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Archive for the ‘Extras’ Category

Smirnoff Launches Launches New “Welcome Home” Campaign, Supporting Inclusivity and Equality for All

Posted by Arctic Wolf on June 5, 2019

Today, the world’s No. 1 vodka and longstanding ally to the LGBTQIA+ community, is launching its new “Welcome Home” campaign to roll out the welcome mat for the millions of LGBTQIA+ community members and allies expected to travel to New York for Pride celebrations.

“Smirnoff is enjoyed around the world by the LGBTQIA+ community and its allies. In the spirit of our brand’s international footprint and building off decades of support, we are continuing to push for global equality through our new ‘Welcome Home’ campaign and our continued commitment to HRC,” said Jay Sethi, Vice President, Smirnoff, DIAGEO North America.

“While 85% of LGBTQIA+ consumers want their community represented in brand campaigns, only 12.6% of marketers actually include them in their annual media planning. As the No. 1 vodka brand in the world, we have taken a stance to support this community year-round, as evidenced through our work with Laverne, Jonathan and Alyssa across both Pride and non-Pride campaigns.”

For Smirnoff, inclusivity and pushing for LGBTQIA+ equality is part of their brand’s DNA, and the brand is proud to have been a supporter of the LGBTQIA+ community for nearly half a century. The Smirnoff “Welcome Home” campaign will come to life through a digital video series starring actress and LGBTQIA+ activist Laverne Cox, a “House of Pride,” event where Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness will make a special appearance as the host for one night and popular drag-icon Alyssa Edwards will join the brand for the NYC Pride March on June 30.

To make this year bigger than ever before, the brand is releasing not one – but two – limited-edition Smirnoff No. 21 vodka Pride bottles (see above).

  • The Smirnoff “Love Wins” bottles were launched in June 2017 and feature an iridescent rainbow aesthetic and photographs of real couples and real love. For every bottle made, Smirnoff has pledged to donate $1 to HRC totaling nearly $1.5 million by 2021. These bottles are available for retail purchase nationally.
  • The NEW Smirnoff “Welcome” bottles are launching for Pride 2019 and are meant to support the brand’s “Welcome Home” campaign, welcoming the global LGBTQIA+ community to New York for Pride. There are six versions of this bottle, and on each one the iconic Smirnoff label is replaced with “Welcome” spelled out in a different language – English, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian and Mandarin – to honor the LGBTQIA+ community globally. While these bottles are not available for retail purchase, they are being created in limited quantities to spread messages of inclusivity and diversity and will be available at Smirnoff’s Pride events.

This year, New York is hosting the largest global Pride celebration in the world, spanning all of June and marking the 50-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. Smirnoff, which is made in America but enjoyed in over 130 countries globally, will welcome love in all its forms home to New York through its “Welcome Home” campaign. It will strive to honor and celebrate the strides made towards LGBTQIA+ liberation over the last five decades, as well as those still to come.

Here are a few words from Smirnoff partner Jonathan Van Ness,

“What I love most about the gorgeous new Smirnoff ‘Welcome Home’ campaign is that she shines a light in on how Pride is more than just a party; it’s truly a home to our LGBTQIA+ brothers, sisters and non-binary siblings around the world. I cannot wait to celebrate Pride with Smirnoff later this month, and to personally welcome all of these beautiful people to my home of New York.”

and Brand partner and LGBTQIA+ advocate Laverne Cox

“When Smirnoff asked me if I would be a part of their ‘Welcome Home’ campaign, I immediately said yes. Their beautiful message is all about welcoming our community home to New York where the famous Stonewall Uprising took place 50 years ago. I hope our work celebrates not just the LGBTQIA+ community here in New York but also recognizes those across the globe, celebrating in their own way. Hopefully with a delicious vodka cocktail in-hand, of course!”

