Diageo Distillers Company Limited, afgekortD.C.L.is de voorloper vanDiageo.
1877 Distillers Company Limited (D.C.L.)wordt opgericht door zes graan distilleerderijen: Port Dundas:D. McFarlane & Co Carsebridge:John Bald & Co Cambus:Robert Moubray Kirkliston:Stewart & Co
1886D.C.L. wordt naar de effectenbeurs gebracht 1912 D.C.L. neemt Ainslie & Heilbron Ltd :over 1917 D.C.L. neemt J. & G. Stewart over 1919D.C.L. neemt John Haig & Co over D.C.L. neemt Andrew Usher & Co Ltd over 1920D.C.L. neemt Bulloch & Lade over 1921D.C.L. neemt James Calder & Co over 1922 DC.L. neemt samen met Walker en Buchanan
Robertson & Baxter over 1924 D.C.L. neemt Peter Dawson over D.C.L. neemt John Haig over 1925 The Big Amalgation: D.C.L. gaat samen met Buchanan-Dewar en Walker 1925 D.C.L. neemt W.P. Lowrie & Co over 1925D.C.L. neemt Scottish Malt Distillers over, gesticht door
Clydesdale, Glenkinchie,Rosebank, St. Magdalene en Grange. 1925 D.C.L. neemt Macdonald, Greenlees & Williams over 1927 D.C.L. neemt White Horse Distillers over 1929 D.C.L. neemt Benmore Distilleries Ltd over, eigenaars van
Benmore, Dallas DhuLochhead en Lochindaal 1937 D.C.L. neemt Sanderson & Booth over 1944 D.C.L. neemt A. & A. Crawford over 1953 D.C.L. neemt Train & Mclntyre over 1963 D.C.L. neemt John Crabbie & Co, Ltd over 1982 D.C.L. brengt de serie 'The Ascot Malt Cellar' uit: Rosebank 8 years old,
Linkwood12 years old, Talisker 8 years old, Lagavulin 12 years old,
en twee vatted maltsStrathconnan en Glenleven, dit was de voorloper van de 'Six Classic Malts' 1986 D.C.L. verkoopt A. & A. Crawford aan Whyte & Mackay 1986 Argyll biedt £ 2,5 biljoen voor D.C.L. 1987 D.C.L. wordt tegen zijn zin overgenomen door Guinness
1756 Arthur Guinness & Son & Co wordt gesticht 1985 Guinness Group neemt tegen hun zin Arthur Bell & Sons Ltd
over voor £ 356 miljoen 1988 Arthur Bell & Sons en de Distillers Company Limited (D.C.L.)
wordensamengevoegd en de nieuwe naam wordt United Distillers Ltd 1988 United Distillers Ltd brengt de 'Six Classic Malts' uit:
Glenkichie 10 years old,Dalwhinnie 15 years old, Cragganmore 12 years old,
Oban 14 years old,Talisker 10 years old en Lagavulin 16 years old .'Mike Collings and Roy MacMillan were given the task to increase
the presence in the single malt segment and they came with the idea of
The Classic Malts of Scotland, Mike
Collings also developed the Rare Malts concept as marketing director of
United Distillers. 1990 Guinness en L V M H nemen over en weer voor 12 % aandelen in elkaar 1993 United Distillers verkoopt Benromach aan Gordon & Macphail, Elgin 1997 Guinness en Grand Metropolitan fuseren, de nieuwe naam wordt Diageo,
en United Distillers en International Distillers and Vintners (I.D.V.) worden
samengevoegd en gaan verder als United Distillers & Vintners (U.D.V.) 1998 Diageo verkoopt Dewars en Bombay aan Bacardi voor £ 1.150 miljoen 2001 Pernod Ricard en Diageo kopen Seagram Spirits & Wine van Vivendi
Universal voor £ 5.710 miljoen .De Chivas groep komt bij Pernod Ricard 2004 Moet Hennessy, het eigendom van Diageo en L V M H koopt Glenmorangie
plc voor £ 300 miljoen 2005 Pernod Ricard verkoopt Bushmills aan Diageo
Einde 2006 Diageobrengt
THE NEW COLLECTIONuit Lowland: Glenkinchie,10; years old 43 % Coastal: Clynelish,14 years old 46 % Islay: Caol Ila, 12 years old 43 % Skye: Talisker,10 years old 45,8 % Speyside: Glen Elgin, 12 years old 43 % Highland: Glen Ord, 12 years old 43 %
Diageo Onderstaande distilleerderijen zijn of waren in het bezit vanDistillers Company Limited, (D.C.L.) Scottish Malt Distillers Limitd, (S.M.D.), Guinness, Diageo, United Distillers & Vintners. (U.D.V.)
1 = Distilleerderij 2 = gesticht in 3 = overgenomen door D.C.L, S.M.D, Guinness, Diageo, U.D.V. 4 / 5 = in de mottenballen sinds; verkocht aan
1 2 3 4 / 5
Aberfeldy 1896 1925 1998 Bacardi Martini neemt John Dewar & Sons over voor £ 1.150miljoen, inclusief vijf distilleerderijen .
Ardbeg 1794 1973 D.C.L neemt, samen met Hiram Walker Ardbeg over voor£300.000.
Auchroisk 1972 1997 Grand Metropilitan en Diageo fuseren Aultmore 1896 1925 Dewar & Sons wordt onderdeel van D.C.L. .
Balmenach 1824 1925 1993 1997 Inver House Distillers Banff 1824 1932 S.M.D onderdeel van D.C.L. koopt Banff . 1993 1985 wordt gesloopt Benrinnes 1826 1925 John Dewar & Sons wordt onderdeel van D.C.L. Benromach 1898 1953 1983 1993 Gordon & Macphail, Elgin Bladnoch 1817 1985 Guinness Group neemt Arthur Bell & Sons over . 1993 1994 Raymond Armstrong Blair Athol 1798 1985 Guinness Group neemt Arthur Bell & Sons over Brora 1819 de naam is dan Clynelish . D.C.L. neemt samen met John Risk Ainslie & Heilbron over . 1925 D.C.L.koopt James Risk uit . 1967 een nieuwe distelleerderij wordt gebouwd, naast de oude, beiden produceren onder de naam Clynelish
. 1968 de 'oude' Clynelish gaat in de mottenballen . . 1969 de ‚oude' Clynelish wordt weer opgestart, nu als Clynelish No. 2 en ook Clynelish B
. 1972 Clynelish B gebruikt vanaf heden zwaar geturfrookte mout ,v . 1975 vanafheden wordt Clynelish B, Brora genoemd . 1983 Brora wordt gesloten Caol Ila 1846 1920 Bulloch Lade & Co gaat in liquidatie, D.C.L.Robertson & John Dewar & Sons worden de nieuwe eigenaars . . 1927 D.L.C. wordt de alleen eigenaar Cardhu 1824 1925 John Walker & Sons gaat deel uitmaken van D.C.L Cardow Clynelish 1967 zie ook Brora Coleburn 1897 1916 een consortium bestaande uit D.C.L. John Risk en John Walker, wordt eigenaar van Coleburn .
. 1985 2004 het gebouwencomplex wordt verkocht aan de gebroeders Dale .en Mark Winchester, die er een activiteiten centrum van willen maken met een hotel
Convalmore 1893 1925 D.C.L neem t James Buchanan & Co over . 1985 1990 William Grant & Sons nemen Convalmore over, om te gebruiken als lagerpakhuis voor hun Glenfiddich en Balvenie malt . .
Cragganmore 1869 1927 White Horse Distillers wordt overgenomen door D.C.L. en D.C.L komt zo in het bezit van 50 % in Cragganmore .
. 1965 D.C.L.word t de alleen eigenaar Craigellachie 1891 1927 White Horse Distillers wordt overgenomen door D.C.L. . 1998 U.D.V. verkoopt Craigellachie, Aberfeldy, Royal Brackla, Aultmore en John Dewar & Sons aan Bacardi Martini .
Dailuaine 1852 1925 Dallas Dhu 1898 1929 D.C.L. neemt Benmore Distilleries Ltd over . 1983 1986 Historic Scotland wordt nieuwe eigenaar, en maakt er een toeritische attractie van .
Dalwhinnie 1897 1926 MacDonald & Greenlees & Williams Ltd, wordt overgenomen door D.C.L
Dufftown 1895 1985 Guinness neemt Arthur Bell & Sons over Glen Albyn 1844 1972 D.C.L. Neemt Mackinlay & Birnie Ltd over . 1983 1986 gesloopt Glendullan 1896 1926 D.C.L. neemt MacDonald Greenlees & Williams Ltd over . 1972 een nieuwe distilleerderij wordt gebouwd naast de oude, beiden zijn in bedrijf .
. 1985 oudste distilleerderij gaat in de mottenballen Glen Elgin 1898 1930 S.M.D.neemt Glen Elgin over Glenesk 1897 1954 D.C.L.neemt Glenesk over, om te gebruiken als lager-pakhuizen. . .
De mouterij blijft in gebruik. . 1959 de grain distilleerderij wordt weer opgestart . 1964 de malt distilleerderij weer opgestart . 1985 Glen Garioch 1797 1937 D.C.L.neemt Booth Distilleries Ltd over, gin producent,die in 1908 W. Sanderson, van V A T 69 had overgenomen . . 1968 1970 Stanley P. Morrison Ltd (van Bowmore) Glenkinchie 1825 1925 D.C.L. neemt S.M.D. over (toen Glenkinchie,Rosebank, Clydesdale, .St. Magdalene en Grange)
Glenlochy 1898 1953 D.C.L.neemt Train & Mclntyre over . 1983 1992 West Coast Inns Ltd, er wordt een hotel gebouwd, de kiln enpagoda moeten blijven staan: historisch erfgoed
Glenlossie 1876 1919 . 1971 er wordt een nieuwe distilleerderij naast gebouwd, Mannochmore .beide distillederijen zijn in bedrijf
Glen Mhor 1892 1972 D.C.L. neemt Mackinlay & Birnie Ltd over . 1983 1986 gesloopt Glen Ord 1838 1925 John Dewar & Sons wordt deel van D.C.L. Glen Spey 1878 1997 Diageo en Grand Metrpolitan fuseren Glentauchers 1897 1925 Buchanan - Dewar gaan deel uitmaken van D.C.L. . 1985 1989 U.D.V. verkoopt Glentauchers aan Caledonian Malt WhiskyDistillers, onderdeel van Allied Distillers .
Glenury Royal 1825 1953 D.C.L.neemt Associated Scottish Malt Distillers over . 1985 1992 het gebouwencomplex wordt verkocht aan een onroerendgoed maatschappij .
Imperial 1897 1916 D.C.L. koopt samen met Dewar, Walker en J.P. Lowrie Dailuaine -Talisker Distilleries Ltd
. 1925 de distilleerderij sluit, de mouterij blijft in bedrijf . 1955 de distilleerderij wordt weer opgestart . 1985 1989 Allied Distillers . 1988 in de mottenballen . 1991 de distilleerderij wordt weer opgestart Inchgower 1871 1985 Guinnees s neemt Arthur Bell & Sons over Knockando 1898 1997 Guinness en Grand Metropiltan fuseren en vormen Diageo Knockdhu 1893 1983 1988 Inver House . 1989 de distilleerderij wordt weer opgestart Lagavulin 1816 1908 Malt Mill gebouwd binnen Lagavulin complex . . 1927 White Horse Distillers gaat deel uitmaken van D.C.L. . 1960 Malt Mill sluit en is nu het bezoekerscentrum van Lagavulin Linkwood 1821 1932 . 1971 een nieuwe distilleerderij wordt naast de oude gebouwd:Linkwood B, beiden zijn in bedrijf .
1971 zieGlenlossie Millburn 1805 1937 Sanderson & Booth (van respectievelijk V A T 69 en de ginproducent) worden overgenomen door D.C.L. .
. 1985 1988 wordt restaurant: The Auld Distillery Mortlach D.C.L.. neemt John Walker & Sons over North Port 1820 1922 D.C.L.. neemt W.H. Holt Ltd over . 1983 1993 gesloopt Oban 1793 1925 D.C.L. neemt Buchanan Dewar over Pittyvaich 1974 1985 Guinness neemt Arthur Bell & Sons over . . 1983 2002 gesloopt Port Ellen 1825 1925 Buchanan - Dewar gaan deel uitmaken van D.C.L. . 1983 1987 gesloten, mouterij blijft in bedrijf t.b.v. de overige distilleerderijen op Islay .
Pulteney 1826 1925 Buchanan - Dewar gaan deel uitmaken van D.C.L. . 1951Robert Cumming, die ook Balblair koopt . 1930 Rosebank 1798 1919 D.C.L. neemt S.M.D. over (toen Glenkichie, Clydedale, Rosebank, St.Magdalene en Grange)
. 1993 2002 British Waterways, die er een restaurant, kantoren en flatswillen gaan bouwen .
Royal Brackla . 1812 1943 S.M.D. neemt John Bisset & Company Ltd 1985
. 1991 de distilleerderij wordt weer opgestart . 1998 Bacardi Martini neemt John Dewar & Sons, . over van Diageo, en daarmee ook de distilleerderijen, Brackla,Aberfeldy, Aultmore, Craigellachie .
1823 1925 John Dewar & Sons gaat deel uitmaken van D.C.L.
1795 1912 D.C.L.. neemt A. & J Dawson over . 1914 St. Magdalene is één van de vijf stichters van S.M.D. ; samen met Rosebank, Grange, Clydesdale en Glenkichie .
1995 en 2002 verbouwd tot luxe flats Speyburn 1897 1916 D.C.L neemt John Hopkins & Co over . 1991 Inver House Distillers Strathmill1891 1997 Grand Metropolitan fuseren en vormen Diageo Talisker 1830 1916 D.C.L, John Walker, John Dewar en W.P. Lowrie nemen Dailuaine - Talisker Distilleries over, waarbij ook distilleerderij Imperial .
Teaninich1817 1970 D.C.L. koopt Teaninich van de erven van Robert Innes Cameron een nieuwe distilleerderij wordt gebouwd naast de oude: A Side . . 1984 oude distilleerderij (B Side) gaat in de mottenballen . 1985 A Side gaat in de mottenbaleen.
1999 gesloten Tobermory1798 1916 D.C.L.. neemt John Hopkins & Company over 1930 DISTILLERS COMPANY LIMITED 1. Ainslie & Heilbron (Distillers) Ltd, Glasgow 2. Baird - Taylor Ltd, Glasgow 3. John Begg Ltd, Glasgow 4. Benmore Distillers ltd, Glasgow 5. J.A. Bertram & Co, Ltd, Edinburgh 6. John Bisset & Co, Ltd, Edinburgh 7. James Buchanan & Co, Ltd, Edinburgh 8. Bulloch Lade & Co, Ltd, Glasgow 9. Geo. Cowie & Son, Dufftown 10. John Crabbie & Co, Ltd, Edinburgh 11. Craighall Bonding Co, Ltd, Glasgow 12. A. & A. Crawford & Co, Ltd, Glasgow 13. Daniel Crawford & Co. Ltd, Glasgow 14. The Distillers Agency Ltd, South Queens - ferry
15. Peter Dawson Ltd, Glasgow
16. John Dewar & Sons Ltd, Perth 17. A. Ferguson & Co, Ltd, Edinburgh
22. J.W. Hardie Ltd, Edinburgh 23. J.R. Harvey & Co, Ltd, Glasgow 24. John Hopkins & Co, Ltd, Glasgow 25. Low Robertson & Co, Ltd, Edinburgh 26. W.P. Lowrie & Co, Ltd Glasgow 27. Macdonald Greenlees Ltd, Edinburgh 28. Macleay Duff (Distillers) Ltd, Glasgow 29. D. & J. McCallum Ltd, Edinburgh 30. John McEwan & Co, Ltd, Edinburgh 31. Mitchell Bross, Ltd, Glasgow 32. Jas. Munro & Son Ltd, Edinburgh 33. John Robertson & Son Ltd, Edinburgh 34. Wm. Sanderson & Son Ltd, Edinburgh 35. Slater, Rodger & Co, Ltd, Glasgow 36. J. & G. Stewart Ltd, Edinburgh 37. R.H. Thomson & Co, (Distillers) Ltd, Edinburgh 38. John Walker & Sons Ltd, London 39. James Watson & Co, Ltd, Dundee\ 40. White Horse Distillers Ltd, Glasgow 41. Wright & Greig Ltd, Glasgow 42. J.R. Harvey & Co, Ltd, Glasgow 43. John Hopkins & Co, Ltd, Glasgow 44. Low Robertson & Co, Ltd, Edinburgh 45. W.P. Lowrie & Co, Ltd Glasgow 46. Macdonald Greenlees Ltd, Edinburgh 47. Macleay Duff (Distillers) Ltd, Glasgow 48. D. & J. McCallum Ltd, Edinburgh 49. John McEwan & Co, Ltd, Edinburgh 50. Mitchell Bross, Ltd, Glasgow 51. Jas. Munro & Son Ltd, Edinburgh 52. John Robertson & Son Ltd, Edinburgh 53. Wm. Sanderson & Son Ltd, Edinburgh 54. Slater, Rodger & Co, Ltd, Glasgow 55. J. & G. Stewart Ltd, Edinburgh 56. R.H. Thomson & Co, (Distillers) Ltd, Edinburgh 57. John Walker & Sons Ltd, London 58. James Watson & Co, Ltd, Dundee\ 59. White Horse Distillers Ltd, Glasgow 60. Wright & Greig Ltd, Glasgow
April 2009 Diageo / L M V H Diageoleek altijd een buitengewoon saai bedrijf met weinig vreemd vermogen. Maar hetzelfde conservatisme zou 's werelds grootste drankenproducent nu wel eens kunnen helpen om de 10 miljard Euro of meer te vinden die nodig zijn om de drankendivisie vanL M V Hover te nemen. Althans als de Franse luxegoederenproducent die ook wil verkopen.
VoorDiageois het zeker zinvol de 66 % vanMoet Hennessyte kopen die nog niet in zijn bezit is. Dat watDiageo- topmanPaul Walsheen "luxepremie" noemt, kan een krachtige verdediging van de winstmarge opleveren tegen de toenemende "normalisering"van de bedrijfstak.
De cognacs en champagnes vanMoet Hennessyhebben immers een zeer luxueuze uitstraling.
Diageokan bogen op een betrekkelijk sterke balans; de netto schuld komt overeen met 2,5 maal de winst vóór belastingen. Nu de kapitaalmarkten weer wat meer opengaan, kanDiageo De financiering van een deal waarschijnlijk wel rond krijgen, voor gelijke delen in schuldenen aandelen . het vooruitzicht op synergievoordelen steltDiageoin staat een aantrekkelijk bod uit te brengen - misschien wel 12,5 maal de winst, na aftrek van de marketing kosten, hetgeenBacardiin 2004 ook voorGrey Gooseheeft betaald - zonder concessies te hoeven doen aan de winst.
Bovendien heeftDiageoalle redenen om een transactie erdoor te drukken. De handen van hetconcern zijn gebonden door een ingewikkelde aandeelhoudersovereenkomst rondomMoet Hennessy.Het mag geen andere cognacproducenten overnemen, en kan niet onder de huidige regeling uit zonder een hoge boete te moeten betalen.
MaarDiageoheeft wel een partner nodig. En ook al gonst de markt van de geruchten, er isvoorL M V Hgeen voor de hand liggende reden om mee te doen. Hoewel de drankenomzet van het concern door het opmaken van de voorraden in het eerste kwartaal met maar liefst 22procent is gedaald, maakt de devisie over het algemeen een zeer solide indruk, zeker in verge- lijking met de veel temperamentvollere modemerken vanL M V HenL V M Hheeft het geld beslist niet nodig. De schuldenlast bedroeg eind 2008 slechts 28procent van het aandelenkapitaal.
