By Stefanie Collins, editor b&c

Distribution company island2island has announced this week that it will be taking over the distribution of Amaro di Angostura and Jefferson’s Bourbon.

The much-talked about Amaro di Angostura was awarded the 9th Annual Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards’ “Best New Spirit or Cocktail Ingredient”. The amaro marks the first time the company – well known for its rum and bitters production – has entered an entirely new category of spirits.

The flavour of Amaro di Angostura is derived from the same bespoke process used in creating Angostura’s aromatic bitters, and like Angostura aromatic bitters, the Amaro di Angostura recipe is a secret.

Allan Shearer, CEO of island2island, commented: “Angostura aromatic bitters, which serves as the base for Amaro di Angostura, has a devoted following in Australia. Following the win at Tales of the Cocktail, we have been keenly awaiting its arrival on our shores, as we know our fans are excited to try it and those that have tried it are eager to start using it.”

Bottled at 35% ABV, Amaro di Angostura is a deep amber colour, with “aromas of cinnamon, dark chocolate and unmistakable Angostura aromatic bitters”.

The other spirit added to the island2island portfolio is Jefferson’s Bourbon. The ‘very uncommon Bourbon’ has been secured for a minimum of three years.

According to Trey Zoeller, founder of Jefferson’s Bourbon, the spirit is so special because it is made in “ridiculously small batches”.

“This enables us to showcase the different flavours that result from the wood in each barrel, as in the case of single barrel bourbons,” he says. “We buy small, esoteric lots of hyper-aged bourbon from larger distilleries that are too big create small, high-end projects and then play with the art of blending and experimenting, manipulating the maturation process to add balance and complexity.”

Les Page, managing director of island2island, comments: “We believe our on and off premise partners will welcome Jefferson’s Bourbon and its unique positioning. The fact it’s made in such small batches and each expression, in particular the unusual Jefferson’s Ocean: Aged at

Sea, is bursting with personality will guarantee that this brand is a success in our market.

The brand enhances an already distinguished, premium i2i portfolio and we are grateful to the brand owners for their trust in placing Jefferson’s in our care.”

Jefferson’s Bourbon expressions that will be available include, Jefferson’s Small Batch Bourbon, Jefferson’s Reserve – the company’s flagship bourbon, and Jefferson’s Ocean: Aged at Sea – the barrels are shipped around the world, stopping off at five different continents and crossing the equator four times.

The latter bourbon is a unique product that came about after inspiration struck Zoeller on the deck of his friend Chris Fischer’s research ship. While watching Jefferson’s Reserve bourbon rock gently in its bottle, they wondered what would happen to bourbon aged on the bow of a ship. Reportedly, the “caramelising of the sugars in the barrel combined with the constant motion of the ship resulted in a dark bourbon with a briny, savoury taste aged beyond its years”.

The first batch of Jefferson’s Ocean was bottled in 2012 after spending four years on the deck of a research vessel in the tropics. The next round has headed out to sea and the barrels, aged up to eight years, will be going all the way around the world.

The Shout Team

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

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