team of top international experts involved in the idea of a perfect vodka , with the emphasis on developing a unique production technology of quintuple filtration," the company says. Stand V70

Mentzendorff will showcase its range of Delamain Cognacs, which includes the new single vineyard Gensac la Pallue and the 1972 matured vintage. Caraway seed liqueur Mentzendorff Kummel, made in the oldest distillery in the Loire Valley, will also be available for tasting. Stand G72

Turkish Burgaz Akol

produces a vodka range called I stanblue in ­original, lemon, apple, vanilla and orange flavours. Also on show will be Burgaz's gin brand Cin, its three-strong raki range, and its liqueur range in 21 fruit flavours. Stand U71

Lithuanian Beer will display a range of spirit brands from Original Lithuanian Vodka Gold to natural honey liqueur Krupnikas. Also available for sampling will be its vodka range infused with natural herbs and berries in blackcurrant, blueberry, cranberry, pepper & honey

and raspberry flavours. Stand V60/V61

ISF

is the German branch of the Russian vodka producer Parliament World Group.

Parliament's latest flavoured vokdas - mandarin, pepper and blackcurrant - will be on show, alongside its new super-premium vodka brand 999.9.

Stand V40

Russian producer the KiN Group will exhibit its range of Cognacs, brandies, vodkas and natural nastoykas. KiNovsky brandy, KiNovsky grapefruit-flavoured vodka and Matioshka vodka will be on show. Stand V24

Make it a double

This will be the second year running that the Spirits Quarter has doubled in size, reflecting the fact that 42 per cent of visitors are responsible for spirits buying. The area is also moving to a more prominent position at the east

end of the ExCel hall, and will undergo a complete redesign with stands positioned around a central hub.

In a further move to strengthen its focus on the spirits category, LIWSF organiser Brintex has appointed a spirits ambassador for the show. Marc Charles, currently managing director of specialist consultancy Drinks Brands International, has spent six years as sales and trade marketing director for Pernod Ricard UK.

Show director James Murray says: "With a refreshed Spirits Quarter and Marc on board to work alongside us

we are confident that the LIWSF will become one of the most effective exhibitions for the global spirits industry."

This year there are notable absences from the likes of Malcolm Cowen and Gordon & MacPhail, so it will be interesting to see if up-and-coming producers making their debut at the show will have more of a presence now these established companies are out of the running.




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