Port-ed Scotch
For something special, the distillers of Dalmore Single Malt Scotch combined their award-winning product with the taste of sherry. The Dalmore Scotch was placed in barrels from 30-year-old sherry. The recycled casks then held the Scotch for another 30 years. The result is the limited-edition The Dalmore 1973 Gonzalez Byass Sherry Cask Finish.
Each sherry cask was hand-selected to add a delicate, yet refined finishing touch to the Scotch. The sherry finish gives the Scotch an aroma of hazelnut and almonds, as well as citrus spice and marmalade. According to the company, only 1,200 bottles were produced for the U.S. market, and they will be priced at around $250 per bottle.
Coffee with an edge
There’s not just a caffeine kick in AdvantEdge Coffee House drinks, there’s also a protein punch. The coffee-based beverages from nutrition product marketer EAS have 15 grams of protein and are packed with vitamins and minerals. The Coffee House line claims to differentiate itself from other leading brands of ready-to-drink coffees by being lower in calories, sugar and fat, and having only 1 gram of “impact carbohydrate” per serving. The flavors available are Mocha Latte, Cappuccino and Coffee Latte. Four-packs of 11-ounce shelf-stable containers retail for $6.99.
Holiday-themed sodas
Holiday revelers have a couple of new quaffs to mark the season. Limited-edition varieties of Mountain Dew and Pepsi will hit stores in the fourth quarter. First up is Mountain Dew Pitch Black, a Halloween-inspired brew that is spiked with a blast of black grape flavor. Next on the holiday roster is Pepsi Holiday Spice. It’s Pepsi with a spicy finish of ginger and cinnamon. Both products will be in stores for approximately eight weeks.
“People like new products – they’re much more interested in variety nowadays than they were just a few years ago,” said Dave Burwick, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Pepsi-Cola North America, in a statement. “By introducing new flavors for a short period of time, then taking them away, we’re meeting the wants and needs of soft drink consumers while playing directly to their purchasing patterns.”
Also in flavor news from Pepsi is word of a collaboration with Yum! Brands that will bring an exclusive fountain-only Baja Blast drink to Taco Bell restaurants around the country. Baja Blast is a turquoise blue soda with a lime flavor. (Underneath the glamorous name is supposedly another variation of Mountain Dew.)
Le Snoot Wines
Snob Hill Winery, the marketing vehicle of Access Beverage, announced the creation of Le Snoot Wines. The whimsical names of the moderately-priced, varietal wines include Cheeky Chardonnay, Classy Cab and Merry-Making Merlot. Master winemaker Bob Broman sources grapes from California to blend the wines. Distribution began in August for the wines, and they are available in 26 states.
The Chardonnay is medium-bodied with a floral bouquet. The flavor is reminiscent of pears and citrus spice with a hint of oak, according to the company. The white wine reportedly goes well with ethnic cuisine.
Ginger, not Mary Ann
Yazi Ginger Flavored Vodka purportedly summons ancient Chinese dragons and hot passion to the minds and palates of those who imbibe it. The theme begins on the bottle, which is adorned with a dragon and is carried through to the vodka within through ginger flavoring. Ginger is touted in Asian folklore for its power to kindle romantic ardor.
Natural ginger flavoring is used in this 70-proof vodka made from 100-percent grain alcohol and glacier-fed spring water. It has a clean, slightly spicy flavor. A 750-ml. bottle retails for around $20.
Low-carb martini mixes
Feel good about yourself, while feeling good. Baja Bob’s Martini Mixes took the sugar and most of the calories out of its products along with the carbs. The mixes come in some of the latest flavor combinations – Cranberry Cosmo, Sour Apple, Lemon Drop and Blue Raspberry. Sweetened with Splenda and using all natural flavors, these mixers have as many as 2 total carbs and 10 calories per drink. That’s compared to around 100 calories and 30 to 40 carbs in regular versions. The mixes can be added to alcohol or not, and are scheduled to hit the market this month.
Smart Soymilk
It’s probably not often that a consumer looks for intelligence in a beverage, but come to think of it, it’s not a half-bad idea. Vitasoy’s new Vitasoy Complete is smart – nutritionally smart – fiber-, calcium-, calorie- and carb-smart, according to product literature. Fortified with fiber, calcium and vitamins A, D and B12, Vitasoy Complete is nutritionally balanced and has a low glycemic index. It is sweetened with organic, unrefined cane juice.
Vitasoy Complete will be available in October in Vitasoy’s usual 32-ounce shelf-stable packaging, and rather than charging more for the low-carb soymilk, Vitasoy is pricing it on par with its other soymilks. It will be available in both original and vanilla flavors.
Wine with a sparkle
Lorikeet is a new premium sparkling wine from the land downunder that was crafted especially for the American palate. The Australian wine is offered in traditional Brut and Extra Dry styles and in a uniquely Australian sparkling Shiraz. The sparkling Shiraz combines the rich character and full tannins of the Shiraz varietal wine with fizz. The rich fruit sweetness of the sparkling Shiraz is balanced with natural tannins and acid. The influence of light, fresh oak further enhances the complexity of the wine.
Both the Lorikeet Brut and the Lorikeet Extra Dry are blends of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grape varieties. The Brut has abundant fruit flavors, while the Extra Dry displays a bouquet of cherry, strawberry and citrus notes and has a creamy texture and crisp finish, according to the company. The wines are available in 750-ml. bottles for a suggested retail price of $8.99.
Low-carb cafe
Banking on the staying power of the low-carb trend, North American Beverage added two low-carb offerings to its line. Havana Cappuccino Diet Low Carb Mocha and Diet Low Carb Vanilla have 5 and 4 grams of carbs, respectively. Both flavors retain the indulgent flavor of the original versions. Packaging for the low-carb selections uses metallic inks to differentiate them from the originals. The Splenda-sweetened drinks come in 15-ounce bottles and are sold in four-packs.
Le dolce vita
Billed as the “ultimate juice,” Vitale combines more than 14 fruit and vegetable extracts in a proprietary blend. Vitale claims it has the highest oxygen radical absorption capacity (ORAC) of any functional juice product on the market. ORAC is a measure of the scavenging capacity of antioxidants against the peroxyl radical. (In layman’s terms, that means it’s packed with good, healthy stuff.) Being healthy doesn’t come cheaply, though. A 32-ounce bottle costs $36.50.
A buzz & a bang
In with a buzz, and out with a bang, aptly describes California-based Big Brands energy drinks. Wild Buzz is the company’s flagship product, and Big Bang is the newest addition to its energy drink portfolio. The recently reformulated, Wild Buzz has sweet, citrus-berry flavor and is energized with taurine and B vitamins. It comes in a variety of sizes and packaging from an 8.3-ounce glass bottle to a 1-liter PET bottle. There’s even a 3-gallon bag-in-box post energy mix for a soda fountain or beverage gun.
Big Bang is a 12-ounce energy drink, also laced with taurine and B vitamins. It comes in four different flavors: original, citrus, peach and mango. Positioned for sale in value retailers or dollar stores, Big Bang is specially priced -- two 12-ounce cans for $0.99.  

New Product Introductions by Category
COFFEE & TEA 708 618 14.6%
OTHER DRINKS 232 299 -22.4%
TOTAL BEVERAGES: 2628 2594 1.3%
Source: Productscan Online (www.productscan.com)