Blog: Chris MercerFriends to die for

Chris Mercer | 9 June 2010

View from Laphroaig distillery, Islay. Photo: Chris Mercer

View from Laphroaig distillery, Islay. Photo: Chris Mercer

Laphroaig is probably creating envy in the Scotch whisky world and beyond by making a success of its online community.

Every company wants an online community in this 'MyFace' age, but few can pull it off.

More often than not, one imagines, marketeers are left to create buzz on comment pages, their true affiliations cloaked by pseudonyms.

This is why Laphroaig stands out.

The Scotch whisky distiller gathered a few "important trade journalists" (their words, not mine...) to a dinner at London's self-proclaimed oldest restaurant last night for a catch-up.

Master distiller Robert Hicks announced that the Friends of Laphroaig on- and off-line community has reached 400,000 members. It even has a member in Iraq.

As one company representative, who shall remain nameless, then quipped: "Diageo would kill for that." 

So would a fair few others, I'd wager. Laphroaig got in the game early - 1994 - and has offered its members concrete benefits such as first dibs on new releases and also reduced prices.

They also get a square foot of land on Islay, where the whisky is distilled. (I should confess my interests now and say that I, too, have a square foot of land on the island courtesy of you-know-who.)

That bias aside, Laphroaig has laid a benchmark that others must try and emulate.


The (temporary) return of Paul Walsh to the drinks debate

Paul Walsh just can't stay away from the drinks industry....


Budweiser races to stock Mars bars

For those people looking to the Red Planet as shining utopia away from all things earth, look away now....


When life gives you lemons, make soap

Bacardi's 42 Below vodka brand has found a novel way to use the lemons left over from cocktail-making: Turn them into liquid soap....


Small measures required as Philadelphia soda tax adds up

Philadelphia’s soda tax came into force on Sunday, and is reportedly causing a stir in the city's check-out aisles....

just-drinks homepage

Forgot your password?