April 2009 Diageo / L M V H Het concern mag dan wellicht overnameplannen hebben, de aanlokkelijkste kandidatenbijvoorbeeld HermesofPatek Phillipe- lijken buiten bereik te liggen,omdat ze zijn opgesloten in complexestructuren van familieaandeelhouders
Diageokan en wilMoet Hennessymisschien wel overnemen vanL M V H,maar alsBernard Arnault,de grootste aandeelhouder van dat concern, niet van gedachtenverandert,zal die wens voorlopig onvervuld blijven.
Juli 2009 Bryan Donaghey,directeurSchotlandmaakt bekent datPort Dundas,Dundashill CooperageenKilmarnoc Packagingworden gesloten, dit gaat ten koste van veel banen
De emballage fabriek teFifewordt uitgebreid en komen er 400 nieuwe arbeidsplaatsen bij, teClackmannanshirewordt een nieuwe kuiperij gesticht
In Cameronbridge DistilleryteFifewordt doorlopend geïnvesteerd: de afgelopen twee jaar was dir 40.000.000 Pound, en voor de komende tijd is 65.000.000 Pound geplant
In de zomer van2011wordt voor 9.000.000 Pound een nieuwe kuiperij gebouwd teCambusbijAlloa
De kuiperij vanCarsebridgewordt gesloten
Diageovermindert de emballage fabrieken van drie naar twee
De investeringen worden geconcentreerd op twee lokaties:GlasgowenFife
Er gaat 86.000.000 naar deLeven Packaging PlantteFife
In deShieldhall Packaging PlantteGlasgowwas al 15.000.000 Pounds geïnvesteerd, hierbijkomen nog 3.000.000 Pound
2009 Onderstaande 28 distilleerderijen zijn nu het eigendom vanDiageo: Capaciteit in liters pure alcohol: Auchroisk:3580.000 Benrinnes:2540.000 Blair Athol:1940.000 Caol Ila:3650.000 Cardhu:2390.000 Clynelish:4200.000 Cragganmore:1520.000 Dailuaine:3370.000 Dalwhinnie:2200.000 Dufftown :4120.000 Glendullan:3360.000 Glen Elgin:1830.000 Glenkinchie:1750.000 Glenlossie:2140.000 Glen Ord:5000.000 Glen Spey:1390.000 Inchgower:1990.000 Knockando:1290.000 Lagavulin:2250.000 Linkwood:2240.000 Mannochmore; 3220.000 Mortlach:2910.000 Oban: 670.000 Roseisle: 10.000.000 Royal Lochnagar:450.000 Strathmill:1700.000 Talisker:1940.000 Teaninich:4000.000
January 2009: DiageoandUnited Spirits (owner of Whyte & Mackay)confirmed that they were involved in a possible collaborationThe outcome could be thatUnited Spiritssells a 15 % stakeDiageo.
April It is said thatDiageowas interested in theSpirits division of L V M HDiageohad already a 34 % stake inMoet Hennessy,L V M Hwants 10.6 billion Pound, July China Investment Corpacquired 1.1 % ofDiageovalued $365 million
DIAGEO SPECIAL RELEASES October 2009:
Benrinnes 1985 - 2009 23 years old 58.5 % 6000 flessen Brora 30 years old 53.2 % 2958 flessen Mannochmore 1990 - 2009 18 years old 54.9 % 2604 flessen Pittyvaich 1989 - 2009 20 years old 57.5 % 6000 flessen Port Ellen 1979 - 2009 30 years old 57.5 % 5916 flessen Talisker 25 years old 54.8 % 5862 flessen Talisker 30 years old 53.1 % 3000 flessen Caol Ila 1998 - 2009 1o years old 65.8 % 6000 flessen
The Manager's Choice Single Cask Selection
Op 17 februari jl. heeft deBlair Atholdistilleerderij in de Schotse Hooglanden geschiedenisgeschreven met een nieuwe speciale botteling.
Op die dag in februari zijn een selecte groep distilleerderijmanagers en zintuiglijke whiskyexperts bij elkaar gekomen om handgeselecteerde single malt vaten uit 27 distilleerderijente beoordelen. Ze hadden één resultaat in gedachten; welke vaten hiervan zijn exceptioneel ?cask strenght als: The Manager's Choice Single Cask Selection
Er komen vier releases:
1e Release in September 2009: 1997 Cardhu, gerijpt in een Bourbon Barrel 57.3 % 252 flessen gebotteld 1998 Glen Elgin, gerijpt in een Sherry Butt 61.1 % 534 flessen gebotteld 1996 Linkwood gerijpt in een Bourbon Barrel 58.3 % 480 flessen gebotteld 1997 Mortlach gerijpt in een Sherry Butt 57.3 % 240 flessen gebotteld 2000 Oban gerijpt in een Sherry Butt 58.7 % 534 flessen gebotteld 1996 Teaninich gerijpt in een Bourbon Barrel 55.3 % 246 flessen gebotteld
De 2e Release volgt in Januari 2010 met: Blair Athol, Cragganmore, Dalwhinnie, Glen Spey, Strathmill en Talisker
InMaart 2010volgt de 3e Release: Caol Ila, Dailuaine, Glen Ord, Glenkinchie, Inchgower,Mannochmore en Royal Lochnagar
De4e Releasekomt uit inJuni 2010: Auchroisk, Benrinnes, Clynelish, Glendullan, Glenlossie, Knockando en Lagavulin
Totaal gaat het om 27 verschillende Single Malt Whiskies, tot nu toe zijn er dus 26 bekendnummer 27 zou kunnen zijn Dufftown en wellicht Roseisle ? !
RoseisleDistillery will be officially opened on11 Octoberby chief executivePaulWash. The site nearElginis capable of producing up to 12,6 million litres ofSpeysidesingle malt whisky each
year and is designed to quench the thirst of the growingnumber ofScotchdrinkers inAfrica, Asia
28 June 2011 Diageohas plans for a 10 million pounds to redevelop hisDailuainedistilleryto help increase the whisky production. The plans would see an upgrade of the existingbio - plantatDailuainedistillerywhich deals with whiskyby - productsfrom a number of distilleries from the groupopening the potential for future productioncapacity increases inSpeyside.It is also possible that the investments could rise to about 20 million pounds to increase capacity at other distilleries by more than 10 million litres per annum.
17 August 2011 CAMERONBRIDGE DISTILLERY 10.000 litres of nitric acid spiled from a container, some of the acid mixedwith water releasing dangerous gases into an outer safety tank. Cameronbridgegrain whisky is used inDiageo'sbrandsJohnnie Walker,J & B,HaigandWhite Horseblends.Also the neutral grain spirit forArchers,Pimm's Smirnoff and the gin'sGordonandTanqueray
8 September 2012 Diageo plc,United Breweries (Holdings)andUnited Spirits Limitedhaveannounced thatDiageoacquires a 27.4 %stake inU S L = United Spirits LtdfromtheIndian ownerVijay Mallya, whichis 660.000.000 pound and would givesDiageoa 53.4 % and also controllingstakein the holding if public shareholders accept the offer.Vijay Mallya also owns the lossmaking Indian airline Kingfisher
Diageowill pay 25.000.000 for its shareof the Joint Venture.Vijay Mallyawill retain as a chairman.Vijay Mallyais also owner ofWhyte &Mackay DistillersinScotland.
DiageoandVijay Mallyahave also agreed to form a 50 / 50 Joint Venture who will ownUnited National Breweriesbeer business inSouth Africa.
20 August 2012 Diageoprepares a bid forJose Cuervo, the oldest and best sellingTequillain the world. Diageoalready distributesCuervoworldwide
Diageoalso invested a 14.000.000 pound in theVietnamese Hanoi Liqueur Joint StockCompanyand has boughtYpioca,Brazil'sleading Brand for a 300.000.000 pound. AndDiageowill also invest 5.000.000.000 pound in Scotch Whisky production over thenext 5 years.
April 2013 Diageohas namedTeaninichnearAlnessas the location for its plans to build a new 50 million pound new malt whisky distillery and will be adjacent the existingTeaninichdistillery but will have its own name and indentity and will have the capacity to produce 13 millionlitres of spirit p[er annum from its 16 stills.Diageoalso invest 12 million pound in expanding the Teaninichdistillery to almost doubless capacity.The site will also feature a bio - energy plant.The work will begin in2014.
Diageoalso will invest inMortlachdistillery in building a new still house and an other investment will be atGlendullandistillery to process co products in an anaerobicdigestion process, producing bio - gas which will be used to power theGlendullandistillery.
There are also expansion and upgrade developments for more then 40 million pound inLinkwood, Mannochmore, Glendullan, Dailuaine, Benrinnes, Inchgower, Cragganmore,Glen Elgin, GlenOrdand in a newbio - energie plantsinGlenlossieandDailuaine.Also new warehouses are build atClunynearKirkcaldy.And atTalisker a new visitor centre is build for a 1 million pound.
8 June 2013 U.S. Diageohas purchasedCabin Fever Maple Flavoured Whiskyfrom theRobillard Familyto capitalise on two grow trends in theU.S. flavoured whiskeyandcraft distillingproducts. The Brand will be the newest addition toDiageo's Catalyst Divisionwhich focuses on whatDiageocalls"High Potential Brands".
6 May 2013 Ivan Menezeswill succeedPaul Walshas new leader ofDiageoon1 July 2013.Paul Walshwill step down from the Board onSeptember 2013and retire fromDiageoon30 June 2014. Ivan Menezesis member of the board and joinedDiageoin1997.
THE MANAGER'S CHOICE / SINGLE CASK SELECTION
Auchroisk Benrinnes Blair Athol Caol Ila Cardhu Clynelish Cragganmore Dailuaine Dalwhinnie Dufftown Glendullan Glen Elgin Glenkinchie Glenlossie Glen Ord Glen Spey Inchgower Knockando Lagavulin Linkwood Mannochmore Mortlach Oban Royal Lochnagar Strathmill Talisker Teaninich Diageocompletes £150m warehouse complex08 November, 2013 Diageohas completed the construction of a new £150m warehouse complex inFife, as part of last year's pledge to invest £1bn in itsScotchoperations over a five-year period. The 545 acreCluny Bonddevelopment atBegg FarmnearKirkcaldy,includes 46 warehousing units - each of which will store up to 60,000 casks - and will house the additional spirit needed to meet demand for its major brands such as the 18.9m 9-litre caseJohnnie Walker.
In addition to the two completed warehouses,Diageoreported a further five will be operational inSpring 2014with others being completed throughout2014.The world's largest drinks group also recently invested at itsBlackgrangefacility inClackmannanshietaking overall investment in warehousing to £180m.The newFifecomplex will create 25 directDiageojobs on site, as well as a potential further 15-20 indirect jobs in the area.
Harry Fox, Diageo'soperations director for warehouse and blending, said: "Over the next few months we will be transporting thousands of casks ofScotchwhisky for storage here, where they will be locked away and left to mature before making their way to the 180 countries around the world where the demand forDiageo'sbrands is growing on a daily basis."Diageohas more than 1,200 people workingfor the company inshare their commitment to continue to ensure the area plays a key role in theScotchwhisky success story."
November 2013 DIAGEO, Scotland's biggest whisky distiller, has offered to sell most of rivalWhyte & Mackay, theOffice of Fair Trading (OFT)said today.The FTSE 100 group gained control ofGlasgow-basedWhyte & Mackayafter buyingIndian conglomerate United Spirits.Diageohas offered to sellWhyte & Mackay'sblended whisky business and retain two malt distilleries.
Diageo's Bell's brandandWhyte & Mackay'seponymous blend are major competitors and theOFTsaid retailers had expressed concern that the tie-up would lessen competition. Chris Walters,theOFT'schief economist and decision maker in the case, said: "These companies are two of the leading suppliers of blended bottled whisky in theUK, especially to supermarkets and other large retailers.
"Our investigation considered a wide range of evidence and we concluded that the likely loss of competition could give rise to higher prices for retailers, and ultimately consumers. "We are now consideringDiageo'soffer to sell the bulk of theWhyte & Mackaybusiness with the exception of two malt distilleries, to address our concerns."
Diageo to release The Beast December, 2013 Diageohas told the trade it will rereleaseMortlachsingle maltscotchnext year, a dram dubbed"The Beast of Dufftown". In recent years theSpeysidedistillery's heavy, dark whisky was reserved for blending and has only been made available in very limited numbers as a single malt, but theDufftownsite will now see capacity doubled from 3.8m to 7.6m litres in a project costing £18m.
Frommid-2014the distillery will be renewed and expanded, while the rebranded single-malt will be made available in global markets. Mortlachsingle malt will be aimed at global travel retail and the luxury and connoisseur segments and will be released in four expressions:Rare Old, Special Strength, 18 YO and 25 YO. Diageowill continue to use the distillery's output for its blended whiskies.
Details of distribution and price will be disclosed in February2014. Rare Old (43% abv)will have an "affordable luxury price",Nick Morgan, head of whiskies outreach atDiageo, told and has been aged in a combination of refilled and first fill American and European oak.
Special Strength (49% abv)is a higher proof version ofRare Old, the 18YO (43.4% abv) has been aged in first fill and refill European and American oak, while the25YO (43.4% abv)was matured in American refill casks but has the character of European oak, saidMorgan.
According toDiageo,Mortlachis produced by an "astonishingly complicated and unique distillation process", which has been explained as '2.81 distilled', as most but not all of the whisky is distilled three times.
Dave Broom,said ofMortlachsingle malt in hisThe World Atlas of Whisky (2010):"At its best in European oak - it has the muscle to cope -Mortlachhas become a cult single malt, but is unlikely ever to be a front-line player because its individuality is too highly prized by blenders."This throwback to the old days, days before Dufftown even existed, is at the foundationof many famous blends.It is the dark reduction of whisky to some primal essence."
Diageoto reinventMortlachwith £30m investment Scotland'sbiggest whisky maker has this evening unveiled plans to breath fresh life into one ofSpeyside'soldest distilleries by launching a single malt made atMortlach,described as"the beast of Dufftown".
Diageo- which owns blended brands includingBell's, J&BandJohnnie Walker- will pump nearly £30 million into building a second still house atMortlachto replicate the complex shape of distillery's stills.
Up until now, only a few bottles ofMortlachsingle malt have been released to connoisseurs, with the vast majority of production going towards blends. Next summer, four versions of theScotch- rare old, special strength, 18-year-old and 25-year-old - will be sold to the duty-free and luxury markets. TheFTSE 100 group- which also makesGordon's gin, Guinness stoutandSmirnoffvodka - said that the investment would form part of the £1 billion expansion plan unveiled last year. The company revealed in April that its investment programme would include expansion onSpeysideand has now unveiled details of the scheme.
Diageosaid: "Mortlach has been described by whisky connoisseurs as'The Beast of Dufftown',for its rich and powerful flavours, produced in an astonishingly complicated and unique distillation process.
"For decades,Mortlach'soutput has been largely captured by blenders to add its unique notes to complex blendedScotchwhiskies - though in recent times, a very limited number of bottles ofMortlachsingle malt whisky have been available, and sold rapidly to connoisseurs in the know.
"But now for the first time, and in response to suggestions over the years that such a rewarding single malt whisky deserved a wider market, it will be available in global markets in four expressions aimed at global travel and the luxury and connoisseur segment."
Court threat to Diageo's Indian deal
Diageo: Fighting court battle against stalledIndia deal. SPIRITS giantDiageopledged yesterday to fight an Indian legal decision that has stalled a deal giving the British group control ofUnited Spirits, the country's biggest drinks business. The court made the decision last Friday in response to a petition by creditors involved with the transaction. DiageoandUnited Breweries, theIndian holding firmthat sold its shares inUnited Spirits (USL)to theBritish company, both said they planned to appeal the decision. The deal has been caught up in a separate legal battle involvingIndia's Kingfisher Airlines. KingfisherandUnited Breweriesare part ofIndian business magnate Dr Vijay Mallya'scorporate empire.
The airline has been grounded since2012and is unable to pay off its loans, withUnited Breweriesbecoming a guarantor for its debts.Kingfishercreditors trying to get their money back petitioned for the deal betweenUSLandDiageoto be stopped.
Diageosaid in a statement: "We are disappointed, as a bona fide purchaser for value of theUSLshares, that we have been brought into the private dispute betweenKingfisher Airlinesand its creditors. Once we receive the full written order of the Court of Appeal, we will review the detail of that order." Drinks analysts were sceptical that the legal decision would derail the deal. "This court order can cause only minor hiccups in the deal," Deven Choksey,managing director atKR Choksey Securities,said.
InNovember 2012 Diageosaid it was buying a majority stake inUSLfor £1.28bn . The deal would giveDiageoa 53.4 per cent share inUnited Spirits.Without the transaction,Diageo'sstake inUSLwould be 19 per cent.
Diageo to invest £30m in Clynelish January, 2014 Diageohas announced plans for a £30 million expansion of itsClynelishdistillery inSutherland.In the latest major stage inDiageo's£1 billion programme to increase Scotch whisky production, plans have been submitted toHighland Council for the major expansion ofDiageo'smost northerly distillery. TheClynelishexpansion will take the on-going capital investment byDiageoin theHighland Council regionalone to almost £150m, including major expansions atGlen OrdandTeaninich Distilleriesand plans to build a new distillery at
Diageo'sdirector of distillation and maturation,Keith Millersaid:"Clynelishis a very special distillery, producing spirit which is highly prized for its quality and character and is an important part of ourScotchwhisky blending inventory, so this is an important part of our investment programme.
TheClynelishannouncement came as six copper stills were delivered to theGlen Ord Distilleryas part of the £25 million expansion plan which is doubling the size of that distillery to more than 10million litres per annum.
Diageois also doubling the capacity at theTeaninichdistillery inAlnessand is progressing plans to build a new malt whisky distillery and renewable energy plant on land adjacent toTeaninich.In total these projects represent a capital investment of nearly £150million across theHighland Councilarea
ClynelishDistillery produces single malt whisky, it describes as "unique in both taste and texture" which is highly prized byDiageo'smaster blenders for use in brands such asJohnnie Walker. Clynelishis also a highly regarded as a single malt whisky in its own right. The distillery is also home to one ofDiageo's12 distillery visitor centres, receiving more than 5,000 visitors per year.
Clynelishis near theSutherlandtown ofBrora.
Under the plans submittedClynelishdistillerywill see the installation of an additional mash tun, 10 new washbacks and six new copper stills for distilling the spirit. This adds to the 10 washbacksand sixstills which the distillery currently has and will effectively double the production capacity to 9m litres of alcohol per annum, while retaining the character and quality of the spirit. Abio-energyplant is also planned for the site to provide non-fossil fuel energy to power the distillery.
The world's leading premium drinks business, is also investing in new warehousing to store the additional spirit, with a major new bonded warehouse site being developed atClunyinFife.
Whyte & Mackay January, 2014 It's business as usual then atWhyte & Mackay- that is theGlasgow-based spirits producer is once more up for sale. Incredibly this is the 10th time since the beginning of the'70sand in those 40-plus years there have been no fewer than 18 MDs or CEOs come and go, and heaven only knows how many different marketing departments.
This time around the cause isDiageo'sacquisition of a majority share inUnited Spirits- theIndian companywhich acquiredWhyte & Mackayfor a tad under £600 million back in2007. Clearly anxious to avoid the scrutiny of theOffice of Fair Trading,Diageohas made a pre-emptive strike with the announcement that it is to sellWhyte & Mackaybut not lock, stock and smoking barrels - because apparently the world's number one multinational wants to keep the malt distilleriesDalmoreandTamnavulin,but is OK withW&M'sother distilleries -Old FettercairnandJura- going under the hammer.
AsDiageoalready boasts some 28 distilleries in its arsenal this decision has raised eyebrows in some quarters. "What on earth does it wantTamnavulinfor? All its distilleries are expandable and it is pouring colossal amounts of investment into new distilleries likeRoseisle," said one industry observer. "They must be a bargaining tool."
Both are good points.Tamnavulinis not a notable single malt and should the 'competition authorities' still chafe atDiageo'sshare of theScotchwhisky market creeping towards 40%, the drinks giant can offer up bothTamnavulinandDalmore- which, as a singular spirit, has attracted a wide following among the single malt cognoscenti.
