Last night (Tuesday December 3), I attended a tasting of Balblair vintages. We tasted five whiskies, 2003, 1997, 1990, 1983 and 1969, prefaced by a glass of Balblair’s base spirit.
The company has installed a luxury bar in British Airways’ club lounge in Heathrow’s Terminal 5 (T5), manned at times by three top bartenders. Barrie Wilson (Tanqueray 10 Europe brand ambassador), Erik Lorincz (winner of Diageo’s World Class 2010 bartender of the year and head bartender at the Savoy Hotel in London) and Mario Navarra (Zacapa rum’s Europe brand ambassador).
The bar showcases and serves Diageo’s Reserve range of Johnnie Walker Gold Label blended scotch whisky, Tanqueray 10 gin, Ciroc and Ketel One vodkas, Zacapa and Grand Marnier (in Europe). The activation is due to run until July 12.
Paul Downing, GTME’s new regional director Europe, described the initiative as “ground breaking” and “pushing the boundaries”.
He said: “Over the period of the promotion it is estimated that more than 160,00 affluent passengers in our target demographic will pass through the lounge. That is an amazing group for us to engage directly with and the relaxed lounge environment gives us a unique atmosphere to create relationships with these consumers.”
As part of the activation, BA club class passengers are told in advance of the promotion via the BA Executive Club website and Business Life in-house magazine. To further engage them, they can enter a competition to win a weekend in London at the Savoy, including a “cocktail masterclass” with Lorincz.
Áine Friel - senior brand manager at GTME for Diageo’s Reserve range, said the activation was “world class” with the “consumer at its heart providing a perfect connection with a moment that was educational, entertaining and inspirational.”