Category Archives: gin

NEW: Koval Barreled Gin


KOVAL Distillery is excited to announce the release of a new organic Barreled Gin. A follow-up to the much celebrated release of KOVAL Dry Gin (recognized as 2015’s most highly awarded American gin), KOVAL Barreled Gin follows the same prized recipe with the addition of spiced oak flavors that come from barrel aging.

Fans of KOVAL Dry Gin will taste a similarly crisp spirit with flavors from rose hip, juniper, angelica root, and coriander, but will appreciate a new level of depth and oak from the spirit’s time resting in a KOVAL whiskey barrel. The attention to detail that KOVAL’s grain-to-bottle process allows shines through in the final product, offering a unique spirit that appeals to gin and whiskey drinkers alike.

The artisanship of KOVAL’s process and the complexity of the Barreled Gin are reflected in the new label, thoughtfully designed with intricate argyle die-cutting and bronze foil patterns by award-winning brand identity firm Dando Projects–the same team recognized with a Double Gold Medal for KOVAL Dry Gin at the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and “Best in Show” at the 2015 Los Angeles International Spirits Competition, among numerous other international design awards.

“We wanted the label to maintain the same level of sophistication as the Dry Gin, but with a fresh design and slight color change that reflects the barrel aging process,” said Dr. Sonat Birnecker Hart, President of KOVAL Distillery.

KOVAL Barreled Gin will be immediately available in Illinois and expanding into select national and international markets.

Branded Spirits Ltd. Expands to U.S. Market


Branded Spirits raises a glass to the introduction of its five premium alcohol brands to the U.S. this July following three successful years of distribution in Hong Kong and China. The sourcing and distributing company of small-batch artisan liquors launches five spirits in Chicago: Ice Fox vodka, Hana gin, Motu rum, HM The King blended Scotch whiskey, and two cognacs – Majesté XO and Majesté VSOP.

“After extensive test market research in Hong Kong, we knew our products were ready for the U.S. market by way of Chicago, a city with a prominent cocktail culture,” says Nick Chen, chief of staff for Branded Spirits. “Chicago can often influence trends in the spirit industry for the rest of the country, making it the perfect location for our brand launch.”

The distinctive flavor profiles of each of the spirits launching in Chicago include:

Ice Fox is 100% American product that has been triple-distilled from premium American ingredients, including corn from the Corn Belt and pristine water from the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Branded Spirits’ master distiller watches over the production of every batch on Treasure Island, CA, where it is bottled in small batches. 40% ABV, 750ml, $19.99 SRP

Hana is named after the Japanese word hana, meaning “flower,” which is the inspiration for the gin’s botanical profile of juniper and lemon citrus, among notes of lavender. The bottle design features an etched glass orchid on the back. 40% ABV, 750ml, $19.99 SRP

Motu, rested in French Oak and created using Polynesian sugar cane molasses, provides this rum with its signature sweet nose and taste. 40% ABV, 750ml, $19.99 SRP

HM The King, produced in the Highlands of Scotland, provides notes of vanilla and honey on the palate that give way to a smooth and round aftertaste with light smoke and peat. The HM on the bottle stand for “His Majesty” the King, as the final blend was signed off on by the late King of Tonga. 40% ABV, 750ml, $24.99 SRP

Majesté XO, made in Cognac, France by one of the region’s most storied families, Dupuy Bache-Gabrielsen, the spirit is aged for 10 years or more. The spirit won the Gold Medal award from the 1997, 2000, 2003 and 2009 International Wine and Spirits Competition. 40% ABV, 750ml, $109.99 SRP

Majesté VSOP is matured for four years before being bottled and offers a discreet, well-balanced bouquet with both fruit and floral notes. It is available in limited supply. 40% ABV, 750ml, $47.99 SRP

Branded Spirits’ premium beverage alcohol line is now available, and can be purchased at Cardinal Wine & Spirits (multiple locations throughout Chicago area), Tony’s Finer Foods (multiple locations throughout Chicago area), Brookhaven Market (located in Darien, Mokena, and Burr Ridge, IL), among many other individual liquor stores.

Branded Spirits initially launched in Hong Kong in 2010 after CEO and Founder George Chen, who has worked successfully in distribution in Asia for more than 25 years, decided to branch into production. In late 2010, Chen founded Branded Spirits with the goal of creating a product line, then he and his team spent the next two years in research and development of every aspect from the packaging to the types of liquors in the portfolio. After three successful years of in the Hong Kong and China markets, Branded Spirits began distributing to the U.S. with the goal of launching in 10-15 states by the end of 2014.