Of courseDiageo'sannouncement has ushered forth a frenzy of speculation as to who will be the 11th owner ofWhyte & Mackay. And there have been one or two comings and goings at the top which have added to the potpourri. Chief executive at the time ofDiageo'sbid forUnited Spirits, John Beard,has departed. His replacement,Bryan Donaghey, was previously managing director ofDiageo Scotlanduntil earlier this year when he moved to the role ofEurope supply director, and finally to supply strategy director up until his decision to leave and almost in the same week he took up the reins atWhyte & Mackay.
Whyte & Mackayhas offered no explanation forBeard'sgoing andDiageois tight-lipped overDonaghey, issuing a terse statement:"Bryanhas severed his employment withDiageoand it is not appropriate for us to comment any further, but we wish him the very best for the future." The company did add that'Bryanhad servedDiageowith 'distinction'. Clearly, though, 'Bryan'relishes the challenge as one would be forgiven for thinking he'd jumped out of the frying pan into the fire.
Just one more thing onBeardthough. He came from the fusedUK distribution armofBacardiandBrown-Forman, so perhaps it is no surprise that bothBrown-FormanandBacardihave been mentioned as possibleWhyte & MackayChina.How long is a piece of string?
08/04/2014 An alcohol charity has slammedDavid Beckhamafter he signed up to promote a new whisky. The 38-year-old retired football has teamed up with managerSimon Fullerand drinks companyDiageoto launchHaig Club, a new single grainScotchwhisky. As well as developing the brand,Beckhamhas been given tasked with promoting a "responsible drinking programme" for the spirit. But Alcohol Concern has expressed its "disappointment" that the sports star has signed up to promote the product. The charity said that the move would send mixed messages to children.
"It's incredibly disappointing thatDavid Beckham,a global icon who has wide appeal to children has chosen to use his sports star image to promote spirits," saidEmily Robinson,deputy chief executive ofAlcohol Concern.
"GivenDavid Beckham'sother roles promoting sport and a healthy lifestyle to children, we believe this will send a confusing message to them about the dangers of alcohol and its impact on a healthy lifestyle and we call on the star to rethink his association with this product." In a press notice launching the product,David Gates, Diageo'sglobal head of premium core spirits, said:"David BeckhamandSimon Fullerare renowned for breaking boundaries and shaking up markets in every sector in which they work. We are immensely proud to partner with them on our first large scale grain whisky innovation."
Beckhamadded: "The House of Haighas a rich history and I'm proud to be working at the heart of a home-grown brand which has built an incredible heritage over 400 years. Working closely withDiageo, we look forward to collaborating onHaig Club,valuing and treasuring theHaigtraditions while reinventing this whisky for years to come." Mr Fulleradded: "This is a long term commitment. It is important to us that we create something unique and of great quality. WithHaig Clubwe have an opportunity to push boundaries and help shape howScotchwill be perceived in the future, it's an exciting proposition."
In response to the comments from the charity, aDiageospokeswoman said:"DiageoandDavid Beckhamtake our responsibility in this area very seriously. As well as abiding by all laws and industry codes,Diageohas our own, very stringent, guidelines on responsible marketing of our brands.
"Davidwill lead the promotion of the responsible drinking programme forHaig Club,which is at the heart of the brand and we could not ask for a stronger ambassador for the campaign. "We have always been completely clear in our view that alcohol should only be consumed by adults and we do not want underage drinkers as consumers."
Diageo, Beckham and Fuller to launch Haig Club single grain whisky April, 2014 Diageowill launchHaig Clubsingle grainscotch, in partnership withDavid Beckhamand British entrepreneurSimon Fuller. Haig Club, which will launch later this year, is a new innovation from theHouse of Haig,Scotland'soldest grain whisky producer and makers ofHaig Blended ScotchandDimple Scotch. The launch followsWilliam Grant and Son's 100% grain whiskyrelease, annnounced last year.
Working alongsideDiageo, BeckhamandFullerwill play "a fundamental role" in developing the brand, its strategy and positioning.Beckhamwill also lead the promotion of a responsible drinking programme for HaigClub.
Whisky authorityDave Broomis one of the few to have tastedHaig Club. He described it as "a hugely versatile spirit, and I expect bartenders will love what they can do with it. Forget everything you thought you knew aboutScotch."
Haig Clubis made from whisky from three cask types to create, saidDiageo,"a fresh, clean style that showcases butterscotch and toffee for an ultra-smooth taste that the company believes will be enjoyed not only by current whisky drinkers, but also by those who have always wanted to try whisky".
David Gates, Diageo'sglobal head of premium core spirits, said: "Whisky is experiencing a continued global renaissance and like many of the world's most respected whisky experts, we believe this will be the year that grain whisky breaks into the mainstream and gains the recognition it deserves.
"Diageohas a proven track record inScotchWhisky innovation and we have applied this expertise through theHouse of Haigin liquid development and craftsmanship, creating a sophisticated new whisky inHaig Club.
"David BeckhamandSimon Fullerare renowned for breaking boundaries and shaking up markets in every sector in which they work. We are immensely proud to partner with them on our first large scale grain whisky innovation."
Beckhamsaid:"The House of Haighas a rich history and I'm proud to be working at the heart of a home-grown brand which has built an incredible heritage over 400 years. Working closely withDiageo,we look forward to collaborating onHaig Club,valuing and treasuring the Haig traditions while reinventing this whisky for years to come." Simon Fulleradded: "This is a long term commitment. It is important to us that we create something unique and of great quality. WithHaig Clubwe have an opportunity to push boundaries and help shape howScotchwill be perceived in the future, it's an exciting proposition. We could not wish for a better partner thanDiageo." FounderJohn HaigestablishedCameronbridge Distilleryin the early19th century,where he pioneered grain whisky production in continuousCoffeyandStein stills- an invention which laid the foundations for the growth and success of the modernScotchwhisky industry, according toDiageo.
Diageo opens £1.5m brand archive 11 June, 2014 Diageohas opened a£1.5m archive for its major brands inMenstrie, Scotland. The Diageo Archive,which include the likes ofJohnnie Walker, Tanqueray, BaileysandSmirnoff, has been expanded to store over half a million items including vintage advertisements and film and industry accolades from the last four centuries.
The collection, curated by a team of professional archivists, is claimed to be the largest alcohol archive in the world, with documents from 150 countries supporting 1,500 brands and nearly 200 production sites.
David Gates, Diageo'sglobal head of premium core spirits, said: "In a world where people are making purchase decisions based on brand authenticity we have access to an unparalleled wealth of heritage that underpins our brands as category leaders."
"It is as fundamental to the business today, as it was when first built and continues to establish credentials, support global initiatives and set cornerstones for iconic brands such asJohn Walker & Sons OdysseyandJonnie Walker Blue Label."
Diageo completes tender offer of USL 02 July, 2014 Diageohas completed its tender offer for a further 26% share inUnited Spirits. The company has accepted the tender of 37,785,214 shares inUnited Spirits (USL)at INR 3,030 per share. Diageowill have a total interest of 54.78% inUnited Spiritsand expect to fully consolidate the results ofUSLfrom today. Ivan Menezes,chief executive ofDiageo, said: "Our announcement today is significant forDiageo.Indiahas now become one ofDiageo'slargest markets and will be a major contributor to our growth ambitions. "USLis the leading player in the attractiveIndianspirits market with great brands, a unique route to consumer and talented people. We can now combine that strong platform withDiageo'sstrengths to create a compelling future inIndiaforDiageo, USLand theIndian spiritsindustry."
Diageo releases 'special' single malts 01 November, 2010 Diageo has launched itsautumnSpecial Release Series, a collection of single malt scotch whiskies aimed at the world's top bars and whisky connoisseurs. Diageo'snine-expression range, drawn from the group's 28 single malt distilleries, has been released "in time for end of year celebrations". First introduced in 2001, theSpecial Release Seriesis the result of an examination of the distilleries' stocks of "old, rare or unusual single malt whiskies". Dr Nick Morgan, spokesman for Diageo,said: "Some of these single malts are priced accessibly. Others, inevitably given their age and rarity, are very expensive." Of the range, two expressions have been drawn from the diminishing stocks of closed distilleries, while others are taken from those still in production. Morgansaid: "We know some people buy them as investments. But all are engaging, distinctive single malts made for enjoyment now, and of course in the case ofBrora[30-year old] andPort Ellen[31-year old] they will never be made again." Also among the range are theSpeysideexpressions Auchroisk (20-year old),Glen Spey(21-year old) andCragganmore(21-year old);Ise of SkyewhiskiesTalisker(30-year old),Lagavulin(12-year old) andCaol Ila(12-year old); andGlenkinchie(20 year-old) from theLowlands. The range is available in "most markets in Europe" and "selected global duty free outlets", while all but theBroraandPort Ellenwill be available in theUS.
Diageo announces Haig Club global launch 06 October, 2014 Diageo has announced the worldwide launch of its single grain scotch whiskyHaig Club. Haig Club,which is a collaboration betweenDiageo, David BeckhamandSimon Fuller,will now be available in bars, restaurants and retail stores in theUK. The whisky will roll out inChina, South Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singaporeand theUSin the next few weeks and be available in duty free shops globally following the exclusive release period in theUK.
Kathy Parker, senior vice president,Haig Clubsaid: "Haig Clubis designed to be different. Historically single grain whisky has been in the shadow of single malts and blendedscotch, butHaig Clubrepresents a new direction inscotchwhisky, which brings singlegrain scotchto the forefront." To celebrate the global launch ofHaig Club, Beckhamand business partnerFullerhosted an exclusiveHaig Clubweekend in the heart ofScotlandon the outskirts ofEdinburgh. "I am incredibly proud to have been part of the creation ofHaig Club, " Beckhamsaid. "I think we have made something really special. For me it has meant understanding how whisky is made and enjoyed and then working with some incredible people to write a new chapter for Haig
06 November, 2014 Diageohas unveiled this year'sSpecial Release scotchwhiskies. They comprise:Benrinnes 21 year old, Brora 35 year-old, Caol Ila 15 year old (unpeated), Caol Ila 30 year old, Clynelish Select Reserve, Cragganmore 25 year old, Lagavulin 12 year old, Port Ellen 35 year old, Rosebank 21 year old, The Singleton 38 year old and Strathmill 25 year old. The Benrinnes 21YO (56.9% abv) is £240 for the 2,892 bottles. The Brora 35YO is 48.6% and costs £1,200 for one of the individually number 2,964 bottles. Caol Ila 15YO (60.39%) is £75 (limited availability). Caol Ila 30YO (55.1%): The oldest Caol Ila ever released, 7,638 bottles: £425. Clynelish Select Reserve (54.9%), 2,964 bottles: £500. Cragganmore 25YO (51.4%), 3,372 bottles: £299. Lagavulin 12YO (54.4%), limited availability: £80 Port Ellen 35YO (56.5%), the oldest Port Ellen release: £2,200 Rosebank 21YO (55.3%), 4,530 bottles: £300 The Singleton 38YO (59.8%), 3,756 bottles: £750. Strathmill 25YO (52.4%), 2,700 bottles: £275.
Diageo to swap Bushmills for control of tequila Don Julio 03 November, 2014 Diageohas agreed the full global ownership and control of tequilaDon JuliowithCasa Cuervoin exchange forBushmills. The move will result in the early termination ofCasa Cuervo'sproduction and distribution agreement forSmirnoffinMexico. In turn,Diageohas reached an agreement to sellBushmillstoJose Cuervooverseas.
The transaction is expected to result in a net payment of $408 million toDiageoupon completion, which is expected in early2015.The company says the transaction is expected to be economic profit break-even in year 3 assuming a WACC rate of 9%.
Ivan Menezes, Diageochief executive, said: "This transaction delivers two key objectives for us. We have secured our position in the growing super and ultra-premium segments of the tequila category and further strengthened our global footprint by expanding our leading position inMexicowhere the growth of spirits has great potential. "Diageohas realised this opportunity through the breadth and depth of our portfolio. It delivers our strategy: to build our presence in the world's fastest growing markets and lead the industry in the biggest growth opportunities. I am delighted we have reached this agreement," saidMenezes. Smirnoffvolume and net sales inMexicoin the year ended30 June 2014were 285,000 cases and £9 million respectively.Bushmillsvolume and net sales were 800,000 cases and £57m in the same period
Diageo GTR launches three 'exceptionally rare' Scotch whiskies 26 October, 2015 Diageohas unveiled three"exceptionally rare"single malt Scotch whiskies forTravel Retail. Port Ellen 33 Years Old and Gragganmore 43 Years Oldwill exclusively be available in travel retail outlets.Royal Lochnagar 36 Oldwill be available - in limited release - outside this channel. Peter Fairbrother, global marketing director ofDiageo Global TravelandMiddle East,said: "We are investing in our amazing range of Single Malts to drive growth in theScotchcategory inTravelRetail.
"These Single Malts are some of the rarest, most distinctive and most valuable whiskies in the world. The exclusivity of these whiskies cannot be overstated as only a few hundred bottles of each exist."Royal Lochnagar 36 Years Old carries p^�p^���� Ƣ�^��^�@�^�ilable for an RRSP of US$3,800.
Diageo invests £10m in Stauning Danish whisky 06 December, 2015 Diageowill invest £10m inDanish whisky brand Stauningthrough itsDistill Venturesprogramme.The first 'major' growth investment will facilitate the expansion ofStauning's distilleryinDenmark.
The company's production process of malting in-house and distilling in small stills will continue, with the number of stills expanding from four to twenty, allowingStauningto increase its current production capacity from 15,000 litres per year to 750,000 litres per year.
In addition to the capital investment,DiageoandDistill Ventureswill support the founders ofStauningas they scale production and plan their growth in export markets. StauningWhisky was created in2015by nine friends who started making whisky as a hobby
. Alex Munch,co-founderStauning,said: "We can't wait to build the distillery of our dreams and are excited to be making more of the whisky we love and sharing it with the world." Frank Lampen,co-founder ofDistill Ventures,added: "This deal represents a step change in the scale of investmentsDistill Venturesis undertaking. When we find outstanding businesses, we can fund major capital projects and investment in stock as we are in this case. Our focus is on helping entrepreneurs to realise their vision and we are delighted to be working withStauning,as they scale their business and take their great whiskies beyondDenmark." Distill Venturesevaluates hundreds of businesses each year across the world. The programme began discussing a possible investment inStauningin summer of2014.
AINSLIE & HEILBRON DISTILLERS
For a few yearsAinslie & Heilbronowned and operated the originalClynelishdistillery (also known asBrora). However, to stave off bankruptcy after thePattison Crash, it sold the distillery to concentrate on whisky blending. A number of mergers soon followed until it joinedDCLin1925.
This company can trace its origins back to1868whenJames Ainslie & Co.was founded as a wine and spirit merchant inLeith, Edinburgh.The company proved to be very successful and, at the height of the whisky boom, purchased theClynelishdistillery in1896and completely re-built it within two years.
However,James Ainslie & Co.suffered along with the rest of theScotchwhisky industry after thePattison crashof1898, and in1912only survived bankruptcy by sellingClynelishtoJames Risk(the former owner ofBankierdistillery in the Scottish Lowlands) andDCL, who took a half share each. The next year the company merged with fellow blendersWalter Baillie & Sons, Robertson BrothersandJohn Gillon & Co.to formAinslie, Baillie & Co. of Leith.
This company traded until 1921when, upon the retirement of Robert Ainslie, son of founderJames,the company was liquidated and taken over bySir James Calder,the chairman of blenderAlexander & Macdonald.Caldermerged the company with another old blending company,David Heilbron Ltd.,and distilling companyColville Greenlees & Co,owner of theArgyll distilleryinCampbeltown,to formAinslie & Heilbron (Distillers) Ltd.
By1925 Ainslie & Heilbronhad become a wholly-owned subsidiary ofCalder’sexpandedMacDonald, Greenlees & Williams Ltd. of Leith.That same year he soldMacDonald, Greenlees &Williams to DCL,along with his own distilleryDalwhinnie, bringing Ainslie & Heilbron under the control of the distilling giant.
DISTILLERIES & BRANDS
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Diageo (Current owner)
Arthur Bell & Sons
Bulloch Lade & Company
Distillers Company Limited
James Buchanan & Company
John Haig & Company
John Walker & Sons
Justerini & Brooks
Lothian Distillers Company
Mackie & Co
Macleay Duff Distillers
RH Thomson & Company Distillers
White Horse Distillers
William Sanderson & Son
Grand Metropolitanwas aUK-based, international hotel and catering conglomerate that diversified into areas such as home milk and dairy deliveries(Express Dairies), steak restaurants (BerniInns)and gambling(William HillandMecca Bingo Halls). It entered the beer, wine and spirits markets through the1972purchase of twoUKbreweries includingWatney Mann,which itself had recently taken overInternational Distillers and Vintners. In1997,after more mergers and acquisitions,Grand Metropolitanfinally merged withGuinness PLCto create the largest drinks company in the world,Diageo.
Grand Metropolitancan trace its roots back to1934when theMount Royal Metropolitan Association (MRMA)was formed. In1957it merged withMaxwell Joseph’s Grand Hotels(Mayfair) Ltdand five years later adopted the nameGrand Metropolitan Hotels.
Soon after the company began to diversify, firstly into industrial catering then dairy products through the acquisition ofExpress Dairies.Other acquisitions included theBerni Innsteak restaurant chain andMecca Bingo Halls.
Come1972the company made its first move into the alcoholic drinks industry with the purchase ofBrick Lane brewer Truman,Hanbury and Buxton,andMortlake’s Watney Mann.Some six months priorWatney Mannhad acquiredIDVwhich ownedJusterini & Brooks (J&B)andW.A. Gilbeyamong others. This purchase immediately madeGrand Metropolitan(as the company was now known) a major player in theScotchwhisky world.
During the1980s,the acquisitions of theLiggett Group, J&B’s American distributor, andHeublein Inc, anAmericanwine and spirits producer and distributor, madeGrand Metropolitanthe world’s third largest wine and spirits producer. In1988the company purchased thePillsburyfood company adding household food names such asBurger King, Green GiantandHäagen-Dazsto its portfolio. At the same time it began to sell some of its hotel and catering assets.
The company’s change of focus from hotels and catering to branded foods, wines and spirits meant that by the1990sthe company had saddled itself with large restructuring costs and debt, just at the time the spirits market began to shrink, resulting in the further sale of non-core businesses.
Eventually, in1997Grand Metropolitanmerged withGuinness PLCto form a company originally announced asGMG Brands.The name was soon changed to Diageo PLC, an imaginary title combining the Latinterm fordayand theGreekword forworld.
Arthur Bell & Sons
Once one of the great independent whisky producers of Scotland.
Arthur Bell and Sonsgrew steadily through the19thand20thcenturies, concentrating mainly on its home market. So successful was this strategy that by the late1970sit was commanding a staggering 35% of theUKblended Scotchwhisky market. Much of this success is due to the work in the late1960sof then chief executive,Raymond Miquel,a hardnosedScottishbusinessman who slashed costs and improved productivity, and in the process madeBell’s Scotchwhisky a household name.
The youngArthur BelljoinedPerth-based wine and spirit merchantThomas Sandemanin 1840. In1851the owner,James Roy,offered Arthura partnership in the newly namedRoy & Bellcompany. This partnership continued untilJames Roy’sretirement in1862.By this timeArthur Bellhad appointed what is believed to be the first full-time whisky agent inLondon,selling two different blends.
A short partnership with his nephew,T. R. Sandeman,ended on a sour note in1865after it was discovered that he was acting as a whisky agent in his own right. The bank loan thatArthurtook out to pay off his nephew is the only time that the company had to call upon the service of a loan.
In 1889 Arthurinvited his eldest son,Arthur Kinmontto join as a partner. Seven years later his second son,Robert Duff Bell,joined the board of what was now known asArthur Bell & Sons.
During this timeArthurcampaigned for industry standard bottle sizes across theUKand expanded the company’s reach intoAustralia, New Zealandand theIndian sub-continent.
Because ofArthur’sunwillingness to use brand names or advertise, growth at this time was steady but not spectacular. This all changed in1900when, on his death,Arthur’stwo sons inherited the company. In1904the company name first appeared on the label and early brands such asScotch Firappeared on the shelves.
