Industry News: Liquor Predicts Your Politics and More

Industry News: Liquor Predicts Your Politics and More

It turns out, unsurprisingly to us, that alcohol selection can predict your political leanings, as reported by the Washington Post and compiled by GFK MRI. Overall, the study claims that Democrats like clear spirits and Republicans brown. Rum, it seems, is bipartisan. One of our favorite “everyman” brands is Buffalo Trace bourbon and seems to be unrepresented on the info-graphic… we presume that means “Libertarian.”

If you are sick and tired of strangely flavored, dessert vodkas, then you’re in the minority. Pinnacle spearheads the movement and they passed 3 million cases sold in 2012 and expect 3.3 million in 2013, according to Shaken News Daily. The article claims 39 different flavors… it’s hard to keep track: our database currently only recognizes 41 flavors and we presume several have been discontinued.

Dry January? Apparently, it’s vogue across the Atlantic to give up alcohol over the month of January in an attempt to detoxify the body. It’s publicized by a group called “Alcohol Concern” in the United Kingdom and they essentially dare you to try and give up booze for 30 days. As of this writing, 14,067 people had signed up for the January detox month of 2014. They promise health and money savings for those who complete it. Others claim it’d be more helpful to simply exercise.

P Diddy now owns DeLeoon tequila along with Diageo. Already the spokesperson for Ciroc vodka—which sells quite well—he is now an actual owner of the DeLeon tequila brand, a high-brow luxury tequila. It has the distinction of being one of the few tequilas rested in wine barrels rather than ex-bourbon barrels. Diddy is thrilled, saying: "With Ciroc, we dated. Now with DeLeon, we're married. This deal is way better.” If you love drinking what Diddy drinks, this is your chance.

Diageo also acquired Peligroso Tequila meaning it is no longer surfer-owned tequila but Big Liquor. No news about a celebrity endorsement yet.

Not to be outdone, Justin Timberlake has nailed down a new deal for his 901 Tequila brand, which has been rather well-regarded by critics and now appears to have moved over to Sauza for production. Are Justin Timberlake fans old enough to drink yet?

Suntory is planning to buy Beam for $16 billion. This is kind of a big deal, since Jim Beam commands so much of the bourbon in the world. Patriotism aside, Suntory owns some of the best whiskey in the world through Yamazaki as well as several scotch brands like Bowmore. So while it’s easy to grumble about big companies getting bigger, it’s hard to argue that the bourbon will be mishandled. UPDATE: someone out there doesn’t like Suntory because Beam is being sued for breach of duty. The suit claims the $16 billion offer undervalues the company.

Scotch regulations are tightening, according to a press release from the UK. The most welcome news in this announcement is that scotch will be tracked back to a registry of distilleries, which we presume will be similar to the tequila NOM system. This allows the consumer to very readily look up where the source of a given spirit actually is in what is otherwise a murky world of bottlers and shell-companies. We hope that this is a trend that catches on!

There are plenty of bullshit lawsuits in the world and Absolut vs Purity seems to be one of them. Apparently, Purity is mad that Absolut used the term “purity” to describe their vodka. In turn, Absolut appears to have a history of litigation against people who use the term “Absolute” in their title (for example, Absolute Beauty for a hair salon). We’re no lawyers but it seems that if you’re going to use a common adjective for the name of your brand, then you need to expect some of this. If somebody named their vodka brand “Premium Vodka” does that mean nobody gets to use the term anymore? How about “Distilled Vodka?” Dumb. Just dumb.

Where does the Louche or Ouzo effect come from? The Guardian (Nicola Davis) reports the science behind the effect, which we’ll reproduce here in its entirety because it’s so cool: Adding water to pastis tips a delicate chemical balance resulting in a rapid change in the appearance of the tipple, known as the "ouzo effect". Anise-flavoured liquors such as pastis and ouzo contain an oil, primarily composed of trans-anethol, which gives them their telltale taste. In neat pastis, the alcohol content is high enough to dissolve the oil, so the drink appears transparent. However, the oil is not soluble in water. Hence as water is added, and the ethanol diluted, the oil cannot stay dissolved. Instead it forms very tiny droplets dispersed in the water – an emulsion. Since these droplets are typically around one micrometre in diameter, they are just the right size to interact with visible light, scattering the light waves and so making the drink appear opaque.” Very nice!

Forbes claims cognac is the most popular brown (or “dark”) spirit for women, in an odd article that counts down the percentage of imbibers by gender. What’s odd is that the beginning of the article where they quote Adam Rogers of M2Media claiming that markets have opened for “non-whiskey drinkers,” which we guess translates as “women” in M2Media-speak. Then Rogers goes on to point out Firefly Sweet Tea bourbon, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Red Stag Bourbon, Evan Williams Cherry, and Wild Turkey Honey as examples. Every one of these is flavored and sweetened to the point of being a liqueur. In fact, Evan Williams and Wild Turkey both say “liqueur” right on the bottle (though we ended up classifying some of these as “flavored whiskey” out of helplessness). Only the Red Stag is even bottled at 80 proof, the minimum for actual whiskey. So, why is someone calling liqueur from a whiskey base “brown” and why are women continually associated with only liking sweet-candied spirits?

Can we toot our own horn? You bet. John Kiely of the Houston Press kindly quoted us in his investigation of Texas Spirits. It’s a great list of many different spirits and exactly the kind of use we foresee for our website here at Proof66: helping you explore spirits that you might otherwise not taste.

Quartz published a map of the world according to liquor in a fascinating study of how the world drinks. Surprising to us is how much of the planet drinks vodka and how little of the planet drinks brandy. Even more surprising, Ireland and the United Kingdom both drink more vodka than whiskey! Well worth taking a peek. 

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