The Smirnoff “Welcome Home” campaign will come to life in multiple ways:

  • “Welcome Home” Videos with Laverne Cox: Smirnoff is launching a video series starring Laverne Cox, which welcomes the LGBTQIA+ community to New York for the global Pride celebrations. The videos debuted today on the brand’s social channels and will also be broadcast at New York City area airports – LaGuardia Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark International Airport – to greet the millions of people traveling to New York for Pride all in the spirit of “Welcome Home.”
  • House of Pride with Jonathan Van Ness: Smirnoff is creating a unique pop-up experience for media, influencers and consumers 21+ in downtown Manhattan filled with fun, global-themed Pride cocktails. The space will be inspired by a home, featuring six Insta-worthy rooms where Smirnoff will pay homage to – and celebrate – the history of the LGBTQIA+ community, as well as its future. The pop-up will take place Wednesday, June 26 through Friday, June 283, during which time Jonathan Van Ness will make a special appearance as the host.
  • Smirnoff Limited-Edition Pride Bottles: Smirnoff will continue its annual traditional of limited-edition Pride bottles with its latest iteration, the Smirnoff No. 21 “Welcome” bottles. These new bottles feature the award-winning Smirnoff No. 21 vodka on the inside, and on the outside, the brand label is replaced with “Welcome” in six languages4 – English, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian and Mandarin – to welcome the global LGBTQIA+ community to New York for Pride and to remind everyone that Pride is a home where everyone is welcome. While these bottles are not available for retail purchase, they are being created in limited quantities to spread messages of inclusivity and diversity. In addition, Smirnoff will also re-release its Smirnoff No. 21 “Love Wins” bottles, which feature an iridescent rainbow aesthetic and photographs of real couples and real love. These bottles are available for retail purchase, and the brand has pledged to donate $1 for every bottle made to HRC, totaling nearly $1.5 million by 2021.
  • Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Commitment: Smirnoff, and its parent company DIAGEO, are one of HRC’s longest-standing partners and biggest advocates and have been early and active supporters of LGBTQIA+ equal rights. In addition to the commitment of nearly $1.5 million to HRC by 2021 through the Smirnoff “Love Wins” bottles, for the last 11 years Smirnoff and DIAGEO have received a perfect 100% score on HRC Corporate Equality Index (CEI) for LGBTQIA+ workplace equality and in February 2018 were honored with the prestigious HRC Corporate Equality Award.
  • NYC Pride March with Alyssa Edwards: Smirnoff is proud to continue its longstanding tradition of participating in the NYC Pride March on Sunday, June 30. In partnership with popular drag icon Alyssa Edwards, the brand is creating a fabulous New York City themed float in the spirit of the Smirnoff ‘Welcome Home” campaign, with Alyssa as the star, dressed as “Lady Liberty.” The bold and inspiring Smirnoff float will be supported by 300 marchers, both members of the community and allies.

For Pride month, Smirnoff has created six global cocktails inspired by the international LGBTQIA+ community.

Smirnoff LGBTini Signature Cocktail
Celebrate Pride by mixing up a delicious signature cocktail:

  • 1.5 oz. Smirnoff No. 21 Vodka or Smirnoff “Love Wins” Vodka
  • 0.25 oz. Dry Vermouth
  • 5 Green Olives (dipped in rainbow edible glitter)

Combine Smirnoff and vermouth in a cocktail shaker filled with ice
Shake then strain into a chilled martini glass
Garnish with olives that have been dipped in edible rainbow glitter
Sip and enjoy responsibly!

About SMIRNOFF
The SMIRNOFF brand that boasts the world’s number-one selling premium spirit and the top-selling line of flavors in North America, traces its heritage back to 19th century Russia. As the most awarded vodka brand in the world in the last 10 years, SMIRNOFF has always been known for quality and is enjoyed responsibly in 130 countries around the world. For more information, log on to www.smirnoff.com.

 

 

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And the Best 50 Canadian Whiskies of 2019 Were:

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 28, 2019

Much like my Rum Howler Top 50 Rums of 2018 countdown was delayed due to the tribulations surrounding my move to a new residence at the end of last year, my Rum Howler Top 50 Canadian Whisky Countdown was also put on hold until the New Year. Because of the aforementioned trials with my move, I have shortened this years list to the best 50 Canadian Whiskies down from my huge list last year that included a whopping 100.

This year my list contains a few whiskies which, although I have tasted them and written out brief tasting notes and scores, I have not yet published reviews for. Reviews for these spirits will be published in the coming year (as well as many others). That is (I hope) something for all of you to look forward to.

Here is a link to my Countdown list of the best Canadian Whiskies of 2018:

The Rum Howler Top 50 Canadian Whiskies of 2018

Please everyone, enjoy the list Responsibly!

Chimo!

