Production

Big brands battle it out

Chivas and Glenmoranige smarten up their act for Chistmas
By Dominic Roskrow
The pre Christmas period is always an intense one for drinks companies. But this year the blended sector looks set to be more competitive than ever as the leading brands vie for position.And two of the very best products in the market – The Baillie Nicol Jarvie and the Chivas Regal 18 - are getting a fresh look and some heavyweight marketing support as they try and win over new drinkers.Baillie Nicol Jarvie, known as BNJ and short-listed in our Best of the Best Awards two years ago, is owned by Glenmorangie and is set to receive a£1.7 million boost and a new risqué advertising campaign.“The brand is something of a secret,” says Glenmorangie’s director of marketing Graeme Lindsay. “It is the only blend to contain Glenmorangie and it contains nine exceptionally good malts and just one grain. The youngest is eight years old and there are some considerably older than that.“And the whisky has been produced using the same stringent wood management techniques as the other whiskies produced by the distillery. Many of the casks are first fill, and we use both sherry and bourbon.”Glenmorangie master blender Rachel Barrie (pictured above) says that BNJ’s exceptional smoothness is the result of careful crafting.“A great deal of time has gone in to making sure that the balance is right and the best standards of quality have been used,” she says. “We think we have a blend that is exceptionally strong.”BNJ will still be sold in its traditional and unique three part label and will have a corkin-capsule opener rather than a screw top. But it is being backed with a cheeky and irreverent advertising campaign.Chivas Regal 18 has had a name change and will be called Chivas Regal 18 Gold Signature, and it now has new packaging. The facelift is part of a campaign by the company to attempt to double sales of the whisky to more than 100,000 cases in the next four years. Widely regarded as one of the most elegant of blends, the whisky was described by Dave Broom as ”chocolaty, lush and fruity – a beauty.”The company says that the new look and name will emphasise the brand’s quality. “It puts an emphasis on the superb craftsmanship, sophistication and sensual qualities of the brand,” said a spokesman.“This sets us in excellent shape to restore Chivas Regal to its rightful position as the number one premium Scotch in the world.”