Laphroaig pipeline is 75% non-aged - Beam Suntory

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Beam Suntory has said about three-quarters of Laphroaig's releases over the next year will be no-age statement iterations.

The company said the move, which comes after the withdrawal of Laphroaig 18-year-old in 2014 because of lack of stock, will allow it to highlight "stories" around new products that could be lost on dated products. It also said older Laphroaig whiskies can lose the distillery's distinctive peated taste if not blended with younger liquids.

"Out of what we have coming out in the next year, about 25% to 30% will aged-statements the rest will be non-age," said Hannah Fisher, ‎Beam Suntory's international marketing manager for malts.

Beam Suntory released the NAS Laphroaig Lore last week, describing it as the "richest" Laphroaig yet. Fisher said that this kind of NAS marketing is important to attract consumers and risks being distilled on aged-statement bottles.

"If you put an age on it, the story can be lost," she said. "People just call it by its age. Sometimes, the story that makes it special is gone. What we want to highlight is the experiment that we've done."

She also said Laphroaig's fan club, Friends of Laphroaig, has told the distillery it likes new releases to retain the whiskey's signature taste.

"When Laphroaig goes into cask for longer you start to lose the Laphroaig DNA, the smoky slap in the face," Fisher said. "That tails off a bit [in older whiskies], it becomes a bit sweeter and softer. That's why we try to keep it true to the story, because age can be misleading."

Of the aged-statement whiskies the Islay distillery released for its 200th anniversary, last year, were a 15-, a 16- and a 32-year-old.

Sectors: Spirits

Companies: Beam Suntory Inc

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