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Pernod Ricard Launches Martell Cognac France VS Single Distillery

Pernod Ricard has launched Martell Cognac France VS Single Distillery in the Nigerian market.

Martell VS Single Distillery is a blend of single-distilled spirits for a richer and more intense expression of the Martell distillation style.

The elegance, complexity and balance of Martell style are the result of a unique savoir-faire: the distillation of clear wines only and the ageing of its eaux-de-vie in fine-grain oak barrels. Each bottle of Martell VS Single Distillery is sourced from Martell’s partner distilleries in the Cognac region.

Founded in 1715, Martell is the oldest of the great Cognac Houses. It is the only cognac house that exclusively distils wines that have been cleared of all sediments, displaying luscious fruit aromas and finesse that are our hallmarks.

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Life Lager Sign Unveil Rapper Phyno as New Brand Ambassador

life beer phyno brand ambassador

Life Continental Lager Beer, a premium beer brand owned by Nigerian Breweries Plc., Nigeria’s biggest brewer, has unveiled rap artiste Phyno as their new brand ambassador.

Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, Mr Maria Franco Maggi, the Marketing Director of NB Plc. said;

“Working with a great act like Flavour and this new collaboration with Phyno – one of Nigeria’s most successful artistes and a proud son of the Igbo community, is further proof of Life Continental Lager beer’s mission of effectively promoting Igbo highlife music, beliefs, traditions and progressive cultural values”.

Phyno, who signed the new deal at the Nigerian Breweries Plc. corporate head office in Lagos on the 31st of May 2018, will feature in Life Continental Beer advertising and marketing campaigns and will also make special appearances at events.

“I am very happy to be part of this great development as Life Continental beer has always been a brand that shows great support for the Igbo culture and values and it is something that I respect this beer brand for,” Phyno said.

“They are the reason I am here today and I am proud to now be their ambassador”.

Life Continental Beer pioneered regional brewing in Nigeria and has maintained leadership in the Southeast region’s booming market for decades.


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Snoop Dogg Makes Guinness World Record for World’s Largest Cocktail

SNOOP DOGG-Cocktail |

Snoop Dogg was on Sunday awarded a Guinness World record for making the world’s largest “paradise cocktail” along with US celebrity chef Michael Voltaggio and fellow rapper Warren G.

The 46-year-old rapper took part in the world record attempt at BottleRock Napa Valley on Sunday, pouring 180 bottles of Hendrick’s Gin into a juice-filled glass which stood at five-feet tall and three-feet wide. A total of 550 litres of gin was used in making the cocktail.

Mercury News reports that Guinness World Records official was present to judge and hand over a certification of achievement to the rapper.

After gaining popularity for his song “Gin & Juice”  — the second single from his debut album Doggystyle, Snoop has finally made the real gin and juice cocktail.

He shared his record-breaking mixology on Instagram, posting a photo where he proudly holds up his new award.

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Moët & Chandon Announces June Date for Grand Day

Moet-Chandon-Grand-Day |

Moët & Chandon has announced that its grand day celebration is set to hold on June 9, 2018, in Lagos.

Formally known as Moet party day, the event is set aside as a day of sparkling celebrations around the globe. Friends and loved ones are hosted to a 24-hour party, as they raise their champagne glasses in a worldwide toast to the memorable moments that bring joy to their lives.

The annual festive party is planned in over 80 countries and is set to bring together over a million people from Hong Kong, Lagos, Geneva and Montreal among glitz and glamour.

“This year, Moët & Chandon is bringing the art of the fête to Nigeria. Moët & Chandon Grand Day will be a unique event in which we share the magic of champagne and celebrate a day dedicated to the joys of life.

“And the translation of the French word ‘fête’ literally means ‘party’,” says Elizabeth Oputa, manager of champagne brands at Moët Hennessy in Nigeria.

Moët & Chandon, founded in 1743, is one of the world’s most valuable champagne brands, offering a range of unique wines for every occasion.

