Comment - Spirits - Buxton: Banging the Dram
By: Ian Buxton
Augmenting our spirits coverage, Ian Buxton will be casting his eye over the brown side of the sector on a monthly basis.
The news that Hunter Laing & Co has committed GBP8m (US$11.4m) to move from independent bottler to full-blown distiller by building its own, brand-new distillery on Islay got me thinking: What makes the place so special? After all, it's hardly the only Scottish island with a distillery.
Much has been written recently about the impact of the boom in craft distilling on the spirits sector. Depending on your point of view it offers colour, variety and innovation or possibly is nothing more than a minor diversion of little long-term significance and trivial volumes.
Much has been made of the effect that the rise of the craft spirits segment has had on the broader spirits category. Ian Buxton, however, believes that effect isn't quite as powerful as some have previously feared.
The brown spirits category continues to see segments rise and fall in popularity. This month, Ian Buxton looks at rye, which has surprised many with its recent return to form.
Ian Buxton has just returned from Cognac. Much as he expected to see a gloomy fug over the region, he was surprised by the upbeat air among its spirits producers.
The clamour in recent years to enter the Irish whiskey category suggests that the segment is poised to become the next big thing. But, with one brand dominating the sector massively, are the prospects for growth really all they're cracked up to be? Ian Buxton considers.
In the battle for consumers' hearts and minds, are drinks companies overlooking the widely-held definitions of words and phrases? Is there leeway to argue that certain terms may not mean exactly what consumers perceive? Ian Buxton considers the evidence.
A storm appears to be brewing in the spirits category and it's a storm borne out of marketing. Can spirits companies settle the terminology tiff before things get out of hand, or is it too late? Ian Buxton investigates.
In spirits, the craft segment is making hay, with consumers buying into the category's more artisanal, less global approach. But, where is the line drawn between craft distilling and mass distilling? Ian Buxton investigates.
The Scotch whisky category appears to have hit a tipping point. What does the future look like for the until-recently booming category? Ian Buxton voices his concerns.
Long touted as the natural successor to single malt whiskies, premium and super-premium rums have yet to make a dramatic impact on consumers. Could that be about to change? Ian Buxton takes a closer look.
The time is finally here: Today, Scotland decides. Will The Union remain or is Scotland set to declare its independence from the UK? With the country taking to the polls, Ian Buxton takes one final look at what the result of the vote will mean for the Scotch whisky industry.
Last month, Diageo confirmed that it was upping the intake of its entrepreneur initiative project, Distill Ventures. Ian Buxton speaks to Frank Lampen, the unit's chief tasting officer, to learn how Distill Ventures is working out for the drinks giant.
With reports last month that BrewDog is poised to enter the spirits category, Ian Buxton mulls what we can expect in the years to come from the off-the-wall brewer.
With all eyes turned to Scotland ahead of September’s independence vote some enterprising English distillers are making their own plans to turn the tables on the Scots. Yes, English whisky is back – and this time it seems it is here to stay, says Ian Buxton
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