Not a member? - Register and login now.
All registered users can read our entire magazine archive.

Extension of the Classic Malts range

General chat and talk about whisky.

Extension of the Classic Malts range

Postby Jan » Fri Mar 17, 2006 7:10 am

It seems Dieago is extending the classic malts range to include Caol Ila, Cardhu, Clynelish, Glen Ord, Knockando and Royal Lochnagar as well as the original six. (Glenkinchie, Lagavulin, Cragganmore, Talisker, Oban and Dalwhinnie.)

Is this a smart move or is not in a way killing the golden gose?

The classic malts has as far as I know, been quite a success, making it easy for pubs to stock a small, but somewhat varied, selection without having to think too much about it’s composition.

At least here in Denmark, I have seen the classic malts display in quite a few pubs, not especially into malts. And also at some smaller wine shops with a limited range of malts.

While I have thought for a while that a number of other malts in the Dieago portfolio deserved more attention, it actually seemed diago were doing something about that with their “hidden malts” range.

Thus I am a little surprised to hear about this extension of the cm range at least from a marketing point of view. To my thinking the extension somewhat kills the original idea about each malt being the best from its region. (Not that there officially are 6 regions)

But at least this move should put an end to marketing drivel like:

“The Six Classic Malts of Scotland have been carefully selected to best represent the malt whisky producing regions of Scotland. Each is unique as a result of distinct water supplies, barley and distillery still formations and together they embrace the full diversity of regional tastes and styles.”

What do you think?

Cheers
Jan
Jan
Gold Member
 
Posts: 965
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 9:15 pm
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Postby karlejnar » Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:56 am

Hi Jan
Well since the range is being extended it's not really the six classic malts anymore - is it? So I think they killed the golden goose as you put it, but only to maybe replace it with an even bigger goose.

The Classic Malts was IMHO always just a marketing thing. There may not officially be 6 regions, but there certainly unofficially are 6 - let's call them area's - each with their own distinctive characteristica's. But also with a lot of variation inside each area.

Diageo's regions - I think - reflects more their own selection of distilleries they happen to own in each area (after having closed a lot of better represantative's). It always seemed a bit funny to me that they have two Highland's and no Campbeltown, just due to the fact that they do not own a Campbeltown distillery. (The big difference between Dalwhinnie and Oban sort of blurs the image of one uniform Highland region - doesn't it?)

The good thing that I see coming out of the change is more focus on the other pearl's they have like Caol Ila, Clynelish and Knockando for example.
Next "new" thing would be to have them scrap the chill-filtering and bottle at 46%, but that's not likely to happen I fear :(
But then again as long as they put out more cask strength versions of their malts including from the closed distilleries I would be happy :)
User avatar
karlejnar
Silver Member
 
Posts: 296
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2003 11:04 am
Location: Arden, Denmark

Postby Jan » Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:07 am

Hi Karlejnar

I agree with you totally that the CM range are a marketing thing.

What I mean by "golden goose" is that I am under the impression that dieago has used the classic malts to get SMW on the shelves at pubs and non-specialist retailers. A nice easy package deal.

I just think this will be more difficult to do with 12 malts than with 6.

Cheers
Jan

PS.
Back when I was uninitated in the world of malts, I frequented a bar, where I had the occasional whisky, most often a Lagavulin but from time to time something in different styles. At the time I thought: The proprietor here knows about whisky, this is nice....
Today, years later, I realize that he actually just stocked the Classic Malts... :D
Jan
Gold Member
 
Posts: 965
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 9:15 pm
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Postby kallaskander » Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:52 am

Hi there,

the real golden geese among the classic malts are the Lagavulin 16 and the Talisker 10. I`d say then come Oban and Cragganmore then Dalwhinnie and Glenkinchie bringing up the rear.
The platinum geese are the Lagavulin DE and the Talisker DE.

Of course The Classic Malts of Scotland is just a name and does reflect a marketing decision and the areas Diageo conveniently owned distilleries in. Personally I am pleased that the Northern Highlands are to be represented by Glen Ord and Clynelish. At the same time I ask myself why twice after all those years not at all? Why Islay twice? Why Cardhu and Knockando together with Cragganmore etc.
From the point of a barman the classic malts are quite convenient, too. Without going too deep into the matter you can tell customers that you have a good range of malts. We know that there is more.
I would expect that the Caol Ila is there to take the pressure fom Lagavulin, especially in the DE. Clynelish will soon be a force of its own without competing against another malt from the range as Glen Ord is new, too.
Cardhu has always sold well in certain countries and after the scandal it does not really matter if it is called a "Classic Malt". Which it is by the way.
No, I do think that there is a masterplan behind this decision and a bit more expressions of a malt like the Royal Lochnagar will not do harm to the series nor to Diageo.

