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CHINA. Bacardi Global Travel Retail has marked a major milestone in China with the opening of a luxury seasonal boutique for its whisky portfolio, in partnership with China Duty Free Group.

Located in the CDF Mall at the acclaimed Sanya International Duty Free Shopping Complex in Haitang Bay, and operating for three months until the end of April, the 35sq m boutique presents a broad range of Dewar’s blended Scotch.

This includes Dewar’s Double Double 21 Year Old, 27 Year Old and Dewar’s Double Double 32 Year Old. The retail experience also showcases the single malt portfolio of Aberfeldy, Royal Brackla, Aultmore, Glen Deveron and Craigellachie.

Bacardi Global Travel Retail Regional Director Asia Pacific Gaurav Joshi said: “Our premium whisky brands are disrupting the category and they are growing fast. New whisky appreciators – especially in markets like China – are looking for unconventional brands that offer aged whisky with authentic provenance and craftsmanship.

The new retail experience in partnership with CDFG is led by the Dewar’s blended Scotch range

“That’s why, for example, Aberfeldy has grown from 20th to ninth largest malt in travel retail in just a few years and recently Aberfeldy 12 Year Old was voted by Chinese consumers as one of the top five brands in the Globuy Travel Retail Consumer Awards 2020.

“Dewar’s is the fastest growing whisky in travel retail at +14% year-on-year, with Dewar’s 12 Year Old and 15 Year Old growing at +23%. The Dewar’s Double Double range is driving one third of Dewar’s total growth in travel retail (Source IWSR 2019).

“It’s very exciting for us to be operating in a dedicated space for our whisky portfolio in China and we have worked closely with the China Duty Free Group team to bring this concept to life in a short time frame. We greatly appreciate the support we have received.”

Immersive and engaging: The Bacardi store promises a feast for the senses at CDF Mall

China Duty Free Group Vice President Zhao Feng said: “Bacardi has always been a long-term strategic partner of CDFG. This is a perfect opportunity for our whisky customers, visiting from across China, to explore and discover the provenance and heritage behind Dewar’s, Aberfeldy and the range of single malts. The in-store presentation of the brands is highly engaging, especially with the feature vapour units and the Aberfeldy gold wax dipping service elevating the shopping experience and engaging shoppers with the stories behind these brands. We look forward to working more closely with Bacardi to drive whisky business.”

The elegant design of the Aberfeldy showcase

In-store tutored tastings are designed to enable shoppers to appreciate the craft of Dewar’s Master Blender Stephanie Macleod in guiding the alchemy of the maturation process in this range of aged whiskies. Each bottle of whisky in the Bacardi-owned portfolio carries an age statement, which the company said was “a key benchmark” of its commitment to quality.

A key highlight, exclusive to the store, is Aberfeldy 18 Year Old Exceptional Cask. With only 594 bottles produced, this is a limited time offer that Bacardi said will appeal to connoisseurs and collectors. It is priced at US$166 for 70cl. The 54% ABV spirit carries an aroma that features notes of cinnamon and allspice, melting to creamy vanilla and frangipane.

To promote the shop opening Bacardi has also activated a digital media campaign, targeting travellers while they are on Hainan island, spotlighting travel retail exclusives, Aberfeldy 16 Year Old and 21 Year Old, both finished in Madeira casks.

In the store there is the option for shoppers to watch the ritual of hand-dipping bottles of these expressions in gold wax, creating a memento of their vacation and one that brings to life the Aberfeldy story of its water source, said to contain deposits of alluvial gold.

The wider Bacardi premium portfolio is also available in-store, including Bacardi rum, Grey Goose vodka, Bombay Sapphire gin, Martini vermouth and Patrón tequila.

Memorable theming for the Dewar’s display with a selection of travel retail exclusives