April 16 2019  |  Spirits & Tobacco

New Balblair age-statement travel collection offers exclusive expression for GTR

By Hibah Noor

International Beverage Group unveiled a new travel collection of age-statement single malt Scotch whiskies from its multi-award-winning Highland distillery, Balblair.

The new suite of expressions is now available in global travel retail and features an exciting and striking new look, specifically designed to catch the eye of passengers in the highly competitive travel retail environment.

The new collection complements a new range being launched to the UK domestic market at the same time, which will replace all existing Balblair expressions.

The range features four whiskies, including one that is exclusive to Global Travel Retail. Each is meticulously hand selected, while all retain the distillery’s unmistakable true Highland character.

The Travel Collection includes:

  • 12-Year-Old - matured in American oak ex-bourbon and double-fired American oak casks, with notes of dried orange, ground spices and sweet vanilla. The one liter size distinguishes this from the domestic collection.

  • 15-Year-Old - matured initially in American oak ex-bourbon casks, followed by first-fill Spanish oak butts, with notes of honey and spicy vanilla, followed by a wave of warm sweet tart. The one liter size distinguishes this from the domestic collection.

  • 17-Year-Old (GTR EXCLUSIVE) - matured initially in American oak ex-bourbon casks, followed by first-fill Spanish oak butts for exceptional depth and charisma, this traveler-exclusive Balblair shows great complexity with mature notes of bitter chocolate and cooked sultanas, root spices and thick honey. This is a celebratory, confident expression of this elegant spirit, masterfully crafted through impeccable cask selection and slow, patient ageing. Available as a 75cl.

  • 25-Year-Old - matured initially in American oak ex-bourbon casks then reshaped in Oloroso Spanish oak, with notes of oily citrus, chocolate praline, fresh tobacco leaf and blood oranges. Available as a 75cl.

In a move away from the distillery’s current ‘vintage-only’ approach, the launch of this collection signals a new era for Balblair. While each expression offers its own unique appeal, the series as a whole stays true to Balblair’s house style, following a gentle and considered approach with its focus firmly on quality over quantity – an attribute Balblair has become renowned for.

John MacDonald, Distillery Manager at Balblair, said: “As one of the oldest working distilleries in the Scottish Highlands, Balblair has a long and rich history of crafting premium single malt Scotch whisky. These new expressions are true to the unique characteristics that have made Balblair such a popular brand amongst whisky aficionados.

“We are proud of our heritage and we will continue to honour our centuries-old traditions, but we also look forward in our quiet pursuit of perfection.”

Commenting on the reveal, International Beverage Sales Director for Global Travel Retail James Bateman said: “These new Balblair expressions are another example of our commitment to building distinctive and desirable premium brands in travel retail.

“This range sets a new standard to personify the distinctive house style and unmistakable quality and provenance of Balblair. Each expression has its own unique characteristics; all of them exude Balblair’s True Highland Spirit.”

Inspired by Balblair’s rich past, the packaging for the new collection is reflective of the distillery’s unique and idyllic location. It takes subtle cues from the surrounding landscape: its pure Highland water source and the Pictish ‘Z-rod’ carvings etched on the ancient Clach Biorach standing stone located on the distillery’s doorstep. A larger logo area and new label font has also been incorporated into the design to create greater on-shelf brand visibility.

The travel collection launches initially with Dufry through its UK airports, listing three of the four expressions (12, 15, 17 year olds) from April 2019, before rolling out globally.

Retail prices are:

Balblair 12 Years Old 46% 100cl : RRP £49.99/ €55.00 / US$65.00

Balblair 15 Years Old 46% 100cl : RRP £74.99 / €85.00 / US$100.00

Balblair 17 Years Old 46% 70cl : RRP £100.00 / €115.00 / US$130.00

Balblair 25 Years Old 46% 70cl : RRP £430.00 / €480.00 / US$565.00

The collection will be showcased on the international Beverage Group stand at TFWA Asia Pacific in Singapore from May 12-16 (Basement 2, H27)

For more information visit: www.balblair.com

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