I was perusing a heavily-advertised superstore in upstate New York the other day, a wine and spirits emporium near fabled Saratoga Springs -- a great business location when the historic thoroughbred horse racing season runs in August through Labor Day and lots of money comes to town.
The establishment's ads trumpet the claim that it has the best selection, the best prices and the newest offerings. In my experience, none of the three claims can be verified. Particularly the latter.
When the only stock on the shelves for certain brands is at least a year out of date, all other claims are suspect. One that particularly struck me was Plymouth gin, the iconic English distillation that some months ago came out with a sleek, modern gorgeous bottle to replace its stodgy old one. The stodgies were the only thing representing the brand at this superstore.
That's why I like to call to your attention to any significant changes in various liquors' labels, bottles or branding efforts.
One of the most recent is the change by Whaler's Rum. Heaven Hill Distilleries Inc., the Bardstown, KY, company that produces the line of Whaler's Hawaiian-style Rums, wanted to differentiate its flavored rums from its classics. Thus, the new labels use higher-impact graphics for Vanille (seen above), Killer Coconut, Pineapple Paradise and Big Island Banana, but a more traditional style is used for the Spiced, Original Dark, Great White and Rare Reserve Dark rums.
The latter rums' packaging features the ships of the Hawaiian seafarers for which the rum is named. The new labels for the four flavored rums utilize colorful label designs to more effectively communicate the names and flavors while maintaining the package equity of the previous version. The Flavored Rums are among the most popular rums within the Whaler's franchise.
Reid M. Hafer, brand manager, said, "The legendary Hawaiian recipe of Whaler's was discovered when seafarers rattled vanilla beans in empty rum bottles at sunset as a way to entice migrating whales to their ships. The friendly whales guided them to the tropical haven known as Hawaii. There the sailors discovered the old rum makers of Maui and were so impressed by the exotic taste of their rum that they called it Whaler's."
Heaven Hill, founded in 1934, also includes among its holdings The Christian Brothers Brandies, Evan Williams Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, HPNOTIQ Liqueur, Burnett's Gin and Vodka, Dubonnet Aperitif, PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur, Água Luca Brazilian Rum Cachaça, and various Scotch and Canadian whiskies.
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