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Americans' thirst for Jameson drives sales to four million cases

23 November 2012 – Peter Flanagan (Irish Independent)

SALES of Jameson whiskey topped four million cases in the last year, as the whiskey's popularity continued to surge.

Growth was driven by the US, where a quarter of all sales is currently generated for the spirit, which is produced by Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard.

The latest figures mean Jameson has now posted 23 consecutive years of growth.

The total sales equates to 1.3bn glasses of Jameson being sold a year. While the US is now the leading market for the brand, with annual growth of 29pc, the volumes grew by 15pc overall during the year to the end of June.

Company chief executive Anna Malmhake was "delighted and proud" to have hit 4m cases.

"To think in 1988, when Irish Distillers joined Pernod Ricard, Jameson sold just 466,000 cases globally, with Ireland as its main market.

"Since then, Jameson has witnessed consistent and sustained investment, with a long-term strategic outlook based on premiumisation and innovation coupled with strong and targeted marketing.

"The result has been incredible global success with continued growth in over 120 markets.

"This milestone is a true reflection of the growing international success of Jameson, and the future potential of the company's entire Irish Whiskey portfolio."

Recipe for Success: Pernod Ricard

Pernod Ricard wants to be No. 1 in global wine and spirits, and it’s spent the last decade gathering the ingredients to get there.

