Are flavoured spirits a honey trap?

08 December, 2014

“The flavoured spirits category continues to perform very strongly, notably in the US showing continued strong growth last year, so we can confidently say that it is more than a passing fad,” he says. 

“With new entrants from Irish Distillers, other Irish whiskey producers and the scotch and bourbon categories gaining momentum, we predict that the sector will continue to be popular among adventurous, millennial consumers.

The Paddy flavours range appeals to an audience who may not necessarily class themselves as whiskey drinkers, making it the perfect introduction to Irish whiskey. 

At Irish Distillers, we aim to provide the perfect whiskey for any occasion and we hope that as these drinkers mature, they would migrate through our portfolio, beginning with Paddy itself, moving on through, Jameson, Powers and the single pot still Irish whiskey ranges.”

Certainly in the short to medium term these drinks – sweet and not unlike ready-to-drink cocktails – offer potential for canned products and for younger style bars. It’s only a matter of time before someone goes the whole way and comes up with a full-on youth focused marketing campaign.

And there’s something else, too. We’re seeing the first acknowledgement from the traditional producers that whiskies from other places – Australia, India, Taiwan, England – are not a challenge to the old world order but the exact opposite. 

Many of these whiskies are sweeter and less complicated than, say, a Scottish single malt, an Irish pot still whiskey or a premium bourbon. 

They have the potential to provide a baggage-free introduction to whisky, providing a stepladder to Scotland and Ireland.

Across the world companies are turning to whisky – but they are already making genevers, eaux de vie, gins and fruit liqueurs with real fruit beautifully married with spirit. 

Many of them – especially across the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany and Austria – could wipe the floor with some of the whiskies we’re talking about here. Who knows? In that battle for new drinkers, this might just be the tip of a fruity iceberg.

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Nick Strangeway

Hacha leads by example

Back in 2002 celebrity chef Jamie Oliver launched Fifteen, a restaurant made up of a team of trainee chefs from underprivileged backgrounds.