2016 Awards: Factory of the Year

Source: Half Wheel
In boxing, some won’t consider you a true champion until you defend the belt. It’s a belief that winning your first is significantly easier than defending it—something the sports world saw on display again Monday night. Tabacos Valle de Jalapa S.A. has defended its belt. The factory more commonly known as TABSA …
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2016 Awards: Factory of the Year

Imperial Brands and China Tobacco Form New Join Venture

Source: Half Wheel
Imperial Brands Plc—the parent company of Tabacalera USA, Altadis U.S.A. and JR Cigar, as well as 50 percent stakeholders in the Cuban company Habanos S.A.—and China National Tobacco Corporation have announced a new joint venture that will allow Imperial to enter the Chinese market. It’s unclear if the move will …
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Imperial Brands and China Tobacco Form New Join Venture

American Harvest Vodka Gets New Owner

Source: Wine Spirits Daily
American Harvest Organic Vodka is getting a second lease on life as the Frank family, former owners of Sidney Frank Importing Company, has sold it to Beach Whiskey Company. The sale returns the brand to one of its creators, Bill Henderson, who is the cmo of Beach Whiskey. As both companies are privately held, the terms of the deal were not disclosed.
American Harvest Vodka Gets New Owner

Hammer + Sickle Museum Series Toro

Source: Half Wheel
At the 2016 IPCPR Convention and Trade Show, Hammer + Sickle debuted a new piece of art and it happened to have a special cigar inside it as well. Dubbed the Museum Series, it is the first in what is supposed to be a continuing release, with the initial humidor jar modeled …
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Hammer + Sickle Museum Series Toro

Punch Gran Puro Nicaragua Coming in February

Source: Half Wheel
General Cigar Co. is adding a new look and flavor to its Punch Gran Puro line next month when it releases the Punch Gran Puro Nicaragua. Despite the name, the cigar isn’t a Nicaraguan puro, using a Connecticut broadleaf maduro wrapper on top of the high priming Nicaraguan tobacco selected for the binder …
The post Punch Gran Puro Nicaragua Coming in February appeared first on halfwheel.
Punch Gran Puro Nicaragua Coming in February

Washington AG Seeks Minimum Tobacco Purchasing Age Increase, Again

Source: Half Wheel
For the third consecutive session, Bob Ferguson, the Democratic attorney general for the state of Washington, will ask the legislator to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco products and vaping liquids from 18 to 21. The bill has failed in the last two sessions, in part because it would …
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Washington AG Seeks Minimum Tobacco Purchasing Age Increase, Again

Bernstein: US Leading Cognac Revival

Source: Wine Spirits Daily
In the last three years the Cognac category has undergone a sea change in global distribution, perception and sales figures. In 2015 it experienced volume growth that outstripped the overall spirits category, and only further accelerated in 2016, according to Bernstein’s annual Global Spirits Guide featuring reviews of Cognac, Scotch and Vodka.
Bernstein: US Leading Cognac Revival

2016 Awards: New Company of the Year

Source: Half Wheel
There’s no question that the field was neither as wide or as strong as it has been in the past for our new company of the year award. Notably, almost all of the nominees we came up with were people that were new to owning brand—something that hasn’t been the …
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2016 Awards: New Company of the Year

Crux Limitada PB5 Second Release Shipping This Week

Source: Half Wheel
Crux Cigars has announced that its Limitada PB5 has begun shipping again. The Crux Limitada PB5 was shown off at the 2015 IPCPR Convention & Trade Show and began shipping last March. The cigar used a Nicaraguan Engañoso wrapper, a seed that Crux said is proprietary to the company. Underneath …
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Crux Limitada PB5 Second Release Shipping This Week

Parker Beam, Longtime Master Distiller at Heaven Hill, Has Passed Away

Source: Whisky Advocate
By Susannah Skiver Barton
The whiskey world shines a little less brightly today with the death of Parker Beam, who passed away last night. The longtime master distiller at Heaven Hill, an independent, family-owned distilled spirits company based in Bardstown, Kentucky, Parker had been fighting amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS—also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) for the last six years—a public battle that brought the entire Kentucky bourbon community out to rally around him and push for a cure.
Parker grew up learning from his father, Earl Beam, who was master distiller at Heaven Hill before him. Parker started his official career in 1960, although he had worked odd jobs at the distillery even as a child. He became master distiller in 1975, and over the course of his career, he was an industry leader in innovation and quality through brands like Evan Williams and Elijah Craig. He had been master distiller emeritus at Heaven Hill since 2013, when he passed the reins to his son, Craig.
Parker was honored at WhiskyFest 2013. (Photo by Shannon Sturgis)
Parker’s prowess as a master distiller became legendary over the course of his career, and he was honored with Whisky Advocate’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003. He also netted two Whisky Advocate American Whiskey of the Year awards for Parker’s Heritage Collection 27 year old bourbon in 2008 and Parker’s Heritage Collection “Golden Anniversary” bourbon in 2009. In 2013, after Parker announced news of his illness publicly, his colleagues from Kentucky’s leading distilleries—including Jimmy Russell of Wild Turkey, Fred Noe of Jim Beam, Jim Rutledge of Four Roses, Chris Morris of Woodford Reserve, Harlen Wheatley of Buffalo Trace, and Greg Davis of Maker’s Mark—each donated a bottle of bourbon, which Parker blended, along with a bottle of Heaven Hill bourbon, to create a special whiskey called Master Distillers’ Unity. Whisky Advocate editor and publisher John Hansell and some of the contributing distillers, as well as Craig Beam, honored Parker that year at WhiskyFest New York, leading a special tasting of Unity. Only two bottles of the whiskey were made available for purchase at auction, resulting in a donation of $8,500 to the ALS Association. In addition, since 2013, Heaven Hill has donated a portion of sales of each year’s Parker’s Heritage Collection bourbon to the ALS Association’s Parker Beam Promise of Hope Fund, with over half a million dollars raised so far.
“The whiskey industry lost a legend,” says Hansell. “Parker was one of the most passionate, hardest working people I’ve ever met. Every bottle of whiskey he helped produce was synonymous with quality. But more importantly, we lost a member of our whiskey family. That’s how I’ve always felt about Parker—as family—because that’s how he and his lovely wife Linda always treated me. And I know that everyone else whose lives he touched feels the same way.”
Parker is survived by his wife, Linda, his son, Craig, and numerous family members and loved ones, including his colleagues at Heaven Hill.
The post Parker Beam, Longtime Master Distiller at Heaven Hill, Has Passed Away appeared first on Whisky Advocate.
Parker Beam, Longtime Master Distiller at Heaven Hill, Has Passed Away