Martin Riley, Chief Marketing Officer of Pernod Ricard, talks to ?What If! co-founder Dave Allan and editorial director Andy Comer about where the company’s been, where it’s heading, and the evolving role innovation is playing in getting ideas to market. Edited excerpts:
Andy Comer: Let's talk about Pernod Ricard’s innovation journey and its place in the landscape of today’s spirits industry.
Martin Riley: Pernod Ricard has undergone a massive shift in the last 10 years, transforming itself from a regional drinks business into one of the two leading spirits businesses in the world. The driving forces of this change have been smart acquisition and powerful marketing across the globe.
The first major acquisition was Seagrams, which brought in big, international brands like Chivas Regal and Martell. These were brands of a scale that Pernod Ricard had not managed before. We had been focused in Europe, with big, local brands. The only brand Pernod Ricard owned before 2002 that was being developed in multiple markets beyond Europe was Jameson, which was by no means as international then as it is today.
Our goal then became to develop an international portfolio of major brands which lead to the acquisition of Allied Domecq: Ballantine’s scotch, Beefeater gin, Malibu and Mumm champagne and three years later, Absolut Vodka. In parallel we have built an incredibly powerful business based around about 70 national and regional operating businesses that market and sell our brands across the world.
That’s been the last 10 years. What’s next? The good news is we now have an exceptional portfolio of global brands and a business infrastructure that gives us a platform for growth and innovation. We have said we’re not going to acquire for at least another 12 to 18 months because we’re paying down debts on these acquisitions. So beyond geographic growth, we are now looking for innovation to play a much more significant role in our developing story.
This fits well with our ambition to be leaders of the global wine and spirit market. We’re number two. We’re not far from being number one, but we know if you’re going to get to number one, you have to behave as leaders. And what leaders do is bring new things to market.
Dave Allan: What this reflects is an organization that has begun to think carefully about the role innovation needs to play. This is not a one-off initiative. It’s about creating clear alignment between business strategy and innovation strategy, with buy in and support from the top of the business.
However, the challenge then is to do it in a way that fits the culture of the business. This is not a business where big, centrally driven programs are going to work. There’s a big sense of, We want to develop our own way of doing this.
Riley: That’s right. It’s very important we do things our way. We are proud of our business and our success. In the last 10 years, we have tripled the share price of the company. This has been driven by an incredibly strong, performance-driven culture and a real belief in a decentralized model in which the brands and market companies operate independently, taking responsibility for their own approach and performance.
As Dave said, in this world, big, centrally driven programs won’t work. We’ve had to find ways of creating a set of programs and principles that the operating businesses pick up in their own way. This is a delicate balancing act.
Next, we’ve needed to be willing to go back to first principles. Like any large organization, we’ve got our way of doing things—the way we look at opportunities, the way we look at consumers, the way we measure performance. However, these have been created in a very operationally driven culture. We’ve had to say, Are these right for the new challenges we’re setting ourselves? This means having to stop using tools that don’t give us the kind of insights we want just because these are the tools everybody else uses. Let’s start thinking about tools that are appropriate for our ambitions. And let’s start developing our own tools. It’s the same thing with innovation—let’s not just do it because other people are doing it. Let’s recognize what it can bring to the business—the mindset it will bring.
We’ve done a lot of innovation on our brands, but it tends to be incremental. Nothing that’s really breaking open new market areas. And that’s where we’d like to test ourselves.
Comer: How have you begun scoping out the challenge? What were the specific areas you wanted the transformation to cover?
Riley: As we set out to scope the challenge, we realized that there were a series of very different initiatives that required attention. Let me give you a few examples.
One of the big challenges we set ourselves was to shift the mindset within the whole company. Remember, we are very successful and very operationally driven. But as we began this journey, we believed it was important to encourage a more creative mindset—to help people to be more receptive to new ideas, to be more encouraging of new ideas, and to be rewarding of new ideas.
We developed a way of working called “New Ideas at Work.” This was about turning creativity into a productive tool—giving our people practical behaviors and tools that enabled them to deploy a more expansive approach within their day-to-day work. Our aim was not to throw away what had made us successful, but to integrate creativity as a part of this mindset.
The second thing was to look at our core business. We are in the business of wine and spirits. That’s where we have our expertise and where we want to gain leadership. And that’s where our focus is. But let’s go beyond the incremental. Let’s look at things that might take longer to develop. Let’s get people thinking they can stretch—that they can develop concepts and products that will transform the industry. We know from our consumers where they’re moving. We can be there to meet them. And to move from incremental to stretch, we’ve put additional people and resources in place.
The third element was breakthrough. When we look at our industry, there aren’t many breakthrough innovations, and if you go back to products, you’re going back to the ’70s. Malibu was seen as a breakthrough product. Baileys was seen as a breakthrough product. They created new categories. But there have been very few real breakthrough products since. Plus, it’s hard to do this when the focus is this year’s numbers.
So we had to think differently. We created a new, breakthrough innovation group—we call it “B.I.G.”—and it’s at arm’s length to the company. It operates under its own rules. Its mission will be to develop ideas—with people at Pernod Ricard or entrepreneurs from outside—and take them to testing. It’s product, but it could be services as well. We want them to push the time horizon and the limits of financing. This kind of thing may never be financed in the normal structure of our organization, where priorities tend to be shorter term, and money is given to projects that can return an investment more quickly.
Allan: I remember getting the brief from these guys. What impressed me in their thinking was that this wasn’t about, Let’s just develop a few new products. They were thinking more deeply: How do we build an ecosystem within Pernod Ricard that fits our way of doing business? And that’s going to support innovation?
I remember the questions they were asking: What should be the ambition for this company around innovation? How do we create the right cultural mindset around innovation? What different levels of innovation need to be tackled in different ways? There were questions around expertise—enablers of innovation. There were questions around, How do we steer this and integrate it into the companies’ operating processes? And finally: What are the areas we should be playing in, and what are the areas we shouldn’t be playing in?
Pernod Ricard’s moving beyond this thought that innovation is a department in the business. They’re shifting to a place where innovation is seen as fundamental to how the company works. And that it needs to be built into the ecosystem.
Comer: Martin, what does success look like to you? What are your targets?
Riley: Our evolutionary business continues to add significant margin. We want more high-quality evolution—line extensions, special additions. Where do some of these new ideas come from? Often they’re at the edge of existing categories or they’re a combination of two categories. They are pushing upward, like with super-premium vodkas in the States—brands like Grey Goose, and in the case of tequila, Patron. They’ve set up a new segment—a high-priced segment of a market.
Things are happening at the lower end of the scale in the States in a rapid way, too. SkinnyGirl tequila. Pinnacle vodka going from nothing to a million cases very quickly. Pinnacle vodka did it with a whipped cream-flavored vodka. They kept throwing ideas against the wall, and this one took off. We need to be mindful of that less-classic approach. Things like celebrity endorsements to build brands, like Ciroc has done and SkinnyGirl has done.
We’ve incorporated this into the way we do our longer-term planning. We asked the affiliates to have a section on innovation in their plans—a three- to four-year horizon. Show what they plan to do and why, and what benefit it should bring. Not just financial benefit, but overall benefit in terms of reaching new consumers and new segments.
Comer: How do you see Pernod Ricard's leaders being affected by innovation—in their roles and behaviors, for example?
Riley: It’s a major challenge. Pernod has been built on operational excellence. We have leaders who have built fantastic businesses and careers on consistent delivery of success. The notion of failing, of risk taking—the high probability of not getting it right the first time—is therefore a big challenge to a lot of our leaders, who’ve been very successful and have not really failed. Within French culture, the idea of failure is not quite as tolerated as it is in American or British culture. They are taught from an early age, You must succeed. That’s how you build your future and your reputation. So in a predominantly French culture, to talk about, It’s OK to fail—it’s a challenge.
This requires leadership. This is not the sort of debate that can be pushed down to individuals in the companies. It requires our leaders to actively engage. This means taking risks and recognizing that innovation is about failures as much as successes. What will be the real challenge is when we have examples of things that haven’t worked—taking that learning, applying it, moving on. That’s going to be beneficial to the whole organization in everything we do, not just in innovation.
Comer: How important is role modeling this notion that it’s OK to fail?
Riley: Well, as Woody Allen said, “If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative.” But you don’t fail spectacularly. You don’t look at it like a massive product launch. You look at it as an experimentation phase. That’s the way you can encourage people. You might have three or four projects over a period of 12 months. If one does bomb out, and you don’t want to continue, that’s fine. You’ll have others you can learn from.
Allan: Innovation isn’t about throwing out the past. But doing the new stuff can interrupt doing the old stuff. That’s one of the things that emerges on this journey. It’s how you manage that paradox.
Comer: Quickly, because we have to wrap up—Martin, if you had to give one piece of advice to another leader embarking on a similar innovation journey, what would you say?
Riley: You have to understand the culture of your organization and not force people to do things they don’t believe in. You’ve got to make sure they believe this is serious—that it’s going to lead somewhere, that the senior guys are fully onboard.
Allan: I would echo what Martin said. If you look at the iconic companies people enjoy talking about—Facebook, Google, Amazon—the people who run those companies, who own those companies, are still the entrepreneurs. They are people who have grown multi-billion dollar organizations in a very short time. And they have grown those organizations through innovation.
I’ve been lucky enough to meet senior leaders at Apple, at Amazon, at Google, and when you ask a simple question—How much time do you spend on innovation?—you get figures that range between 20 and 50 percent. And what that says is those leaders are giving significant amounts of time to initiatives not yet generating income. And they’re doing it because they believe innovation is fundamental to growth. A promotion may win you the quarter, but innovation will win you the decade.

