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Issue 38 - Young at heart?

Whisky Magazine Issue 38
April 2004

 

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Young at heart?

In a new series we ask a panel of experts to debate a controversial subject

The Panel

Dale DeGroff,
International drinks consultant and writer

Colum Egan,
Master distiller, Bushmill's

Roy Evans,
Sazerac

David Stirk,
Cadenhead

Dr Barry Walsh,
Chief blender, Irish Distillers

This issue's question: Are Irish and bourbon whiskey more likely to attract younger drinkers than single malt Scotch is?

Q: So let's start right at the beginning.

David Stirk (DS): Absolutely. Michael Jackson started at 19, I started at 19 – and I wasn't alone!

Colum Egan (CE):Yes, I agree. I love to stroll around our visitor centre and talk to people of all ages who are drinking whiskey for the first time.
people are surprised by the taste experience. We need to develop whiskey's image for this age group.

Barry Walsh (BW): I think it depends on the market really. In Southern Europe whiskey is very popular with younger people. We are also seeing a lot of changes in this area especially with a brand like Jameson which is very versatile and is therefore perfect as a long drink or in cocktails.

Roy Evans (RE): Most will not volunteer unless cola is the mixer, they have to be coerced. More and more young people are trying and enjoying bourbon cocktails.

Q: What is likely to appeal to them?

DS: Whisky without the ‘stuffiness'. Look at the success of Jameson. Here is a brand that has taken out the ‘olde worlde' image and replaced it with a hip, fresh approach that has paid off enormously.

Dale DeGroff (DdG): I think sophistication and the classic appeal of a drink...

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