Blog: The real stars behind supermarkets' Scotch success
Andy Morton | 25 July 2014
Lidl's Queen Margot 8yo won a "gold outstanding medal"
There was a big media focus on supermarkets and their Scotch offerings this week when a couple of own-brand malts scooped top awards at the International Wines and Spirits Competition (IWSC).
The UK's Waitrose received a “gold outstanding medal” for its eight-year-old blend while Germany's Lidl won the same for the Queen Margot eight-year-old blend. What the press failed to note, however, is that the undoubted quality of the liquids has less to do with the supermarkets than the distillers behind the blend, which in the case of Waitrose's Scotch offerings is Ian Macleod Distillers, owner of the Glengoyne brand.
Lidl is more circumspect with the identity of its whisky supplier, and a call to the supermarket's UK press office was met with a no comment.
What the supermarkets do bring to the table, however, is their price power. Lidl's Queen Margot is currently available for an eye-wateringly low GBP11.99 (US$20.37).
Unfortunately, I'm not able to tell you if the price is worth it - at the IWSC's tasting session in central London on Wednesday evening the Queen Margot was finished before I got to try it. Which perhaps means that it can't be bad at all.
Whisk(e)y companies spend a lot of money and effort ageing their products for that premium taste....
PepsiCo created a stir last week with the news it is testing a product called Caleb's Kola, with some in the media claiming it was the beginning of a new “craft soda” category....
SABMiller's bid to widen the appeal of beer is very much in evidence at its latest 'House of Peroni' - with beer cocktails and a bigger bottle for the Italian lager brand on offer. ...
Spencerfield Spirit Co has added another flavour to its Edinburgh Gin liqueur range....
Here's a round-up of the big stories on just-drinks last week, featuring PepsiCo, SABMiller, the Scotch whisky category and the US wine market....
- Comment - How Hand-Made is Tito's Handmade Vodka?
- Analysis - Remy's Cognac "dead-cat bounce"
- Heineken to stay "active player" in beer M&A - CFO
- Focus - Pernod Ricard's Q1 sales by brand
- Time for Heineken to make a European break
- Moët Hennessy unveils first Travel Retail outlet
- Whisky downturn slows Diageo's Scotch spend
- Beam Suntory, Edrington part ways in Travel Retail
- United Spirits sees Q1 net loss
- Pernod Ricard sees sales lift in Q1