Jameson Stars for Pernod Ricard
26 October 2012 - By Peter Flanagan
SALES of Jameson shot up by nearly one-fifth during the three months to the end of September, helping its parent group post turnover of over €2bn.
The French drinks giant Pernod Ricard said Jameson sales climbed nearly 17pc during its first quarter, driven mainly by the US and Eastern Europe.
In volume terms the whiskey sales grew 12pc, with those figures translating into price/mix growth of some 6pc. The company described Jameson's growth as "exceptional". Overall, Pernod Ricard posted revenue of €2.2bn, with organic sales growing 5pc.
The company described the results as a "good overall performance" despite a "less favourable macro-economic environment and a difficult base of comparison".
Company chief executive Pierre Pringuet said he was still "confident in our capacity to continue to grow".
"We are setting a target for organic growth in profit from recurring operations close to +6pc for the 2012/13 financial year," he added.
Turnover was up 10pc year on year. Growth was focused in emerging markets, but "ongoing, marked bipolarisation in Europe". Shares in the giant drinks group fell in Paris, closing off 0.96pc.

Pernod Ricard Opens New Malt Distillery
Date:19 October 2012 - Business News Food Ingredient First
The new distillery would supply high quality Speyside malt whisky for the Chivas Brothers portfolio of blended whiskies to be sold around the world.
19 Oct 2012 --- Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard, has announced its intention to build a new malt whisky distillery and has begun the planning process for a site in Speyside. The company is consulting the local community and planners regarding a location on the banks of the River Spey near Carron.
The new distillery would supply high quality Speyside malt whisky for the Chivas Brothers portfolio of blended whiskies to be sold around the world. It will benefit from the latest innovation and environmental expertise, such as heat recovery technology, and provide a first class working environment.
The site would also be visible from the nearby Speyside Way walking trail, so whilst up-to-date construction techniques and modern technology would be used inside the building, the intention is to make the external façade blend in with the surrounding riverside scene and follow vernacular codes of the region.
Chairman and CEO Christian Porta commented: “Our success in growing our brands across the world, in existing and new markets, to many historical highs means that creating new distillation capacity is a key next step for our business. This new distillery will supply high quality Speyside malt whisky for many of our blends in the years to come. This is another example of our sustained investment in our Scotch whisky operations which, combined with consistent innovation and marketing, will continue to drive the growth of our business.”
The new distillery will occupy the site of the silent Imperial Distillery which has remained inactive since 1998 and was acquired by Chivas Brothers in 2005.
Earlier this year, Chivas Brothers already announced its plans to grow its malt whisky distillation capacity by 25% by April 2013 with the re-opening of Glen Keith distillery and expansions at four existing Speyside distilleries. It also increased the capacity of The Glenlivet Distillery by 75% in 2010 in light of increasing sales of the global No2 single malt.

New positioning for Pernod Ricard's Olmeca Altos tequila designed by Coley Porter Bell
A new positioning for Pernod Ricard’s premium tequila Olmeca Altos has been designed by Coley Porter Bell to help is operate as a stand-alone brand.
The new bottle have been released in the US before being rolled out elsewhere in the world, an update on the agency’s original design in 2010.
This time the brief tasked the agency with achieving standout for Olmeca Altos against the rest of the Olmeca range by adding ‘an appealing personality, and making the bottles easier to handle.
The new positioning has also been created to target young urban drinkers, featuring a deliberately minimal design featuring hammered glass and the branding embossed into the glass.
Stuart Humm, creative director for CPB, explained; “Altos needed to play up its authenticity whilst also highlighting the taste of the product, making drinking Altos more about enjoyment and discernment than shooters and partying.”
“The target market is notoriously unresponsive to marketing, so rather than the design shouting at them we wanted consumers to feel that they have discovered it themselves. As a result it’s deliberately understated and dressed down,” he added.

New Kahlua Gingerbread Rings in Holiday Season

8th October, 2012 by Becky Paskin
Pernod Ricard is introducing the new Kahlua Gingerbread cream liqueur to the US in time for the holiday season.

A blend of rum, 100% Arabica coffee, gingerbread, nutmeg, cinnamon and clove, the new flavour joins Kahlua’s limited edition holiday range, which also includes Kahlua Peppermint Mocha, a blend of peppermint and dark chocolate.
Kahlua Gingerbread, as well as Kahlua Peppermint Mocha, are both 20% abv. They are designed to be drunk on ice or in festive cocktails.
To coincide with the launch of Kahlua Gingerbread, brand owner Pernod Ricard is launching an interactive social media campaign to support US charity One Warm Coat.
For every click on the Share the Warmth button on Kahlua’s Facebook page (, Pernod Ricard will donate US$1 to the charity up to a maximum US$100,000.
The French drinks group will also donate if fans invite friends to join the page or scan a QR code on POS materials.
“The holiday season is a time to enjoy warmth and spark meaningful connections,” said Anna Battiloro, senior brand manager, Kahlúa. “Every person who clicks the ‘Share the Warmth’ button helps Kahlúa support One Warm Coat and give back to local communities.”
The promotion will run from 1 October to 28 February 2013.

