Pernod Ricard's Chinese distillery The Chuan has launched its first whisky.
叠川 The Chuan Pure Malt Whisky is the first to be released from the distillery in Emeishan, Sichuan Province, which started production in 2021. It will be made available in locations across China.
The whisky has been produced using both European and Chinese barley and is aged in three cask types: ex-bourbon barrels, ex-sherry casks, and Chinese oak casks, the wood for which is logged in small quantities from the Changbai Mountains in northeast China.
In addition to the whisky's launch, Pernod Ricard has also announced the opening of The Chuan Distillery experience centre, which will offer tours, tastings, shopping, and fine dining to visitors.
Designed by architectural firm Neri+Hu, The Chuan Distillery is home to a permanent art installation by contemporary Chinese artist Zhan Wang and has been built with Pernod Ricard's sustainability goals in mind, sourcing 100 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources.
Alexandre Ricard, chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard, said: “The inauguration of The Chuan Distillery is the culmination of a pioneering adventure. We have blended the natural beauty of the Emeishan landscape in China with the skill and craftsmanship of our distillers to produce a whisky to be proud of. It will shape a new and unique experience for whisky enthusiasts for many years to come.”
Jerome Cottin-Bizonne, CEO of Pernod Ricard China, added: “We are proud to put China on the world map of whisky by presenting this exceptional malt whisky of The Chuan. As a leading international spirits group, we are committed to proactively responding to the burgeoning enthusiasm and diversified demands of Chinese consumers.”
With whisky consumption on the rise in China, largely driven by 'Gen Z' consumers who are willing to pay for premium products, the country has become a desirable location for international spirits groups.
In November 2021, shortly after Pernod Ricard opened The Chuan, Diageo broke ground on its Eryuan Distillery, a US$75 million facility which will be focused on single malt production. Construction on the Nine Rivers Distillery, backed by an international consortium of investors, started in late 2022, and just last month, Cognac giant Camus broke ground on its own US$30 million malt whisky distillery, Guqi, in Anhui Province.