Greetings
kallaskander
kallaskander
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1119
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2005 12:47 pm
Location: Heddesheim, Germany

Postby Lawrence » Fri Mar 17, 2006 4:53 pm

The reason they are extending the Classic Malts range is only due to customer demand so I think they've done well and will continue to do so.
Lawrence
Matured cask
 
Posts: 5019
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 1:01 am
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

Postby karlejnar » Fri Mar 17, 2006 8:13 pm

C_I wrote:But I do not know how the still surving bottles of the Flora & Fauna range will continue. Rosebank and Pittyvaich will of course discontinue (Distilleries are closed longer ago than the age statement on the bottle). And the rest?

They seem to have a pretty big stock of the young F&F's from long closed distilleries. Another one is Bladnoch - a bit odd that we now see two "official" bottlers - Diageo still bottling F&F 10yo and the new owner Raymond bottling Bladnoch too. What is even more odd is that he now sells the F&F 10yo in the distillery visitor center due to the fact that his own stock is now older than 13years (closed 1993). No hard feelings there :)

BTW do you think Diageo already bottled the F&F's and just have a huge stock of bottles sitting in one of their huge duty free warehouses? Then the age statement is still "valid". Otherwise they would have to move it from the casks to steel or glass tanks so it doesn't get any older. A third option off course is, that the malt in the bottles is in fact older than stated. That has been known to happen before.

All that said - and seeing how they put out Port Ellen and Brora's each year in "limited releases" - it will probably be a number of years before we've seen the last release of the other closed one's as well. But then they would be in the "Special Releases" range - the successor of the "Rare Malts" range.
User avatar
karlejnar
Silver Member
 
Posts: 296
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2003 11:04 am
Location: Arden, Denmark

Postby Paul A Jellis » Fri Mar 17, 2006 8:54 pm

I understood, from the guys on the Classic Malt stand at Whisky Live, that the new plinth will have eight 'holes' in it for bottles. The original six bottles will still be there but stockist will have the choice of the other two from the extended range, with the name tags being interchangeable.

I think the idea behind the Classic Malt range was one marketing tool which has worked really well, for Diageo and the punter.

Anything that gets a greater selection of malts into pubs and bars must be applauded.

Cheers

Paul
User avatar
Paul A Jellis
Gold Member
 
Posts: 744
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2002 2:01 am
Location: Bedfordshire, England

Postby Mr Ellen » Sat Mar 18, 2006 12:43 am

karlejnar wrote:
C_I wrote:But I do not know how the still surving bottles of the Flora & Fauna range will continue. Rosebank and Pittyvaich will of course discontinue (Distilleries are closed longer ago than the age statement on the bottle). And the rest?

They seem to have a pretty big stock of the young F&F's from long closed distilleries. Another one is Bladnoch - a bit odd that we now see two "official" bottlers - Diageo still bottling F&F 10yo and the new owner Raymond bottling Bladnoch too. What is even more odd is that he now sells the F&F 10yo in the distillery visitor center due to the fact that his own stock is now older than 13years (closed 1993). No hard feelings there :)

BTW do you think Diageo already bottled the F&F's and just have a huge stock of bottles sitting in one of their huge duty free warehouses? Then the age statement is still "valid". Otherwise they would have to move it from the casks to steel or glass tanks so it doesn't get any older. A third option off course is, that the malt in the bottles is in fact older than stated. That has been known to happen before.

All that said - and seeing how they put out Port Ellen and Brora's each year in "limited releases" - it will probably be a number of years before we've seen the last release of the other closed one's as well. But then they would be in the "Special Releases" range - the successor of the "Rare Malts" range.


The Bladnoch Flora & Fauna bottling is discontinued. The bottles you are likely to find are the already bottled ones and after that you'll have to buy the new edition from new owner Raymond Armstrong.
As for the other Flora & Fauna Editions the following are also discontinued (Now...listen all you investors and collectors out to make a profit!! :wink: ) :

Aultmore - F&F Discontinued, New 12 year old by House Of Dewar
Balmenach - Now replaced by the new Inver House bottling
Bladnoch - F&F Discontinued - replaced by new Armstrong bottlings
Caol Ila - F&F Discontinued
Clynelish - Discontinued - Replaced by new 14y. Edition
Craigellachie - F&F Discontinued - Replaced by new bottling from House Of Dewar
Glen Elgin - F&F Discontinued - Replaced by new Edition/12y. old - New package
Pittyvaich - F&F Discontinued - Distillery closed and destroyed.
Rosebank - F&F Disontinued - Distillery closed, unlikely to reopen
Royal Brackla - F&F Discontinued - New Owners, new package from Inver House
Speyburn - F&F Discontinued - New Owners, new bottlings from Inver House

I guess the future will tell what will happen to the remaining Flora & Fauna Editions, I don't think they will last for long though. :cry:


