October 17 2017  |  Spirits & Tobacco

William Grant & Sons launch a series of innovative whiskies in travel retail

By Wendy Morley

WGS made good use of its booth and the time at the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference in Cannes earlier this month, with an afternoon of launches.

Brand Ambassadors join with Master Distiller for an expansive launch in Cannes

Originally launched domestically in September 2016, the Glenfiddich Experimental Series this year was introduced to Global Travel Retail. Celebrating the brand’s passion for pushing Scotch whisky boundaries and collaborating with trailblazers beyond the world of whisky, the Experimental series launched with two initial releases: the Glenfiddich IPA Experiment and Project XX (pronounced “twenty”).

In the making of Glenfiddich IPA, a new craft beer was also created

The Glenfiddich IPA Experiment marks the world’s first single malt Scotch whisky finished in India Pale Ale (IPA) craft beer casks. Kinsman created the Glenfiddich IPA Experiment in collaboration with a local Speyside craft brewer, who shares a passion for innovative flavours. They worked together to create a zesty IPA that would season the whisky casks.

Glenfiddich's travel retail range, including new releases

For Project XX, Kinsman invited 20 whisky experts, from 16 countries around the world, to explore and each select a cask from a warehouse at the Glenfiddich Distillery. The experts, from the US, Canada, France, Germany, Taiwan, China, South East Asia, Ukraine, Brazil, England, Scotland, Mexico, The Netherlands, South Korea, Russia and South Africa, descended onto Dufftown to take part in this global experiment. Each of these 20 selections, chosen from some of the most unusual whiskies in Glenfiddich’s unrivalled stocks, went into the final liquid, skilfully produced by Kinsman.

Tullamore D.E.W. hearkens back to the Irish history in the Caribbean with its new Rum Cask Finish XO

In Cannes, after a tasting of these two liquids, guided by Glenfiddich’s Malt Master himself, Brian Kinsman, the floor – and our tastebuds – were opened to John Quinn, Global Brand Ambassador for Tullamore D.E.W.

Not to be outdone by its whisky cousin north across the Irish Sea, Tullamore D.E.W. also released an innovative variant during the busiest global travel retail event of the year: Tullamore D.E.W. XO Caribbean Rum Cask Finish.

Starting with the original triple distilled, triple blend, triple wood matured Irish whiskey, Tullamore D.E.W. is then finished in first-fill XO Caribbean rum casks, developing a smoothly satisfying flavour with layers of sweetness and tropical notes.

This creation was inspired by the Irish role in the early development of rum in the Caribbean. In the 16th and 17th centuries more than 50,000 Irish emigrants arrived in the “West Indies,” where it is believed their experience of whiskey distilling became blended with local expertise, playing an instrumental role in the inception and growth of the Caribbean rum business.

Upon the release, Brand Ambassador John Quinn said: “At our Tullamore Distillery, we are constantly experimenting with our whiskey making. Tullamore D.E.W. XO Caribbean Rum Cask Finish was just one of many trials inspired by our work on the Beauty of Blend, but immediately stood out to our whiskey makers as being something truly special.”

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