GLOBAL: Diageo to play in "connoisseur" single malt with Mortlach range launch
The Mortlach single malt range will be released globally in July
Diageo has lined up the global roll-out of a new range of single malt Scotch whiskies from its Mortlach distillery in Speyside, as the site prepares for a capacity expansion.
The company said late last week that four expressions will be released in July next year, targeting “key European malt markets”, the US, Asia Pacific and the travel retail channel. The new range comprises:
- Mortlach Rare Old, 43.4% abv, with no age statement and to be priced as “an affordable luxury”
- Mortlach Special Strength, travel retail exclusive, 49% abv
- Mortlach 18-year-old, 43.4% abv
- Mortlach 25-year-old, 43.4% abv, available in limited – albeit unspecified - quantities
Specific pricing, which will be set at the 'connoisseur and luxury' end of the malt market, will be announced early next year. Previously, Diageo had only bottled around 600 to 800 cases of Mortlach as a single malt, just for the UK.
Speaking to just-drinks last week, Diageo's head of whisky outreach, Nick Morgan, said: “This is the first time we've gone into the luxury, connoisseur element of the market with a sustained, single distillery product.
“We believe there is a significant opportunity in this area, which we haven't heretofore taken part in.”
Earlier this year, Diageo announced that it will invest heavily in its Scotch production operation, with Mortlach set to get a replica stillhouse as well as new washbacks and mash tuns. The existing stillhouse contains six stills. Diageo's investment in the site will cost in the region of GBP18m (US$29.5m).
Established in 1823, the Mortlach distillery was the first distillery in Dufftown, Speyside.
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