Business ran steadily until1919, when a disastrous fire in the company’sCanal Street bonded warehousesaw the destruction of the buildings and the loss of nearly all the stock. Undeterred,Arthur Bell’s two sonscontinued forward, incorporatingArthur Bell & Sonsas limited company in1921, and purchasing theNo. 1 Excise BondinLeith,Edinburghin1924,which becameBell’smain bottling facility until1967.
Alhough steady expansion continued, it was not until1932thatArthur Bell & Sonsbecame recognised as a ‘serious player’ in theScotchwhisky industry with the purchase, for £56,000, ofP.Mackenzie & Co. (Distillers)ofEdinburghand its two distilleries ofDufftownandBlair Athol,the latter of which had long been a constituent ofBell’swhisky blends.
In1936the company purchasedInchgowerdistilleryfrom thetown council of Buckie on the Moray Firth.The Town Councilseem to have displayed their business ‘smarts’ in this transaction selling the distillery for a rumoured £4,000, having purchased it shortly before for only £1,000.
During the Second World War, and just over 100 years sinceArthur BelljoinedSandeman’sbusiness, the family’s links with the company came to an end with the deaths of theBell brothers.Control passed ontoW. G. Farquharson,who remained as managing director until1968and chairman until his death in1973.
Under his leadership the company continued to grow and this period saw substantial investment in the distillery operations –Blair Athol,for instance, was completely remodelled and expanded fromtwo to four stills.
Farquharson’sreplacement asMDand then chairman wasRaymond Miquel.Under his stewardship the company grew rapidly, slashing costs and improving productivity. This was partly achieved by openingPittyvaich distilleryin1974and purchasing theLowlanddistillery ofBladnochin1983.
By this time Bell’s controlled 35% of the UK market and produced the No. 1 selling blended whisky in Scotland, Bell’s Extra Special.
In 1985, whilst Miquel was in Chicago attempting to purchase an American hotel chain, Irish brewer Guinness launched a hostile takeover bid which eventually, after a hotly contested campaign, succeeded. The following year Guinness moved on Distillers Company Ltd, an acquisition that led to the eventual creation of drinks giant Diageo.
Arthur Bell & Sonscontinues as a subsidiary company withinDiageo’s Scotchwhisky portfolio.
DISTILLERIES & BRANDS
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Diageo (Current owner)
Ainslie & Heilbron Distillers
Bulloch Lade & Company
Distillers Company Limited
James Buchanan & Company
John Haig & Company
John Walker & Sons
Justerini & Brooks
Lothian Distillers Company
Mackie & Co
Macleay Duff Distillers
RH Thomson & Company Distillers
White Horse Distillers
William Sanderson & Son
DISTILLERS COMPANY LIMITED
Founded in1877as a trade cartel to set prices for grain whiskies, Distillers Company Ltd. (DCL) p^�p^���� Ƣ�^��^�@�^�illeries in an attempt to match whisky supply with demand. While it never held a complete monopoly over the industry, and its name never appeared on a single label, the sheer size of its holdings ensured that it had a major influence on the industry as a whole.
DCLwas formed in1877as an amalgamation of sixLowlandgrain whisky distilleries with the aim of allocating production in fixed proportions and setting prices for grain spirits.The founding companies were M. Macfarlane & Co, Glasgow (Port Dundas distillery), which replaced John Crabbie & Co’s Haddington distillery in earlier agreements; John Bald & Co, Alloa (Carsebridge distillery); John Haig & Co, Fife (firstly Seggie and then Cameronbridge distillery); McNab Bros & Co, Menstrie (Glenochil distillery); Robert Mowbray, Cambus (Cambus distillery); and Stewart & Co, Kirkliston (Kirkliston distillery).
The original six distilleries were joined in1884byMenzies & Co Ltd. (Caledonian distilleryand a rectifying business inTooley St., London) which had not joined in1887,but had signed a formal agreement which foresaw eventual amalgamation withDCL.One of the strange things about the origins ofDCLwas that although the distilleries were now part of the same company, they continued to be operated by their original owners which still regarded their fellow directors as their main opposition.
By1894 DCLwas listed on theEdinburghandGlasgowstock exchanges and, to meet demand from theJohn Haig & Co.business forHighland maltwhisky, had builtKnockdhu distillerynearBanff.ThePattison crashof1898created an opportunity forDCLto control more of the industry through a programme of acquisitions (at knockdown prices) during the early part of the1900s. One example wasDCL'spurchase of thePattisons'bonded warehouses in Leith. These had cost thePattison brothersan estimated £60,000 to build;DCLpicked them up at auction for only £25,000.
The period before theFirst World Warsaw more consolidation in theScotchwhisky industry withDCL(sometimes with the assistance of other partners) picking up distilleries from the liquidators. Such was the scale of its strategy that by1914 DCLclaimed to be the ‘largest whisky distiller in the world’. To try and bring some order to the rapidly expanding company,DCLset up a subsidiary,Scottish Malt Distillers Ltd.,to control the fiveLowlanddistilleries that it either owned or had part shares in.
DespiteDCL'sferocious acquisition trail, it was clear that the‘Big Five’producers –Haig, Buchanan’s, Dewar’s, Walker’sandMackie’s (White Horse)– were still able to maintain their independence. The tight-knit group began to unravel though in1919whenDCLpurchasedJohn Haig & Co.from the family, andJohn Walker & Sonsand the newly mergedBuchanan-DewarjoinedDCL in1925on a share exchange basis. Two years later, after the death ofSir Peter Mackie, White Horse Distillersalso joined the fold, creating a company that would control, but not monopolise, theScotchwhisky industry for the next 50 years.
In the1970s UKsales were stagnating to the point thatDCL,despite its large number of brands, was selling less whisky in its home market thanArthur Bell & Sonswith its single line. AlthoughJohnnie Walkerwas the best-sellingScotchin the world it was being challenged, and in1985James Gulliver’s Argyle group, which operated Fine Fare supermarkets and theGlen Scotia distillery,launched a hostile bid for the ‘hopelessly managedDCL’.The offer was rejected, and the group turned to brewerGuinness PLC,which had recently purchasedArthur Bell & Sons Ltd.,as a ‘white knight’ and invited it to table a rival bid.
Although it was subsequently proven thatGuinnesshad fraudulently funded its bid by inflating the price of its shares, byApril 1986theGuinnessoffer had been accepted andDCLwas no more. The new company soon began a round of cost cutting exercises and the individual companies which had comprisedDCL,soon began to lose their independence. Following a series of mergers and takeovers,Guinness and DCLevolved into today’s drinks giant,Diageo.
Diageo (Current owner)
Ainslie & Heilbron Distillers
Arthur Bell & Sons
Bulloch Lade & Company
James Buchanan & Company
John Haig & Company
John Walker & Sons
Justerini & Brooks
Lothian Distillers Company
Mackie & Co
Macleay Duff Distillers
RH Thomson & Company Distillers
White Horse Distillers
William Sanderson & Son
The company we know now asDiageo, the biggest producer ofScotchwhisky on the planet, has its roots in one of the most high-profile – and notorious – corporate takeovers inUKhistory.
The compelling story of a deal sealed exactly 30 years ago.
The battle forDCLended in a scandal that rocked the City
In themid-1980s,theDistillers Company Limited (DCL)was by far the largest whisky company in the world. It had its origins in the amalgamation of six grain whisky distilleries in1877,became involved with malt distilling in1894and increased this area of activity following the sharp downturn in theScotchwhisky industry after1900, when many companies left the trade and sold their distilleries, brands and stock to theDCL.
Then the‘Big Amalgamation’of1925brought John Walker & Sons, John Dewar & SonsandJames Buchanan & Company– the largest blending houses, known as‘The Big Three’– under theDCLumbrella.
Until the early1960s, DCLcontrolled about 75% of theUK Scotchmarket and slightly more of exports, but during the1970sthe position changed drastically and, by1984,the company’s domestic share was down to 16%. Worldwide market share had fallen from 48%(1973)to 35% and, althoughJohnnie Walker Red Labelwas still the best-sellingScotchin the world, with 10% of the global market, it was being challenged.
In his book Takeovers, the financial journalistIvan Fallondescribes theDCLin1984as ‘one of the most traditional and conservative companies in Britain…also among the most badly managed… the average age of the board was 60’.
The City had no confidence in the company’s management, and referred to it as ‘the great sick giant of the industry’. It was clearly a possible target for takeover.
A CRUEL BATTLE
In June 1985,Guinness plchad mounted the successful hostile takeover ofArthur Bell & Sons, owner of the leadingScotchin the home market. It was a cruel battle, skilfully masterminded byGuinness CEO Ernest Saundersbut, while it was being fought, an even more dramatic takeover was being planned.
The target was theDistillers Company,and theDavidconfronting thisGoliathwasJimmy Gulliverof theArgyll Group, a multiple chain store which he had established in the late1970s.
Gulliverwas the son of a grocer inCampbeltown, and had a reputation as one of the ablest managers inBritain.‘I wanted to build a big food multiple,’ he said, ‘[but] realised we would have to be bold enough to grow through acquisition, and quickly, if we were to reach a critical mass – the point where we were obtaining economies of scale to enable us to grow organically.’
During1985, Gulliverconstructed a bid, originally with the backing ofLord Weinstock, managing director of cash-richGEC.Fatally, it took some months to hammer out the agreement between them – and in the end it came to nothing – but during the delay rumours ran around the City, andDistillers’share price began to rise, as usually happens in anticipation of a hostile bid.
This also meant that the besieged directors were able to start building defences – appointing a new merchant bank, re-organising management and reassuring their institutional shareholders.
Nonetheless, whenGulliverlaunched his raid inDecember 1985, three months later than intended, he was still the favourite to win, in spite of the scorn of theDCLboard:‘Mr Gulliverdeals in potatoes and cans of beans,’ said one director. ‘We are not selling brown water in bottles. We are sellingScotch.’
At £1.9bn, it was the largest bid ever made inBritain, and in the early days it looked as ifDistillers’shareholders would supportGulliver. Nervous, the board approachedErnest Saundersas a ‘white knight’.
‘HE COULD HAVE WALKED ON WATER’
Few executives enjoyed a higher reputation thanSaunders.EvenJames Gulliveracknowledged:‘Saunderscould have walked on water. He was regarded… as near genius.’
In fact, he had been looking covetously atDistillerssinceOctober,but the costs of mounting a bid would be huge: he had to be invited to bid, and made it a condition of his acceptance thatDCLpick up the tab.
TheDCLboard was initially reluctant to recommend theGuinnessbid to shareholders – nine of the 12 directors would lose their jobs – but took some comfort from the fact thatSir Thomas Risk,Governor of the Bank ofScotland, would become chairman of the new company (in factSaundersdumped him as soon as the battle was won).
A dramatic bidding war followed. In order to satisfy theMonopolies and Mergers Commission (MMC), theDCLsold a number of brands toWhyte & Mackay,includingJohn Barr, TheBuchanan Blend,The Real Mackenzie, Claymore(a cheap blend, but at the timeDistillers’leading brand in the home market, with 5.9%) and the once mightyHaig Gold Label(once the best-selling Scotch in the home market, now commanding a mere 2.77%).
The loss of these would not affectDistillers’export sales. The deal was accepted by theMMC(in spite of the risible selling price), butGulliverwas still ahead until the final month of the battle, and the Press was behind him.
Then theGuinnessshare price began to rise meteorically, enablingSaundersto increase his bid – and, in the end, to win the day, clinching the deal with an unconditional, £2.6bn offer on18April 1986.What happened?
In the early1980s,it became common for raiders to call upon the help of their friends in the City to bolster their share price while a deal was still going through, with defensive tactics developed in parallel.
It was all legal, although not strictly above board. But, as the deals became bigger and the stakes larger, the ‘friends’ began to ask for indemnities against loss, or even additional ‘success fees’. This was illegal.Ivan Fallonwrote later:
‘It was in that final period that dubious tactics got out of hand. They would giveGuinnessthe victory. But they also causedSaundersto lose his job, would result in the resignation of a dozen others, end some of the most promising careers in merchant banking, and cause a scandal such as the City has not known for 50 years.’
During the months following theGuinnesstakeover ofDCL, questions began to be asked about theGuinness‘share support operation’, which was so massive and so murky that the City and its watchdogs could not turn a blind eye.
It was revealed thatIvan Boesky, the leading ‘arbitrageur’ (investor in companies involved in takeovers), had invested$100m inGuinnessin return forGuinnessinvesting the same amount in one ofBoesky’sinvestment funds. A further £100m had been borrowed byGuinnessfrom a Swiss bank ‘for the purchase of its own shares’.
An action for fraud was raised againstErnest Saundersand four of his closest associates. The case came to court early in1990and lasted 100 days.Saunderswas sentenced to five years in prison (later reduced to two) and his colleagues to about a year each, with fines up to £5m.
The £2.6bn takeover of theDistillers Company Limited (DCL)byGuinness plcwas one of the biggest – and most notorious – deals ever done in the City of London. But, as the dust settled, what of the company created by the scandal-hit acquisition?.
On19 January 1986, in their elegant, wood-panelled boardroom inSt James’s Square, the board of theDistillers Companydebated whether they should recommend that their shareholders support the bid fromGuinness plcto take over the company, to counter the bid fromJames Gulliver’s Argyll Group.
Nine out of the 12 directors would lose their jobs, and they reminded the other board members that the company’s principal defence againstGulliver,as stated to shareholders, was that the board had at last got the management structure, marketing and production systems right.
Now they were being asked to admit that this was not true, that the board was not good enough to run the enlarged company. It was, painfully, pointed out to them by the merchant bankers present that the board was held in low esteem by both the City and the shareholders; they stressed that there was little or no chance of remaining independent – it was a clear case of hostile or friendly takeover.
The directors were persuaded.Guinnesswas at least a drinks company,Argylla mere grocery chain. But the battle which followed – – was unprecedented in its dirtiness.
The corporate scandal that ensued rocked the City of London, led to the imprisonment for fraud ofGuinness’chairman and CEO,Ernest Saunders,and four of his closest associates, and severely damaged shareholders’ confidence in ‘the giant of theScotchwhisky industry’.
p^�p^���� Ƣ�^��^�@�^� had a monumental task ahead of them.
Saunders’successor as chairman wasSir Norman Macfarlane, a highly personable man of impeccable integrity and a pillar of theGlasgowestablishment; equally well regarded,Anthony TennantleftGrand Metroplitanto become managing director ofGuinness, whileAnthony Greener(former managing director ofDunhill Holdings) became managing director ofUnited Distillers.
They were a formidable team, andSir Norman (later Lord Macfarlane of Bearsden)played a crucial role, not only in winning the confidence of the City, but in restoring morale at all levels of the company.
The first two years were chaotic. The immediate and pressing need was to raise cash. Companies which were not part ofGuinness’core business were sold off, as were the palatial buildings acquired by the whisky barons and their successors in central London, includingBuchanan’sandWalker’s offices in St James’s,Dewar House in the HaymarketandDistillers’ House in StJames’s Square.
With them went some of the pictures and most of the furniture amassed by the companies which made up theDCLduring their long histories and, although their archives were retained and sent toEdinburgh, the rapid disposal of assets was both hasty and philistine.
To a degree, the disposal was part of the new management’s determination to sweep away the culture of theDCL. In some ways this was necessary – in recent years, the management of the company had become moribund (very few senior managers kept their jobs) – but in other ways the systems, loyalties, networks and style ofDistillerswere effective.
Consolidation of finance, management and marketing in a single building,Landmark HouseinHammersmith, was certainly a good thing, as was the creation ofUnited Distillersas a single, multi-brand company, rather than theDCL’sdiversity of companies competing against one another for market share. Nonetheless, in the interests of winning back the confidence of the City, the precipitate reorganisation was brutal.
In the early years, global brand managers were appointed, with responsibility for implementing a marketing strategy worldwide. It was quickly realised that this did not take account of local knowledge, market conditions and historical factors, and the management emphasis shifted to become more geographical, allowing distributors a far greater say and responsibility.
An important aspect of corporate policy in the years following the takeover was to take control of international distribution, either by acquisition or joint venture. Originally this was in order to implement global marketing tactics, but it also meant that the distributors’ margin went to the larger company. By1991, the business controlled 80% of its distributors; in1987it had controlled only 25%.
Perhaps the most important and far-reaching decision made by the new management was to raise the image of Scotchwhisky, its price and profitability – a move which would ultimately benefit the whole industry. The decision was borne of the discovery of just how vast was the stock of mature whisky its predecessor had amassed, largely owing to faulty market forecasts.
In the past, theDCLhad used its dominant stock-holding to keep the price of whisky down;United Distillersapproached it in the opposite way, driving the price up, making better use of its old fillings to introduce de luxe and super-de luxe blends (such asJohnnie Walker Blue Label) and, for the first time, to place emphasis on malt whiskies.
In1988, United Distillerslaunched a range of six malts on the market which emphasised the differences in flavour between one malt and another, linking them to the region from which they originated. This new approach stressed ‘regional differences’ and opened up the whole sector.
The ‘idea’ of malt whisky fitted perfectly withUD’soverall strategy. The company had huge resources of mature whisky to draw from; malts were upmarket, high-value and high-profile; the interest in them had been growing since the early1980s;‘regional differences’ had been acknowledged since at least the1930s.
The malts chosen wereLagavulin, Talisker, Oban, Dalwhinnie, Cragganmore and Glenkinchie;all were from small, traditional, picturesque distilleries – the company had in mind that consumers would want to visit them, and soon developed visitor facilities at each.
They were handsomely repackaged, each in a differently shaped bottle with a different style of label. Although they were to be offered as a set, and accompanied by six-bottle bar stands and display materials, the differences between them were not to be lost in uniform packaging.
It is no exaggeration to claim thatThe Classic Maltsopened up the entire sector. The collection was soon followed by theRare MaltsandFlora & Faunaranges, which further expanded consumers’ choice.
These forward-thinking tactics delivered a spectacular growth in profitability in only a short time. Group profits climbed from £408m in1987to £956m in 1991, with 75% contributed byUnited Distillers,which could by1990proudly claim to be not only the largest spirits producer in the world, but the most profitable.
In May 1997, the City awoke to the news thatGuinnessandGrand Metropolitanhad agreed to merge.Grand Metbegan as a hotel group and moved into drinks in1973by acquiringWatney Mannand its subsidiary,International Distillers and Vintners (IDV), which ownedJ&B (with Knockando, Auchroisk and Glen Spey Distilleries), Gilbey’s gin,Piat d’Or wineandCroft SherryandPort,and also held the European rights to Smirnoff vodka.
The merged company was originally to be namedGMG Brands(ie Grand Met Guinness),withUnited Distillers & Vintners (UDV)as its trading division. Later in1997, the holding company was re-christened ‘Diageo’– a name devised by the company’s branding consultant,Wolff Olins, for a substantial fee.
An uncomfortable mix ofLatinandGreek,Diageoalluded to the fact that everyday (Dia)the company operated all round theworld (Geo). In2000, the corporate structure was simplified so thatDiageoreplacedUDVas the trading entity.
In hisScotch Whisky Industry Review 1997, Alan Greyremarked:
‘The new name was greeted with not inconsiderable amusement by the public at large, commentators and the whisky industry generally. However, although the shareholders at the meeting to approve the new name voted against it on a show of hands, the block postal votes delivered the requisite number and Diageo came into being.’
PORT ELLEN AND BRORA TO REOPEN
09 October 2017
Cult single malt distilleriesPort EllenandBroraare to be reopened by ownerDiageoin a £35m investment, with production scheduled to start again in2020.
Port Ellen Brora
Back from the dead:BroraandPort Ellenare set to reopen in2020
The company said the two distilleries would produce spirit ‘in carefully controlled quantities… replicating where possible the distillation regimes and spirit character of the original distilleries’.
Port Ellen, onIslay,andBrora,on the east coast ofSutherland,were both deemed surplus to requirements and closed down in1983during a gloomy period for theScotchwhisky industry.
