In brief

30 November, 2007

Waitrose has appointed a new spirits buyer - Michael Simpson-Jones. Central buyer for spirits and beer, Giles Fisher,

takes on additional responsibility for tobacco. Simpson-Jones has 12 years' retail buying experience, including two years with Waitrose, five years with Sainsbury's and five with Marks & Spencer.

To celebrate Burns' Night on Jan 25 Glengoyne Distillery is hosting a Burns' Blending Session giving participants the chance to make their own blended whisky to take home with them. Costing 50, the evening

includes a tour of the distillery and a traditional haggis dinner. Transport will be provided to and from Glasgow city centre. To book a place call 01360 550254.

Auchentoshan Distillery has launched

its oldest Auchentoshan single malt whisky

- a limited edition 50 Year Old, retailing at 2,500 per bottle. Bottled at a cask strength of 49.1 per cent, there will be two releases of the vintage from two separate Spanish Oloroso sherry casks. Cask number 480 is being released this Christmas and has produced 144 hand-numbered bottles, while the second cask, number 479, will be released in Feb 2008.

Three Barrels Rare Old French Brandy is targeting 100,000 consumers with a 1 off next purchase voucher in a direct mail campaign. PR activity will also help drive awareness of the brand by involving consumers in the search for the area's best Christmas lights. A premium red and gold embossed Three Barrels gift carton has been launched in Sainsbury's and Makro outlets, and the classic VSOP variant has been packaged in a Christmas gift pack.

A bottle of Highland Park's Rebus20 single malt Scotch whisky has fetched 1,030 at auction on eBay. The limited edition bottle was specially selected by Scottish author Ian Rankin to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first Inspector Rebus novel, Knots and Crosses. Just over 150 bottles from the 20 Year Old Highland Park single cask were produced and the exclusive money-can't-buy whisky was only available to fans of Rebus and Highland Park through a series of competitions.

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What to expect at Christmas

The arrival of October means that we’re now officially in Nielsen’s Christmas trading period. Manufacturers and retailers alike have until December 30 to optimise their sales plans and activate them in-store in order to win at Christmas.

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Is blended Scotch overshadowed by single malt in retailers?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Don't know