The original black cherry flavor Red Stag by Jim Beam was just named to Shanken's 'Hot Prospects' list — the U.S. market’s most promising wine and spirits growth brands. Winners (announced in Shanken's Impact Newsletter) must have annual depletions of at least 50,000 cases and no more than 200,000 cases, while having achieved at least 15% growth in 2010 and solid progress in the two years prior to that.
A total of 72 brands are on this year’s list, 28 of which sold more than 100,000 cases. Several are likely to pass the 200,000-case threshold and enter Impact “Hot Brand” territory by year-end—including Red Stag,
So, naturally, having proved flavored bourbon is a viable segment, Beam is preparing to release two new flavors. Here's what Rob Mason, Director, U.S. Bourbons, Beam, had to say in an email received yesterday.
"Red Stag Black Cherry by Jim Beam has been one of our greatest success stories in years, and it helped us pioneer a new segment in the category. Now we’re adding two new members to the herd! Coming in early 2012, we’re extremely excited to announce the launch of not one, but TWO new Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskeys infused with natural flavors: Red Stag Honey Tea and Red Stag Spiced."
This also marks a new policy by Beam. Last year it got silly when they fully announced Knob Creek Single Barrel to the trade but wouldn't confirm it for the consumer press. These days you just can't keep something like that bottled up, and Beam seems to have figured that out. Good for them. Smart companies learn from their mistakes. (Hear that, Diageo?)