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How Hero Lager Beer Became a Red Capped Igbo ‘Chief’

An Igbo ‘red cap’ chief is a walking insignia of authority, tradition, and culture, same as a group of ‘red cap’ chiefs symbolise an entire institution of leadership, achievement, authority, and power in Igbo tradition.

With the recent knighting of Hero lager by the Obi of Onitsha as “Mmanya ejiri mara Igbo,” the premium beer brand will now be seen in the same light as a red cap chief though out the entire South Eastern region in Nigeria. The knighting is a proof of how much Hero lager has repositioned its front and heightened its authority within the region it has been most successful.

Budweiser has come into the Nigerian market claiming to be the ‘King of Beers’, what Hero has done is to say; “Hey Bud! You might be a King, but in there is another King in the South East.” Interestingly, both beer brands are managed by International Breweries Plc., a proud member of AB InBev, so the temptation for a brand war among these two is negligent.

Launched into the market in August 2012 without much fanfare, Hero immediately resonated with the culture of the Igbos, and backed by the brand’s strategic positioning in terms of value and price, it skyrocketed to the summit of the beer market in the region.

From the retail shops in Onitsha to hotels in Owerri and down to the manufacturing workshops in Aba, Hero beer became a favourite broth among many beer lovers. That acceptance into the nucleus of the region’s neo-culture led to the christening of the beer as ‘Oh Mpa.’ Mpa means father in the Igbo language, a sign that the brand was held in high regards for what it now signified.

It became a regular feature on the menu during festivals and traditional ceremonies, while also inspiring the mentality of being a ‘hero’ among its teeming consumers; it has become a symbol of identity for the Igbo beer lover.

At the peak of its achievement, societal status and recognition, the next move for the brand, like every Igbo individual who has ridden his way to the top, was to seek the knighthood of a red cap chief. As Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Ugochukwu Achebe, the Obi of Onitsha, His Royal Highness, gave the blessing for the red cap ceremony to commence, the reality of Hero’s achievement as the market leader in that region became flesh.

A relatively unknown brand, first released during the burial of civil war hero late Chukwuemeka Ojukwu, Hero was finally celebrated with dance, music and fanfare. For the brand, the knighthood is an integrated marketing scheme that hopes to reward its customers as well extend the brand’s reach.

“Since we introduced this beer to the Nigerian market, it has clearly found its way into the taste buds of beer drinkers first in South East Nigeria and beyond,” says Obumneke Okoli, Marketing Manager Hero Lager, during the ceremony.

“The people are happy, excited with a burning flare in them all because of this beer.”

More so, the red cap ceremony represents the fruition of the brand’s essence which thrives on the sentiments of the Igbos and the regional marketing of the brand’s handlers.

Arne Rust, Marketing Director, International Breweries Plc., said during the ceremony:

“Through this ceremony, we hope to inspire consumers to be heroes every day and in every way. We have great plans for our consumers in Nigeria, part of which includes strategically launching several beer brands to suit specific geography and cultures. Hero is a well-established brand in the eastern part of the country. International Breweries Plc., genuinely cares about the culture and tradition of the people, and we will consistently seek ways to showcase our culture and positively impact the society.”

That grand red cap title-giving ceremony will be followed by a “Go! Be the Hero” campaign which looks to reward Nigerian men in recognition of their efforts and mission to be heroes. Also, as sponsors of the FIFA World Cup 2018, Hero will send the Super Eagles off to Russia with an unveiling of the world’s biggest football message written with people – “Eagles Be Fearless, Go Be The Hero.”

The campaign shows that Hero lager is truly being ‘heroic’ in its strides and new experiences for consumers. After all, when a man has been made a red cap chief, he has to embark on a new project to prove to his kinsmen that he is truly worthy of his new title. The World Cup campaign will serve Hero lager’s popularity in Nigeria positively and maybe one day, the beer will stake a claim for an Ozo title.