Since then, they have become arguably the most prized single maltScotchwhiskies in existence, coveted by collectors and connoisseurs, and attracting ever higher prices for theirannual SpecialReleasebottlings, and at auction.
Diageosaid: ‘The decision is partly a response to… demands from existing enthusiasts, but it also reflects the strong growth in the single maltScotchmarket and the opportunity to create new generations of whisky consumers.’
The reinstatedPort Ellendistillery will be housed in a new building on the site, with new stills created from detailed records, whileBrorawill refurbish the closed distillery’s existing buildings and single pair of stills.
The distilleries will be two of the smallest operated byDiageo,producing 800,000 litres of alcohol a year, a similar size toOban.
Both will produce medium-peated spirit character, and both will have dedicated visitor centres, or‘Brand Homes’.
Diageohead of whisky outreachDr Nick Morganhailed the announcement as ‘a truly exceptional moment inScotch whisky’,adding:‘Port EllenandBroraare names which have a uniquely powerful resonance with whisky lovers around the world, and the opportunity to bring these lost distilleries back to life is as rare and special as the spirit for which the distilleries are famous.
‘Only a very few people will ever be able to try the originalPort EllenandBrorasingle malts as they become increasingly rare, so we are thrilled that we will now be able to produce new expressions of these whiskies for new generations of people to enjoy.’
THE RESURRECTION OF PORT ELLEN AND BRORA
The shock news that cult distilleriesPort EllenandBroraare being brought back into production has reverberated around the whisky world.
Port Ellen distillery
Famous name: It is now 34 years since whisky was last made atPort Ellen
In the mythology that surrounds the legions of ‘ghost’ distilleries, two spectres loom especially large:Port EllenandBrora.While romantics have long fantasised about their revival, realists were typically dismissive of the idea. It turns out that the romantics were right.
Both cult names –Port EllenonIslayandBroraon the east coast ofSutherland– will be distilling again by2020after their owner, world’s largestScotchwhisky producerDiageo,announced a £35m investment to refurbish and refit the two sites.
‘It’s hard to over-estimate the degree of excitement among those people who have been working on this for a year or more now,’Diageohead of whisky outreachDr Nick Morgansays. ‘This is a really special day for us and for whisky drinkers everywhere… It’s the whisky announcement of a lifetime.’
The legend surroundingPort EllenandBrorahas only been magnified by their apparently permanent demise. Both were casualties of the early1980swhisky loch, when the spirit they made for blends was surplus to requirements.
These were different times, when single malts were in their infancy. Only years later – and thanks in no small measure to the annual Special Release bottlings sold by Diageo – did the two distilleries ascend to their current level of fame and value (this year’s Port Ellen and Brora Special Releases were priced at £2,625 and £1,450 per bottle respectively).
Brorawas known asClynelish, before a new distillery was built on the same site
So why reopen them now? ‘I think there are a number of converging reasons,’Dr Morgansays. ‘The first thing is that from aDiageoperspective we have a huge amount of confidence in whereScotchis at the moment, and where we think it’s going to be going over the next 15, 20, 25 years.’
The growth of single malt sales around the world – particularly among connoisseurs and collectors – is a key factor, but the remarkable status enjoyed by these two closed distilleries makes them a case apart.
‘When we started bottlingPort EllenandBrorain theSpecial Releases15 or 16 years ago, there were many people inDiageowho thought we wouldn’t be able to sell those bottles for £100,’ recallsDr Morgan.
‘We thought the time was right really to bring those two back from the dead in order to expand the number of people who can enjoy them… This will allow a lot more whisky enthusiasts to do so.’
ToJon Beach, Port Ellen collectorand owner of Fiddler’s Highland Restaurant & Whisky Baron the shores of Loch Ness, the decision to revive the plants is a ‘no-brainer’. He adds: ‘If it had been a smaller company or a medium-sized company, it would have happened already, I would have thought.’
There’s still plenty of work forDiageoto do. Technically, this announcement is that the company is seeking planning permission to restart whisky production on the two sites, as well as working through the various regulatory approvals needed to run a modern whisky distillery.
In the case ofBrora,the existing, derelict buildings will be used, and the two stills (which remain there) will be refurbished and recommissioned; worm tubs will be installed again.
Port Ellen Special Releases
Auction favourite: Port Ellen Special Releasebottlings are particularly sought-after
ForPort Ellen,the work needed is more drastic: a new building will be constructed in the courtyard between the maltings and the old warehouses, and a pair of new stills and condensers built and installed.Diageosays it has ‘detailed drawings’ and records of the old equipment to help this process.
The two distilleries will be small by industry standards, producing 800,000 litres of alcohol a year (similar to the production levels atOban,but higher thanDiageo’ssmallest commercial distillery,Royal Lochnagar).
ForBrora,that’s a slight reduction on its historic production level of 1m litres of alcohol a year; forPort Ellen,where there were previously two pairs of stills, it more than halves production.
This decision is shaped partly by strategic thinking, and partly by pragmatism. ‘We want these to be – I suppose you could say – small, bespoke distilleries,’ explains Dr Morgan.‘It will enable us to make the distilleries the way we want them to be, and we couldn’t really do a 5-10m-litre operation [on those sites] even if we wanted to.’
As for the whisky itself, the task will be to recreate what was made in the late1970sand p^�p^���� Ƣ�^��^�@�^�places were being run in the1980s,and people still on the payroll who worked on those distilleries, so we can use that wisdom,’ saysDr Morgan.
‘Our intention is to try and replicate as far as we can the medium-peated style of whiskies that these distilleries produced. But we know a lot more about distilling now than we did in the1980s,and we’re also cleverer in terms of things like sustainability.’
Maturation is another matter altogether. Historically, Port EllenandBrorawere filled into cask for use in blends, but the ‘new’ distilleries will be almost entirely ring-fenced for single malt (althoughDr Morganhypothesises that mature stock might find its way into highendJohnnie Walkerblends in the future).
‘We haven’t sat down and talked about maturation,’ he says. ‘That does raise some interesting questions, given the cask regimes – or lack of cask regimes – at that time. I’m sure there will be some very interesting conversations about that.’
In the1970sand1980s,Port Ellenwas often filled (at high strength) into tired, almost inert casks. ‘If they do that again, they’re not going to have any of the “new”Port EllenorBrorafor another 25-30 years,’ points outBeach.
So when can we expect to see the first whiskies from the revived sites? ‘We will probably release them as 12-year-olds, but that’s not to say we wouldn’t put out a very small release of something before then,’ saysDr Morgan– meaning that it could be2032before any ‘new’BroraorPort Ellenhits the market.
The impact on that market – in particular, the buoyant secondary market for these ‘collectible’ single malts – was another serious consideration forDiageoin deciding whether or not to resurrect the distilleries.
Indeed, there have already been some gloomy predictions of falling prices for ‘old’BroraandPort Ellenas a result of the announcement, butDr Morganisn’t convinced by the pessimism.
The1972 Brorasold for HK$147,000 at auction inHong Kong inMay 2018
‘You don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater,’ he says. ‘Our feeling is that the reputation, the value of the existing, diminishing stocks from the two old distilleries will actually only increase.’
What doesBeachthink? ‘I don’t know,’ he says. ‘I think these whiskies are so good they’ll always be wanted, you know – especially some of the oldBrorasandPort Ellensfrom the early ’70s.Anyway, it’s a long way away still. Time will tell.’
Whatever the future holds, we shouldn’t necessarily expect a line of more ‘ghost’distilleries queuing up to be revivified any time soon. As well as their lofty status, Port Ellen andBrorahave the continued existence of their sites to thank for their new lease of life; many other‘lost’distilleries are exactly that – their buildings bulldozed, their land reclaimed for alternative uses.
Things change in whisky. It’s worth remembering that, assuming spirit is running from the stills on schedule, this will be the second time in a century thatPort Ellenhas been out of production for37years (it was also silent between1930and1967).
The last time that production restarted at the site, it was only 16 years before the stills fell silent again. Happily, the prospects now are altogether brighter, thanks to a booming single malt market – and the fact that the reputation of these two distilleries has expanded beyond all recognition over the past 34 years.
A life in whisky:James Espeyhas been involved in the industry for nearly 50 years
It’s no wonder thatJames Espeybegins our conversation by professing his passionate belief that everything – you, me, the UK, the current Prime Minister – is a brand. This, after all, is a man with the likes of theClassic Malts,Johnnie Walker Blue Label,Chivas Regal 18-year-old,BaileysandMalibuon hisCV.
In 50 years in business, including stints atInternational Distillers & Vintners (IDV),United Distillers (UD,both now part ofDiageo) andChivas Brothers, he’s seen the power of the right name on the right product at the right time.
Spend an hour or so in his company and – beyond finding it hard to get a word in – you’ll hear a fair bit of what can only be called marketing speak: ‘I’ve always believed in swimming upstream’ … ‘There are more Dr Nos than people who say yes, you can’ … ‘From acorns you grow mighty trees.’
ButEspey’slove of jargon conceals a deeper understanding of spirits in general andScotchwhisky in particular, rooted in a refusal to allow short-term worries to overrun long-term vision. Beyond the brands, he also created theKeepers of Quaich, and was awarded the OBE for services toScotchwhisky in the2013 Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Here’sEspeyon the creation (by long-time colleagueTom Jago,with whom he co-foundedThe Last Drop) ofBaileysin1974: ‘Baileysfailed in research, soTomhid the research, because he believed in the brand … I just had a feeling aboutBaileys, became chairman ofBaileys,went around the world talking aboutBaileys.’
Within a few years,Espeyhad persuaded the board ofIDVparentGrand Metto spend £8m on a 3m-caseBaileysfactory inDublin. ‘One year we even tried to persuade the Irish farmers to change their calving patterns because we were worried about having enough cream,’ he recalls with a wry smile.
And here he is on whisky inventory planning: ‘When I was chairman ofChivas,I remember laying down stock for the next 20 years – more than 20. I got a call fromNew Yorkone day from a finance man saying:“James?Can you cut the distilling for a month or two because the quarterly earnings are down?” Well, my language was very colourful. I said to him: “Tough.” Because we were taking a long-term view.’
ToEspey,his time atIDVin the late1970sand early1980swas the most creative and innovative of his career. He was brought toLondonby then bossAnthony Tennantas marketing director, to oversee the federalisation ofIDV’spainfully fragmented empire. ‘Six-month trial,’Espeyrecalls. ‘Succeed and you’re on the board; fail and you get shipped back toSouth Africa.I said: “You’re on.”’
Born inZambia, Espeywas in his 30s by this time, his marketing nous sharpened by the reality of a long stint in sales withIDVoutpostGilbeys South Africa– where he made his mark on the chauffeur-driven sales force by matching them drink for drink (‘They promoted the old-fashioned way – drank like fish’) and challenging them to running races.
IDV– a collection of branded fiefdoms includingJ&B, Gilbeys, CroftandSmirnoff– was another matter entirely.Espey’sapproach was forensic in the extreme: he wrote a doctorate on the history, operations, challenges and potential of the company which he has kept to this day.
It’s an approach that borders on the paradoxical – do your homework assiduously, be as thorough as you can be, but in the end rely on your gut instinct. And, as the success ofBaileys, Malibu(created byEspeywith the third member of theLast Droptriumvirate,Peter Fleck)andPiat d’Orshowed, it worked.
Well, most of the time.Baileysbombed in research, but became one of the most successful drinks launches in history; the follow-up,John Dowland’s Greensleeves–‘the English Baileys’ –researched brilliantly, but was a total failure – possibly, asEspeyacknowledges now, because the liquid was chlorophyll-green.
‘Research is an aid to judgement, not a substitute for judgement,’ he says. ‘Research is like a drunk leaning against a lamp-post: is it there for illumination, or support, or both? You can use these tools, but where is the instinct?’
Johnnie Walker Oldest– later renamedBlue Label– was anotherJagocreation, a judicious marriage of 15-year-old whisky with whatEspeyhas termed ‘homeopathic’ amounts of 60-year-old liquid (the original label featured the now illegal ‘Aged 15 to 60 Years’ descriptor). The result was a huge boost to theWalkerfranchise – and to luxury blendedScotchin general.
And theClassic Malts?‘We did theClassic Maltsbecause we felt there was a future formalts,’Espeyrecalls.‘Glenfiddichhad done a brilliant job and we hadn’t –United Distillershadn’t. The only brand we were selling wasCardhu, which we made the home ofJohnnie Walker.
‘I think we had 32 distilleries at the time. We looked at all 32 and said: “What’s a balanced portfolio of interesting distilleries?” We wanted aLowland,so we pickedGlenkinchie; we wanted anIslay,so we choseLagavulin;we gotTaliskerforSkye;Dalwhinnieas the highest distillery inScotland.
‘So we balanced the six and then we packaged it uniquely for the on-trade. It was a fun thing to do at the time because theDistillers Companyused to run downsingle malts. And the one that ran out fastest wasLagavulin,and we’d made that a 16-year-old!’
The genius of theClassic Malts– and it sounds obvious in2016– is the rooting of product in place, the simple,regional breakdown of people’s increasing interest in the world of singlemalts. The way you sell that kind of concept is whatEspeycalls the ‘soft rain’ ofScotchwhisky marketing.
‘When you bring people in from overseas[to Scotland], you’re working on their mindsets,’ he says. ‘You make them get a feeling forScotch. It’s not about an advert, it’s about this magical industry with its rich heritage and this history.
‘It’s not about kilts and drums, but it’s about the Highlands, the water, the peat, the stories, and I call it softness – it’s very gentle marketing. A lot of what you’ve got to do is to win the hearts and minds.’
WhenEspeyleftUDfor itsSeagram-owned rival,Chivas Regal & Glenlivet Group,in1992, one of his first acts was to persuade the owningBronfman familyto spend US$10m on revamping the company’s distilleries for tourism, upgradingThe Glenlivetand restoring the historic gardens atGlen Grant.
But the‘soft rain’theory is perhaps best encapsulated byEspey’screation of theKeepers of the Quaichin1988. ‘I wanted something to honour people who had made a contribution toScotchwhisky,’ he explains. ‘It’s the ultimate“soft rain”– aScotch whisky knighthood.
‘You only induct 80 people a year roughly, twice a year atBlair Castle. And you have to have been in the industry for a minimum of five years. I remember when I was chairman, there were multi-millionaires shaking when I said: “Will you uphold the aims and honour of theKeepers of the Quaich?”’
One ofEspey’sother creations was to signal the end of his career atChivas.He andJagowere convinced thatChivas Regal 18-year-oldwould be a huge success, but hit internal opposition in the form of their boss.‘Edgar Bronfman Srsaid: “You won’t launchChivas 18.My father[Sam]launchedChivas 12and there’ll never be an18–you’re wrong.”He didn’t think we could do it, and people were used to saying: “Yes, sir; no, sir.” He was arrogant.’
AgainstBronfman’swishes,Chivas 18was launched; shortly afterwards, on his wedding anniversary,Espeyfound himself out of a job. He vowed never to work for a corporation again, taking on a series of non-executive appointments instead –AG Barr,Fuller, Smith & Turner,Church Shoes– and, among other things, helping smooth the sale ofWhyte & MackaytoIndian mogul Vijay Mallya.
TheEspeyvision of human life as brand cycle goes something like this: up to 30: shaping your brand; 30-50: building and enhancing your brand; 50-65: capitalising on your brand; 65-plus: self-reinvention. InEspey’scase, the self-reinvention isThe Last Drop Distillers, in which endeavour he is joined by his old muckers,JagoandFleck.
‘Tomand I registered a company calledThe Last Drop Distillers Ltdand the sloganBefore There is No Morebecause we believe passionately that there are little nuggets of whisky hiding all overScotland,’ Espeyexplains. ‘But what happened in the old days was that companies would just blend them in and they would disappear.’
But how to unearth these liquid gems?Espeyraided his contacts book, recalling in particular a young accountant from hisUDdays with whom he had ‘got on like a house on fire’ –Mike Keiller,then boss ofMorrison Bowmore.
‘Mikeliked the idea and I couldn’t have done it on my own,’Espeyacknowledges. ‘And in his cellars I found sleeping a1960whisky, and it was a blend, 82 whiskies – a freak of a blend – and, when we tasted it, we were gobsmacked.’
The Last Drophas released a series of ancient blends since then, plus a memorable1967 Glen Gariochbottling, all in severely limited numbers and all with frankly eye-watering price tags (the latest, a 50-year-old Double Matured blend, is £3,000 a bottle).
It hasn’t all been plain sailing: it’s not easy to find distribution partners when you’re only selling minuscule amounts of extremely high-value liquid; and, now thatMorrison Bowmoreis subsumed into the mergedBeam Suntory (Keilleris now on the board atThe Last Drop), there’s the tricky task of finding the liquid for future bottlings.
‘We want to be agile,’ saysEspey.‘We’re not brokers; we’re not wheeling and dealing in someone else’s brands. We made an absolute virtue ofGlen Garioch– we’re proud of it. SoGlen Gariochgets all this wonderful PR; every time they write about The Last Drop, they’re getting the benefits.
‘So we�p^�p^���� Ƣ�^��^�@�^�t there, we could do a marketing job for them, provided they’ve got one or two old parcels. We can help.’
The alternative, of course, would be to sell all or part of the business to an established player. ‘I always saw it as being maybe, one day, a halo brand in somebody’s stable,’Espeyadmits. ‘It’s got to be somebody with vision – I’m not here trying to sell the company, but we might talk to someone and they might take a position with us.’
Given the somewhat advanced years of The Last Drop’sfounding trio – the company brochure talks of ‘120 years of experience in the bottle’ – that conversation might happen quite soon. But then again, there’s a bit of succession planning going on as well:Espey’sandJago’s daughters, Beanie and Rebecca, have joined the company in recent times.
Not thatEspey– a bundle of ceaseless energy nearly a decade into his ‘retirement’ – is about to pack it all in just yet. ‘It’s a fun industry,’ he says. ‘I’m still in it at 73 because I love it. I’m as passionate about it as the day when I started, and this is my 47th year.’ And that has to rank as decent longevity for any brand.
JAMES ESPEY ON…
Moving toEngland:‘I arrived on18 May 1977and stayed in the Chesterfield Hotel for six weeks. Then I bought a house inPutney– I had exactly £3,000 in my life and I put that down as a deposit.’
A love ofgrainwhisky: ‘I’m a big fan ofgrainand I think you will hear more aboutgrainfrom us. And I think the industry should be making more of a virtue of oldgrain.’
The1980s whisky loch:‘Let me tell you what happened precisely: there was a panic. Suddenly there’s too much whisky, so at the bottom end people were dumping whisky and supermarkets were buying it at £5 a case. If you’re buying three-year-old whisky at £5 a case, who’s making money there? So what happened? People turned off the taps.’
The pressures of the modern whisky industry: ‘I think the bonus culture is a little too short-term. We took a long-term view of everything; if we’d taken a short-term view, we wouldn’t have launched half the brands we did. I do worry and feel for the top executives of these companies – they’re under enormous pressures every day.’
Old-school whisky arrogance: ‘I think 40 years ago theDistillers Companywas very arrogant, saying you only drink Scotch with soda water, or on the rocks, or with ordinary water. If you want to drink it with kangaroo juice, I’m happy with that. I drankScotchwith Diet Coke last night with my mother-in-law, and what’s wrong with that?’
The rise of‘craft’:‘We’re now seeing all thesecraftthings arising left, right and centre, because the consumer’s tired of big, battalion brands that don’t seem to care about them. I think you’ve got to show through your brand that you care about the consumer.’
Fiery blended whisky pioneer and staunchScottishUnionist,‘Restless Peter’ Mackietook on all-comers, from distillery rivals to Liberal Chancellors. leading figures of the early 20th-century
Sir Peter Mackie
Strong personality:Peter Mackiewas one ofScotch'smost energetic and committed figures.‘One-third genius, one-third megalomaniac and one-third eccentric.’
So wrote author, diplomat and secret agentSir Robert Bruce-Lockhartabout one of the true pioneers of blendedScotchwhisky, a man nicknamed‘Restless Peter’by his contemporaries. His real name wasPeter Jeffrey Mackie.