Also visit Midnight Kahlua - very impressive but not yet in South Africa.

Chivas Regal launches new travel-retail exclusive
1 October 2012 - Nicole Mezzasalma

The Chivas Brothers’ Blend is the first new product for the brand since 2007 and will be exclusive to duty-free and travel-retail

Liquor supplier Pernod Ricard Travel Retail (PRTR) has launched a new whisky in the Chivas Regal range that will be exclusive to travel-retail and duty-free markets. The Chivas Brothers’ Blend (pictured), described as the “ultimate whisky to share”, is also the first new addition to the brand’s product line-up since Chivas Regal 25yo was relaunched in 2007.

According to the company, the inspiration for the new blend came from the Chivas Brothers founders John and James Chivas, who first worked together at the family emporium in Aberdeen. The Chivas Brothers’ Blend pays tribute to their “legendary” blending skills in a 12yo blend that uses a carefully-selected range of malt whiskies including high proportions of Strathisla (the oldest distillery in Speyside, dated from 1787) and Longmorn (established in 1894) malts.

The blend has an amber colour and soft fruit flavours including peach and pear, accented with runny honey, marmalade and soft candy, the company added.

Its bottle and carton uses purple to highlight its “regal nobility and great stand-out”, PRTR said. The launch will be supported by a global activation that will include out-of-store theatre, digital interaction, consumer engagement activities and more. 

Chivas Regal global brand director James Slack said: “We are delighted to launch The Chivas Brothers’ Blend exclusively in travel-retail and offer a new Chivas Regal product which focuses on our heritage of craftsmanship blended with a modern twist. The result is an ultra-smooth whisky for today’s travellers who are looking not only for brand innovation but also an experience. 

The Chivas Brothers’ Blend is the ultimate whisky to share.”

The supplier added that The Chivas Brothers’ Blend will be priced at a 20% premium on Chivas Regal 12yo.

The IWSR recognises drive of Pernod Ricard brands

19 September 2012 - Vinexpo news selection

Every year, the IWSR publishes its Elite Brands List. The 2012 list features two brands from Pernod Ricard Group, Havana Club rum, which moves up from 3rd to first place, while still being banned in the US, the leading world market, because of its Cuban origins, and Jameson Irish Whiskey, which has been promoted from 4th to 2nd position. Brown Forman’s Finlandia vodka comes 3rd, having also jumped two places in the list. It is closely followed by another vodka, Russian Standard, which has leapt from 7th position to 4th.

Remarkably Diageo’s Johnnie Walker scotch, which led the stakes last year, has disappeared from the top ten, as has the liqueur Jägermeister. (V&S News – 7 September 2012)

GLOBAL: Pernod Ricard tops drinks firms in innovation list

10 September 2012 - Drinks: By Andy Morton 

Pernod Ricard came 15th on Forbes annual list

Pernod Ricard has narrowly beaten two Chinese white spirits makers to be crowned the leading beverage company in Forbes magazine's latest rundown of the world's most innovative companies.

The French company moved up one spot to 15th in the annual list, which Forbes says is a measure of a company's stock market premium based on potential products and new markets. China's Kweichow Maotai and Wuliangye Yibin, which both produce baijiu, came 18th and 20th respectively.

The Chinese firms did not feature in last year's inaugural list, which included five beverage companies or companies with beverage brands in their portfolio.

This year's list boasts ten drinks companies, including Diageo, a new entry at 33. Anheuser-Busch InBev remained at 53rd, while PepsiCo dropped from 50th to 58th. Carlsberg made its first appearance, at 66th.

Pernod said its ranking proves that innovation is at the core of its strategy of building strong premium international brands.
“This is the result of a systematic policy of innovation supported by an entire creative ecosystem within the company, which we have built over the last few years,” MD for brands Thierry Billot said.
The Forbes list is compiled by projecting a company’s income from existing businesses, plus anticipated growth from those businesses.
Companies must have US$10bn in market capitalisation, spend at least 2.5% of revenue on research and development and have seven years of public data.
Pernod told just-drinks last week that Champagne makers must look outside Europe for future growth.

Pernod Ricard named one of the most innovative companies in the world

Published: 10 September 2012; Source: ©The Moodie Report By Mary Jane Pittilla, Brands Editor

French liquor group Pernod Ricard has been ranked one of the most innovative companies in the world by US weekly magazine Forbes.

In the Forbes “World’s most innovative companies” listing, Pernod Ricard has moved into 15th place, one place above last year’s global ranking. The company is second among European groups and first among French firms, ahead of Danone (25th worldwide), L’Oréal (34th worldwide) and LVMH (71st worldwide).

Pernod Ricard also tops the list of groups in the drinks industry, ahead of China’s Kweichow Moutai and Wuliangye Yibin, ranked 18th and 20th, respectively, and the UK’s Diageo (33th).

This ranking is performed annually by two Harvard professors and innovation specialists, Hal Gregersen and Jeff Dyer, authors of the reference book, The Innovator’s DNA.

In her article on Pernod Ricard, Forbes' Samantha Sharf writes that “when it comes to innovation, Europe’s number two is looking to operate more like a tech company.”

