A few interesting links of note for whisky lovers. Firstly, DEWAR’S launches straight into a spectacularly sexist advertising campaign “The Drinking Man’s Scotch.” on TV:

The tweed and tradition that dominate Scotch whisky will be subverted to reintroduce DEWAR’S to a new generation of modern and urban men. Just as the Dewar family revolutionized the Scotch category when it launched the brand in 1846, the new DEWAR’S campaign will once again challenge the norm by bringing sensual taste intellectual stimulation and a hint of irreverence to the world of men in television, print and digital mediums nationwide. [It goes on a bit about BEING MEN.]

Jesus. It’s like we’re in the 1950s all over again. Whisky. ONLY MANLY MEN NEED APPLY NOT LADIES THANKS. But don’t worry, it’s all done with a “smile and a wink”, just like a sleazy old uncle.

Moving on… The Guardian has an interesting feature on how to become a whisky malt master. It interviews David Stewart, “malt master for William Grant & Sons, owners of Glenfiddich, Grant’s and Balvenie”:

His typical day involves a trip to the sample room where he spends at least 90 minutes nosing. He estimates he noses about 30 whisky casks a day, and has nosed more than 400,000 during his 50-year career.

“The rest of my time is spent in meetings, sorting emails, desk work, even a bit of PR. We have customers coming into the sample room and I talk to them about whisky. I’ve also travelled overseas to meet clients in markets such as the US, Taiwan, Paris, Singapore and Moscow.”

Continuing its plans for world domination, Diageo is finally to buy a 53% stake in United Spirits, which is a massive deal for India:

Trade body the Scotch Whisky Association threw its weight behind the deal, which is the biggest in India since Edinburgh oil company Cairn Energy sold a stake in its local arm to Vedanta Resources last year. Gavin Hewitt, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said: “This investment is a further sign of confidence in the Scotch Whisky industry. “It also illustrates the potential of the Indian market where we look forward to the completion of the Free Trade Agreement which will lead to a tariff reduction benefiting companies across the industry.” Mr Walsh said the deal transforms Diageo’s position in India, where United Spirits has a market share of over 40%.

And to finish, while we’re on the subject of global expansion of the whisky industry, Pernod reckons that Africa is the next continent that will see big growth of whisky sales:

Pernod Ricard (PERP.PA) plans to tap Africa’s thirst for whisky, vodka and cognac at a time when China is slowing and bets the continent will become a key growth area for the French spirits group within 10 years. Pringuet said Pernod, which has been focusing on cutting its debt, could target bolt-on, or smaller, acquisitions in the short-term while not ruling out a large deal in the medium-term. Africa is “certainly the next big emerging growth booster … We clearly have goals in sub-Saharan Africa … It’s a ten-year plan,” he said.


I've written about (and reviewed) whisky for Whisky Magazine, among other publications, and have been a whisky judge for competitions including the World Whiskies Awards. I've done other writing too: several mass market genre novels, a few short stories, including for BBC Radio 4. For my day job (I know, I don't get out much) I work in digital content. Follow me on Instagram.com/maltreview/ or Twitter.com/MaltReview. Generally, my tastes lean towards ex-sherry cask and ex-wine cask influences on the spirit, but I'm not so fussed as long as the whisky's gone into good wood.

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