Chug-a-Lug Krug

Just in time for picnic season, Champagne Krug is selling what it calls the Ultimate Sixpack: six 375-milliliter bottles of Krug Grand Cuvee. It's $310, but that price includes a wooden carrying case with burgundy-colored silk handles.

A Slug of Louisville

The other shoe has dropped in Bourbon-land. Heaven Hill Distilleries Inc., which had lost its distilling plant in Bardstown, Ky., in a spectacular 1996 fire, put an end to speculation by purchasing the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville on April 30.

Since the fire, Heaven Hill had been renting facilities from various other Kentucky distilleries (not including Bernheim) to make its Bourbon brands, which include Evan Williams, Elijah Craig and Henry McKenna. The Louisville plant, the most computerized in the Bourbon industry, will be known as Heaven Hill Distillery, Bernheim Facility. The whiskey will be aged in Bardstown.

Bernheim's former owner, United Distillers, will continue to make I.W. Harper, but it has sold the rest of its Bourbon brands except for Tennessee-made George Dickel. The Rebel Yell brand now belongs to the David Sherman Co., which markets Ezra Brooks and Bourbon Supreme. Sazerac Co. of New Orleans, which markets Bourbon brands such as Ancient Age and Blanton's, now owns the rights to sell Old Charter and W.L. Weller.

Heaven Hill has acquired the rights to one United Distillers brand, Old Fitzgerald, which uses wheat in place of the traditional rye in its formula. "This will be Heaven Hill's first wheated Bourbon," marketing director Susan Overton says.

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