Diageo is to launch an updated blend of its leading Scotch whisky, Bell's, to mark the brand's 30th year as the UK's number one blended Scotch whisky.

Bell's Original, which will replace the current 8-year-old blend, is to be introduced from September and will be backed with a GBP4m (US$7.78m) support package. It will have a recommended retail price of GBP13.84 for a 70cl bottle which Diageo said would keep it aligned with its principal competitors.

Diageo said it would be doubling the investment behind Bell's in 2008, not only to support the launch of Bell's Original, but also to "drive excitement and increase consumer awareness in Scotch whisky". The support package will include advertising, as well as a direct mail communication to 250,000 loyal Bell's consumers introducing the latest blend, the company added.
 
"Bell's has been around for over 100 years and during this time, in his strive for perfection, our Master Blender has periodically updated the blend," said James Pennefather, whisky brand director at Diageo GB. "The latest recipe echoes one of the original Bell's blends and will therefore be known as Bell's Original.  We're delighted taste tests show that the latest blend performs very strongly with people who drink Bell's regularly so we're confident that it will be a smooth transition to Bell's Original for retailers and licensees."