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Issue 59 - The price is right?

Whisky Magazine Issue 59
October 2006


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The price is right?

In this issue we ask some of the industry's luminaries to discuss the sensitive issue of pricing and effect on the public's perception of whisky.

Iain Baxter – Inver House senior brand manager IB
Ronnie Cox – The Glenrothes brand ambassador RC
Ken Grier – Malt Director for the Edrington Group KG
Dominic Roskrow – Whisky Magazine consultant Editor DR
Ian Weir – Head of Marketing for Ian Macleod Distillers IW

Q: Can premium malts justify premium price tags,and does the public understand why?

KG: I believe that a brand such as The Macallan, for instance, sits well in the luxury goods market. It has a well defined provenance and heritage, is supremely crafted, is iconic in its branding and appeal, is in scarce supply and constantly innovates to add more value for its customers.

It all comes down to real substance. Both The Macallan and Highland Park are exquisitely crafted and deliver a taste performance and cachet that far exceeds the norm.

The craft commitment and doing things the best way we can, make every bottle of The Macallan and Highland Park not only a miracle but a bargain. A true economic costing of the ingredients, including the heart and soul we put into every bottle would see a price many times what is asked.

There are no “bad” whiskies but there is genuinely a disproportionate amount of crafting, extra ingredients costs and a scarcity issue that makes our premium products actually great value.

DR: The simple answer to the first part is yes but I think you have to be clear what you mean by 'premium prices'.

A proportion of whisky in this bracket falls under the category of 'col...

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