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$1 Million Whisky Sets New World Record

Scotch Whisky |

Think you would spend over $1 million on a bottle of whisky? If you won’t then you don’t love the brown distilled spirit well enough.

Over the weekend, two bottles of a rare 60-year-old Scottish Macallan whiskey were shown love when two separate buyers purchased each for a combined sum of $2.11 million.

According to High Snob Society, the whisky bottles were sold off at a Bonhams auction for fine and rare wines and whiskies. Both bottles are 75CL vintage bottles distilled in 1926 and bottled in 1986 after maturation in a sherry hogshead cask. Only 12 of each Macallan was ever produced.

“These bottles are some of the oldest whiskies produced by Macallan in the 20th century,” Daniel Lam On-Tai, head of fine wine and whisky for Bonhams in Hong Kong, told South China Morning Post.

Both bottles were named after Italian artist Valerio Adami and British pop artist Peter Blake respectively. One bottle sold for HK $8.64 million to a bidder, while the other sold for HK $7.96 million to another anonymous buyer over the phone.


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Guinness Nigeria Mainstream Spirit Brands Clinch Medals at San Francisco World Spirits Competition

Guinness Nigeria Mainstream Spirits |

Guinness Nigeria’s mainstream spirits won significant medals at the recently concluded San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC).

Gordon’s Moringa Citrus Blend led the way with a gold medal in the Gin category. According to the SFSWC screening panel, a Gold Medal is awarded to products deemed ‘exceptional spirits near the pinnacle of achievement that set the standard for their categories’.

Smirnoff X1 Vodka also performed greatly, clinching silver medals for its Intense Chocolate and Extra smooth variants, while category leaders Orijin Bitters and McDowell’s No.1 Whisky won bronze medals in their respective categories.

Founded in 2000, the San Francisco World Spirits Competition was established as a way to recognize exceptional products in the spirits industry. The 2018 Competition was the biggest in its history, featuring more than 2,200
entries. An SFWSC medal has become a recognized affirmation of high quality and one of the most reliable and universal indications of spirits excellence.

The mainstream spirit brands from Guinness Nigeria Plc. staved off stiff competition from over 2,200
international brands at the SFWSC, which is a highly regarded competition established to recognize exceptional products in the spirits category.

‘We are excited to have been recognized as trailblazers in our craft which is a reflection of our commitment to providing quality brands for our consumers to enjoy and celebrate with, every day and everywhere,’ said Marketing Manager for Guinness Nigeria’s Spirits Portfolio, Aigbeme Okonkwo.

The giant brewer also disclosed that each of the winning spirits is proudly made in Nigeria and further underscores the consistent Global Quality Management Standards deployed by Guinness across its production plants worldwide.

Guinness Nigeria, a subsidiary of Diageo Plc of the United Kingdom was incorporated in 1962 with the construction of a brewery in Ikeja, the heart of Lagos. The brewery was the first Guinness operation outside Ireland and Great Britain. Guinness Nigeria has grown tremendously over the years and cemented its place in the hearts of Nigerian stout drinkers as the favourite bold premium stout.

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Guinness Nigeria Names New CEO

Guinness Nigeria |

Diageo-owned Guinness Nigeria Plc has announced that Baker Magunda, currently the Managing Director of Meta Abo Brewery in Ethiopia, as their new CEO.

Magunda will take over from Peter Ndegwa, who will be stepping down at the end of the 2018 Financial Year after three years in office. Ndegwa will be taking up a new role as the Managing Director, Continental Europe and Russia, a member of the Diageo Group, the company also announced.

“Ndegwa has been at Guinness Nigeria for nearly three years and has overseen the recent transformation at the company, including the successful rights issue and implementation of the productivity programme,” according to a statement released by the company.

“Recent third quarter financial performance has shown the improvement that these projects are delivering.

