Whisky Magazine Issue 92
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Joe Bates finds out why the sun shines down on upbeat Cannes show
For once the heavens didn't open and the annual TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes last month was bathed in autumnal French Riviera sunshine.
The beautiful weather suited the upbeat mood in the exhibition venue, the labyrinthine Palais des Festival, which was noticeably busier than in the past couple of years when the duty-free business was feeling the full force of the global economic downturn.
Despite all the challenges 2010 has presented, which have of course included the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud and continuing airport security restrictions on carrying liquids in hand luggage, the general consensus among exhibitors and visitors was that the trade was slowly getting back to somewhere near normal. There was certainly no shortage of new whisky launches to attend, as well as the appearance of some new faces such as independent Islay distillery Bruichladdich.
William Grant & Sons was certainly in celebratory mood, showing off the newly acquired Tullamore Dew on its stand for the first time, and revealing record travel-retail sales for 2010.
However, the spotlight was firmly fixed on a repackaged Glenfiddich and a campaign to revamp the brand's presence at key international airports.
There was also a quirky new travel-retail exclusive, the Glenfiddich Age of Discovery.
The whisky's antique map packaging is inspired by the exploits of Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama and so company president Charles Gordon's luxury racing yacht moored in Cannes Marina made a fitting locat...