Pernod Ricard intends to use this ranking to emphasise how innovation, and especially marketing innovation, is a mainstay of its strategy of building strong premium international brands. "Whether for product or packaging innovation, consumption patterns or communication campaigns, Pernod Ricard’s innovation policy redefines the contours of a brand and reinterprets its codes," the company said.

Commenting on the Forbes listing, Managing Director for Brands Thierry Billot said: “Moving up one in the rankings from last year’s already strong performance is something for the group and its brands to be really proud of. This is the result of a systematic policy of innovation supported by an entire creative ecosystem within the company, which we have built over the last few years.”

Chief Marketing Officer Martin Riley added: “Innovation is part of the group’s daily life. We are currently working on over 300 innovative projects. Innovation is the responsibility of all of us at Pernod Ricard and is resolutely action-oriented.”

Managing Director of the Breakthrough Innovation Group (BIG) Alain Dufossé explained: “BIG was created six months ago and is an innovative creation in itself. It is a stand-alone structure, outside the company’s traditional organisation, a homing device seeking out innovation, a free electron with the task of working on breakthrough ideas both in terms of products and services.”

PERNOD RICARD : one of the Top 20 most innovative companies in the world

4 Traders: 7 September 2012, 02:31pm US/Eastern

Moving up one in the rankings from last year's already strong performance is something for the Group and its brands to be really proud of.  This is the result of a systematic policy of innovation supported by an entire creative ecosystem within the company, which we have built over the last few years."

According to Martin Riley, Chief Marketing Officer for the Group: "Innovation is part of the Group's daily life. We are currently working on over 300 innovative projects. Innovation is the responsibility of all of us at Pernod Ricard and is resolutely action-oriented."

Alain Dufossé, Managing Director of the Breakthrough Innovation Group explains: "BIG was created 6 months ago and is an innovative creation in itself.  It is a stand-alone structure, outside the company's traditional organisation, a homing device seeking out innovation, a free electron with the task of working on breakthrough ideas both in terms of products and services".

About Pernod Ricard

Pernod Ricard is the world's co-leader in wines and spirits with consolidated sales of € 8,215 million in 2011/12. Created in 1975 by the merger of Ricard and Pernod, the Group has undergone sustained development, based on both organic growth and acquisitions: Seagram (2001), Allied Domecq (2005) and Vin & Sprit (2008).

Pernod Ricard holds one of the most prestigious brand portfolios in the sector: Absolut Vodka, Ricard pastis, Ballantine's, Chivas Regal, Royal Salute and The Glenlivet Scotch whiskies, Jameson Irish whiskey, Martell cognac, Havana Club rum, Beefeater gin, Kahlúa and Malibu liqueurs, Mumm and Perrier-Jouët champagnes, as well Jacob's Creek, Brancott Estate (formerly Montana), Campo Viejo and Graffigna wines.

Pernod Ricard employs a workforce of nearly 18,000 people and operates through a decentralised organisation, with 6 "Brand Companies" and 70 "Market Companies" established in each key market. Pernod Ricard is strongly committed to a sustainable development policy and encourages responsible consumption.

Pernod Ricard's strategy and ambition are based on 3 key values that guide its expansion: entrepreneurial spirit, mutual trust and a strong sense of ethics.

Pernod Ricard Launches 'Party Size" Chivas Regal Night Magnum

The Spirit Business: 6th September, 2012 by Becky Paskin

Pernod Ricard is hoping to cut itself a slice of the affluent, VIP late-night party market with the launch of a Chivas Regal Night Magnum.

Move over Champagne: The Chivas Regal Night Magnum is the new VIP party drink in town

The 12-year old premium Scotch will be available exclusively to the on-trade, where Chivas Regal intends to capitalise on social celebrations.
Typically such occasions are dominated by premium white spirits such as vodka and Tequila, and Champagne, but Pernod is adamant its Chivas Regal Night Magnum can challenge the competition.
“When people purchase a bottle in an exclusive venue they are either ordering bottle-to-table vodka for the night ahead or Champagne to celebrate a moment,” said James Slack, global brand director for Chivas Regal. “The Night Magnum will introduce Scotch whisky to these occasions, ensuring increased visibility for Chivas in the premium on-trade environment.”
The 1.5 litre bottle has a premium-looking metallic finish with burgundy Chivas Regal emblem.
It will be available in high-end  bars and members clubs in over 30 markets worldwide, including China, Brazil, Japan, France and Malaysia.


France: Founding Family To Take Back Control Of Pernod Ricard

NamNews - Friday 31st August 2012

The founding Ricard family has announced plans to take back executive control of spirits giant Pernod Ricard, following the departure of CEO Pierre Pringuet in 2015. The group said that Pringuet will be replaced by Alexandre Ricard, nephew of Patrick Ricard, who died suddenly earlier this month after over three decades as Chairman.

Pringuet is the only CEO of the group to not be from the Ricard family, and Alexandre’s appointment will make him the third generation of the family to head the company. To ease him into the post, he has already been appointed as Deputy CEO and COO of the group, effective immediately.

Alexandre will also take over the post of Executive Chairman in 2015, when Daniele Ricard (sister of Patrick) is expected to step down. Alexandre said the Ricard family’s control “assured the group’s independence”.

The announcements were made as the group reported its strongest annual growth in four years. For the year ending June 2012, net profit was up 9% to €1.2bn, with sales growing by 8% to €8.2bn.

