A scotch whisky distiller, when asked recently if he made any blends, was gloriously sniffy and dismissive of blended whisky. It would have been interesting to see and hear what he would have made of the Johnnie Walker Directors Blends, which I got to taste last Thursday (November 28) in London.
The increasing number of mainland Chinese travellers at Dubai International has helped liquor sub-categories at DDF, such as single malt whiskies and cognacs, to grow at rates of more than 30% this year.
“Chinese passengers are becoming increasingly important in almost all product segments, from the traditional categories of liquor and tobacco to the more sophisticated perfumes, cosmetics and watches,” said DDF vice-president purchasing Saba Tahir. “They have had a huge impact on specific product categories such as cognac.”
Tahir added that the travel retail exclusive Absolut Watkins had been one of the most successful liquor launches at DDF in the early part of the year.
“DDF was the first airport retailer in the world to launch Absolut Watkins. This was followed by further launches throughout the year with some notable ones being Hennessy Paradis Imperial, aimed specifically at the luxury Chinese and Russian passengers, Bacardi ready-to-serve cocktails aimed at the younger age between 21 and 35, as well as Smirnoff Twist Espresso, among others.”