Pernod Ricard-owned Chivas Brothers has introduced a selection of 15 single malt Scotch whiskies from some of Speyside’s most elusive distilleries exclusively to travel retail.
The Secret Speyside Collection, which features whiskies from Caperdonich, Longmorn, Glen Keith and Braes of Glenlivet, is only available in airports across the world until July 2020.
Scotch whisky icon Alan Winchester, who curated the Collection, said: “With centuries of rich whisky heritage against a jaw-dropping Scottish landscape, Speyside is the treasure chest of Scotch and brimming with untold stories. Curating the Collection has been a labour of love for the Chivas Brothers team; its contents have been hand-selected to help shine a light on some seldom-seen distilleries, their rare malts, and unique histories.
“Any whisky connoisseur will find something new in this world-class selection, which demonstrates the breadth of flavour and character that Speyside distilleries can achieve.”
The release has been accompanied by activations featuring glorifiers, gondolas and stands that give more information on the elusive distilleries and the rare Scotch available.
A bespoke activation area showcasing the history and heritage of the Caperdonich and Longhorn whiskies has been introduced in Dufry’s World Duty Free store at London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 until the end of November.
The activation takes inspiration from the fragrance category, as customers are able to take in the aromas of the whiskies on strips of paper that have been spritzed with the Scotch, while information on the tasting profiles is displayed nearby.
As an added incentive, one customer will have a chance to win a collection of the whiskies worth £750 (US$963) via the Heathrow Rewards loyalty programme.
A leather cardholder featuring a paisley print created especially to accompany the Collection is also available as a GWP to those that pre-order any of the whiskies for collection at Heathrow through the World Duty Free Reserve & Collect service.
Pernod Ricard Global Travel Retail Vice President of Marketing Craig Johnson said: “We are excited to bring this immersive activation to all those visiting World Duty Free at London Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5. The bespoke activation area showcases some of the highest quality whiskies from the Collection and immerses travellers into the world of Speyside. As our primary retailer in the UK, we couldn’t think of a better partner to bring Speyside to life for travellers and whisky connoisseurs alike.”
Vanished, pioneering and remote: About the distilleries
Caperdonich: This distillery distilled its final single malt in 2002 before closing its doors and finally being taken down brick by brick in 2011. It has contributed three peated (an 18yo, 21yo and 25yo) and three unpeated (a 21yo, 25yo and 30yo) expressions to the Secret Speyside Collection.
Longmorn: This pioneering distillery, famous for blending technology with craft, has contributed three whiskies to the range: a creamy 18yo, a chocolatey 23yo and a cinnamon-flavoured 25yo.
Glen Keith: A distillery featuring tall copper stills, which was reopened in 2013 after being closed for 14 years. Three whiskies (a 21yo, 25yo and 28yo) from this distillery feature in the range.
Braes of Glenlivet: This remote distillery has contributed three whiskies that are exclusively available at DXB (Dubai International Airport). All three have a tropical character: the 25yo has subtle notes of coconut, the 27yo has notes of butterscotch and the 30yo has notes of mango.
“Airports symbolise this voyage of discovery”
Alan Winchester, who curated the Secret Speyside Collection, explains the importance of releasing these whiskies into an airport environment.
What is so important, special and unique with the Secret Speyside Collection?
What makes the Secret Speyside Collection so unique is the rarity and source of the stunning liquid. This fantastic selection of Scotch single malt whiskies, from some of Scotland’s most historic and storied distilleries, gives customers the opportunity to sample products that they’ve never been able to experience previously.
These iconic and fabled locations have been influential in shaping the famous Speyside region and have played a key role in its establishment as the home of Scotch whisky. As well as incredibly rich and powerful histories, the whiskies each boast unique characteristics and with a wide variety of peated and non-peated expressions across the 15-strong collection, there truly is something for every single malt connoisseur.
Why do you think it was important for the world to experience this Collection?
It is immensely important for this Collection to be released because Speyside as a region holds incredible significance for Scotch single malts. It is the spiritual home of Scotch and these are never-before-released whiskies that are of such rarity, but now for the first time available for whisky connoisseurs the world over.
Take Caperdonich whiskies, for example – the distillery was taken down brick by brick in 2011. These are the only available whiskies from this vanished distillery, so by including them in the Secret Speyside Collection, we are giving this now dormant distillery a new lease of life.
The whiskies themselves are in finite supply and once they’re gone, they’re gone so the Collection offers consumers the only chance to try such rare and distinguished liquids.
Which of the whiskies in the collection do you think has the most interesting story behind it?
All of the whiskies have a great story to be told and serve as a testament to the distinguished distilleries from which they are distilled and aged, however, the ones that captivate me the most are the Longmorn whiskies. The distillery was designed in the progressive era of the industrial revolution and built on an unwavering pursuit for excellence by founder John Duff by using advanced technology of the time teamed with Duff’s insight into whiskies.
Duff even built a railway station next to the distillery to import the finest ingredients for his whiskies and to then export this precious malt at speed into the hands of whisky lovers. Considered world class by distillers, blenders and connoisseurs alike, Longmorn is often referred to as ‘every distiller’s favourite apart from their own’ – a testament to Duff’s vision for blending the craft of whisky production with innovation driven by technology to achieve something incredibly special.
Why do you think the story of Secret Speyside can be told well in an airport environment?
Secret Speyside is a collection that encourages discovery and cultural enrichment through the incredible stories associated with the Speyside region. This is the same motivation that drives people when travelling, to discover and learn more about different countries and cultures.
Naturally, airports symbolise this voyage of discovery so therefore present a natural environment in which to showcase and introduce the Collection. What’s more, we know that consumers often seek out quality products in global travel retail, whether as a memento for themselves or as a gift to treasured friends, which mirrors the concept of the Collection.