Posted in Awards, Canadian Whisky, Extras, Whisk(e)y | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on And the Best 50 Canadian Whiskies of 2019 Were:

The 2019 Canadian Whisky Awards – Full Awards Listing

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 22, 2019

Here is the full listing of the 2019 Canadian Whisky Awards which are held annually in conjunction with the Victoria Whisky Festival. These awards recognize the very best Canadian whiskies and encourage distillers to maintain the highest quality standards. To qualify, the whisky must be distilled and matured in Canada. An independent panel of whisky experts selects the winners after tasting each whisky blind. Operated on a not-for-profit basis, the Canadian Whisky Awards are fully independent of the Canadian whisky industry.

Awards:

  • Lifetime Achievement – John K. Hall
  • Flavoured Whisky Export – Black Velvet Toasted Caramel
  • Flavoured Whisky Multi-market – Crown Royal Salted Caramel
  • Whisky Value Domestic – Wayne Gretzky No. 99 Red Cask
  • Whisky Value Export – Pendleton
  • Whisky Value Multi-market – Crown Royal Blender’s Mash
  • Sippin’ Whisky Domestic – Canadian Rockies 21yo
  • Sippin’ Whisky Export – Rich and Rare Reserve
  • Sippin’ Whisky Multi-market – Pike Creek Rum Barrel
  • Award of Excellence – Innovation – Shelter Point Montfort DL
  • Award of Excellence – Line Extension – Corby NHL Alumni Series
  • Best Whisky Spirit – Ancient Grains
  • Artisanal Distiller of the Year – Last Mountain Distillery
  • Distillery of the Year – JP Wiser’s Distillery
  • Flavoured Whisky Domestic – Forty Creek Cream
  • Connoisseur Whisky Domestic – Canadian Club 41yo
  • Connoisseur Whisky Export – Crown Royal Blender’s Mash 13
  • Connoisseur Whisky – Multi-market – JP Wiser’s 35yo
  • Best New Whisky – Bearface
  • Best Single Malt Whisky – Two Brewers Release 10
  • Best All-Rye Whisky – Forty Creek 22yo Rye
  • Best Blended Whisky – Gooderham and Worts Eleven Souls
  • Blender of the Year  – Don Livermore

And, the 2019 Canadian whisky of the year is

  • Forty Creek 22yo Rye

Gold Medals

Bearface
Canadian Club 41 YO
Canadian Club Classic Small Batch 12 yo
Canadian Rockies 21 yo
Caribou Crossing Single Barrel
Crown Royal 13 year old Blenders Mash
Crown Royal Black
Crown Royal Blenders Mash
Crown Royal XR
Forty Creek 22 yo Rye
Gooderham and Worts Eleven Souls
Gooderham and Worts Four Grain
JP Wiser’s Alumni Whisky Series Wendell Clark
J P Wiser’s 35 yo
JP Wiser’s Canada 2018
Last Mountain Single Cask Wheat Whisky
Lot 40 11 yo Cask Strength
Lot No. 40
Pendleton 1910-12 year old
Pike Creek 21 yo European Finish
Pike Creek Double Barreled Canadian Whisky
Rich and Rare Reserve
Shelter Point Montfort DL
Two Brewers Release 9
Wayne Gretzky No 99 Ninety Nine Proof Whisky

Silver Medals

Black Velvet Onyx
Canadian Club Chairman’s Select 100% Rye
Canadian Rockies 17 yo
Crown Royal LImited Edition
Crown Royal Northern Harvest Rye
Crown Royal Reserve
Crown Royal Wine Barrel Finished
Crown Royal XO
De Vine Ancient Grains
Forty Creek Barrel Select
Forty Creek Confederation Oak
Forty Creek Cream
Forty Creek Double Barrel
Forty Creek Unity
Gibsons Finest Bold 8 YO
Gibsons Finest Rare 12 YO
Gibsons Finest Venerable 18 YO
JP Wiser’s Alumni Whisky Series Guy Lafleur
JP Wiser’s Seasoned Oak
JP Wiser’s Triple Barrel Aged 10 Years
JP Wiser’s Triple Barrel Rye 43.4%
Lohin McKinnon Chocolate Malt
Lohin McKinnon Lightly Peated Single Malt
Pendleton Midnight
Pendleton Whisky
Shelter Point Classic Single Malt the Strath Edition
Shelter Point Double Barrelled
Stalk and Barrel Canadian Red Blend
Two Brewers Rel 10
Wayne Gretzky No 99 Ice Cask Whisky
Wayne Gretzky No 99 Red Cask Whisky
Wiser’s Special Blend