Pernod Ricard said results were helped by demand for its top 14 brands, all of which performed well in Asia, which again outperformed the American and European markets.

Pernod Names Chairman, Targets Alexandre Ricard as CEO

By Alan Katz - Aug 31, 2012 7:42 AM GMT+0200

Pernod Ricard SA (RI), France’s biggest distiller, will remain assured of its independence in the short, medium and long-term by the Ricard family’s holding, Le Figaro said, citing Alexandre Ricard,
Pernod started a process yesterday to promote Alexandre Ricard to the dual role of chairman and chief executive officer from 2015, following the death this month of his uncle Patrick Ricard. Societe Paul Ricard, through which the family holds its stake, owns 13.81 percent of the group, data compiled by Bloomberg shows.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alan Katz in Paris at
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at

Pernod-Ricard Wins Chinese Trademark Case Over ‘Chivas’ Marks

From By Victoria Slind-Flor - Aug 31, 2012 1:00 PM GMT+0200

Pernod-Ricard SA (RI), France’s largest distiller, won a trademark case in China, the British trade publication Drinks Business reported.

The three-year suit ended with a court ordering two companies to pay 500,000 yuan ($78,745) for the unauthorized use of Pernod-Ricard’s “Chivas” trademarks and trade dress, according to Drinks Business.

The suit targeted “Elysee Royal” whisky made by Yantai Aowei and Yantai Chivas, the publication reported.

Earlier this year, a Chinese court turned away a Pernod- Ricard challenge to the use of “Chivas” by a clothing manufacturer, according to Drinks Business.

Havana Club named as number one Elite Brand by IWSR

Published: 31/08/12; Source: ©The Moodie Report By Martin Moodie

INTERNATIONAL. Pernod Ricard’s Havana Club rum has climbed to the top slot of the IWSR’s annual Elite Brand list, published in the September issue of IWSR Magazine.

The brand has featured regularly in the list and has moved up from number three in 2011 to claim the number one position. With a five-year CAGR of +7.4%, sales in 2011 reached 3.8 million cases: an impressive result given that the brand is excluded from the world’s second-largest rum market, the US, because of its Cuban origins.

Havana Club is the largest-selling brand of those which meet the IWSR’s criteria – they must sell over 1 million cases worldwide, with at least 40% of sales outside their main market to demonstrate international presence. They must also maintain a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of at least +5% for the last five years – i.e. 2006-2011 – to demonstrate sustained performance.

 Pernod Ricard also owns the number two Elite Brand, Jameson Irish whiskey. Jameson has risen fast, driven by its performance in the US, where the brand has achieved a five-year CAGR of +24.8% to reach 1.3 million cases in 2011. Volumes increased by double-digit rates in 47 out of 50 states.

Eristoff, Russian Standard and Finlandia all maintained their presence on the list.

William Lawson, another Elite Brand regular, had an impressive +10.4% five-year CAGR thanks to its continued strong performance in Russia. Russia has also played a key role for new entry White Horse, owned by Diageo, which reached the 1 million case mark in 2011. Diageo has two additional new entries in the list, Scotch whiskies Black & White and Old Parr, with both brands posting strong growth in Brazil.

Aperol is another new entry following its success across Europe; the brand saw the largest five-year CAGR of the Elite Brands of +25.3%. The Campari-owned brand has driven growth through a strong on-trade presence and popularity among younger drinkers with the Aperol Spritz cocktail.

Barceló, from Dominican Republic, is the only other rum on the list and has the second largest five-year CAGR of +23.3%.

Demand for recycled barrel wood flooring "overwhelming"

Published 20 September 2010

A company set up in Scotland to make and sell wood flooring made form old whisky barrels (the oak staves are often 70 years and older) has revealed it is struggling to cope with the level of demand from around the world. The floors still carry the stamps of the whisky makers who put the wood to its original use.

Scottish whisky quenching biofuels debate

Published 13 September 2010 - CoolEarth.

At a time when Scottish scientists and the whisky industry are bringing a sustainable biofuel to market, the debate about biofuels continues to rage with diverse opinion over the impacts of the EU biofuel industry and policies.

The good news is that a new biofuel made from whisky distilling by-products has been patented recently by Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland. After two years of laboratory research in close collaboration with the whisky industry, the next step is to create a spin-out company to develop and launch the biobutanol based "drop-in" vehicle fuel. Every year, whisky producers presently generate over 1,600,000,000 litres of by-product suitable for biobutanol.

Whilst the "whisky-fuel" developers point out that the EU has a target of 10% fuel sales being biofuel by 2020, Friends of the Earth (FOE), on the other hand, are keen for the EU to scrap its biofuel policy.

A new FOE report - Africa Up For Grabs - describes how rainforests and natural vegetation are being destroyed for biofuel feedstock plantations, competing with food crops in countries where famine is rarely far away. They blame the EU biofuel policy for this and suggest it's creating a neo-colonial land grab. Evidently, over 5,000,000 hectares of land is being appropriated by foreign companies with a view to meeting the EU biofuel market targets.

In other parts of the world - particularly Brazil - politicians and the agro-fuels industry are angry with the EU's Renewable Energy Directive because it includes policies designed to limit the import of foreign biofuels. Brazilians claim that the EU are using "environmental protection" as an excuse to protect Europe's incipient biofuel companies against Brazil's highly competitive industry. Brazil has been producing and consuming biofuels for well over 20 years.

