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Royal Brackla to relaunch single malts

Bacardi has revamped its range of Royal Brackla single malts with new Sherry cask finishes, new ABV strengths and new age statements – including replacing its 16-year-old expression with an 18-year-old whisky.

Royal Brackla’s new single malts range will feature a 12-year-old, 18-year-old and 21-year-old

The new line-up comprises Royal Brackla 12 Year Old, which has been finished in oloroso Sherry casks; Royal Brackla 18 Year Old, which has been finished in Palo Cortado Sherry casks; and Royal Brackla 21 Year Old, which has been finished in a combination of oloroso, Palo Cortado and Pedro Ximénez Sherry casks.

Malt master Stephanie MacLeod has been experimenting with different Sherry casks for several years.

The Scotch whiskies have been given a higher ABV strength of 46% and will launch with China Duty Free Group in May 2020, when they will be available to purchase from airport stores in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Following the travel retail release, the trio of whiskies will also be made available in domestic markets.

The 12-year-old will retail for US$79.99 per one-litre bottle, the 18-year-old will be priced at US$154.99 per one-litre bottle, and the 21-year-old will cost US$279.99 per one-litre bottle.

The new range was unveiled at the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference in Cannes, France, on Monday (30 September).

Ian Taylor, global brand director, malts, Bacardi, said: “At Bacardi, we were asking, ‘can we return Royal Brackla to non-chill-filtered, natural colouring and high ABV?’

“Yes. We have done that, so [the range] is going to go back to 46% ABV.”

Explaining why the company chose to launch the range in China, Taylor explained: “Chinese passengers are absolutely vital. Everyone is focused on how do we appeal to Chinese consumers?

“Chinese basket spend is very high. We need to be taking things to the next level and being honest about what we do, and I think Chinese consumers are no different to any other single malt consumer in that they tend to be extremely knowledgeable and demanding. They’re an incredibly sophisticated consumer.

Age-statement single malts

Speaking about age statements and single malts, Taylor said every Royal Brackla single malt will have an age statement going forward.

“We are going to put, to make sure, that every bottle of single malt we put out has an age statement,” Taylor confirmed. “Travel retail for single malts is the most important channel for us.”

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