Whisky Magazine Issue 108
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Joe Bates heads out to Cannes
The Cannes Tax Free World Association exhibition returned to its usual late October slot this year after last year's show was pulled forward because of a G20 summit. The weather may have been a little more autumnal, but this year's show was particularly busy. Each morning throngs of duty-free buyers milled around outside the giant Palais des Festivals waiting impatiently for the nine o'clock kick off. The show's club The Scene was so packed with revellers each night it made a tin of sardines look roomy.
During the day The Palais' many ‘Villages' were equally busy, as were the hotel suites along the Croisette and the numerous evening cocktail parties. As for the whisky sector, I have never seen so many new duty-free launches. In truth, the travel retail whisky business is on fire right now thanks in main to the huge increase in travellers from growth market economies such as Brazil, Russia, India and China.
With a watchful eye on diminishing stocks of older whiskies, brands have responded to this BRIC travel boom with exclusive travel retail ranges that often major on colour and the type of wood maturation rather than specific age statements.
Glengoyne, Laphroaig and Highland Park all have new dutyfree ranges either on the shelf or in the pipeline, but let's start with arguably the biggest whisky launch at the show, the new Chivas Brothers' Blend.
Created as a tribute to the pioneering brothers, James and John, who developed Chivas Regal as a luxury whisky for wealthy US...