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Issue 61 - The bourbon question

Whisky Magazine Issue 61
January 2007


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The bourbon question

In this round table we asked two prominent members of the bourbon industry and Whisky Magazine readers about the future of bourbon.

Chris Morris Woodford Reserve CM
Julian Van Winkle Old Rip Van Winkle JW
Jonathon Di Blasi Bergen, Norway JB
Troy Egan Victoria, Australia TE
Christopher Watkin Lincolnshire UK CW

Q:How is the bourbon industry reaching new drinkers?

CM:The bourbon category is doing two things, really. Firstly it is attracting new drinkers by presenting itself with quality, innovation and a contemporary attitude. Secondly it's keeping and growing its current base of bourbon drinkers for exactly the same reason. In the case of Woodford Reserve, we believe consumers, regardless of their category preference, are attracted to the brand because of its handcrafted production and taste complexity but also because it is promoted as a very mixable, very “easy to adopt” brand that fits their lifestyle. The secret is understanding that consumers are now, more than ever before, buying brands and not categories.

JW: I think as more press about high-end bourbons is published, new customers are always available to try something new. Many bourbon drinkers are familiar with only the mainstream bourbons and larger brands.

So as new bourbon offerings are made available these customers are trying them out and liking them because they are so different to what they are used to drinking.

JB:Well I think it would help to offer different shaped bottles, various labels, personalising bourbon for all ages not just the old man anymore. Helping people understand it's something they want to taste and ...

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