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Issue 39 - Vat is the fuss about?

Whisky Magazine Issue 39
May 2004


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Vat is the fuss about?

Are vatted malts set to be the success story of 2004? We asked a group of experts

Round table question: Vatted whisky is the way to attract new drinkers. Discuss

The Panel

Neil Macdonald, brand director, malt whiskies – Chivas Brothers (NMcD)
Annabel Meikle, Scotch Malt Whisky Society (AM)
Nick Morgan, marketing director for Classic Malts, Diageo (NM)
Richard Paterson, master blender, Whyte and Mackay (RP)
Dave Robertson, director of Easy Drinking Whisky Company (DR)

Q: Will there be a growth in vatted malts over the next few months?

NMcD: Vatted malt is already a significant category in a number of countries most notably France where it is a large, low price segment. I do not envisage significant growth in the short term

NM: I agree. There is already a thriving vatted malt segment within the malt whisky category that accounts for several hundred thousands of cases. I can't see this increasing spectacularly over the next few months, but clearly it has potential to grow further over the next few years.

RP: That's my view too. Unlikely I feel unless there is considerable promotional spend on this type of product.

DR: There will be growth, but limited until Diageo reveals what the replacement strategy for Cardhu will be. Our range includes vatted malts and we will continue to grow, driving success via sampling and giving people a way to navigate through the plethora of malts out there. Diageo with its marketing muscle and dollars will drive the category in due course which can only benefit the wee guys like us.

Q: Are big companies such as Diageo li...

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