Diageo releases honey-infused J&B ‘Scotch’

27th March, 2014 by Amy Hopkins

Diageo is the latest drinks group to combine Scotch whisky and honey flavours with the release of J&B Urban Honey.

J&B-Urban-Honey

Diageo has moved into the Scotch-based flavoured “spirit drink” category with J&B Urban Honey

Labelled clearly as a “spirit drink”, the new release is an infusion of J&B Scotch Whisky brand and honey, designed to appeal to “a new generation of men and women”.

J&B Urban Honey, bottled at 35% abv, is described as a “characterful drink that has a balanced and smooth liquid”.

Guidelines by the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) and EU law state no other ingredients except caramel colouring and water can be added to Scotch whisky.

Diageo has therefore claimed to ensure that the new release is differentiated from its parent J&B brand “with the use of a honeycomb pattern, a city skyline illustration and a prominent ‘bee’ illustration”.

“Creation of J&B Urban Honey is true to the urban roots of the J&B brand and its reputation for re-invention in the whisky category,” said Dougal McGeorge, global J&B Brand director.

“The rapid growth of flavoured spirit drinks made J&B a natural choice for us as we looked to drive innovation.”

The UK drinks group follows in the footsteps of Bacardi and Pernod Ricard with this latest flavoured release.

In March last year Bacardi was caught up in a dispute over its new Dewar’s Highlander Honey, which describes itself as a “Blended Scotch whisky infused with natural flavours” on the front label, and only states it is a spirit drink on the back.

The label adheres to US regulations, but in its current state would be prohibited by the EU.

Flavoured trend

More recently, in December 2013, Pernod Ricard’s gin and whisky business Chivas Brothers released Ballantine’s Brasil – a labelled “spirit drink” created by steeping Ballantine’s blended Scotch whisky in lime peel.

The flavoured spirits category has experienced fast growth in recent years, particularly in the US. More than 40% of all spirits in the US have an additional flavoured expression with more than 220 flavours now on the market, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS).

The launch of J&B Urban Honey also follows the release of various honey-flavoured variants in the American whiskey and Irish whiskey categories.

In 2011, Brown-Forman released Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, while in May 2012, Beam Inc released Jim Beam Honey.

Irish whiskey first forayed into flavours when Diageo’s Bushmills Irish Honey launched in February 2012, followed by Pernod Ricard’s Paddy Bee Sting in October 2013.

J&B Urban Honey will first launch in Spain from April 2014.

One Response to “Diageo releases honey-infused J&B ‘Scotch’”

  1. Roger K says:

    Absolutely delicious, bought a bottle last week in France !

Leave a Reply

If that's interesting, how about these?

Seedlip: Alcohol-free spirits won't 'steal share' from booze brands

With alcohol consumption falling as drinkers grow more health-conscious, The more...

Rémy Cointreau acquires Westland Distillery

The Rémy Cointreau Group has continued its single malt whisk(e)y acquisition more...

Pernod sells Domecq brandies

As part of Pernod Ricard’s strategy to focus on its priority brands, the firm more...

Teeling debuts 26yo single malt at Dublin Airport

Teeling Whiskey Company has launched a 26-year-old single malt in its limited more...

Karuizawa: A brand history

Japanese whisky distillery Karuizawa is spearheading the upper echelons of the more...

Mallya gifts US$40m severance to his children

Vijay Mallya has reportedly gifted US$40 million received in a severance deal more...

'First' white rum distilled in Scotland launches

The team behind renowned Edinburgh bar Bramble has co-created SeaWolf, the more...

GlenWyvis community distillery launches gin

GlenWyvis, which is set to become Scotland’s “first” community-owned more...

Ex-Diageo director leads Sazerac DC office

Buffalo Trace Bourbon owner Sazerac has appointed a former Diageo director as more...

Old Pulteney unveils second 35yo edition

Wick-based distillery Old Pulteney has announced a second release of its more...

Top 10 marketing campaigns in November 2016

Scotch whisky brand Bell’s recruited The IT Crowd actor Matt Berry for a more...

Havana Club twist as Trump hints at Cuba freeze

The Havana Club trademark battle between Pernod Ricard and Bacardi Limited more...

Diageo settles Stitzel-Weller trademark lawsuit

Diageo North America has settled a trademark lawsuit with a US-based spirits more...

NYC distillery releases 'world's only' peated Bourbon

The oldest operating whiskey distillery in New York City, Kings County, has more...

Strathearn Distillery sells first whisky for £4,000

Scottish microdistillery Strathearn has auctioned its first single cask whisky more...

Whitley Neill unveils 'UK's first' quince gin

Halewood Wines & Spirits has expanded its Whitley Neill portfolio with the more...

Buckley joins Irish Distillers leadership team

Brendan Buckley has been promoted to the role of strategy, innovation and more...

SMWS launches 'whisky concierge' for shoppers

In the run-up to Christmas, the Scotch Malt Whisky Society has launched a free more...

Unusual booze-filled Christmas gifts

Wondering what to buy for the eccentric spirits lover in your life this more...

Liqueurs must harness 'transformative power' of serves

The liqueur story has long been one of back-bar obscurity, but now brands are more...