Icons of Whisky Scotland 2011

The search starts again to find the cream of the crop in the whisky world. In the first of three rounds we turn our attention to Scotland.

The Icons mark a highlight in the whisky calendar and this year is no exception with the quality of companies entering the awards. The Icons are designed to celebrate the people and places behind the greatest whiskies in the world. The product is dealt with in the World Whiskies Awards held later this year and the Independent Bottlers' Challenge.

This year's judging process includes regional heats in the U.S., Scotland and the rest of the world. The winners of the regional icons will now go forward to the final world Icons which will be announced at an awards ceremony held to mark the opening of Whisky Live London in March 2011.

Here we present the winners from Scotland. In what has been an interesting year we hope that you will celebrate the diversity the industry has to offer and join us in congratulating the winners.

Rosh Hashana Cocktails

By Richard Goldsmith - Published September 09, 2010 -

Rosh Hashana is the Jewish new year. Literally translating to head of the year, there's not a whole lot of similarity between this start of the Jewish calendar year and the one that takes place on January 1. Despite being a joyous holiday, Rosh Hashana is a time for reflection, a time to look over the missteps of the past year and plan how to avoid them in the new one.

Of course, no one ever said you can't drink something other than Manischewitz whilst making those plans. After all, such deep thoughts are sure to work up a powerful thirst and man cannot live, nor wish for a sweet new year, on kosher wine alone. A few simple cocktails geared toward encouraging the requisite introspection, not to mention encourage shouts of “L'shanah tovah,” -- Hebrew for “for a good year!” -- as glasses clink together certainly wouldn't hurt.

 To that end, here are a few drinks aimed at ringing in the Jewish new year in grand, yet traditional, fashion that even the strictest bubbie couldn't possibly frown upon.

Call of the Shofar – When Rosh Hashana falls upon a day other than the Sabbath -- or Shabbat -- the shofar, a ram's horn blown like a trumpet, is sounded. There isn't a specific reason given for this in the Old Testament, but some suggest it's a call to repentance. In any case, it's one of the most important observances of the holiday. A skilled shofar blower can produce one hell of a note – a sound only a powerful drink can do justice to. The Call of the Shofar is a twist on a classic, the Whispers of the Frost. It's sweet, in keeping with the hopes for a great new year, but packs a wallop and demands the drinker's attention.
  • 1 1/2 oz. whiskey (Oddly enough, Jameson Irish Whiskey provides a great combo of caramel flavors with a solid oak base to offset the sweetness)
  • 1 1/2 oz. sherry
  • 1 1/2 oz. Manischewitz Concord Grape kosher wine
Pour all the ingredients into a wine goblet full of ice, stir and garnish with a few apple slices. Deep thoughts will soon ensue.

L'Shanah Tovah – The pomegranate carries a rich history of symbolism. In Judaism, the fruit signifies righteousness, and is often eaten in dishes on Rosh Hashana as a way of inviting those qualities into the coming year. As such, incorporating pomegranate into a cocktail that invites a good year and emulates the traditional holiday greeting can only be a good thing. Sweet and tart, with all the mouth-puckering qualities of the pomegranate balanced by the richness of the cognac and effervescence of the tonic water, this is a drink that provides all of the joy the holiday calls for, tempered by just the right amount of righteous inspiration.
  • 1 oz. Pama pomegranate liqueur
  • 1 oz. cognac (Jacque Cardin Cognac is a nice match to the tart pomegranate, offering solid complexity and sweetness that cuts the “pucker”)
  • 1.5 oz. tonic water
Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass full of ice and stir gently to avoid losing too much carbonation. Strain into a cocktail glass and serve it up to guests eager to avoid a second night of Manischewitz.

 The Rosh Hashana – One of the best parts of any holiday is the food. And Rosh Hashana has become known for the traditional pairing of apples and honey as a symbol of hope for a sweet new year. This drink takes that pairing and ups the sophistication, balancing the sweetness while maintaining the honey and apple flavors. And what could be sweeter than kicking the new year off with bourbon?
  • 1.5 oz. bourbon (Jim Beam Black is perfect here – not so expensive it's wasted by mixing, but still with great caramel-coated bourbon flavor that pairs perfectly with the apple and honey)
  • 1 oz. Barenjager Honey Liqueur
Apple cider (preferably unfiltered and unpasteurized – giving the whole drink a little more complexity and tangy flavor)

 Pour the bourbon and liqueur into a lowball glass over ice and top off with the apple cider. Give it a stir, kick back, and reflect on what's sure to be an awesome new year. And if you don't believe that yet, go back for another round or two.

Ryder Cup whisky launched

Published 9 September 2010

Penderyn, the Welsh whisky distiller announced that it is releasing a special edition whisky to celebrate The Celtic Manor Resort, the venue for the 2010 Ryder Cup, one of the world’s biggest sporting events.

The Penderyn Celtic Manor 2010 whisky was launched on 8th September - limited to 200 bottles - was commissioned by The Celtic Manor Resort. The whisky is a unique Welsh single malt matured in a single Oloroso Sherry cask. The single cask used for this expression was selected by Penderyn’s head distiller, Gillian Macdonald, and is bottled at 50% ABV. Each bottle will be presented in a hand-made tulip wood box, crafted in South Wales by the fine furniture maker Giancarlo Bianchi.

