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Stoli Group readies mezcal category entry - just-drinks exclusive

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The spirits arm of SPI Group, Stoli Group, is to launch a mezcal brand as it continues to expand its portfolio.

Stoli Groups Se Busca mezcal brand will launch in April

Stoli Group's Se Busca mezcal brand will launch in April

Se Busca, described as a super-premium mezcal, will launch in April, Stoli has confirmed to just-drinks. The brand is distilled in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Speaking to just-drinks late last week, Stoli Group CEO Hugues Pietrini described mezcal as a fragmented but exciting category that has a lot of potential. "There is a real demand from a lot of our customers these days in high-end mixology," he said. "They are playing a lot in mezcal."

Pietrini added that Se Busca sales will focus on the premium on-premise, with the brand unlikely to be sold in retail.

Mezcal is becoming an increasingly-competitive category. The George Clooney-backed Casamigos Spirits Co, a Tequila producer that Diageo bought last year in a deal worth up to US$1bn, announced Casamigos Mezcal earlier this month.

Pietrini, however, questioned companies that release mezcal under Tequila brand names. "I find very strange," he said. "Tequila is not mezcal. It does not come from the same region and it is not made with the same process."

Se Busca joins another new Stoli Group brand, Cenote Tequila, which was unveiled last year. Cenote is produced at the Fabrica de Tequilas Finos distillery SPI bought into in 2016.

To read just-drinks' exclusive interview with Stoli's Hugues Pietrini, click here.

What's coming up in spirits in 2018? - Click here for just-drinks' predictions for the year ahead


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