Mackiewas born on26 November 1855inSt Ninians, nearStirling, the son of a farmer and grain merchant,Alexander Mackie.
At the age of 23, he started work for his uncle,James Logan Mackie, whoseGlasgow-based whisky firmMackie & Cohad been established the year afterPeter’s birth.
Mackieworked in partnership withJohn Graham, whose family leased theIslay distilleryofLagavulin,andPeterwas immediately sent there to learn the art of distillation. This gave him an invaluable practical knowledge of the whisky industry.
TheMackiesbegan to blend whisky during the mid-1880s,withLagavulinat its heart, andPeter Mackieregistered the‘White Horse’brand in1891, a year afterMackie & Co (Distillers)was established, withPeteras a partner.
The nameWhite Horsewas chosen because of theMackiefamily’s centuries-long association with the famousWhite Horse coaching Inn,situated onEdinburgh’s Canongate.
In1895 Mackie’sbecame a limited company, withPeteras chairman, by which time theWhite Horse blendwas enjoying success in a number of export markets, and the firm decided it needed to become involved in distillery ownership in order to secure a supply of malt spirit.
Accordingly,Mackie’sbecame one of the partners in theCraigellachie Distillery Co Ltd,which in1891constructedCraigellachie distilleryonSpeyside.Mackie & Co (Distillers) Ltdwent on to take full control ofCraigellachieduring1916.
Peter Mackiehad a large sign in his office at13 Carlton Place, Glasgow,bearing the legendTake nothing for granted, and he was described byAllen Andrewsin his1977book TheWhisky Baronsas ‘The fieriest of all the modern pioneers of blended Scotch whisky…’
This temperament was well illustrated by the creation ofMalt Mill distilleryin1908and by his response toLiberal Chancellor David Lloyd George’s Budgetthe following year.
As well as his association withLagavulin, Peter Mackiealso acted as sales agent for nearbyLaphroaig distillery. When he lost this role due to a disagreement over water rights, he decided to make his own version ofLaphroaig.
Accordingly, he constructed a small distillery namedMalt Millwithin theLagavulinsite, poachingLaphroaig staffto run it for him and firing the stills using only peat. Despite never proving a danger toLaphroaig’ssales,Malt Millcontinued to operate until1960.
Peter Mackie’snext battle was waged againstLloyd George.Mackiewas a staunchTorywho was outraged by the‘People’s Budget’ of April 1909.The provisions included an increase in distillers’ licence fees and in duty on spirits by 3s 6d, from 11s to 14s 6d. This was a rise of approximately one-third, and allScotchwhisky distillers were predictably furious.
Peter Mackieprovided the most memorable response to the Budget when he declared that:
‘The whole framing of the Budget is that of a faddist and a crank and not a statesman. But what can one expect of aWelshcountry solicitor being placed, without any commercial training, asChancellor of the Exchequerin a large country like this?’
When it came to blending whisky,Peter Mackiewas passionate about quality, using significant amounts of well-aged component malt whiskies, and he campaigned for a minimum age specification forScotchwhisky.
The distillery chroniclerAlfred Barnardwas commissioned byMackieto produce a pamphlet about the company’s distilleries and blending operations, and the chapter entitled How to blend whisky is revealing ofMackie’smodus operandi.
‘By request we give an example of a blend that has been most popular both at home and abroad. Average age, seven years.’
This is presumablyWhite Horse,andBarnarddescribes the composition – with only one-quarter grain whisky – as follows:
3 Glenlivets_____________5 parts
2 Islays________________3 “
2 Lowland Malts_________3 “
1 Campbeltown_________ 1 “
2 Grains_______________ 4 “
Althoughwhiskywas his abiding passion,‘Restless Peter’ Mackiemanaged to find time to involve himself in a wide variety of interests, including the manufacture ofBBM – ‘Bran, Bone and Muscle’flour – which was prepared in the basement of the firm’sGlasgowpremises, with all company employees being instructed to buy it for baking purposes.
As an active and vocal member of theScottish Unionist Association, he wrote and spoke extensively about tariff reform and federalism, travelling widely in the process.
He was also an estate owner inArgyllshire,donating cattle from his own herd toRhodesiain1918in order to encourage livestock breeding there. He even financed an anthropological expedition toUganda.
Mackiewas created abaronetin the 1920 Birthday Honours, and in the same yearMackie & Co (Distillers)Ltd acquiredHazelburn distilleryinCampbeltown.
When in the ensuing yearsCampbeltownwhiskies began to gain an unwelcome reputation for poor quality,Mackieannounced that his Hazelburn distillery was no longer producingCampbeltownwhisky – butKintyrewhisky.
It is said thatSir Peter Mackiewas amenable to the sale of his company in the early1920s,partly because his son and likely successor had been killed during theFirst World War.Unsuccessful negotiations were held with John Dewar & Sons,prior toMackie’sdeath inSeptember 1924atCorraithinAyrshire.
In that year the firm was renamedWhite Horse Distillers Ltdand became a public company, ultimately being taken over by the mightyDistillers Company Ltd (DCL)three years later.
DCL– and its successor companyDiageo– continued to develop theWhite Horse brand, which now sells principally inJapan, Brazil, Greece, the UK, Africa and the US.
It still boasts a relatively high malt content and has a peaty character redolent ofLagavulin– a fitting legacy for one of the whisky industry’s most energetic and committed figures.
One of the famed ‘Whisky Barons’of the late19thcentury,James Buchananovercame ill-health to make his blends some of the most popular in the world, amassing a huge fortune matched only by his legacy to the world ofScotchwhisky.
The term ‘Whisky Barons’ is often loosely applied to the individuals who made their fortunes during the blendedScotchwhisky boom of the second half of the 19th century, and who were ultimately recipients of honours from a grateful nation.
One suchBaronwasJames Buchanan,whose name is inextricably linked with theBlack & Whiteblend which he created. Although elusive in the domestic market, more mature consumers have fond memories of its label, depicting a black ‘Scotty’ dog and a White ‘Westie’. Indeed, the story goes thatBuchananwas inspired to use this image while returning home from a dog show.
James Buchananwas born in1849inRockville, Ontario, Canada, where his parentsAlexanderandCatherinehad emigrated, though much of his childhood was spent atLarne,on theAntrim coast ofNorthern Ireland,where his father was employed as aquarrymanager,
Despite ill-health as a child,Buchananbegan to work forGlasgowshipping agentWilliam Sloan & Coat the age of 14, serving as office boy and then clerk. He then joined his brotherWilliam’sGlasgow-based grain business, before taking his first steps in the world ofwhiskyasLondon-based agent forCharles Mackinlay & Cofrom1879.
In their bookThe Making of Scotch Whisky,Michael S MossandJohn R HumedescribeBuchanan’scareer withMackinlayas ‘…short and unsuccessful’, but he fared rather better after formingJames Buchanan & Coin1884,aided byGlasgowblenderWilliam Lowrie,who initially providedBuchananwith his bespoke blend. Just a year after establishing his own company,The Buchanan Blendwas being supplied to theHouses of Parliament.
Photographs ofJames Buchananfrom this period show an elegant and immaculately dressed figure, and he shared a flair for publicity with fellow would-be whiskybaronssuch asTommy Dewar, being driven in a red-wheeled carriage, complete with liveried footman. LikeDewar, he was also quick to see the potential in advertising hiswhisky,first taking out newspaper adverts in1887.
Sales grew dramatically on a global basis, withBuchananestablishing what ultimately became known as theBlack & White blendas a smooth, refined, well-matured whisky with a relatively high malt content.
The blend required supplies of quality malt whisky to fuel its expansion, and in1897 James Buchanan & Co Ltdcombined with old associatesWP Lowrie & Co Ltdto form theGlentauchers-Glenlivet Distillery Company.A distillery was constructed atMulben, near theSpeysidedistilling town ofKeith,with production commencing inJune 1898.
That same year,BuchananreceivedRoyal Warrantsto supply whisky toQueen Victoria, thePrince of Walesand theDuke of Yorkand, whenBuchanan & Cobecame a limited company five years later,James Buchananwas worth £750,000. By1909,his whisky was the best-selling blend inEngland.
The early years of the20thcentury sawBuchananopen offices inParis, New York, HamburgandBuenos Airesas the blend continued to flourip^�p^���� Ƣ�^��^�@�^�ing operation much more efficient. The following year, he invested in theNorth British Bottle Manufacturing Companyand purchased theAcme Tea Chest Company.
Such was the ongoing success ofBuchanan’sbusiness that, in1915,James Buchanan & Co Ltdmerged withJohn Dewar & Sons Ltd,creating a company ultimately known asBuchanan-Dewar Ltd.
In1922,the company acquired theBenrinnes-Glenlivet distillerynearAberlour,and by that time it already owned11 Scottish distilleries,includingPort Ellen, Royal Lochnagar, Aultmore, DalwhinnieandConvalmore. Buchanan-Dewar Ltdbecame part of theDistillers Company Ltd (DCL)empire in1925.
James Buchanansoon ceased to play an active part in the company’s affairs, having been plagued by ill-health all his life. He swapped the commercial world for the life of anEnglishcountry gentleman, purchasing theLavington Park estatenearPetworthinSussex,where he bred cattle and sheep, and established a successful thoroughbred stud.
Buchanan’shorses twice won theEpsom DerbyandSt Leger ‘classics’,withHurry Onlanding the1916 St Leger, whileCaptain Cuttletook the1922 DerbyandCoronachscored in both theDerbyandSt Leger of 1926
In addition toLavington Park, Buchananowned land inKenyaandArgentinaand, in partnership withLord Aberdeen, operated a 20,000-acre fruit farm inBritish Columbia.Back home, he was appointedHigh Sheriff of Sussexin1910, and was elected as a member of theJockey Club in 1927.
James BuchananbecameSir James Buchananin1920,then was elevated to the peerage as Baron Woolavingtontwo years later in theNew Year’s Honours List.
Officially, the baronetcy was a reward forBuchanan’sundoubtedly extensive charitable activities – in the best traditions of his time, he was a generous philanthropist – but he also allegedly paid £50,000 toLloyd George’sgovernment in return for his honour. Lloyd Georgewas known to view the honours system as a useful means of raising revenue, so the story may well be true.
Buchananwas nothing if not shrewd, however, and reputedly signed his cheque with the name‘Woolavington’,dating it 2 January – the day after the title was officially to be announced – so that no payment would be made unless the promised baronetcy was forthcoming.
Buchananhad marriedAnnie Eliza Pounder, a widow13 years his junior, in1891, and their only son died in infancy. This meant that, whenBuchanandied inAugust 1935at the age of85,thebaronetcybecame extinct, although the couple also had a daughter,Catherine.Buchanan’sestate was worth in excess of £7m, or more than £450m in today’s terms.
His legacy to the world ofScotchwhisky was equally significant. By insisting that his whiskies should be well-aged and have a significant malt content,James Buchanandid much to make blendedScotchboth popular and respectable, and played a leading role in helping it to become a drink for the world.
Der Spirituosen-Konzern Diageo kauft den Wermut-Hersteller Belsazar. Die Marke des Berliner Start-ups schließt eine Lücke im Portfolio des Getränke-Giganten.
Diageohat seinem Portfolio eine weitere aufstrebende Marke hinzugefügt: Der weltgrößte Spirituosen-Konzern hat den deutschen Wermut-HerstellerBelsazarübernommen. Wie das britische Unternehmen, zu dessen bekanntesten MarkenJohnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Tanqueray, Baileys und Guinnessgehören, mitteilt, will der Konzern damit seine Präsenz im Aperitif-Segment stärken und die Marke im europäischen Raum weiter bekannt machen.
Marktbeobachter sehen in der Übernahme insbesondere den Versuch vonDiageo,eine Lücke im Portfolio zu schließen und den Trend zu leichteren alkoholischen Getränken zu bedienen, wie es der konkurrierendePernod-Ricard-Konzern und insbesondere dieCampari-Gruppeschon tun. Über das Volumen der Vereinbarung mit derBelsazar GmbHwurde nichts bekannt, auch Umsatzzahlen wurden nicht genannt.
„Viele Möglichkeiten für uns“
Belsazarist eine sehr junge Marke. Die Firma ist erst Ende2013vonMaximilian WagnerundSebastian Brack, die zuvor für dieMünchener Gin-Destille „The Duke“beziehungsweise für dieTonic-Marke „Thomas Henry“tätig waren, inBerlingegründet worden. Mit seinen vier unterschiedlichenWermut-Varianten – Dry, White, Rose und Red– im gehobenen Segment sorgte das Start-up auf dem boomendenWermut-Marktals erster deutscher Hersteller innerhalb von nur zwei Jahren für Furore und wurde in der Bar-Szene schnell bekannt.
Bei der„International Spirits Challenge“, einem renommierten Spirituosenwettbewerb, wurde Belsazar 2014in den Kategorien„New Product Range“und „Best DesignandPackaging forOn-Trade-Products“mit zwei Goldmedaillen ausgezeichnet. Inzwischen sind die WürzweineausBerlinvor allem in der anspruchsvollen Gastronomie weitverbreitet, in erster Linie inDeutschland, zunehmend aber auch im europäischen Ausland, dort insbesondere inGroßbritannien.
Produziert wird derWermutinSüdbaden.Die Grundweine stammen vonWinzern im Markgräflerlandund am Kaiserstuhl.Die Mazeration, sprich die Aromatisierung der Weine mit Kräutern, Gewürzen und dem namengebendenWermutkraut,das Aufspriten mit Weinbrand und das Veredeln mit Obstbrand und Traubenmost, werden in Zusammenarbeit mit der TraditionsbrennereiSchladererinStaufenimBreisgauvorgenommen.
Daran soll sich nach den Worten vonWagnerund Brack, die die Firma nach der Übernahme durchDiageoals Direktoren weiterhin leiten werden, auch in Zukunft nichts ändern. Die Produktion werde wie bisher mit den gleichen Lieferanten und an gleicher Stelle fortgesetzt. „FürBelsazarbietet die Übernahme und damit die Integration in eine der weltweit größten Vertriebsorganisationen viele Möglichkeiten“, sagteWagner
Es sei aber nicht daran gedacht und auch nicht möglich, die Produktion kurzfristig stark zu erhöhen. „Wir wollen die Menge nicht über Nacht verdoppeln oder verdreifachen, sondern organisch wachsen“, fügteBrackhinzu. Die Qualität des Wermuts habe Vorrang und setze gewisse Wachstumsgrenzen. Ideen für neue Produkte und spezielle Editionen gebe es gleichwohl schon. DerWermut-Marktsei noch lange nicht „ausgereizt“.
THE SINGLETON The Singleton
This trio of single malts – Dufftown, Glen Ord and Glendullan – has given Diageo a top five brand.
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
The Singletonis actually a threesome of single malts each with a growing family of expressions around a core 12-year-old. First was Singleton of Glen Ord, Diageo’s‘green grassy’ malt from theBlack Islewhich was reserved forAsia. Then came twoSpeysiders–The Singleton of Glendullan(fruity, grassy) for theUSandCanada, andThe Singleton of Dufftown(nutty, spicy), which was kept just forEurope.Today all three are available globally in a bid to become the world’s number one single malt brand.
In each case withThe Singleton of Glendullan, DufftownandGlen Ord,the range has been expanded with older expressions and those with no age statement at all. Examples includeDufftown’s Spey Cascade,Tailfire and Sunray,andGlendullan’s Master’s Artthat is finished inMuscatcasks.
Described as a‘recruitment malt’,The Singletonhas become the key driver inDiageo’ssingle malt portfolio, flanked by‘discovery malts’like Taliskerand Oban,and‘prestige malts’likeMortlachand theannual Special Releasesrange.
THE SINGLETON HISTORY
For a giant with such prominent brands,Diageois not used to playing catch-up to its smaller rivals, but that is what has happened with single malts.
With a view to redressing the balance,The Singleton rangewas launched in2006,starting withGlen Ord, followed byGlendullanandDufftown12 months later. The brand’s success led to a major expansion atGlen Ordin 2014that doubled capacity to 10 million LPA (litres of alcohol per annum).
In the same year,Diageolaunched The Singleton of Dufftown Tailfire and Sunray – the first twoNASexpressions in the brand’s portfolio.
By2015 Diageorevealed plans to grow The Singletonas a single malt brand in its own right, to take on the might ofThe GlenlivetandGlenfiddichwhich jointly held the title of world’s biggest malt brand.
DIAGEO’S 2018 SPECIAL RELEASES REVEALED
Diageo has revealed the first nine bottlings in its 2018 Special Releases, which for the first year since its launch does not feature Brora or Port Ellen.
Diageo Special Releases 2018
Sneak preview: Diageo’s 2018 Special Releases will not be released until this autumn
The annual whisky collection is a selection of limited edition whiskies from distilleries within the Diageo portfolio, often comprising rare and old liquid from lesser-known and closed sites.
However for the first time since the collection launched in 2001, Port Ellen and Brora will not appear in the range, instead rare expressions from both distilleries will be available for purchase ‘as annual bottlings outside of the collection’.
Donald Colville, Diageo’s global malts ambassador, said the decision to remove the two Special Releases stalwarts follows plans to re-open both distilleries in 2020.
He said: ‘The thing with Port Ellen and Brora is we are removing them from the collection, but they will be given their own place, and will be individually released in about a year.
‘We’re bringing them in line with the announcement of the reopening of the distilleries; we felt it was time to give them their own place to be highlighted.
‘You’ll still see releases on a potentially annual basis, but now it will give us the opportunity to pick and choose what to release, so we can be more protective over these diminishing stocks.’
The 2018 Special Releases features eight single malt whiskies, plus a 48-year-old grain whisky from Carsebridge distillery, which closed in 1983 and was subsequently demolished.
Among the single malts are a 21-year-old Oban matured in refill European oak butts – a departure from the ex-Bourbon casks usually used, a 28-year-old Pittyvaich which closed in 1993, and a 14-year-old Singleton of Glen Ord, which Colville describes as using a ‘very special and experimental maturation process’.
He said: ‘We are keeping details of The Singleton of Glen Ord under wraps for now, but I can say it’s been through five different casks, so it’s very unique and special, and has given our blenders the chance to try new things.’
Also in the line-up is an eight-year-old Talisker, a distillery that hasn’t appeared in the Special Releases since a 27-year-old bottling in 2013. The expression, bottled at 59.4% abv, reflects one of the original bottling strengths used by John Walker & Sons when it took over the distillery in 1916.
The 10th expression in the line-up will not be revealed until the autumn, when prices for the complete range will also be announced.
Colville said: ‘We need to keep our secrets, but what I will say is it’s going to be something different, something special and something everybody will really love.
‘The thing with the Special Releases is every bottling is brilliant and they’ve all got their unique stories.’
The complete range is set for release later this year.
The first nine whiskies in Diageo’s Special Releases 2018 are:
Cask: Refill American oak hogsheads
Availability: 1,000 bottles
Caol Ila Unpeated 15-year-old
Cask: Refill and rejuvenated American oak hogsheads and ex-bodega European oak butts
Availability: Limited quantities worldwide
Caol Ila 35-year-old
Cask: Refill American oak hogsheads and refill European oak butts
Availability: 3,276 bottles
Cask: Refill American oak hogsheads
Availability: 8,544 bottles
Cask: Refill American oak hogsheads
Availability: Limited quantities available worldwide
Cask: Refill European oak butts
Availability: Limited availability worldwide
Cask: Refill American oak hogsheads
Availability: 4,680 bottles
The Singleton of Glen Ord 14-year-old
Cask: Refill American oak hogsheads and ex-bodega European oak butts followed by a ‘unique maturation and marrying process’
Availability: Limited quantities available worldwide
Cask: First-fill ex-Bourbon American oak hogsheads
Availability: Limited availability worldwide
Diageo to invest £150m in Scotch visitor centres
Diageohas announced a £150m investment over three years to transform itsScotchwhisky visitor experiences.
The heart of the investment will be a newJohnnie Walkerimmersive visitor experience based inEdinburgh,andDiageowill also upgrade its 12 other distillery visitor centres.
