Diageo plans birthday push for Bushmills

27 August, 2008
Page 5 
Diageo is launching a global campaign for its Bushmills Irish whiskey , including a new blend, to coincide with the distillery's 400th birthday.

The world's largest drinks company acquired Bushmills in 2005 after several years of trying to buy an Irish distillery. Its original attempt to buy the whole of Irish Distillers was thwarted by the Irish government in 1988 which preferred ownership going to Pernod Ricard rather than to the British company.

It has since spent more than £6 million to triple production and increase marketing as part of its plan to make Bushmills a global Irish whiskey brand to rival Pernod Ricard's Jameson.

"We are going global with Bushmills for the first time," said global brand director Shivaun Lucey.

A new premium blend, Bushmills 1608, is to be launched in February to commemorate the distillery's 400-year history (see page 17).

Colum Egan, master distiller at Bushmills, said of the new 1608 blend: "One of the first emotions I feel is relief." He said the distillery team had spent the past four or five years "trying many different blends and many different types of whiskey".

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