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Issue 64 - The Innovation Game

Whisky Magazine Issue 64
June 2007


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The Innovation Game

With so much discussion going on at the moment about innovation,we decided to ask members of the forum for their views

PA Paul Allison,Edinburgh,UK
NB Nick Brown,Isle of Lewis,UK
PH Peter Hall,Kenora,Canada
SH Sion Hannuna,Bristol,UK
SL Simon Lewis,Penticton,Canada
CW Christopher Watkin,Grantham,UK

1. Where do you think whisky will go next?

SH: There has already been so much innovation in single malts of late and I think we will get more of the same: More weird and wonderful finishes, more cask strength, limited runs and bottlings presented in eye catching packaging.

With regards American whiskey, we will see Buffalo Trace's Antique Collection, emulated by other producers. Heaven Hill's 21 Years Old Rittenhouse rye will soon be followed, by other special releases. The potential for this growth may be limited by previous underproduction and a relative shortage of aged whiskey.

PA: I think the industry, like many other industries that follow consumer trends, will continue to go down the polarised route between those that are innovators and those that are traditionalists. Furthermore the likely survivors will be those that either tap in to the top end of the market, with premium products where margins are higher, or indeed focus on the lower end of the chain where volume and value is key.

An example of where this is apparent is at LVMH where they have Ardbeg going very much down the premium route and at the opposite end of the spectrum you have Glen Moray where value is key. You could argue that Glenmorangie is very much in the middle however brand presence, loyalty and product extens...

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