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SB’s most-read stories in February

February was abuzz with news from the whisky, Tequila and ready-to-drink (RTD) sectors.

RTDs in February
A celebrity-founded RTD range made the top 10 stories last month

A selection of Scotch single malt launches made headlines last month, but it was a Scottish design controversy that truly transfixed our readers.

Keep scrolling to discover what got our readers clicking in February.

Diageo adds €13.2bn to Europe’s economy

Diageo owned Caol Ila distillery on Islay

Everyone in spirits knows the impact that Diageo has – but the true extent was revealed last month when Oxford Economics published a result on the drinks giant’s financial heft.

The report found Diageo contributes more than €13 billion (US$14bn) to Europe’s economy every year, operating in 31 European countries, including Switzerland, the UK, Turkey and Norway.

Most valuable Scotch whisky category exports

women in whisky

Scotch exports decreased in 2023 on the previous year, though they still raked in a massive £5.6 billion (US$7bn). However, the share wasn’t equal between blends, malts and grains, and many of you logged on in February to discover the most valuable categories.

Longmorn launches 18YO and 22YO single malts

Longmorn 18 Years Old whisky February

Age isn’t everything – but for Speyside distillery Longmorn and SB’s readers, it can be quite important. The brand announced it was launching two age-statement single malts in February and committed to only bottling whiskies that are aged for at least 18 years.

Diageo launches RTDs in the UK

Diageo February

The theories that RTDs will continue to boom were proven true last month, with thousands of you eager to find out more about Diageo’s new range.

The Cocktail Collection range is now available in the UK and includes a Johnnie Walker Old Fashioned, a Tanqueray Negroni, and a Cîroc Cosmopolitan.

The Tequila & Mezcal Masters 2024 results

Tequila-and-Mezcal-Masters February

Many of you seemed to want to upgrade your collection of agave spirits in February, with the results of The Tequila & Mezcal Masters 2024 making our top 10 most-read stories.

Thirteen Masters awards were handed out following the tastings, as well as dozens of Golds and Silvers. Did you pick up a bottle after reading?

Port Ellen marks distillery reopening with 44YO whiskies

Port Ellen

It’s been more than 40 years since Port Ellen Distillery on Islay closed, but the site will reopen in spring. To mark the occasion, the brand released two 44-year-old single malts – the oldest expression released directly from the distillery to date.

Only 274 of the two-bottle sets are available – though significantly more of you read the story.

The Glenlivet debuts Fusion Cask whisky

The Glenlivet Rum and Bourbon Fusion Cask Selection

In the first of two Glenlivet stories on this list – and supposedly a first for the Scotch industry – the Chivas Brothers-owned brand released a single malt aged in bespoke casks made from parts of rum and Bourbon barrels.

The first-fill rum and Bourbon barrels were hand-selected, dismantled and reassembled into one cask by expert coopers, creating an expression that offers aromas of ‘orange, vanilla custard and caramel’, with ‘juicy apricot and peach and fresh apples’ on the palate.

The Glenlivet uses blockchain to launch 50YO whiskies

Glenlivet february

Next up for The Glenlivet was something else (relatively) new for the Scotch industry. The Speyside distillery will release a collection of 50-year-old whiskies exclusively on a blockchain-enabled marketplace.

The collection will be the first launch on The Whisky Exchange Cabinet, set up by the retailer to facilitate the secure and traceable collecting of rare spirits.

Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg launch RTDs

Gin and Juice By Dre and Snoop will be available in the US

The celebrity spirits brands just keep on coming, but this announcement from February has been 30 years in the making.

Rapper Snoop Dogg and rapper/producer Dr Dre revealed Gin & Juice, a ready-to-drink (RTD) range named after their 1994 single, at the Super Bowl afterparty. The company is led by the co-founders of On The Rocks Cocktails and will offer four fruity flavours.

BrewDog faces backlash over Tequila bottle


February saw Scottish beer brand BrewDog expand into Tequila, but it wasn’t the launch news that got SB readers clicking.

The co-founder of Lind & Lime Gin, Ian Stirling, claimed the design of the Tequila bottle was “strikingly similar” to his brand. BrewDog’s managing director refuted the claims and said “the bottles are significantly different”.

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