just-drinks authors and correspondents

Neil Ridley

Columns by Neil Ridley

Comment - Spirits (Brown) - Last Orders with Neil RidleyComment - Spirits (Brown) - Last Orders with Neil Ridley

Brown spirits aficionado Neil Ridley casts his eye over the latest goings-on in whisk(e)y, Cognac, dark rum et al.

Articles by Neil Ridley

Edrington has invested heavily in The Macallan in recent yearsWhy being careful is not careful enough for spirits marketers - Comment 11 April 2019

As Edrington's The Macallan is forced to withdraw its major advertising campaign in the UK following a handful of complaints, Neil Ridley wonders if the rules surrounding the above-the-line promotion of spirits are turning us into a nation of naysayers and killjoys, or is there a deeper message here for the drinks industry as a whole?

Why the mainstream media is confusing spirits' target consumer - Comment 14 March 2019

When people talk about alcohol, a lot of them get quite excited. Some get over-excited. As for those people that work in the media... Neil Ridley explains.

Diageo is set to reopen its Port Ellen distillery on the Scottish island of IslayHow to win the marketing war in spirits - Comment 15 February 2019

Our brown spirits commentator, Neil Ridley, has had his passion for whisky reignited, thanks to a recent trip to the Scottish island of Islay. He's also concluded that a 'sense of place' is the most important weapon in a spirits' marketer's armoury.

What does 2019 have in store for the brown spirits category?What's coming up in brown spirits in 2019? - Predictions for the Year Ahead - Comment 15 January 2019

After the excesses of December, brown spirits commentator Neil Ridley takes a cursory glance into what 2019 is likely to bring, including a few shake-ups in the no-/low-alcohol segment of the category.

Craigellachie 51 will be given away to consumers, dram by dramWhy spirits marketing risks losing sight of the actual spirit - Comment 22 November 2018

As marketing activity becomes more digitally-focussed, visually-orientated and 'Instagrammable', are spirits companies losing sight of the importance of simply delivering a tasting experience? Neil Ridley warns that some brand owners run the risk of losing the plot.

Why the spirits category needs to rethink its future positioning - Comment 18 September 2018

Our spirits commentator, Neil Ridley, is all riled up. Again. This time, it's about the positioning at the higher end of the spirits category.

Are spirits brand owners driving Global Travel Retail customers to distraction? - Comment 23 August 2018

With the Global Travel Retail channel becoming such an important testing ground for new innovative expressions, have brown spirits brand owners found the perfect launch pad for NPD, or are they slowly but surely confusing consumers with mixed messages? Neil Ridley checks in for a nose around.

Shortly after opening its futuristic distillery for The Macallan earlier this year, Edrington put the Cutty Sark and Glenturret brands up for saleWho will buy Cutty Sark and Glenturret from Edrington? - Comment 17 July 2018

The opportunity to acquire an established, well-known Scotch whisky brand doesn't come along very often. So, you'll forgive our brown spirits commentator, Neil Ridley for being a bit excited right now.

Why Irish whiskey must learn to manage its time - Comment 19 June 2018

Is the renaissance of Irish whiskey about to hit its first major bump along the emerald pathway? Neil Ridley looks at what can be learnt as the segment's popularity continues to rise.

Edrington officially opened the new distillery for The Macallan this weekWhy The Macallan 2.0 is the ultimate challenge to its Scotch whisky rivals - Comment 22 May 2018

The opening this week of The Macallan's newly-"reimagined" Scotch whisky distillery by Edrington is a defining moment in the category, believes Neil Ridley. So, what is the knock-on effect for the rest of the Scotch industry?

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