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Brown-Forman set to launch its first new bourbon in 20 years

Published:  14 April, 2016

Brown-Forman announced that it would begin rolling out its new Kentucky bourbon brand, Coopers' Craft, this summer in the US.

It is the first time in two decades the company behind famous Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey will be launching a new brand into its permanent range. The distilling team has spent more then ten years developing the new product.

The bourbon will initially be launched in just eights states in the US, but the company plans to expand distribution once supplies increase.

The name Coopers' Craft pays homage to the importance of coopers in the whiskey making process.  Brown-Forman is the only whiskey producer that has its own cooperage in the US.

The last new bourbon product launch by Brown-Forman was its Woodford Reserve brand in 1996.

American bourbon in the US over the last five years has skyrocketed, particularly at the high-end premium and super premium side of the market according to figures published last month by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS). Volumes of 9-litre cases of super premium whiskey were up 141.2% jumping to over 1.843 million cases. Equally the high-end premium category also saw a spike and was up 33.9% to 9.972 million 9-litre cases.

Despite the success of bourbon whiskey in the US, exports of bourbon to the UK declined in 2015. Exports of bourbon whiskey dropped to 2.336 million gallons in 2015 down from 2.758 million gallons in 2014.

However, 'other' whiskey exports, which included flavoured whiskies, saw an increase of 145.7% in 2015 compared to the year prior.  In the UK 'other' whiskey exports increased massively, but from a low base. In 2014, 40,527 gallons of other whiskey was exported to the UK.  That jumped to 1.331 million gallons in 2015.