William Grant pioneers new Scotch category with Girvan single grainBy Becky Paskin
William Grant & Sons is releasing a new brand of single grain Scotch whisky in a bid to pioneer a new spirit category.
The Girvan Patent Still Single Grain Whisky is produced at the Girvan Distillery in the Lowlands, normally used to create grain whisky for Grant’s blended Scotch.
The first product in the Girvan Patent Still range will be a 25-year-old released exclusively in the UK in early November. Comprised of whisky aged in first and second-fill Bourbon casks with “some Sherrywood and virgin oak”, and bottled at 42% abv, Girvan Patent Still 25 Year Old has a honey, candied orange and toffee fudge flavour.
William Grant will follow up the expression with two additional releases, both bottled at 42% abv, in March 2014: Girvan Patent Still 30 Year Old and a no-age-statement Girvan Patent Still #5974 – relating to the patent number filed by Aeneas Coffey in 1830 for the column still.
Both releases will be available in the UK, plus additional core markets in Europe, the US and Asia.
While the #5974 will likely retail for around £75, the Girvan 25 Year Old will carry an RRP of £250, and the Girvan 30 Year Old £375.
Jonny Cornthwaite, brand manager of Girvan whiskies, said it was important for William Grant not to price the new brand at an inferior point to single malt Scotch.
“We have a responsibility as the first major brand producing a single grain Scotch to set the standard,” he explained. “Single grain should be viewed as an accompaniment to single malt, and 25 and 30-year-old single malts cost this much too.
“This is a brave new step for us, opening up this new category in Scotch whisky.”
The launch marks 50 years since the Girvan Distillery was built in 1963, the same time Glenfiddich was launched in export markets around the world.
“When Glenfiddich first launched William Grant were told it would never work, now we are the world’s largest-selling single malt,” Cornthwait added. “Hopefully the same will happen with Girvan.”