“Baker Magunda will join Guinness Nigeria from Diageo-owned Meta Abo Breweries in Ethiopia. Under Magunda’s tenure, Meta Abo has seen the launch of the Guinness brand in the country and a strong innovation pipeline of brands brought to the market. He has nearly 20 years’ experience in the consumer goods and alcohol industry. He has worked across in Uganda and Kenya, as well as Ethiopia and the Sudan.”

Speaking on the development, the Chairman, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr. Babatunde Savage, said, “I will like to thank Peter (Ndegwa) for his transformational work over the past few years; he has led the business through challenging times and taken us forward. It is great to see him move on within Diageo. I will also like to use this opportunity to welcome Baker to the role. I look forward to working with him.”

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Cognac shot sells for a record-breaking £10,014 in London bar

Martina O'Shea-Most-Expensive-Cognac-Shot |

Cognac is a premium spirit drink and the price speaks well in that respect. Expectedly, a shot of cognac should cost more than that of ordinary brandy – but when it sells for £10,014, then tongues will wag.

Tongues definitely went wagging when a 40ml serving of Rome de Bellegarde sold in London’s Hyde Kensington bar sold for £10,014. The new price set a new world record for cognac sales on Wednesday night.

Believed to be the very first blend created by Jean Fillioux in 1894, the cognac was discovered in the cellars of cognac house Jean Fillioux by fifth generation cellar master Pascal Fillioux.

Cognac enthusiasts and industry experts gathered to witness the first pour, with an official adjudicator from the Guinness World Records also present at the historic event.

Ranjeeta Dutt McGroarty, the founder and director of Trinity Natural Gas, tasted the rare tipple first, breaking the Guinness World Record for the price of the most expensive shot of cognac in the process.

Rome de Bellegarde founder David Smeralda said:

“We are so excited for Rome de Bellegarde to be available for the first time in over 120 years.

“Since its discovery in 2004, this incredible batch has been destined to be enjoyed by those that love and cherish truly pure cognac.”

The previous Guinness World Record for the most expensive cognac sold was for 68,000 Hong Kong dollars (£7,072) at InterContinental Hong Kong, China, on November 9, 2016.

The brand has decanted the spirit into 67 French crystal bottles.





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World Whiskies Awards 2018 – The Full List of Winners

World Whiskies Awards 2018 |

The Whisky Magazine Awards dinner held in London on Thursday, March 22nd, 2018 and the final results of the World Whiskies Awards 2018 were released.

Major global whisky producers including Suntory, Nikka, Maker’s Mark, Glenfiddich were present at the event which held at the Waldorf Hilton Hotel. The award which is held annually aims to showcase the very best whiskies in each global category. Several stages of the competition, overseen by world-renowned, expert judges and tasters, are held before the final announcement.

According to Rob Allanson, editor of the Whisky Magazine and chairman of the World Whiskies Awards, the awards have seen an immense growth since its inception.

‘Over 1000 brands were entered this year, all blind tasted by more the 40 expert judges across the world. This year will be interesting,’ he said.

Japanese whisky again performed well in the major categories, while the US and Australia shone in categories no one expected them to.

See the full list of winners below:

  1. World’s Best Rye – 291 Colorado Rye Aspen Stave Finish
  2. World’s Best Grain – Bains Cape Mountain Whisky
  3. World’s Best Bourbon – 1792 Full Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  4. World’s Best Blended Malt – Taketsuru 17-Year-Old
  5. World’s Best Blended Limited Release – Ichiro’s Malt & Grain Limited Edition
  6. World’s Best Blended – Johnnie Walker Gold Reserve
  7. World’s Best Single Cask Single Malt – Sullivan’s Cove American Oak Single Cask
  8. World’s Best Single Malt – Hakushu 25-Year-Old

The night ended with Diageo’s Dr Nicholas Morgan and Kavalan founder, TT Lee and his son, being inducted into the Whiskey hall of fame.