Diageochief executive,Ivan Menezes,p^�p^���� Ƣ�^��^�@�^�commitment to growing ourScotchwhisky brands and supportingScotland’stourism industry.
“For decades to come our distilleries will play a big role in attracting more international visitors toScotland.I am also delighted we will be able to bring our knowledge and expertise to help the next generation, through mentor programmes and skills training.”
Whisky fromDiageo’sdistilleries all overScotlandcontribute toJohnnie Walker, but four distilleries,Glenkinchie, Cardhu, Caol IlaandClynelish,will be linked directly to theJohnnie Walkervenue inEdinburgh.
They will represent the ‘four corners ofScotland’and the regional flavour variations ofScotchwhisky, creating aJohnnie Walkertour ofScotland.
First minister ofScotland,Nicola Sturgeon MSP, added: “This significant investment will not only help attract more tourists toScotland,offering world class visitor experiences, but it also underlines the fundamental importance of the whisky sector toScotland’seconomy.”
Diageo’sother visitor distilleries:Lagavulin, Talisker, Glen Ord, Oban, Dalwhinnie, Blair Athol, CragganmoreandRoyal Lochnagar, will also receive investment to support the growth of single maltScotchwhisky. This is in addition to the £35m already committed to re-open thePort EllenandBrora distilleries
DIAGEO STARTS BUILD OF £6.4M WHISKY LAB
Diageo, the producer ofJohnnie Walker, has begun the construction of a new £6.4 million whisky blending and testing centre inMenstrie, Clackmannanshire.
Ewan AndrewandAlan KennedyofDiageounveil plans for the new technical centre inMenstrie
The state-of-the-art ‘technical centre of excellence’ will be used byDiageo’sscientists to blend and test recipes forJohnnie Walker, Bell’sandJ&B Scotchwhiskies, as well as other spirits includingGordon’sgin andSmirnoffvodka.
The new facility – due to open in autumn2019– will be situated adjacent toDiageo’sexisting Technical Centre inMenstrie, which will continue to be used to house offices and meeting rooms.
The project builds on the company’s large footprint in theClackmannanshirearea, which already includes theBlackgrangewarehousing complex,Cambuscooperage, Abercrombiecoppersmiths,Levenpilot distillery and the global brand archive.
‘OurTechnical CentreinMenstrieis a crucial part of our business globally, delivering excellence in science and innovation,’ said Ewan Andrew, director of Diageo International Supply Centre.
‘This investment will create new state-of-the-art facilities for our talented team of whisky specialists and scientists to enhance the industry-leading work they do on growing and protecting our business around the world.’
The new technical centre will offer ‘world-class’ facilities forDiageo’sscientists, and act as a hub for innovation in spirits, as well as in environmental sustainability in manufacturing.
Keith Brown, MSPforClackmannanshire and Dunblane,said: ‘This announcement fromDiageoof a £6.4 million investment in their site atMenstrieis fantastic news forClackmannanshireand will be a boost to both the local andScottisheconomy.
BUCHANAN’S MOVES INTO BLENDED MALTS
Buchanan’shas introduced a 15-year-old blended malt whisky as a permanent addition to its range – a first for the blendedScotchbrand.
Buchanan’s Select 15 year old blended malt
Going grainless: Buchanan’s Selectis the brand's first blended malt whisky expression
Buchanan’s Select 15 Year Oldis a 40% abv blend of single malts‘from the heart of Scotland’,with a ‘rich and complex’ flavour.
The expression marks a new direction forBuchanan’s,the 12th-largestScotchwhisky in the world, whose range is comprised of blended Scotch whiskies, includingBuchanan’s Deluxe, MasterandSpecial Reserve.
‘Buchanan’s Selectis unlike any other marque in our portfolio,’ saidTara King,Buchanan'ssenior brand manager.
‘TheBuchanan’sportfolio has always been comprised of award-winning liquids, and we are proud to introduce another highly regarded whisky to our collection.’
The expression launched inMexicoearlier this year, and is now being rolled out across keyBuchanan’smarkets, including theUS.
It was created byDiageomaster blenderCraig Wallace,who was responsible for severalSingletoneditions, as well as the more experimentalSmoky Goat whisky.
He said:‘Buchanan’s Selectoffers a combination of only fine single malts with great character and balance at the beginning, and evolves over caramelised notes to end in a persistent finish, marked by notes of toasted oak, initial aromas of caramel, walnut, light notes of apple and ripe pear.’
Buchanan’s Select 15 Year Oldwill be available in theUSand other key markets for around US$49.99 for a 750ml bottle.
Buchanan’sisn’t the only blended whisky brand to branch into blended malts in recent years.
Johnnie WalkerreintroducedGreen Labelto several key markets in February 2016, following it up with a peated expression,Island Green, three months later.
Later the same yearChivas Regalintroduced its newChivas Ultisexpression, a luxury blended malt designed to ‘offer something a bit different to our consumers, but which is still very muchChivas’.
In August2017theFamous Grouserelaunched theNaked Grouseexpression as a blended malt with a new ‘accessible’ recipe for millennials, whileBallantine’shas also released three single malts under its brand name.
GAME OF THRONES SINGLE MALTS ARE COMING
Diageohas teased the release of a new collection ofGame of Thrones-inspired single malts, due for release this autumn.
Game of Thrones Single Malt Collection
Little is being given away about the newGame of Thrones Single Malt Collection
The series will feature eight single malts from the Scotch whisky producer’s stable of distilleries and brands, including Lagavulin, Oban, Talisker, Cardhu, Royal Lochnagar, Dalwhinnie, ClynelishandThe Singleton.
Diageoannounced the collaboration with the award-winning HBO series in a short trailer released on itsLagavulinTwitter account: ‘Honor the great houses and the Night’s Watch with theGameofThrones Single Malt Scotch Whisky Collection, coming this fall. Eight single maltscotchwhiskies.
It’s anticipated that each bottling in the series will be named after the sevenGreat Houses of the Seven Kingdoms–Stark, Targaryen, Lannister, Tyrell, Bolton, BaratheonandMartell– as well as theNight’s Watch, an army tasked with defending The Wall against the wildlings who live beyond.
The collection is due for launch later this autumn, ahead of the eighth and final series ofGame of Thrones, which airs in2019.
The TV dramatisation ofGeorge R.R. Martin’sfantasy novels has received widespread acclaim since its debut in2011, including 38 Primetime Emmy Awards.
TheGame of Thrones Single Malt Collectionwill also coincide with the release of a commemorativeJohnnie Walker.
The release ofWhite WalkerbyJohnnie Walkerwas teased across social media in May this year, with an image of the brand’s iconicStriding Mantransformed into aWhite Walker– one of the show’s army of undead villains.
White WalkerbyJohnnie Walkeris also scheduled for release this autumn, although brand ownerDiageois yet to unveil further details about the edition.
LAST DROP DISTILLERS’ TOM JAGO DIES AGED 93
Tom Jago, co-founder of Last Drop Distillers and the man behind the conception of Johnnie Walker Blue Label and the Diageo Classic Malts, has passed away aged 93.
Industry legend:Tom Jago(1925-2018) was considered a true creative and visionary
Known for his creativity, ‘incisive humour’ and flair for marketing,Jagocan be credited for introducing some of the world’s best-loved spirits.
Jagowas born on 21 July1925as the son of a bank manager. From his childhood inNorth Cornwallhe went on to read history atOxfordand served as an officer in theRoyal NavyduringWWII.
A twist of fate sawJagoattend the wrong job interview – he had intended to become a photographer, but landed a role as a copywriter atMather & Crowther. Quickly taking to a career in advertising, and finding a niche in the world of spirits,Jagobegan working withGilbey’s Gin, then owned byInternational Distillers & Vintners (IDV).
He was encouraged to let his creativity flourish, and while atIDVhe gave birth to one of his greatest creations –Bailey’s Irish Cream.The initial recipe was a blend ofIrishwhiskey, cream and Nesquik, but was rejected by consumers during testing. That wasn’t to stopJago,who – according to his long-term business partner, James Espey– hid the research, and launched the brand in1974.
Today Bailey’sis the world’s best-selling liqueur, moving around seven million cases a year.
During his time atIDV,Jagoalso developed the concept forMaliburum, taking a coconut-style rum calledCoco Rico,developed byGilbey’s South Africa,and transforming it into a Caribbean-style rum under theMalibubrand.
After leavingIDVin 1982,JagojoinedHennessyworking onCognacbrands includingHineandDavidoff.
Jagowas ‘humbly proud’ to be named Master of the Quaich in2017
A few years later he rejoinedEspeyatUnited Distillers(which eventually becameDiageo) as head of innovation, where the pair realised the potential of the company’s vast single malt distillery portfolio.
‘United Distillerswere not very pro single malts at that stage and their entire focus was purely blends,’Espeyrecalled. ‘Accordingly, we looked at our 32 distilleries, and chose six.The Six ClassicMaltswere launched in1987and did a great deal to create interest in single malts and tourism in
The pair also created asuper-premium blendunder theJohnnie Walkerlabel – Johnnie Walker Oldest. Originally a 15-year-old whisky teaspooned with a drop of 60-year-old and carrying the now illegal age statement of ‘Aged 15-60 Years’ on the label, it morphed eventually into the no-age-statementJohnnie Walker Blue Label.
JagoandEspeymoved on to work atChivas Brothers, where they createdChivas 18,and consulted forWhyte & Mackaybefore together foundingLast Drop Distillersin2011with the goal to create the ‘world’s most exclusive spirits collection’.
Bottling rare and old spirits under The Last Drop brand, including a 1967 Glen Garioch, 1972 Lochside and a 50-year-old blended Scotch. In 2016 the company was sold to US drinks group Sazerac,with the day-to-day control of the business passing on toJagoandEspey’s daughters, Rebecca and Beanie.
In2017, at the age of 91,Jagowas made aMaster of the Quaich. His citation, read during theKeepers of the Quaichceremony, read: ‘Revered by many as a proper ‘renaissance’ man,Tom’sprofound vision, incisive style and ability to think differently always set him apart from the crowd, especially when armed with an irrepressible glint in the eye and infectious mischief in his smile. Indeed, it is fair to say that Tom’sinfluence has truly moved the industry in a way that few could ever dream to match.’
Jagopassed away onFriday 12 October, just months after the death of his wifePenelope.He is survived by his four children – his son,Dan Jago, is chief executive of London wine and spirits merchantBerry Bros. & Rudd– six grand-children and his brother.
‘It is with much sadness that I write on the passing of my dear friend and partner of over 40 years,Tom Jago,’ Espeysaid. ‘He is often described as the man who changed the face ofBritish drinking.
‘Tomwas one of the real gentlemen of the liquor industry. He had a natural creative flair and was quite happy to try things that were completely different and go against the stream. It is this trait, which informed his career from the early days right up until he died. He was a man who was much loved and will be much missed by the industry.’
In a statement, The Last Drop Distillers said: ‘It is with profound and heartfelt sadness that we announce the death of our co-founder and inspirational president,Tom Jago,aged93.Beloved by us all, we give thanks for his brilliance, his incisive humour and, above all, his deep affection for the team and the industry he so loved. Rest in peace,Tom.’
Diageohas agreed the sale of 19 brands toSazeracfor an aggregate consideration of $550m, due for completion in early2019.
The brands included in the transaction areSeagram’s VO, Seagram’s 83, Seagram’s Five Star, Myers’s, Parrot Bay, Romana Sambuca, Popov, Yukon Jack, Goldschlager, Stirrings, The Club, Scoresby, Black Haus, Peligroso, Relska, Grind, Piehole, Booth’s and John Begg.
The net proceeds of approximately £340m, after tax and transaction costs, will be returned to shareholders through a share repurchase following completion,p^�p^���� Ƣ�^��^�@�^�div>
Ivan Menezes, chief executive of Diageo,said: “Diageohas a clear strategy to deliver consistent efficient growth and value creation for our shareholders.
“This includes a disciplined approach to allocating resources and capital to ensure we maximise returns over time. Today’s announcement is another example of this strategy in action. The disposal of these brands enables us to have even greater focus on the faster growing premium and above brands in theUSspirits portfolio.”
The transaction is expected to generate a gain on disposal of approximately £110m.
Diageohas also agreed to enter into long-term supply contracts withSazeracon five of the brands for a period of 10 years.
DIAGEO PLANS NEW US$130M KENTUCKY DISTILLERY
Spirits giantDiageointends to build a US$130 million distillery inKentuckywhich will produce ‘a variety’ of different whiskeys under one roof.
AfterBulleit’ssuccess,Diageo’snew site will aim to provide more ‘variety’ in its portfolio
Diageo’sproposal for the site, to be located in the city ofLebanon, KY, includes a still house, dry house and warehousing space, and is designed to help the UK-based multinational grow its stake inBourbonandAmericanwhiskey.
Barry Becton,senior director of federal affairs atDiageo North America, said: ‘BourbonandAmericanwhiskey are vibrant and growing categories, and we are excited to expandDiageo’sfootprint inKentuckyto support our ambitions in this space.’
The new site will add to the portfolio of distilleriesDiageoalready owns in the state:Stitzel-Wellerin Louisville, home of theBulleit Frontier Whiskey Experience, andBulleit Distilling Co. inShelbyville.
Construction of the distillery is expected to take three years and create 30 new full-time jobs once the site is complete.
KentuckygovernorMatt Bevinsaid: ‘This latest investment byDiageois indicative of continued growth for the company and within ourBourbonand spirits industry.
‘We are proud to further our relationship withDiageo,and of the job growth associated with these announcements.’
Diageo’sincreased commitment toAmericanwhiskey comes on the heels of its renewed investment inScotch,as the company is spending £35m to bring closed distilleriesPort EllenandBroraback into production and £150m to upgrade itsScotchwhisky tourism facilities.
GAME OF THRONES SINGLE MALTS
Game of Thrones single malt whisky review: Talisker, Lagavulin, Oban, Royal Lochnagar, Cardhu, Clynelish, Dalwhinnie, Glendullan
At last. They’ve been launched in the US since November and while it’s taken as much cunning and resolve as a twisted Lannister scheme, we’ve finally got our hands on samples of the much-anticipated Game of Thrones single malts.
Eight whiskies, each from a different distillery in Diageo’s portfolio, have been chosen to represent the seven Great Houses of Westeros, and the stewards of the Wall, the Night’s Watch.
Six expressions in the collection feature completely new liquid bottled especially for the series, although the Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old and Cardhu Gold Reserve are rebottlings of their namesakes that are widely available in Europe and other markets. Both editions, however, are new to the US.
The collection is set to launch globally at the end of February (precise release date tbc), in preparation for the airing of the eighth, and final, season of Game of Thrones in April. Excited yet?
Who will be the victor in the battle for the Iron Throne? When it comes to the whisky at least, Scotchwhisky.com editor Becky Paskin has her bets firmly fixed on a particular Islay bottling.
In the spirit of mounting anticipation for the final series, an accompanying soundtrack has been compiled courtesy of Ramin Djawadi, the composer for Game of Thrones’ score (see links in Right Place, Right Time).
> Cardhu Gold Reserve, Game of Thrones House Targaryen
> Clynelish Reserve, Game of Thrones House Tyrell
> Dalwhinnie Winter’s Frost, Game of Thrones House Stark
> Lagavulin 9 Years Old, Game of Thrones House Lannister
> Oban Bay Reserve, Game of Thrones The Night’s Watch
> Royal Lochnagar 12 Years Old, Game of Thrones House Baratheon
> Singleton of Glendullan Select, Game of Thrones House Tully
> Talisker Select Reserve, Game of Thrones House Greyjoy
CARDHU GOLD RESERVE, GAME OF THRONES HOUSE TARGARYEN
Scoring explained >
Single malt whisky
Fruity & Spicy
Classic Cardhu: soft toffee sweetness and crumbly red apples with a touch of poached pear. Soft baking spices and lightly toasted oak add some gravitas to an otherwise subtle nose, alongside a hint of crunchy malt.
Soft and very delicate. More red apples and hard caramel, like those shards you get on a fancy dessert. Delicate spices – cinnamon, cardamom – build along the sides of the tongue, creating a little dryness.
Dry, a touch of spice, and short.
An easy-drinker, but lacking in substance. Best put it in a Highball or (especially at this time of year) a Toddy. With winter coming, you’re going to need to warm up.
RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME
Poor Daenerys. The Mother of Dragons asked for fire and her Gorgeous Beasts can barely manage a whimper.
CLYNELISH RESERVE, GAME OF THRONES HOUSE TYRELL
Scoring explained >
Single malt whisky
Rich & Round
There’s initially an overwhelming sense of furniture polish and beeswax, but leave it a few moments to settle in the glass and it relaxes into dried, leathery papaya and juicy guava and mango. After more time it becomes meatier still, accented by creamy vanilla and the gentle sour aroma of a freshly-baked chewy brown loaf, although the sting of astringent polish lurks in the corner.
Chewy and viscous, and not at all as spicy as the abv would suggest – the highest of the collection. Those tropical fruits roll onto the palate, accompanied by the salty, leathery pull of cured Spanish ham. Water loosens the fruits and things become juicier.
Dry, and mouth-wateringly zingy.
Hearty, robust and bold, much like the Tyrell women.
RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME
Lady Olenna finally reveals her secret, a deviously revengeful parting Message for Cersei.
DALWHINNIE WINTER’S FROST, GAME OF THRONES HOUSE STARK
Scoring explained >
Single malt whisky
Fruity & Spicy
That classic, clean Dalwhinnie combination of sweet honey and delicate fruits. Dried hay and crunchy malt give substance from the off, before set heather honey and fresh citrus fruits – grapefruit, blood orange juice – add lift. There’s vanilla caramel sweetness and a generous bowl of (still crunchy) Crunchy Nut Cornflakes. A real ‘breakfast dram’.
Sweet, crunchy malt and some nuttiness. Lemon sherbets and green apple lift things up as a touch of black pepper spice sets the tongue buzzing. But there it reaches its limit; things remains pretty two-dimensional from here on, aside from the warming effect of sucking on barley sugars and cough candies.
Some Robinsons lemon barley water and hard caramel. Pretty short.
Light, inoffensive and a friend to all – much like the Starks before the Lannister fall-out.
RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME
A final family breakfast at Winterfell. They won’t be coming Home for a while.
LAGAVULIN 9 YEARS OLD, GAME OF THRONES HOUSE LANNISTER
Scoring explained >
Single malt whisky
Smoky & Peaty
The first whiff is all peat smoke and sea salt, but it quickly reveals luscious juicy blackcurrants and fresh mint, raspberry leaf tea and mouthwatering stone fruits. The most alluring nose of the Game of Thrones Collection.
Grilled, almost blackened bananas, blackcurrant coulis and soft gingerbread biscuits. Heavy vanilla cream and crispy marshmallows with deliciously gooey centres, toasted over a beachside bonfire. It’s a tight palate, each element assuming its place in harmony with the next.
Dry but long, with a moreish flavour of salted, almost burnt, caramel.
For a nine-year-old it’s remarkably mature, a beautiful balance between distillery character and cask. It’s best enjoyed neat as it appears to fall apart with water. Apparently a whisky that ‘recalls the Lannisters’ riches’, but it’s far better to share the wealth (and give over the throne, eh Cersei?)
RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME
Recovering the Spoils of War with a devilish glee.
OBAN BAY RESERVE, GAME OF THRONES THE NIGHT’S WATCH
Scoring explained >
Single malt whisky
Fruity & Spicy
That’s funky. The (not unpleasant) aroma of goat’s cheese and stale hay is striking, but calms into bitter cocoa powder and densely syrupy black morello cherries, accompanied by a waft of mentholic Vaporub and waxy petroleum jelly.
The waxiness continues onto the palate, where dark berry pie, with blackcurrants, liquorice and cocoa nibs, dominates. Toasted oak spice prickles the sides of the tongue, while dried citrus peel, cloves and cinnamon add some lift.
Dark fruits and a smidge of that funky goat’s cheese.
Oban has a dark side. Highly recommended.
RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME
The Winds of Winter whip around the Wall as the Night’s Watch gather their strength for the impending battle.
