By Annette Shailer, editor Beer & Brewer

The spirits and ready to drink (RTD) division of Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) has expanded its offering for the first time in several years, with the new products due to hit shelves this week.

The Cougar and Black Douglas RTD range extensions target two segments, the mid-strength RTD category and the premium category.

CUB’s GM of spirits & RTD, Dean Robinson, says the new products support recent market share growth of the existing Cougar and Black Douglas RTD ranges, while tapping into consumer insights into the RTD category. 

“RTDs are occasion driven, with more than half bought when people want to kick back and enjoy time with mates or are at social events with friends,” Robinson said.

With premium RTDs the fastest growing segment in the RTD category in Australia, the team has created Cougar Black from American sour mash whiskey aged in new American oak barrels to create a ‘smooth and distinctive bourbon’.

“Black Douglas Premium Strength is made from one of Australia’s best-selling favourite scotch whiskies aged for at least three years in charred oak barrels that proudly bears the name of one of Scotland’s mightiest warriors, Sir James Douglas,” Robinson added.

With double digit growth in the 10-pack format, which now represents more than 20 per cent of all RTD sales in Australia, CUB has also released the premium range in both 10-packs and four packs.

On the mid strength RTD front, while primarily created to meet licensing requirements at many stadiums and events, these products also play a key role in the consumer trends of improved focus on health, wellbeing and moderation.

All the products will be available through independent retailers from this week. 

The new products include:

Cougar Black Bourbon & Cola (pictured) (6.0 per cent ABV) 

Black Douglas Premium Strength Scotch Whisky & Cola (6.0 per cent ABV) (pictured)

Cougar Mid Strength Bourbon & Cola (3.5 per cent ABV) (pictured)

Black Douglas Scotch Whisky & Cola (3.5 per cent ABV)

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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