Liquid assets: the latest drinks launches for May

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The latest drinks launches for pubs bars and restaurants this May

Related tags Whisky Beavertown Brewery Camden Brewery

An innovative scotch, a bevy of summery spirits, and a call for creatives working working in UK pubs and bars make up this month's drinks news.

Camden Town Bellini

Camden Town Brewery is getting into the summer spirit with a lager inspired by the classic Italian cocktail the Bellini. Its Bellini Lager was originally created as part of Camden’s small batch innovation series ‘Arch 55’ and is now available in a new 440ml can. The lager is a dry ‘brut’ inspired beer, incorporating rice for a light body and paired with Nelson Sauvin hops for a wine-like flavour. It also uses peach puree and has been dry hopped with the new experimental hop HBC 431, known for its peach tea notes, for a fruity freshness. “We are seeing peachy drinks pop up in lots of different categories, and although our Bellini lager may sound extra fancy, at its heart it is still a really fresh and delicious beer,” says ​Fred Nesbitt, head of marketing at Camden Town Brewery. The 5.2% abv beer follows on from the success of Camden’s previous summer seasonals, Pina lager in 2021 and Ice Cream lager in 2022.

Canned Wine Co's new sparkler

Premium wine in can brand Canned Wine Co is adding a sparkling wine to its range. The 100% Chardonnay sparkling wine from Italy is made from grapes sourced from Piedmont in northwest Italy in Asti and Monferrato. It undergoes a first fermentation in stainless steel, followed by a long slow second fermentation in a pressurised tank, resulting in a ‘bone-dry wine with zero dosage, with bright acidity’, according to the company. It will join the existing range of varietal wines, which were launched in 2019.

Beavertown: Creatives Untapped


Beavertown Brewery has launched an annual list celebrating the best and boldest creatives working in pubs and bars across the UK. Called Beavertown: Creatives Untapped, the list is in collaboration with publication It’s Nice That with creatives from all sectors of the industry encouraged to submit their work. Submissions will run for four weeks, after which a judging panel co-run by Beavertown and It’s Nice That will select 10 winners, each of whom will win a £1,000 cash prize, promotion via Beavertown’s marketing channels and feature at Beavertown’s Creatives Untapped showcase in London this summer. “The hospitality industry is teaming with talented creatives. When I first started out, it was an amazing way to meet like-minded people and get feedback on my own creative work, and was essentially what got me to where I am today. I used to illustrate and sketch, before, during and after shifts and actually ended up designing nearly all of the initial Beavertown labels at the bar,” says Nick Dwyer, creative director at Beavertown Brewery. “There are so many creatives deserving of a platform like the one I had when we started out, which is why we’re launching Creatives Untapped.’ Entrants can submit their work via the application form here​. Applications close midnight 19 May 2023.

Cotswolds Coronation Whisky

The Cotswolds Distillery has launched a Cotswolds Coronation Whisky to commemorate The Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III. Made with 100% locally grown barley from the Cotswolds, the limited-edition single malt whisky has been matured in a single bourbon cask. Filled on the 23 January 2018 and aged full-term at the distillery in the Cotswolds, the expression was bottled from cask number 2023 on-site on the 14 April 2023 at 55.6% abv. The whisky is described as having flavours of vanilla pods, cacao, and toasted nuts with a light, sweet, balanced finished and is priced at £125 a bottle.

Sapling Raspberry & Hibiscus Vodka


Sustainably-minded spirits producer Sapling has launched the first of a new range of flavoured vodkas made with ‘wonky’ fruit. Sapling Raspberry & Hibiscus Vodka uses rejected raspberries that have been bumped, crushed, squashed or broken but are ‘just as fruity and delicious as their ‘perfect’ counterparts’. The berries are combined with Sapling’s British wheat-based vodka and hibiscus to create a premium spirit that can either be sipped, mixed with tonic or used in a cocktail. Launched in 2018 by Ed Faulkener and Ivo Devereux, Sapling’s core range includes a gin and an unflavoured vodka.

Budvar Czech Mates

Czech Republic brewery Budweiser Budvar has embarked on its first collaboration lager to be brewed outside its home country. Called Czech Mates, the Czech-style lager is brewed with Thornbridge and is made with British-grown Maris Otter malt and Eest Kent Goldings hops along with Budvar’s decades-old yeast strain and is lagered for six weeks. The result is an ‘aromatic, crisp and beautifully balanced’ beer with a 4.8% abv. Czech Mates will be available to buy from 16 May.

Brockmans Orange Kiss



Premium gin brand Brockmans has launched its first new product since it launched in 2008. Brockmans Orange Kiss blends together the flavours of triple sec and Valencia orange with traditional gin botanicals to create a ‘well-balanced’ flavoured gin that’s suitable for sipping neat, for use in cocktails or in a G&T. “Brockmans has built an internationally growing fanbase of loyal consumers and advocates with just one expression thanks to its standout taste profile,” says global marketing director Eric Sampers. “Our ambition with Brockmans’ second expression is to challenge perception as to what people think of flavoured gin. We have taken a common ingredient – orange – and twisted it to deliver a unique and elevated taste experience.”

Balmoral Coronation Edition Scotch Whisky

Balmoral Castle & Estate has launched a limited Balmoral Coronation Edition Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky in celebration of the Coronation of His Majesty King Charles III. The whisky is drawn from specially selected casks from Royal Lochnagar Distillery, a mile from Balmoral, the Scottish home of the Royal Family. It is bottled at 48% abv - a reference to both the year His Majesty was born (1948), and the first visit from Balmoral to Royal Lochnagar by the Royal Family - Queen Victoria & Prince Albert – in 1848. It is also the optimal strength for the perfect balance of flavours; with water, the light, fruity notes become more apparent, according to the distillery.

Roseblood by Chateau d’Estoublon



Majestic has launched Roseblood by Chateau d’Estoublon into the UK market. Sourced from Baux-de-Provence, the 12.5% ABV wine is available to the UK on-trade through Majestic Commercial. Majestic says Roseblood has quickly become the new star on the French rosé scene. With a luminous pale rose colour, the wine is described as an elegant zesty rosé, with a distinctive mineral freshness ‘where notes of apricot and peony express themselves freely’. “Pale, dry styles of rosé is a trend which just goes from strength to strength,” says Majestic COO Rob Cooke. “It’s something Majestic really pioneered almost a decade ago. And we know that with the launch of Roseblood, alongside our wider summer rosé range, we’re going to see even greater interest in the category.”

RyeLaw whisky



Fife-based InchDairnie Distillery has released its first expression, made using sophisticated technology it says extracts maximum flavour from Scottish-grown rye and barley. Called RyeLaw, the 2017 vintage whisky is made using 53% malted rye and 47% malted barley with cereals mashed using a Meura mash filter, one of only two used in Scotland. It is fermented using a rye-specific yeast, which InchDairnie says results in lower yields, but higher flavour and is double distilled in pot stills – the first with rare, double condensers and the second a bespoke Lomond Hill still. It is then matured in charred new American oak casks. “The rye spiciness with vanilla, sweet biscuit cereal and dried fruit notes seem much more defined than rye whiskeys from America, we’ve compared it to.  There’s a richer, more luxurious mouthfeel and great balance, which are certainly helped by the favourable maturation conditions we have in Fife compared to Kentucky.  The use of malted rye in the mash means we have a softer, more sippable style of rye whisky,” says Scott Sneddon, distillery manager. The 46.3% abv sprit has a price tag of £110.



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