Luxury spirits ‘in a state of flux’

8th October, 2019 by Melita Kiely

The luxury spirits category is “in a state of flux” as consumers are increasingly looking for brands with substance, not just an ultra-premium price tag, the global brand director for Glenfiddich has said.

Glenfiddich-Grand-Cru

Glenfiddich Cru is a 23-year-old single malt that Falcone described as a “modern luxury spirit”

Claudia Falcone, global brand director for Glenfiddich, said the luxury sector was “more democratic, dynamic and inclusive than before”.

“[Luxury is] closely aligned with knowledge and access rather than some of the old cues traditionally associated with luxury, one of which would be an ultra-premium price tag,” Falcone said, speaking to The Spirits Business last month. “There is a definite trend of people occasionally entering the luxury market, as a gift or self-reward, and they are attracted by a brand’s provenance, integrity, craft and cultural resonance.

“The price is clearly a strong indicator of ‘luxury’, however, there has to be substance behind it. It’s the essence and cultural capital of the brand that conveys a luxurious and indulgent feeling.”

Falcone drew attention to the latest release from Scotch whisky brand Glenfiddich as an example of a ‘modern’ luxury product: Grand Cru.

The 23-year-old whisky has been finished in French oak cuvée casks and was the first in a new series of high-end single malts from the William Grant & Sons-owned brand.

“Our objective was to bring soul, substance and storytelling to the fore, to create a product of exceptional quality which has taken incredible skill and craft to produce,” Falcone said. “One that has a timeless and yet contemporary aesthetic and is formed by time and character.

“We feel this, combined with the unexpected, which elevates the drinking experience to the extraordinary, helps to define a modern luxury spirit.”

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