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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Beverage Bulletin: Notes from the Drinks World

Washington Fire Consumes Hops: A fire at a Yakima, Wash., warehouse on Monday destroyed an estimated 4 percent of the U.S. hop crop. S.S. Steiner Inc., one of the largest hop buyers in Washington, operated the warehouse. There were 10,000 200-pound bales of hops in the warehouse at the time of the fire. American growers produce 24 percent of the world's hops and nearly 75 percent of those come from the Yakima Valley.

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Expensive Sip: A case of Chateau Mouton-Rothschild 1985 was sold for a world-record $345,000 at a Christie's auction in Los Angeles recently.

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Canadian Whiskey Changes Hands: Sazerac Co. has purchased the Rich & Rare and Royal Canadian Canadian whiskey brands from France's Pernod Ricard.

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New Kentucky Whiskey: Heaven Hill in Bardstown, Ky., is releasing Rittenhouse Very Rare Straight Rye, a 21 year old whiskey. The brand will sell for $150 per bottle. There are 3,000 bottles available.

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George Would be Proud: The publisher of Wine Spectator, Marvin Shanken, apparently also enjoys good whiskey. At a fundraising auction attended by Britain's Prince Andrew, Shanken paid $100,000 for the first bottle of whiskey made from George Washington's recipe in 200 years.

Shanken immediately donated Bottle No. 1 to go on display in the George Washington Distillery Museum, set to open to the public in April, located near Mount Vernon. Washington ran a distillery on his estate at the time of his death in 1799.

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More for Moscow: Vodka maker Russian Standard Co., has a new $60 million distillery operating in St. Petersburg. The new facility will produce up to 4 million cases of vodka per year, doubling the company's capacity. Russian Standard controls two-thirds of Russia`s premium vodka market.

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