Dont expect any flavoured Scotch whisky expressions from Diageo

Don't expect any 'flavoured' Scotch whisky expressions from Diageo

Diageo has distanced itself from entering the 'flavoured' Scotch whisky arena, as Bacardi readies a honey-”infused” expression of its Dewar's Scotch brand.

Late last week, Bacardi confirmed its plans to launch Dewar's Highlander Honey, described as “Dewar’s Scotch Whisky infused with Scottish Heather Honey filtered through Oak Cask Wood”. The new expression, which will be available in the US next month, comprises Dewar's White Label Scotch, mixed with Scottish honey.

It marks the first time that one of the major spirits companies has released a Scotch that has been blended with honey.

However, speaking to just-drinks yesterday (20 March), Diageo's head of whisky outreach, Dr Nicholas Morgan, said that the company has "no plans for 'flavoured' variants of any of its Scotch brands”.

“(Scotch) is a global category built over 100 years and based on integrity and authenticity,” said Morgan. “While the consumer views American and Irish whiskies as more 'relaxed', that latitude is not extended to the Scotch whisky category.”

Morgan noted Diageo's success with Bushmills Irish Honey, Crown Royal Maple Finish and Seagram's Seven Crown Dark Honey and Stone Cherry, but emphasised that new introductions, such as Talisker Storm, illustrated the room for innovation open to Scotch whisky brands within the existing regulations.

"Through distillation, maturation and wood regimes, there is huge scope for innovation within the category," he said.

Launching in the coming weeks. Talisker Storm is a single malt Scotch that does not have an age statement, which is set to be rolled out across Europe.