Whisky goes Asian

They're not about to turn whisky into wine, but Glenmorangie wants you to savour its single malt like one, in a bid to tap into Asian market.

by: Miral Fahmy | 06 Nov 2007

Glenmorangie, part of the world's largest luxury group LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, has renamed its flagship blend, reshaped its bottles and launched whiskies with wine-like flavours to attract the young and affluent, especially in Asia.

"We're aiming to build on our roots to create something more modern that is more appealing and relevant to today," said Frank Braillard, business development director for the Asia Pacific region.

The quest for flavour has led the distillery to create three blends which are extra-matured in casks that previously held wines, the Lastana in Spanish Oloroso sherry casks and the Quinta Ruban in port pipes from the Quintas wine estate in.

Asia's growing ranks of affluent, trendy youth hungry for the good life is one of the key markets Glenmorangie, along with most other international luxury brands, is targeting. The region, especially China, has long been a significant consumer of whisky, but mainly local blends and not the more luxurious, and expensive, single malts.

Mixing green tea with your spirit was once popular, but Braillard said that trend was on the decline and more neutral mixers such as water or soda are now fashionable.

According to the 2006 International Wines and Spirits Report, the whisky market has been growing by 0.8 percent on an annual basis from 1997 to 2006 while Asia grew ahead at 2.58 percent. The malt whisky has been growing at 4.5 percent a year over the past 10 years globally. By comparison, the Asia Pacific region has been growing at a staggering 26 percent a year, accelerating at over 35 percent a year over the past four years.

And in case you're wondering, its pronounced "Glen-MOR-anjee".

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