ROYAL LOCHNAGAR 12 YEARS OLD, GAME OF THRONES HOUSE BARATHEON
Scoring explained >
Single malt whisky
Fragrant & Floral
Vibrant and engaging, all lemon zest and fragrant olive oil. Toasted oak and vanilla-rich cream toffees provide the sweetness, with floral/herbal notes of lemon verbena and cherry blossoms.
Light and lemony-fresh with some zesty spice, but weighted by toasted oak, caramel and earthy liquorice. That viscous olive oil really coats the palate. Although a light, creamy toffee dessert emerges towards the finish, things remain citrus-accented throughout.
Uplifting, refreshing and moreish, though just a hint of bitter furniture polish lingers.
A whisky fit for royalty, although perhaps a tad delicate for the brutish Baratheons, least of all the sadistic Joffrey.
RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME
The House of Baratheon lies Before the Old Gods now.
SINGLETON OF GLENDULLAN SELECT, GAME OF THRONES HOUSE TULLY
Scoring explained >
Single malt whisky
Fruity & Spicy
Top notes of green apples, with a richer, underlying sweetness of sticky blood orange spiked with cloves and currants. Crushed milk chocolate digestives and melting vanilla ice cream.
Softer than the nose would suggest, diving straight into a pot of vanilla custard and melting chocolate chips. The dessert moves into baked orchard fruits and Belvita biscuits, with soft spices adding some grip and warming heat along the sides.
Slightly dry. Toasted oak and roasted apples with a touch of char.
A solid representation of Glendullan’s house style, and good value for money.
RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME
Accepting the fall of Riverrun, Edmure starts to See What Matters.
TALISKER SELECT RESERVE, GAME OF THRONES HOUSE GREYJOY
Scoring explained >
Single malt whisky
Smoky & Peaty
Soft cooked orchard fruits with a hint of coastal salt and bonfire smoke. Give it a moment to open the glass for notes of dark chocolate, crystallised ginger and freshly diced red chilli.
Initially there’s an overriding sweetness of warm toffee sauce, before a waft of salty smoke delivers the unmistakable zing of Szechuan pepper. Despite the spice it retains a creamy consistency throughout, the dark chocolate becoming milkier and joined by dried fruits, brown sugar and Jamaican ginger cake.
Zingy still, but softer, slowly fading.
A classic, though youthful, coastal Talisker that’ll be a hit among spice fans.
RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME
The Ironborn’s fleet take to the Narrow Sea to lay siege to King’s Landing.
GAME OF THRONES WHISKIES LAUNCH IN EUROPE
Diageo’s eightGame of Thrones single malts are set to arrive in Europe next month ahead of the show’s final season.
Game of Thrones single malt whiskies
Coming soon: The Game of Thrones whiskies will be launched across Europe in February
The collection was released in the US in November, and has been rolling out in Canada and global travel retail this month.
Their introduction follows the October 2018 launch of Johnnie Walker White Walker, a blended Scotch inspired by the show’s ‘most enigmatic and feared characters’.
The eight malts – each named after one of the Great Houses of Westeros and the Night’s Watch – are already available to pre-order through Amazon, The Whisky Exchange and Master of Malt, ahead of their release from 19 February.
Some retailers have already sold out of several lines through pre-ordering, although further bottles will be made available in the coming weeks.
Whisky’s coming: The eight single malts are named after the inhabitants of Westeros
Six of the whiskies are new expressions, with the exception of Cardhu Gold Reserve and Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old, which are already available in the UK as expressions outwith the GOT range.
Game of Thrones season eight, the show’s final season, will be aired on HBO in April.
The Games of Thrones single malts are all available in 70cl bottles and include:
Game of Thrones House Stark, Dalwhinnie Winter’s Frost, 43% abv, £48
Game of Thrones House Tully, Singleton of Glendullan Select, 40% abv, £38
Game of Thrones House Targaryen, Cardhu Gold Reserve, 40% abv, £48
Game of Thrones House Lannister, Lagavulin 9 Year Old, 46% abv, £65
Game of Thrones The Night’s Watch, Oban Bay Reserve, 43% abv, £65
Game of Thrones House Greyjoy, Talisker Select Reserve, 45.8% abv, £48
Game of Thrones House Baratheon, Royal Lochnagar 12 Year Old, 40% abv, £38
Game of Thrones House Tyrell, Clynelish Reserve, 51.2% abv, £48
DIAGEO REVEALS FURTHER PORT ELLEN PLANS
Diageohas revealed further plans for the revival of Port Ellendistillery onIslayas part of a public consultation today (29 January).
Port Ellen'sexisting kiln and warehouses will be complemented by a new still house
The plans, which are due to be submitted toArgyll and Bute Councilfor approval later this year, were unveiled today at a pre-planning consultation in the village ofPort Ellen,allowing local residents to view the proposals and share their own memories of the distillery.
Diageorevealed its intention to reopenPort Ellendistillery inOctober 2017, with a view to having the site operational by2020,however the opening date has now been pushed back to2021.
Among the plans is an outline of how the distillery will look once building work is completed, as well as details of two separate distillation regimes.
Since its closure in1983onlyPort Ellen’skiln building with pagoda roof, and its seaside warehouses remain – many of the original buildings were demolished in the1930s, and then partly rebuilt in the 1960s.
Diageonow intends to fully restore the remaining buildings and erect anew still house, which will house two pairs of copper pot stills.
One pair will be closely modeled after the originalPort Ellenstills so as to recreate the distillery’s spirit character.
The second, smaller pair of stills will be used to create ‘alternative spirit characters’ that will allowPort Ellento ‘experiment with new whisky styles.
Georgie Crawford, project implementation manager forPort Ellen, said plans to revive the distillery are ‘any whisky maker’s dream come true’.
She said: ‘To have the opportunity to recreate the original spirit character ofPort Ellendistillery so we have new generations of that classicIslaypeated malt is incredible, but then to combine that with the freedom to experiment with new variations is truly extraordinary.’
The new ‘spacious and modern, light-filled’ buildings, which will house all the process equipment, will be erected around a central courtyard, with the existing kiln and warehouses ‘restored and reimagined’.
Crawfordadded: ‘Like the whisky, the plans for the building combine the best of heritage and innovation.
‘The buildings atPort Ellendistillery have changed and evolved many times over its lifetime.
‘We believe these plans are a fitting tribute to the exceptional legacy ofPort Ellenand we are incredibly excited to be able to share them.’
Port Ellen’srefurbishment is part of a £35 million investment byDiageoin resurrecting the Islaydistillery, as well as theHighlanddistillery ofBrorawhich also closed in1983.
Diageois also investing an additional £150m in improving itsScotchwhisky tourism facilities, including upgrading its 12 distillery visitor centres and the establishment of a flagshipJohnnie Walkerexperience inEdinburgh.
AlthoughPort Ellenfirst opened in1824, its resurrection could see it become the 11th distillery to operate onIslay, following the recent opening ofArdnahoe,and the planned as-yet-unnamed distillery atFarkinfromElixir Distillers
DISTILLER & BLENDER
US-based liquor giant that held significant Scotch interests during the 20th century.
Schenley industries was one of the largest liquor groups operating out of the US during the 20th century, with significant interests in Bourbon, American and Canadian whisky, gin and vodka.
In Scotch terms, Schenley was responsible for the construction of Kinclaith and Tormore malt distilleries, and – through its English subsidiary Seager Evans & Co – also once owned Laphroaig distillery and Long John blended Scotch. As well as owning several distilleries and blending companies through Seager Evans, it also distributed many of the Scotch and gin brands belonging to the DCL in the US, including Dewar’s and Gordons.
Schenley’s New York headquarters once occupied five floors of the Empire State building, which with over 800 employees made it the largest employer in residence.
Schenley Industries was founded in the 1920s, when Lewis Rosential purchased a group of distilleries, including one in Schenley, Pennsylvania that had a license to produce whisky for medicinal purposes during Prohibition – one of only six in the country to do so. Acting on the advice of Sir Winston Churchill, whom he met during a visit to the French Riviera in 1922, Rosential purchased large whisky inventories in preparation for the end of Prohibition.
When Repeal came in 1933, Rosential incorporated Schenley Distillers Company, which grew rapidly to become one of the largest liquor businesses in the US. It obtained the rights to distribute DCL’s Dewar’s in the US, with the blended Scotch allegedly contributing half of Schenley’s profits.
The business was renamed Schenley Industries in 1949 and became a public company shortly afterward.
With Scotch whisky so vibrant in the US during the 50s – it took on the bulk of exports after the war – American ownership of Scotch interests abounded. Publicker Industries established Inver House Distillers; Hiram Walker made acquisitions of Scapa, Glencadam and Pulteney distilleries; while Seagram, which bought Chivas Brothers following the war, picked up Strathisla and Glen Keith.
In 1956 Schenley purchased London’s Seager Evans & Co., at that time owner of the Strathclyde grain distillery in Glasgow, Glenugie malt distillery in Peterhead, and the Long John blended Scotch whisky brand.
Under Schenley, Seager Evans opened the Kinclaith malt distillery within Strathclyde, Laphroaig on Islay and Plymouth Gin distillery. It built Tormore in Moray, and acquired blender Gordon & Graham of Aberdeen (owner of Black Bottle) and Stanley Holt & Son, which had one of the largest stocks of maturing whisky in England.
Rosential sold his controlling interest in Schenley to the Glen Alden Corporation in 1968, and resigned from the company. Glen Alden was purchased by Rapid American in 1972 but, owing to US monopolies legislation, was required to divest some of its liquor interests.
In 1975 Seager Evans & Co – which controlled all of Schenley’s Scotch assets – was sold to British brewer Whitbread and later renamed Long John International.
Meanwhile, Rapid American’s CEO, Meshulam ‘Rik’ Riklis was caught up over allegations of share price fixing during Guinness’ infamous takeover of Distillers Company Ltd in 1986. The following year Guinness also acquired Schenley industries from Riklis
One of the famed ‘Whisky Barons’ of the late 19th century, James Buchanan overcame ill-health to make his blends some of the most popular in the world, amassing a huge fortune matched only by his legacy to the world of Scotch whisky.
Buchanan overcame ill-health and an unsuccessful early career
The term ‘Whisky Barons’ is often loosely applied to the individuals who made their fortunes during the blended Scotch whisky boom of the second half of the 19th century, and who were ultimately recipients of honours from a grateful nation.
One such Baron was James Buchanan, whose name is inextricably linked with the Black & White blend which he created. Although elusive in the domestic market, more mature consumers have fond memories of its label, depicting a black ‘Scotty’ dog and a White ‘Westie’. Indeed, the story goes that Buchanan was inspired to use this image while returning home from a dog show.
James Buchanan was born in 1849 in Rockville, Ontario, Canada, where his parents Alexander and Catherine had emigrated, though much of his childhood was spent at Larne, on the Antrim coast of Northern Ireland, where his father was employed as a quarry manager,
Despite ill-health as a child, Buchanan began to work for Glasgow shipping agent William Sloan & Co at the age of 14, serving as office boy and then clerk. He then joined his brother William’s Glasgow-based grain business, before taking his first steps in the world of whisky as London-based agent for Charles Mackinlay & Co from 1879.
In their book The Making of Scotch Whisky, Michael S Moss and John R Hume describe Buchanan’s career with Mackinlay as ‘…short and unsuccessful’, but he fared rather better after forming James Buchanan & Co in 1884, aided by Glasgow blender William Lowrie, who initially provided Buchanan with his bespoke blend. Just a year after establishing his own company, The Buchanan Blend was being supplied to the Houses of Parliament.
Photographs of James Buchanan from this period show an elegant and immaculately dressed figure, and he shared a flair for publicity with fellow would-be whisky barons such as Tommy Dewar, being driven in a red-wheeled carriage, complete with liveried footman. Like Dewar, he was also quick to see the potential in advertising his whisky, first taking out newspaper adverts in 1887.
Sales grew dramatically on a global basis, with Buchanan establishing what ultimately became known as the Black & White blend as a smooth, refined, well-matured whisky with a relatively high malt content.
The blend required supplies of quality malt whisky to fuel its expansion, and in 1897 James Buchanan & Co Ltd combined with old associates WP Lowrie & Co Ltd to form the Glentauchers-Glenlivet Distillery Company. A distillery was constructed at Mulben, near the Speyside distilling town of Keith, with production commencing in June 1898.
That same year, Buchanan received Royal Warrants to supply whisky to Queen Victoria, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of York and, when Buchanan & Co became a limited company five years later, James Buchanan was worth £750,000. By 1909, his whisky was the best-selling blend in England.
The early years of the 20th century saw Buchanan open offices in Paris, New York, Hamburg and Buenos Aires as the blend continued to flourish. In 1906, he bought WP Lowrie & Co and proceeded to make their Glasgow blending operation much more efficient. The following year, he invested in the North British Bottle Manufacturing Company and purchased the Acme Tea Chest Company.
Such was the ongoing success of Buchanan’s business that, in 1915, James Buchanan & Co Ltd merged with John Dewar & Sons Ltd, creating a company ultimately known as Buchanan-Dewar Ltd.
In 1922, the company acquired the Benrinnes-Glenlivet distillery near Aberlour, and by that time it already owned 11 Scottish distilleries, including Port Ellen, Royal Lochnagar, Aultmore, Dalwhinnie and Convalmore. Buchanan-Dewar Ltd became part of the Distillers Company Ltd (DCL) empire in 1925.
James Buchanan soon ceased to play an active part in the company’s affairs, having been plagued by ill-health all his life. He swapped the commercial world for the life of an English country gentleman, purchasing the Lavington Park estate near Petworth in Sussex, where he bred cattle and sheep, and established a successful thoroughbred stud.
Buchanan’s horses twice won the Epsom Derby and St Leger ‘classics’, with Hurry On landing the 1916 St Leger, while Captain Cuttle took the 1922 Derby and Coronach scored in both the Derby and St Leger of 1926.
Buchanan is said to have created Black & White after attending a dog show
In addition to Lavington Park, Buchanan owned land in Kenya and Argentina and, in partnership with Lord Aberdeen, operated a 20,000-acre fruit farm in British Columbia. Back home, he was appointed High Sheriff of Sussex in 1910, and was elected as a member of the Jockey Club in 1927.
James Buchanan became Sir James Buchanan in 1920, then was elevated to the peerage as Baron Woolavington two years later in the New Year’s Honours List.
Officially, the baronetcy was a reward for Buchanan’s undoubtedly extensive charitable activities – in the best traditions of his time, he was a generous philanthropist – but he also allegedly paid £50,000 to Lloyd George’s government in return for his honour. Lloyd George was known to view the honours system as a useful means of raising revenue, so the story may well be true.
Buchanan was nothing if not shrewd, however, and reputedly signed his cheque with the name ‘Woolavington’, dating it 2 January – the day after the title was officially to be announced – so that no payment would be made unless the promised baronetcy was forthcoming.
Buchanan had married Annie Eliza Pounder, a widow 13 years his junior, in 1891, and their only son died in infancy. This meant that, when Buchanan died in August 1935 at the age of 85, the baronetcy became extinct, although the couple also had a daughter, Catherine. Buchanan’s estate was worth in excess of £7m, or more than £450m in today’s terms.
His legacy to the world of Scotch whisky was equally significant. By insisting that his whiskies should be well-aged and have a significant malt content, James Buchanan did much to make blended Scotch both popular and respectable, and played a leading role in helping it to become a drink for the world.
JOHNNIE WALKER’S JIM BEVERIDGE AWARDED OBE
Dr Jim Beveridge, master blender for Johnnie Walker, has been awarded an OBE for services to the Scotch whisky industry in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
Dr Jim Beveridge has been recognised for his services to the Scotch whisky industry
Beveridge, who has worked for Johnnie Walker owner Diageo for almost 40 years, is only the sixth person to hold the title of Johnnie Walker master blender since its founding in the 19th century.
Based at Diageo’s blending lab at Menstrie, Clackmannanshire, Beveridge oversees a team of 12 blenders who are responsible for maintaining the quality and consistency of all Diageo’s Scotch whisky brands.
The award comes as Johnnie Walker prepares to celebrate its 200th anniversary in 2020.
Beveridge said: ‘We believe we are the custodians of our brands, standing on the shoulders of the giants who went before us. I really feel that today.
‘This is recognition of everyone, over the years, who has been involved in making Johnnie Walker the leading global brand that it is.’
Diageo operates 28 malt distilleries and one grain distillery, the whisky from which is used to make Johnnie Walker’s range of blended Scotch whiskies.
The brand currently sells over 18 million cases annually in more than 180 countries, making it the world’s biggest-selling Scotch.
Beveridge added: ‘I am honoured to accept this award on behalf of everyone who contributes to making Johnnie Walker.
‘It is a team effort by all the women and men who work in our distilleries, coppersmiths, cooperage, warehouses and bottling halls across Scotland.’
Dr Jim Beveridge oversees a team of 12 blenders responsible for maintaining quality and consistency
It was in 1820 that John Walker founded a small grocery business in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire and began to make and sell whisky.
However, it was only after his death in 1857 that his son Alexander introduced the Walker’s Old Highland Blend – the forerunner of Red and Black Label – in 1909.
Today its range includes Johnnie Walker Red Label, Black Label, Double Black, Green Label, Gold Label Reserve 18 Year Old and Blue Label.
Diageo chief executive Ivan Menezes, said: ‘Jim epitomises everything that makes Johnnie Walker and Scotch whisky great. He is dedicated to his craft and passionate about the quality of his product.
‘Most importantly he is a wonderful person and that is why he is so highly regarded not just in Diageo but throughout the Scotch whisky industry.’
John Williams, Johnnie Walker global brand director, added: ‘Quality and consistency have been the hallmarks of Johnnie Walker since it was founded by John Walker almost two centuries ago.
‘Jim is the guardian of that legacy today and everyone involved with Johnnie Walker and Diageo will be raising a toast to him and celebrating this terrific achievement.’
Johnnie Walker is now at the centre of a £150 million investment in improving Diageo’s Scotch whisky tourism facilities, with a new flagship whisky experience earmarked for Edinburgh, and upgrades to its 12 distillery visitor centres.
In 2016 Glen Grant master distiller Dennis Malcolm was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours, just months after David Stewart, malt master for Balvenie was named an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List.
JOHNNIE WALKER DEBUTS SONG OF ICE AND FIRE
Johnnie Walker is continuing the ‘legacy’ of its relationship with Game of Thrones with the release of two limited edition blends – Johnnie Walker A Song of Ice and Song of Fire.
Johnnie Walker A Song of Ice and A Song of Fire
Enduring legacy: Johnnie Walker A Song of Ice and A Song of Fire are inspired by Game of Thrones
A Song of Ice is a blended Scotch inspired by the Direwolves used as the sigil for the House of Stark.
Containing malt whisky from Clynelish distillery, the blend is described as having a ‘crisp, clean taste’ with a ‘green and grassy’ flavour and notes of ‘vanilla and tropical fruit’.
Bottled at 40.2% abv, the expression is said to be best served cold over ice.
Johnnie Walker A Song of Fire meanwhile, is inspired by the dragons commanded by Daenerys Targaryen, also known as the ‘Mother of Dragons’.
Containing peated malt whisky from Caol Ila distillery, the blend is said to feature ‘subtle smoke tempered by a rich, rounded sweetness’, and is bottled at 40.8% abv.
Both Johnnie Walker whiskies will be available in the US from August for around US$43, and are available to pre-order on a ‘first come, first served basis’ from reservebar.com.
The two blends will be available in the rest of the world from October.
HBO’s popular Game of Thrones series ended in May 2019 after eight years.
The show, based on the Song of Ice and Fire fantasy novels by George R. R. Martin, followed the highs and lows of the Great Houses as they battle for the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms.
Scotch whisky maker Diageo released a special Johnnie Walker White Walker edition in October 2018 in anticipation of the final series of Game of Thrones, which first aired in April 2019.
The whisky producer went on to release a series of eight ‘limited edition’ single malts, each representing one of the Great Houses plus the Night’s Watch