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Issue 89 - The numbers game

Whisky Magazine Issue 89
July 2010


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The numbers game

Dave Broomand the latest age campaign from Chivas Bros.

It's always heartening when a whisky firm takes an interest in generic education, so the news that Chivas Bros. was launching a global campaign to explain what an age statement meant there was a raising of a glass in the direction of Hammersmith. A chat a few days after with the always suave Christian Porta on underlined why the firm has embarked on such a (seemingly) selfless operation.

According to Porta, consumer research into age statements produced some “remarkable” results.

For example, 94 per cent of consumers feel that an age statement is an indication of quality, while 98 per cent believed that older was better and the same number looked for an age statement on a bottle. For me, that's less remarkable as sad but hey isn't that what the campaign is about – to disabuse people of the notion that older is better?

It's certainly also to educate the 10 per cent who believed the age statement referred to the youngest whisky in the blend, not to mention the 50 per cent who thought it meant the average age, or the 35 per cent who were of the opinion that it spoke of the oldest whisky in the mix.

Clearly the need to explain what the numbers themselves mean needs to be addressed and congratulations to Chivas Bros. for taking the initiative, but what of the belief that age is somehow a determinant of quality? “We believe an older age gives a different experience;” Porta answered. “We believe that very old whisky gives a different flavour revealing more layers and...

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