Release Radar: Vodka Cruiser Cola, Mark Wahlberg visits Aus for Tequila launch, Heaps Normal charity beer, & more

March 21, 2024
By Cody Profaca

Four Pillars Sticky Carpet Gin re-release 

Four Pillars’ Sticky Carpet Gin has returned due to popular demand, this time using Little Creatures Pale Ale in place of roasted stout to extract more lifted aromatics.

“Sticky Carpet Gin has become one of our most requested limited-edition gins to bring back from the archives, and I can’t wait to get it out there,” said Head Distiller Cameron Mackenzie. 

In addition to Little Creatures beer, the distillation features a base spirit and dried botanical mix of juniper, coriander, barley, cassia, macadamia nuts, orris root, lemon myrtle, honey, lavender, ginger, and lemon peel. A bag of Cascade and Chinook hops was also hung above the spirit to extract the aromatics in a way that is similar to the botanical basket only at a higher temperature, thus boosting extraction. 

“In a way, this is the closest we’ve come to making a Jenever-style of gin,” said Mackenzie.

“It’s a dense canvas of resin-y juniper with deep brown spice notes. There’s a chewy, malty hop character that hangs onto the macadamia nut and it’s a touch fruity with bright citrus notes, too.”

The re-release will be complemented by a free party at Hotel Esplanade in St Kilda, Melbourne. Hotel Esplanade claims to have the stickiest carpet in Australia and was the original inspiration for Four Pillars’ 2019 Sticky Carpet Gin release. 

Heaps Normal x Who Gives A Crap collab 

Heaps Normal have partnered up with Who Gives a Crap (WGAC) for a limited edition non-alcoholic IPA that will donate more than half of total profits to charity. 

50% of its earnings will be invested into charities that help to build toilets, with Heaps Normal pledging to donate an additional $1.50 per can to WaterAid to help increase worldwide access to clean water and sanitation. 

“Both Heaps Normal and Who Gives A Crap are taking on the big guys and showing that you can have a lot of fun, while delivering a seriously positive impact,” said Andy Miller, Co-Founer at Heaps Normal. 

“Oh, and it’s my new favourite beer. You’ll be bummed if you miss it.” 

The Heaps Normal Cheeky IPA is brewed locally in Australia using the same ingredients as regular alcoholic beer. Made in a West Coast style, expect resinous and piney flavours with pleasant, refreshing bitterness.

The Cheeky IPA is available for purchase online as a standalone 4-pack at $16.99 or as part of a toilet paper or paper towel bundle. It will also be available in a limited number of bars from late April onwards.

Vodka Cruiser Cola

Vodka Cruiser has unveiled two new flavours in the form of Vodka Cruiser Vanilla Cola and Vodka Cruiser Black Cherry Cola. 

“If Lush Guava had a dark twin…it would be Vanilla or Black Cherry Cola,” said Vodka Cruiser Brand Manager Georgina Chao.

“The flavours are bold & perfect for fans of fruity Cruisers as well as those who love a classic taste. We know how important innovation is to the RTD category and flavour is a key driver of choice for our drinkers. 

“Exploring these flavours has been an exciting opportunity to pursue for Vodka Cruiser as the #1 light RTD brand as we seek to grow the category.” 

Vodka Cruiser will be unveiling a number of national campaigns to launch the new products over coming months. Both products are already available for purchase nationwide. 

Flecha Azul Tequila has arrived to Australia

Flecha Azul Tequila, backed by actor Mark Wahlberg, has successfully launched into the Australian market this week. The Australian expansion marks the brand’s third significant foray onto the global stage following launches in Mexico and Canada last year.

To begin with, three Flecha Azul Tequilas have been brought to Australia: the Flecha Azul Blanco, the Flecha Azul Reposado, and the Flecha Azul Añejo. The brand is being backed by actor Mark Wahlberg, who will be supporting its Australian launch in person via bar takeovers and bottle signings. 

“I’m excited to be here as Australians get to experience their first taste of Flecha Azul,” said Wahlberg. 

“This is an additive-free, authentic Mexican tequila, and my goal is for the world to try it! Australia is a huge step in that direction and we’re so happy to be here.”

The Flecha Azul Tequila range is being brought into Australia by Vanguard Luxury Brands and is available now at select First Choice Liquor Market and Vintage Cellars stores. The Blanco has an RRP $120, the Reposado $130, and the Añejo $160.

“The launch comes as the country is experiencing a tequila boom, with sales across our stores almost doubling in the past five years, making it one of the fastest growing spirits in the market,” said Mia Lloyd, Coles Liquor General Manager.

More information is available here.

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