Mackmyra Swedish Single Malt

Published 9 September 2010

Mackmyra proudly maintain traceability right down to the individual field of barley. The whisky is then matured in small, handmade Swedish oak casks in the historic underground Bodas Mine. Mackmyra Whisky has an exotic spicy aroma and a fruity, elegant flavour with hints of citrus and caramel.

Haggis cake with whisky dressing

Published 09 September 2010 10:10 GMT on STV

Eadie Manson shares his recipe for this distinctly Scottish treat.
No food is more Scottish than haggis, so there really is no better dish to create to honour Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight than haggis cake with whisky dressing.

Made by young Scottish chef Eadie Manson, the dish is a mixture of haggis, butter, flour and brioche breadcrumbs, served with a whisky, oil and mustard dressing - so it certainly packs a punch. Click here to find out how to make it. This link will also give you the recipe.

Besides being a great lifestyle site - STV is an impressive foodies site for the hospitality industry - see the Food and Drink section. Also covered on the site is Health and Fitness, Home and Garden, Travel, Money and Fashion.

'New make spirit' launched in USA

Published: 30 August 2010 The Whisky Network

A USA release of Glenglassaugh 'new make' spirit in 200ml bottles is happening soon - “Clearac” - a new make spirit straight off the still - unpeated and un-matured and not effected by oak barrels or ageing will be available in the USA for consumption. This is not a whisky but the stuff whisky is just before going into oak barrels for 3 years. Glenglassaugh 'new' spirit is essentially an unaged malt spirit.

It has been released internationaly in 500ml bottles in limited quantities. It is at 50% alcohol by volume. It is known as 'The Spirit Drinks that dares not speak it's name' - a single mash pot still new spirit.

Glenglassaugh (pronounced Glenglassoch) distillery was founded in 1875

Antarctic Scotch to be tested, not tasted

Published 13 August 2010 - CBC News - Associated Press

A crate of Scotch that was trapped in Antarctic ice for a century was finally opened Friday — but the heritage dram won't be tasted by whisky lovers because it's being preserved for its historic significance. One of crates of Scotch whisky is seen after being recovered by a team restoring an Antarctic hut used more than 100 years ago by famed polar explorer Ernest Shackleton. (Antarctic Heritage Trust/Associated Press)

The crate, recovered from the Antarctic hut of renowned explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton after it was found there in 2006, has been thawed very slowly in recent weeks at the Canterbury Museum in Christchurch on New Zealand's South Island. The crate was painstakingly opened to reveal 11 bottles of Mackinlay's Scotch whisky, wrapped in paper and straw to protect them from the rigours of a rough trip to Antarctica for Shackleton's 1907 Nimrod expedition.

Though the crate was frozen solid when it was retrieved earlier this year, the whisky inside could be heard sloshing around in the bottles. Antarctica's -30 C temperature was not enough to freeze the liquor, dating from 1896 or 1897 and described as being in remarkably good condition.

This Scotch is unlikely ever to be tasted, but master blenders will examine samples of it to see if they can replicate the brew. The original recipe for the Scotch no longer exists.

'I just looked at this [crate] and honestly, my heartbeat went up about three paces.'—Michael Milne, whisky lover

Once samples have been extracted and sent to Scottish distiller Whyte and Mackay, which took over Mackinlay's distillery many years ago, the 11 bottles will be returned to their home — under the floorboards of Shackleton's hut at Cape Royds on Ross Island, near Antarctica's McMurdo Sound.

Whisky lover Michael Milne, a Scot who runs the Whisky Galore liquor outlet in Christchurch, described the rare event as a great experience. Polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton's base camp is pictured in Antarctica. Crates of Scotch whisky have been recovered by a team restoring an Antarctic hut used more than 100 years ago by Shackleton. (Antarctic Heritage Trust/Associated Press)

"I just looked at this [crate] and honestly, my heartbeat went up about three paces. It was amazing," he said. "The box was like a pioneer's box with the wood and nails coming out," he said.

Although Milne said he'd give anything to have a taste of the whisky. "It is not going to happen and I am not going to get excited about it," he said. "But if there was ever an opportunity, it could be a wonderful one to have."

Nigel Watson, executive director of the Antarctic Heritage Trust, which is restoring the explorer's hut, said opening the crate was a delicate process.

The crate will remain in cold storage and each of the 11 bottles will be carefully assessed and conserved over the next few weeks. Some samples will be extracted, possibly using a syringe through the bottles' cork stoppers.

Dram fine price expected for rare whisky

Published: 17/08/2009 Scotsman Whisky News

A RARE single malt whisky from a little-known distillery could fetch more than £10,000 when it goes up for auction next week.

The Mortlach 60-year-old edition could be one of the most expensive whiskies ever sold in the UK when it goes under the hammer at Bonham's auction house in Edinburgh on Tuesday. And the huge cost is partly due to the tiny number of Mortlach casks that are bottled – and the rare 60-year label. Martin Green, a whisky specialist at Bonham's, said: "The elegant bottle and unusual whisky are definitely part of the appeal. "There are aren't many 60-year (whiskies) of any brand on the market at all. "And on top of that you don't get a lot of Mortlach distilled into bottles." He added: "There's every chance that it will fetch well over the estimate. I certainly hope people go for it." The Mortlach auction comes after The Macallan Anniversary 50-year-old edition sold for £11,750 last week – the most expensive whisky sold at auction in the UK.