Blog: A Trip to Glenrothes
Chris Mercer | 14 October 2011
The Glenrothes is the latest Scotch whisky brand that appears to be enjoying a vintage year.
G20 finance ministers meeting in Cannes could do worse than lift their spirits with a dram or three of Scotch this evening. Scotch may be losing customers in its home market, but exports rose by around a fifth in volume and value in the first half of 2011.
I've just returned from a trip to The Glenrothes, the brand owned by Berry Bros & Rudd that contains spirit produced by The Edrington Group at The Glenrothes distillery. Between bouts of shooting and off-road driving, I learned that spirit production at the distillery is to increase to near its 5.5m-litre capacity next year. It is currently operating at around 1m hectolitres below this and on a five-day week.
I'm told that this decision was made prior to the significant amounts of whisky consumed by several journalists on the trip.
With the distillery feeding The Glenrothes single malt brand, and providing spirit for various blended whiskies, the plans to expand production offer another example of high confidence across the Scotch industry (although, to be fair, plans to up production are in part a response to Edrington's deal to sell its Tamdhu distillery to Ian Macleod Distillers earlier this year).
Scotch is in a sweet spot. In the US, it is still heading in the right direction, while consumers in key emerging markets in Asia and Latin America have demonstrated a growing thirst for most things brown.
There is a degree of nervousness, however, about the global economic situation and, within this context, whether the momentum is sustainable.
At the same time, and in contrast, the current pace of demand for premium Scotch could throw up supply issues. With such a long maturation period, it would have taken a confident soul to bet on such a high level of success for some of these brands. The Glenrothes is already running low on 1980s vintages (a bit lower after this media trip, by my reckoning) and there is talk of tight supplies over at Beam Inc's Laphroaig, too.
The short-term, then, is not without its challenges. The long-term, meanwhile, continues to rely on a degree of crystal ball-gazing. Still, things could certainly be a lot, lot worse.
Spotted in Havana this week – a healthy stock of Pernod Ricard's Havanista rum. ...
Alcohol always has a big presence at the Oscars, albeit mostly in a supporting role....
Business is booming at copper pot still makers Chalvignac - you can tell from the loud noise coming from its factory floor in the French town of Jarnac-Champagne. ...
Heineken is betting big on the long-term opportunity around soccer in the US. ...
- What do A-B InBev results mean for SABMiller deal?
- Interview - Beam Suntory's EMEA president
- Interview - William Grant & Sons
- Beckham, Diageo and the Allure of the VIP Pop-Up
- just The Preview - Brown-Forman Q3 & YTD
- Diageo, Beckham launch VIP pop-up for Haig Club
- Diageo completes Don Julio, Bushmills swap deal
- Pinnacle Vodka, Skinnygirl roll out on ice
- Pernod Ricard sends Martell Mumm PJ head to Asia
- Tesco reinstates Dan Jago following suspension
- Wine, 2014 and the future
- Spirits and RTDs, 2014 and the future
- Beam Suntory Inc. - Strategy and SWOT Report
- Global RTD/RTS insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research