Wee Smoky targets non-whisky drinkersBy Owen Bellwood
A new single grain Scotch has launched in the UK with the aim of attracting ‘people who don’t like whisky’, called Wee Smoky.
Former Edrington executive Rory Gammell and distiller Ollie Salvesen, who worked at Kilchoman and Hollyrood distilleries, developed Wee Smoky, a ‘smooth, fruity, and lightly smoky whisky’. Pickering’s Gin founder and head distiller Matt Gammell was also involved in the project.
Founder Rory Gammell said: “Cocktail culture was growing and I noticed that people weren’t choosing to mix Scotch whisky. I felt it was mostly because it looked too old fashioned to attract younger drinkers. It wasn’t inviting people to mix it. Upon trying a cocktail made with a smoky Scotch whisky, I had a eureka moment.”
Distilled in Edinburgh, the single grain Scotch whisky has been finished in ex-peated whisky casks, which gives the spirit a ‘smoky twist’.
Rory Gammell added: “I recognised that while marketers were focused on single malts, experts really rated the potential of grain whisky when paired with the right casks. So I began experiments with different grain whiskies in a variety of peated casks until I found what I was looking for.
“I’m very proud of both the bottle we’ve created and the cask we’ve bottled. I’m also excited by the reaction from non-whisky drinkers who have tried it both neat and in cocktails during testing.
“Our whisky is for creators. While we have huge respect for the industry, we invite people to challenge the pre-conceived rules associated with Scotch whisky, and drink Wee Smoky however they want, with whatever they want.”
The first release of 400 bottles is packaged in a blue bottle and is available to buy from the Wee Smoky website. Priced at £32 (US$43) per 700ml bottle, Wee Smoky is set for wider distribution in mid-2021.