News & Notes

What’s Pouring: Playboy Spirits is created, debuts first super-premium whiskey plus New Holland celebrates 25 years and Sake Hundred heads to the US

PLBY Group Announces Creation of Playboy Spirits and Entry into Spirits Sector with Super-Premium Portfolio Under the Brand “Rare Hare”

Photo Courtesy of PLBY Group/Playboy Spirits

PLBY Group, Inc., a leading pleasure and leisure lifestyle company and owner of Playboy, one of the most recognizable and iconic brands in the world, recently announced the release of Rare Hare 1953, an ultra-premium 17-year aged straight bourbon.

Marking the inaugural whiskey offering from Playboy Spirits, a joint venture of PLBY Group and Spirit Investment Partners (SIP), the Rare Hare brand expects to offer a portfolio of ultra-premium spirits in select markets around the world beginning with the U.S., Europe, and Asia Pacific. Playboy Spirits first teased its burgeoning spirits brand in late 2021 with the limited release of Rare Hare Añejo Conejo, an ultra-premium extra añejo tequila in collaboration with Código 1530.

“Playboy is excited to enter into the $500 billion-plus global spirits category in collaboration with SIP and artisan distillers from around the world,” said Jared Dougherty, President of Strategic Partnerships at PLBY Group. “We are curating a truly exceptional collection of rare and unique spirits. Each product is produced with extraordinary craftsmanship and sophistication, from the beautiful bottle to the spirits inside.”

A fitting tribute to the year Playboy was founded, the Rare Hare 1953 Anniversary Edition is a 17-year Kentucky bourbon finished in XXO Cognac casks from the Champagne region of France. Rare Hare 1953 is imbued with subtle notes of Grande Champagne and Fine Champagne grapes with hints of candied fruit and spices. Bottled at 111 proof and packaged in a commemorative box, only 1,953 bottles will be released for the U.S. market launch and 1,953 bottles for select markets in Asia and Europe.

Each bottle is individually numbered and comes in a sleek custom box equipped with near-field communication (NFC) technology.  The NFC chip will give inaugural 1953 owners access to the Rare Hare Society offering exclusive luxury travel experiences, intimate events, private barrel releases and more.

Rare Hare 1953 is available for purchase for $589 (suggested retail price) at select retail locations or online at rareharespirits.com.

New Holland Brewing Celebrates 25th Anniversary

New Holland Brewing officially kicked off their 25th anniversary celebration on June 10. The celebration featured a tapping of their Mad Hatter American IPA in their brick and mortar locations and will be followed by an additional legacy release in August and brand new anniversary releases in October.

“It’s hard to believe we’ve been in business for 25 years, and even harder to believe that we’re now the state of Michigan’s largest independent brewery,” said New Holland Brewing founder and CEO, Brett Vanderkamp. “When you consider the thousands of New Holland employees who have helped get us to where we are today, it’s a lot easier to believe. It’s just remarkable the impact they’ve all had on the New Holland family and how big that family has become. I’m very proud and thankful.”

Vanderkamp sought to revitalize his hometown and the brewing industry in 1997 when he founded New Holland Brewing in Holland, Michigan. His entrepreneurial spirit and artistic sensibilities remain the heart of the company, which is recognized today as one of the country’s leading craft brewing and distilling innovators. 

To celebrate this milestone, New Holland Brewing will tap a series of legacy brews in their Holland and Grand Rapids brick and mortar locations. The Mad Hatter IPA was one of the brewery’s first ever beers and a longtime fan favorite. In August, New Holland will tap a second legacy beer, Zoomer, an American Wheat Ale. The celebration will culminate the weekend of October 7 with parties in both brew pubs, featuring a special release 25th Anniversary beer and 25th Anniversary Zeppelin Bend Whiskey. 

“This is truly a time for celebration,” said Matt Hoeksema, President of New Holland Brewing. “Reaching 25 years is a major milestone and we wouldn’t be here without our dedicated employees or our loyal fans, so it’s time to show them our appreciation. While we reflect on the past 25 years with great pride, we’re also looking ahead to the next 25 years. We have so much planned and we can’t wait to give our fans more quality products and experiences for many years to come.”

For more information on the anniversary programming, please visit NewHollandBrew.com

Japan’s Sake Hundred Enters U.S. Market

First founded in Japan in 2018 by sake connoisseur and founder of Japan’s Saketimes, Ryuji Ikoma, Sake Hundred’s mission is to reshape people’s perspective of sake globally and expose drinkers to the most outstanding examples of Japan’s national drink, showcasing its many styles and sophisticated complexities that allow it to pair with a myriad of cuisines well beyond that of simply sushi.

The flagship of Sake Hundred is Byakko Bespoke ($380), a balanced sake made from the “king of sake rice,” Yamadanishiki, at the Tatenokawa Brewery in Yamagata, Japan, which is known for high polish ratios and for making Junmai Daiginjos, the highest sake grade designation.

Shirin ($435) is the brand’s oaked-aged sake, created by the Ouijiman Brewery, also in Yamagata, using Yamadanishiki rice polished to 18 percent and aged in Japanese mizunara oak for about two weeks.

On the other end of the spectrum is Amairo ($270), a dessert sake made at the Miyoshino Brewery in Nara by replacing a portion of the brewing water with sake, resulting in the drink’s sweetness and umami flavors, along with tart and savory notes.

In addition to these unique sakes, Sake Hundred will release the limited edition Gengai ($3,100), a 27-year-old sake originally conceived in 1995 by the Sawanotsuru Brewery in Hyogo, which was subsequently destroyed by the Kobe earthquake leaving the process unfinished.

Sake Hundred is set to debut in the US in June 2022 and will first be available at select restaurants, bars and retailers in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as online with nationwide shipping via sakehundred.com.

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