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Glenlivet marks 1m case sales with new malt

The Glenlivet has launched a “new core reference” expression to sit alongside its 12-year-old as the brand celebrated a major milestone in its aim to become the world’s biggest single malt whisky.

Alex Robertson, global brand ambassador for The Glenlivet shows off the brand's new Founder's Reserve
Alex Robertson, global brand ambassador for The Glenlivet shows off the brand’s new Founder’s Reserve

Introducing Founder’s Reserve, The Glenlivet’s global brand director Nicky Burgess described this new range addition as a “new modern classic” from master distiller Alan Winchester.

The no-age-statement single malt has been partly matured in first fill Bourbon casks to create “a smooth creaminess” alongside the “zesty fruit” and “toffee” characters that Winchester picked out as a core characteristic of The Glenlivet style.

It comes in a clear bottle to show off the colour of the liquid, together with a “Georgian blue” colour scheme for the label and box.

With Founder’s Reserve carrying a similar RRP to the brand’s 12-year-old, which retails for just under £30, Burgess remarked: “It’s not for radically different drinkers per se. It has very accessible flavours but there’s depth too. We’re not trying to segment drinkers but I think that this brings something new to the experience.”

The range extension comes as Laurent Lacassagne, CEO of the brand’s parent company Chivas Brothers, hailed a record year for The Glenlivet. Although it still lags behind Glenfiddich in sales, September 2014 saw the single malt pass its long-term goal of hitting annual sales of one million cases around the world.

Reporting “double digit growth in more than 40 markets last year” and 8% global value growth in the 2014 financial year, Lacassagne claimed: “The Glenlivet has contributed more growth to single malt whisky than any other brand.”

Looking ahead, he painted a bright outlook for the category, observing: “There has never been such a strong forecast for our Scotch whisky industry. We see expansion around the world, people trading up around the world and millions of new consumers with higher incomes in new markets around the world.”

Setting the launch of Founder’s Reserve within this context, Lacassagne maintained that in order to tap into this expanding consumer base there was a need for ongoing innovation to ensure that the category’s appeal was as broad as possible.

Pointing to recent initiatives such as “mystery malt” The Glenlivet Alpha, which was released without tasting notes or maturation information, and crowdsourced expression Guardians’ Chapter, Lacassagne also highlighted connoisseur-targeted range additions such as the brand’s new £15,000 a bottle 50-year-old expression.

On the back of this innovation, he concluded: “The Glenlivet will already be a part of the next stage of the malt whisky story with a vision to become the world’s leading malt whisky.”

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