Grant’s unveils new whiskies and brand overhaulBy Melita Kiely
Grant’s has been given a brand overhaul and streamlined its core range by discontinuing various expressions and introducing three new blends – including a smoky whisky.
The core Grant’s range has been streamlined to four expressions: Grant’s Triple Wood, Grant’s Triple Wood Smoky, Grant’s Rum Cask Finish and Grant’s 8 Year Old Sherry Cask Finish.
The William Grant & Sons-owned whisky will be discontinuing Grant’s Signature, Grant’s Cask Ale Finish and Grant’s Sherry Cask Finish as it restructures its core range, but there will be no direct replacements for these expressions.
“Across our portfolio there’s probably about 60% maintenance and 40% innovation,” said master blender Brian Kinsman. “But from a brand perspective you can’t have 20 different whiskies for a brand, it just doesn’t work.”
Grant’s Family Reserve has been rebranded as Grant’s Triple Wood. The name change aims to better communicate the production process behind the liquid, most notably the three cask types used to age the whisky: virgin oak, American oak and refill Bourbon. The recipe will remain the same.
“The ‘triple wood’ process is at the very heart of what we create here at Grant’s,” added Kinsman. “As a result of ageing our whiskies in three different casks our Triple Wood is distinctive to taste, with a balance of qualities drawn from the character of the wood.
“I love the complexity of spice, smooth vanilla and the sweet edge gathered from that combination of three casks.”
Grant’s will also launch its first smoky whisky under the ‘Triple Wood’ title – Grant’s Triple Wood Smoky – which has also been matured in the brand’s signature three cask types.
The whisky is said to have a sweet fruitiness and hints of citrus, finishing with smoke and a “touch of dry tannin”.
Grant’s Cask Editions
Joining the whiskies is a new range from the brand, called Grant’s Cask Editions, born from “decades” of experimentation by Kinsman and his team.
New expression Grant’s Rum Cask Finish has been aged in oak barrels before being matured further in ex-Caribbean-style rum barrels, and is said to have notes of tropical fruits, banana, vanilla oak and a touch of sweet spice.
Kinsman and his team produce the rum casks themselves, filling casks with rum before emptying them to fill with Grant’s for six months.
Also launching under the Grant’s Cask Editions umbrella is Grant’s 8 Year Old Sherry Cask Finish, which was left to age for eight years in oak barrels before being transferred into oloroso Sherry casks. The whisky is described as having an oaky vanilla sweetness and rich malty notes, while water accentuates dried fruits and wood spices.
Each of the four whiskies is bottled at 40% abv and will be rolled out globally. Grant’s Triple Wood will launch in August in all major retailers and will carry an RRP of £15 (US$19) per 700ml and £19.50 (US$£26) per one-litre bottle.
Grant’s Triple Wood Smoky will launch in the second half of 2018 at an RRP of £19 (US$25).
Grant’s Rum Cask Finish is available from July in UK supermarket Sainsbury’s with an RRP of £19 (US$25).
Finally, Grant’s 8 Year Old Sherry Cask Finish, which will also be released at some point during the second half of this year, will have an RRP of £21 (US$27).
Volume sales of Grant’s rose 1.3% in 2017 to reach 4.5 million nine-litre cases, according to 2018 Brand Champions data, making Grant’s the third biggest-selling Scotch whisky in the world.