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Issue 58 - Vodka takes a back seat

Whisky Magazine Issue 58
August 2006

 

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Vodka takes a back seat

Joe Bates looks at Kiev airport and brings the latest news from travel retail

The Irish have always had a close connection with duty-free. The first duty-free shop opened in Shannon in 1947, providing a welcome diversion for bored transatlantic passengers waiting for their flights to re-fuel.

More than half a century later and the Irish Diaspora is now helping to run airport shops from as far away as Bahrain and Montreal.

Irish travel-retailer Aer Rianta International is also involved in a joint venture to the run duty-free shop at Kiev's Boryspil airport in the Ukraine.

This bright and spacious store, which is situated in the departures hall of Terminal B, has a lot to offer the itinerant whisky enthusiast. It transpires whisky is easily the biggest liquor category, outselling both local and imported vodkas.

More than 75 different whiskies are stocked.

The only surprise is that the Irish management hasn't converted more travellers over to its native whiskey – that sub-category only generates about three per cent of liquor sales.

In fact, the four most popular drams are all household names: Johnnie Walker Red, Chivas Regal, Jameson and William Grant's.

More exclusive whiskies on sale include Ballantines Limited at ¤135 (£91), Johnnie Walker Blue at ¤115 (£77.45), Midleton Rare at ¤75 (£50.50) and the hard-to-find Chivas Revolve at ¤58 (£39).

Malts account for only about four per cent of spirit sales, but the range is still solid. The highest priced brand on offer is Glenfiddich 30 Year Old at ¤150 £101).

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