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Diageo Korea debuts whisky-based spirit drink

Diageo Korea is tapping into the low-abv trend with the launch of W Signature 12, a spirit drink made with a blend of 12-year-old Scotch whiskies.

W Signature 12 is made from a blend of 12-year-old Scotch whiskies

Bottled at 35% abv, W Signature 12 is blended by three master blenders and uses whiskies matured at least for 12 years in Scotland.

The expression falls into the Other Liquor category under the local Liquor Tax Act but is categorised as a spirit drink by the European Spirits Drinks Regulations.

“W Signature 12 is very meaningful for both Diageo Korea and the low ABV segment,” said Kilsoo Cho of Diageo Korea. “By completing the low ABV drinks portfolio, it is giving us an opportunity to lead the low ABV drinks segment.

“The recent trend in the low ABV segment is that consumers are becoming more discerning, which makes the value of liquids in low ABV products ever more important.”

Akira Sung, a whisky expert who runs Diageo’s bartending training program, World Class Bar Academy, said: “W Signature 12 is rich in smooth and sweet honey aroma and fruit aroma, and its taste is smooth and complex, with a little bit of a bitter cedar flavour. It offers a round texture in the mouth and a smooth finish.”

Diageo also intends to “enhance” consumer communication around the low abv trend. The company has hired South Korean actor Hyun Bin to model for W Signature.

W Signature 12 follows the launch of W Ice in 2015 and W Signature 17 in November 2016.

Diageo Korea is solidifying its portfolio to expand its base in the low ABV drinks segment. Diageo Korea’s market share in the low abv drinks segment has been growing from 0% in 2014 to 20% in 2015, to 25% in 2016, and to 28% in the first half of 2017.

W Signature 12 is priced at 23,660 KRW for a 450ml bottle.

In February this year, Diageo added nutritional information and alcohol content to the packaging of its Scotch whisky-based spirit drink, W Signature by Windsor.

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