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Bacardi releases Aultmore 21YO in WDFG stores

Bacardi Global Travel Retail is this month launching Aultmore 21 Year Old Speyside single malt Scotch whisky exclusively for one year in World Duty Free Group stores.

Featuring two travel retail exclusive age statements – a 12YO and a 21YO – this rare Speyside single malt release is the latest to leave the distillery gates as a key player in the Bacardi single malts portfolio; the central focus of a travel retail strategy to target malts enthusiasts and drive malt category growth through the availability of authentic, intriguing aged malts.

Mike Birch, managing director, Bacardi Global Travel Retail says: “Since the spring, we’ve been busy launching our range of rare and exclusive single malts as part of our strategic commitment to bringing innovation, exclusivity and growth to the malts category in travel retail.  

"We are particularly excited to offer Aultmore on a one-year exclusive partnership with World Duty Free Group, building on the tremendous success of Glen Deveron in 2013.  We share a joint ambition to make genuinely exciting aged malts available to discerning collectors and enthusiasts alike and Aultmore will feature at WDFG’s European stores, including Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen where malt fans visiting Scotland will be delighted to discover this rare find in-store, close to its evocative home in Foggie Moss.”

 Nigel Sandals, category buying manager for liquor at WDFG, comments: “This is a very exciting launch for our business and one that Bacardi approached us about, on the back of our successful partnership in early 2013, to launch the travel exclusive Glen Deveron Royal Burgh Collection.   Aultmore 21 year old is a classic single malt whisky and will be exclusive to WDFG for one year.  

"We have an extensive programme of support and in store activation in place, including featuring Aultmore as Malt of the Month on our World of Whiskies website and sharing details about this exclusive whisky with our extensive database of loyal customers who are passionate about whisky.

“Aultmore is being launched initially in our Glasgow store on November 8, and will be prominently showcased in our World of Whiskies store, with extensive sampling activity at the integral Tasting Bar.  It will then be rolled out across the entire business on November 26, and our aspiration is to make this as successful a launch as the Glen Deveron Collection.”

Richard Cuthbert, Bacardi GTR marketing manager Whisky, adds: “Aultmore perfectly fits the profile of the class of malt that discerning enthusiasts go out of their way to track down.  It brings tremendous newness to travel retail and plays to the findings of our insight programme which highlights that aged, adventurous and non-mainstream malts are highly prized by discerning malt shoppers.”

The exceptionally smooth, clean and fruity taste of the whisky can also be traced back to the moist, misty Foggie Moss with its network of natural springs. Here, the distillery’s secluded water source slowly wends its way through boggy terrain where bracken, gorse and heather filters and purifies the water, aiding the ‘refined character’ of the spirit.

Inspired by the natural environment, the soft black imagery on the packaging, created by Stranger and Stranger design agency in London, evokes a sense of the location’s foggy nature and helps to create an air of mystery, adding to the mood. The use of uncoated paper gives an elegant look but with a naturally tactile feel, enhanced by the contrast of the slightly faded illustrations.

The Aultmore Distilling Co. logo has been branded into each of the wooden bottle closures throughout the age range, helping to emphasise the heritage and provenance associated with the brand. To accentuate pride in the secret past of the distillery, each bottle has been embossed with the statement: A Nip of the Buckie Rd.

More about Aultmore

The waters that well up and flow through the strange terrain of the Foggie Moss are renowned for their purity, as the natural flora that abounds here helps to filter it before it’s drawn upon by the distillery for its whisky. The numerous burns and peat deposits in this isolated setting were an incentive for the distillery’s position, even if it meant competing with numerous local bootleggers.

Founder Alexander Edward of Forres opened Aultmore in 1897; during the peak of the late-Victorian whisky boom. Already a seasoned distiller and important figure on the Scotch scene, he had inherited his first distillery, Benrinnes, from his father and subsequently became one of the co-founders of Craigellachie. Aultmore, however, was to be the first distillery he would build from scratch. In time, Alexander Edward would become famed as one of Scotland’s best-known distillers.

Built to supply whisky to the big blending houses of the day, it was Aultmore’s popularity with blenders that gave rise to the distillery’s success, with admiration stemming from the smoothness and finely balanced quality of its spirit. The revered whisky soon became known as one of only five single malts considered ‘Top Class’ by the Distillers Company Ltd. This further encouraged the pioneering blenders of the era to seek out the distinctly high-class malt for their creations.

As the vast majority of its single malt was earmarked for blending, bottlings of Aultmore have always been rather elusive; the whisky is often dubbed the ‘Rarest of Speyside’. Despite its rarity, for more than 100 years it was known to be a secret dram of the locals and Buckie fisherman, savoured by those who knew to ask at nearby inns for ‘a nip of the Buckie Road’.

Pictured below: the full range of Aultmore single malts being released by Bacardi-owned distiller John Dewar & Sons - the 12YO and 21YO being travel retail exclusives

3 November 2014 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor