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BW Businessworld

‘Discerning Indian Consumers Seek Single Malts’

Ian Logan chatted with BW Businessworld's Smita Tripathi about The Glenlivet Sensology programme, and the importance of India as a market for The Glenlivet

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Having sold his first case of whisky nearly three decades ago, Ian Logan, the international brand ambassador for Chivas Brothers, is an encyclopaedia on everything to do with whisky, especially Scotch. Logan’s job allows him to praise the benefits of not only Chivas Brothers’ whiskies, especially The Glenlivet, but also his passion for all things Scottish.

Ian has a particular zeal for The Glenlivet, and is the curator of The Glenlivet Whisky School, which consists of several three-day courses held throughout the year at The Glenlivet distillery. The course covers all aspects of whisky-making, with tutored tastings, an in-depth tour of the production process and a guided trek through Speyside.

Last year, The Glenlivet, launched a new mentoring programme called The Glenlivet Sensology. Developed in collaboration with leading researchers into the human senses, The Glenlivet Sensology is an innovative, multi-sensory experience that aims to expand a whisky drinker’s perception of flavour by utilising sight, touch, smell, taste, sound and memory structure.

Recently at a Glenlivet Sensology evening, Logan chatted with Smita Tripathi about the programme, and the importance of India as a market for The Glenlivet. 

Edited excerpts: 

When was The Glenlivet Sensology programme initiated? What is the reasoning behind it? Where all has it been tried? 

Single malt aficionados across the world exhibit an undying zest for engaging with their favourite single malts in newer ways. It is to this end that we developed the mentoring programme ‘The Glenlivet Sensology’ in 2016.

From whisky connoisseurs to those just beginning their single malt journey, ‘The Glenlivet Sensology’ helps consumers increase their understanding of Scotch whisky and flavours.

The programme offers a multi-sensory dinner experience, where guests are introduced to the concept of The Glenlivet Sensology through practical experiments that highlight the impact that each sense has on their perception of flavour. A specially created dinner is served, paired with three The Glenlivet expressions presented in blind glasses to create an experience that highlights how the role of sight affects taste by removing preconceptions gleaned from colour.

The programme currently runs in eight countries around the world, including UK, Russia and Taiwan. It is designed to provide an immersive experience into The Glenlivet for different audiences, including on the shop floor at the point of sale.

How important is India as a market for The Glenlivet?
With the ever increasing exposure of Indian consumers to global trends, single malts have experienced rapid growth in the country. As per the IWSR 2016 figures, the 3-year CAGR is 13 per cent. Discerning Indian consumers now seek more authentic experiences from their choices, in whisky. The Glenlivet – the single malt that started it all -- has led this category expansion, offering the malt connoisseur the widest range of single malts -- from our flagship expression, The Glenlivet 12 year old to the much heralded The Glenlivet Winchester Collection that is aged for a minimum of 50 years.

Pernod Ricard continues to drive this category, offering consumers a spectrum of experiences, by extending the existing The Glenlivet range and introducing new single malts. These initiatives are complemented by engaging marketing campaigns and malt community building such as The Guardians of The Glenlivet programme, an online hub for fans to engage with the brand and each other.

How many cases of Glenlivet are sold in India annually? At what rate is the brand growing in India?

As per the IWSR 2016 report, The Glenlivet is the largest selling single malt in India, selling 42,500 9L cases, growing 26 per cent (3YR CAGR) and commanding 33.9 per cent volume share of single malts in India.

Which are the top five markets for The Glenlivet globally?

·      USA

·      Global Travel Retail

·      Taiwan

·      Canada

·      UK

Which is the most popular Glenlivet in India and globally?

While The Glenlivet 12YO is the largest selling expression of The Glenlivet range globally, owing to the ease of adoption from blended scotches given the pricing, we take pride in stating that we have a ‘The Glenlivet’ expression for all taste profiles and occasions – from batch produced at cask strength and non-chill filtered Nadurra, to the triple cask matured Master Distiller’s Reserve, to the rich and exotic 15 YO, with limited ageing in French Oak casks, along with traditional oak, to the intense and opulent 25 YO, strictly reserved for special occasions, to the 50 YO Winchester Collection, with only 100 bottles available globally.