Cheers...
_______________________
Anders
Mr Ellen
Silver Member
 
Posts: 416
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2005 6:10 pm
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Postby Lawrence » Sat Mar 18, 2006 1:20 am

Are you sure about Royal Brackla being sold to Inver House? I thought Dewar's (Bacardi Martini) owned it?
Lawrence
Matured cask
 
Posts: 5019
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 1:01 am
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada

Extension of the classic malts range

Postby Danny » Sat Mar 18, 2006 3:30 am

This is great for the consumer. If we can start to get Caol Ila, Clynelish, etc. into the market place in similar opportunity as the presnt Classic Malts, hey thats great. :lol:

Hopefully they do this and then extend the expressions with older and or younger ages as needed.
Danny
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 205
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 1:32 am
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Postby kallaskander » Sat Mar 18, 2006 9:36 am

Hi there,

afaik Royal Brackla is still with Barcardi which is a pitty. Barcardi does not much for the malt distilleries they aquired. Brackla is a gem. Probably they should sell their malt distilleries on to someone who cares if they have no real interest in them.

Greetings
kallaskander
kallaskander
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1119
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2005 12:47 pm
Location: Heddesheim, Germany

Postby The Dazzler » Sat Mar 18, 2006 2:30 pm

Bladnoch F+F, Rosebank F+F and Pittyvaich F+F are all still being supplied by Diageo. These bottles may well change in the future, ages may differ or they may well be stopped all together but at the moment there is still stocks.

Royal Brackla is owned by Bicardi and there is a 10yo currently available. New editions have just been released from the Aberfeldy distillery, an 18yo, 21yo and 25yo. You will find that distillery owners will focus on one of there distilleries to get the product/branding/marketing perfect before moving on to another so lets hope that Craigellachie, Brackla and Aultmore will get a bit of TLC in the near future. The other one I am looking forward to seeing more of is Balmenach from Inverhouse, managed to buy a bottle of the F+F just a couple of months ago and it is superb.

Slainte!
The Dazzler
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 208
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2005 3:08 pm

Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Mar 20, 2006 4:38 am

Once the Hidden Malts have been revealed, thay aren't Hidden any more, are they?

The whisky market was much smaller when Diageo introduced the CM. More space is being dedicated to malts by more pubs, and Diageo would certainly want to be sure they get their share. Thinking cynically, I am reminded of certain faux microbreweries putting out a dozen varieties in order to crowd competitors off the shelves. But this is a bit different. And if all those pubs that formerly served only the Six plus maybe Glenfiddich now have eight plus Glenfiddich, well, that's not bad.
Deactivated Member
 

Postby Choochoo » Fri Mar 24, 2006 5:33 pm

Over the past months I’ve seen a number of people with no single malt experience try Caol Ila and consider it a revelation. Curious at first by the smoky aroma, on tasting they have been amazed by the refined quality and smoothness of the taste/finish. If becoming more widely available through the CM series, I wonder if Caol Ila could make some serious inroads in terms of popularity with the general public.
Choochoo
Silver Member
 
Posts: 405
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:33 pm
Location: West Hartford, CT

Postby Photon » Fri Mar 24, 2006 5:50 pm

Choochoo wrote:Over the past months I’ve seen a number of people with no single malt experience try Caol Ila and consider it a revelation. Curious at first by the smoky aroma, on tasting they have been amazed by the refined quality and smoothness of the taste/finish. If becoming more widely available through the CM series, I wonder if Caol Ila could make some serious inroads in terms of popularity with the general public.


I know that I was impressed when it appeared on the topshelf at the local brewpub. (Replaced Talisker no less :shock: ).

I was also imprressed with Oban when it appeared - bit of sticker shock with that one though.

Caol Ila is definately on my shopping list.

-P.
Photon
Bronze Member
 
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2005 6:16 pm
Location: Oregon

Postby kallaskander » Fri Mar 24, 2006 6:11 pm

Hi there,

the reflection behind taking Caol Isla as second Islay malt and as third peated malt into the Classic Malts may well be to take the pressure of demand a bit away from Lagavulin. I would say that can only be good for Lagavulin.

Greetings
kallaskander
kallaskander
Double Gold Member
 
Posts: 1119
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2005 12:47 pm
Location: Heddesheim, Germany

Postby DramMeister » Sat Mar 25, 2006 10:11 pm

I think its a great idea.
When I started on Malts we were on holiday in Scotland with friends and visited the Oban distillery. We bought bought a bottle of all the Classic Malts between us.
This was a great opportunity to do comparative tasting and to learn about the whisky regions. If Diageo hadn't come up with this marketing ploy, I wouldn't be writing this now :?
Extending the range will just make some good malts more available, that can only be good news.
DramMeister
Silver Member
 
Posts: 283
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 9:25 pm
Location: Houghton on the Hill, Leics, England

Return to Whisky Chat

Whisky gift and present finder