The Loch Lomond Group presented a new global travel retail range for its Scotch whisky brands at the recent TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes, amid a drive to become a “consumer-led international branded business”.
The independent distiller has a strong heritage dating back to the beginnings of the Scotch whisky industry, and notably, is self-sufficient in its production facilities and capabilities. The company was a family business until current management backed by private equity took control in 2014.
As reported, Loch Lomond appointed experienced industry executive André de Almeida as Managing Director Global Travel Retail after he left William Grant & Sons in July.
The key brands that will feature in travel retail are Loch Lomond, Glen Scotia and Little Mill, which will carry new bottle designs and premium packaging. The range for the channel is being developed and shown to customers now and will be available from early next year, with RSPs ranging from £27 to £75.
De Almeida said: “We will take a phased approach to the channel. Route to market is key and with that in mind we will be working with partners such as Nigab AB and Chase International to distribute our brands. We will engage more actively with stakeholders in the channel from now and will become TFWA members in 2017.”
The company is highlighting its track record in whisky-making, which dates back over two centuries.
There has been a malt distillery in Loch Lomond since 1814 and the brand owner has had a presence established on its current site since 1964 (with its own cooperage). Its grain distillery, which opened in 1994, is one of only seven in Scotland, with coffey malt stills added in 2007.
Founded in 1832, Glen Scotia is one of only three surviving distilleries in Campbeltown, which is the fifth of the designated Scotch whisky regions. It operates a pot still distillery, warehouse and visitor centre at its current site.
To differentiate its offer, the company has developed a marketing campaign for the Loch Lomond brand titled ‘Never Follow’, which will begin in the USA.
“It is targeted at the consumer who wants something different and who wants to stand out,” said de Almeida. “Travel retail will become an important channel. It offers great visibility.”
Four expressions from the Loch Lomond Distillery include The Loch Lomond Single Grain, which is exclusively distilled with malted barley, and Loch Lomond Signature, a premium blend which undergoes a 100-cask solera process. Loch Lomond 12yo single malt has spirit from two types of stills and the offer is rounded out by Loch Lomond Inchmurrin Madeira single malt.
The Glen Scotia range is inspired by Campbeltown, once known as the ‘Victorian’ whisky capital of the world.
Three new single malt expressions include two new variants which are exclusive to global travel retail: Glen Scotia Campbeltown 1832 marks the founding date of the distillery, and the Glen Scotia 16yo. The Glen Scotia Victoriana is matured in charred oak casks and Pedro Ximenez sherry casks. All the expressions are bottled non-chill filtered.
Founded in 1772, Littlemill was acquired by the Loch Lomond Group in 1990 and fell silent in 1994. It was destroyed by fire in 2004, and has not produced since. The 2015 Private Cellar Edition uses liquid chosen from selected 1989 and 1990 casks, bottled at 25 years old and available in limited quantities in the channel.
De Almeida added: “This exciting new range will enable us to build for future growth. I am keen to work in closer cooperation with partners that are willing to offer consumers something different and, by doing so, delivering on the sense of discovery, one of the key pillars of travel retail.”