Bronze Medals

100 Bushels
Alberta Premium
Black Velvet
Black Velvet Reserve
Black Velvet Toasted Caramel
Canadian Club Barley Batch
Canadian Club Premium 1858
Canadian Mist
Central City Brewing Peeled Orange Liqueur
Collingwood
Collingwood Double Barreled Whisky
Crown Royal Deluxe
Crown Royal Regal Apple
Crown Royal Salted Caramel
Crown Royal Texas Mesquite
Crown Royal Vanilla
Fils du Roy Appalachia’s Canadian Rye
Fils du Roy single malt whisky homage at Congres Mondrian Acadian 2019
Fils du Roy Single Malt, Richelieu International
Forty Creek Copper Pot
Forty Creek Spike
Gibson’s Finest Sterling
Glen Saanich
Golden Stag
High River
JP Wiser’s 18 YO
JP Wiser’s 15 YO
JP Wiser’s Apple
JP Wiser’s Deluxe
JP Wiser’s Old Fashioned Whisky Cocktail
JP Wiser’s Triple Barrel rye 45%
JP Wiser’s Vanilla
Last Mountain Single Cask Rye
Last Mountain Single Malt
Le Rye Sivo
Le Single Malt Sivo
Lohin McKinnon Tequila Barrel Finished
Masterson’s 10 YO Straight Rye Whiskey
NHL Alumni Series, Lanny McDonald
North of 7 4-Grain
North of 7 95% rye
Pemberton Valley Single Malty, 8 YO Single Barrel Organic
Royal Canadian Small Batch
Royal Reserve
Schenley Golden Wedding
Shelter Point Avant-Garde Barley
Shelter Point Cask Strength
Shelter Point Single Malt
Stalk and Barrel 100% Rye Cask Strength
Stalk and Barrel Blue Blend
Stalk and Barrel Single Malt Cask Strength
Two Brewers Rel 11
Two Brewers Release 8
Walkers Special Old Rye

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And the Best Rums of 2018 were …

Posted by Arctic Wolf on January 16, 2019

I hope everyone can forgive my tardiness and that this year I had to pair back my list of the best rums of 2018 from 100 to 50. It wasn’t that I did not encounter enough great spirits to fill the list, rather it was that I did not have enough time at the end of the year to complete the list (see here). In fact my time was compressed to such a degree that my list is publishing about a month after the fact. As I said, I hope you can all forgive me for my tardiness.

About the list, I have  tasted each of these rums within the past three years and all of them have been given a full review on my website. You may read these reviews by clicking on each spirit in the list which opens the review page for that cane spirit.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Here is a link to my Countdown list of the best rums of 2018:

The Rum Howler Top 50 Rums of 2018

Please everyone, enjoy the list Responsibly!

Chimo!

Posted in Awards, Extras | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

FIRE AT LONG POND DISTILLERY IN JAMAICA

Posted by Arctic Wolf on July 17, 2018

FIRE AT LONG POND DISTILLERY IN JAMAICA – BUT HISTORIC DISTILLERY IS STILL STANDING.

The entire team of Long Pond and National Rums of Jamaica is relieved to announce that nobody was harmed in the fire at Long Pond Distillery in Jamaica and that damages only occurred to production materials and buildings.

As of this morning, July 17, the fire is contained, except for the Bagasse dump at the Sugar Factory which is still under fire at this point. Firefighters are working to bring it under control.

The distillery itself including the stills have not been affected. The fire started in cane fields near the Long Pond distillery, midday on July 16. It quickly spread touching some part of the fermentation room and the fresh rum stocks (approximately 65,000 liters have been destroyed). As we don’t store or age rum at Long Pond Distillery, the aged rum stock was not affected. We are currently assessing the full extent of the damages.

The entire team of Long Pond and National Rums of Jamaica are working actively toward getting our stills back to normal production schedule.

 “In the middle of this difficulty, I know I can count on my team as well as our owners, the Jamaican Government, Maison Ferrand and Demerara Distillers Ltd. We are all committed for Long Pond to distill again this one of a kind rum as soon as possible” says Winston Harrison, CEO of National Rums of Jamaica.

(LONG POND DISTILLERY July 17th, 2018)

 

 

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