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Pernod Ricard

Whisky Concerns

PERNOD RICARD

Pernod Ricard is one of the world’s leading spirits businesses and operates more than 100 production sites. It is active in 80 countries, and employs some 18,000 people. It boasts a large portfolio of premium international and local brands, with 37 premium international brands being grouped in what the company calls ‘The House of Brands.’

This brings the group’s strategic brands together in three segments: namely the ‘Top 14’, comprising what are termed ‘global icons which aspire to achieve global leadership,’ (Absolut and Chivas Regal), seven Premium spirits brands and five Prestige brands; the Wine segment, with five priority Premium wine brands; and 18 key local brands.

Chief among Pernod Ricard’s labels are Absolut vodka, Beefeater gin, Martell Cognac, Havana Club rum, Malibu, Perrier-Jouët and Mumm Champagne, and Jameson Irish whiskey. In terms of Scotch whisky, the market leaders of Chivas Brothers are Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s and Royal Salute blended Scotches, and The Glenlivet and Aberlour single malts.

Swiss-born Henri-Louis Pernod established a distillery at Pontarlier in eastern France during 1805, forming Absinthe Pernod Fils. In 1926, La Maison Pernod Fils merged with Distillerie Hémard, founded in Montreuil in 1871 by Ariste Hémard, and Pernod Père et Fils, founded in Avignon in 1872 by Jules-François Pernod. The new organisation was named Établissements Pernod, which became Pernod SA in 1959.

Meanwhile, Paul Ricard, the son of a wine merchant who was born near Marseilles in 1909, set about developing his own pastis, perfecting the recipe in 1932, and Ricard went on to become the world’s leading anise-based spirit.

In 1974 the firms of Pernod and Ricard merged, and from 1978 Patrick Ricard, son of Paul, became chairman and CEO of the Pernod Ricard group. Under his leadership an ambitious programme of brand acquisition was initiated, including Wild Turkey Bourbon (1981), Jameson Irish whiskey (1988), and leading Australian wine brand Jacob’s Creek (1989).

Between 2000 and 2010 close to €20 billion was spent acquiring Seagram Distillers (Chivas and Martell) in 2001, Allied Domecq (Ballantine’s, Malibu, Mumm, Perrier-Jouët) in 2005 and finally Vin & Sprit (Absolut) in 2008.

DISTILLERIES & BRANDS

100 Pipers
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Aberlour
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Allt-a-Bhainne
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Ballantine's
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Black Watch
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Bonnie Lassie
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Braemar
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Braeval
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Caperdonich
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Chivas Brothers
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Chivas Regal
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Clan Campbell
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Clan Robertson
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Craigduff
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Dalmunach
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Doctor's Special
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Dumbarton
LOWLAND SINGLE GRAIN SCOTCH WHISKY
Glen Keith
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Glenallachie
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Glenburgie
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Glencraig
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Glenisla
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Glentauchers
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Glenugie
HIGHLAND SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Imperial Distillery
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Inverleven
LOWLAND SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Kinclaith
LOWLAND SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
King's Ransom
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Lochside
HIGHLAND SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Lomond
LOWLAND SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Long John
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Longmorn
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Miltonduff
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Mosstowie
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Passport
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Royal Citation
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Royal Glen Dee
BLENDED MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Royal Salute
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Royal Strathythan
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Scapa
ISLANDS SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Something Special
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Stewart's
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Strathclyde
LOWLAND SINGLE GRAIN SCOTCH WHISKY
Strathisla
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
The Glenlivet
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
The Junior
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Tormore
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
White Heather
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
ASSOCIATED COMPANIES

Allied Breweries
Allied Distillers
Allied Domecq
Allied Lyons
Campbell Distillers
Chivas Brothers Holdings

SEAGER EVANS

What started out as a 19th century gin distiller and rectification business in London became a thriving Scotch whisky distilling and blending empire. Seager Evans & Co had its headquarters in Deptford, but under US ownership expanded its business north into Scotland. It acquired the Long John blended Scotch whisky and, following its popularity in global markets, eventually renamed its subsidiaries and own business after the brand.

During its lifetime Seager Evans & Co owned the Strathclyde grain distillery in Glasgow, Glenugie in Peterhead and Laphroaig on Islay, and built Tormore in Moray. It also owned a sizeable warehousing, blending and bottling facility in Glasgow, as well as the Plymouth Gin distillery on England’s south coast.

It was renamed Long John International Ltd in 1988 and now operates as a dormant subsidiary of Chivas Brothers Ltd.

Despite being one of the more successful Scotch whisky distillers and blenders, Seager Evans & Co was established as a gin distiller and rectifier in London in 1805. Its main operation was based at Millbank distillery in Westminster for the purpose of distilling, blending and rectifying gin (the business was moved in 1921 to Holland & Co’s Deptford site on the expiration of Millbank’s lease).

In 1903, with many Scottish distilleries being sold off for a bargain price following a crash in the market, Seager Evans picked up the Lowland Glentarras distillery. But it was too soon for the group to be entering the Scotch distilling industry and with the market in disarray, particularly for the Lowland distilleries, it was sold on in 1910 (and eventually closed five years later).

It wasn’t until 1927 that Seager Evans made another pass at distilling in Scotland, this time with the construction of its own distillery in Glasgow. Strathclyde was opened on the site of a disused cotton mill in Waddell Street as an alternative source of grain spirit to DCL (which was dominating the market), rather than in response to demand for more capacity. Strathclyde operated under the Scottish Grain Distilling Company subsidiary, though the name was changed to Strathclyde and Long John Distilleries Ltd in 1957 following the opening of the Kinclaith malt plant inside Strathclyde and the acquisition of the Long John blend through Seager’s buyout of W.H. Chaplin & Co in 1936.

Glenugie malt distillery, which had been silent for 15 years, was added to the portfolio in 1937, but it was after WWII that Seager began a real spending spree. It bought Westthorn Farm in Glasgow, a 100-acre site on which it built a huge storage, cooperage and blending facility. Today the London Road site is the headquarters of John Dewar & Sons.

Seager Evans was acquired by New York’s Schenley Industries in 1956, which allowed it to purchase Coates & Co (Plymouth) Ltd, the producer of Plymouth Gin, in 1958. In the same year it snapped up Tormore in Moray and went on to acquire Gordon Graham of Aberdeen and its Black Bottle blend.

The investment didn’t stop. In 1962 Seager Evans began its 10-year purchase of Laphroaig distillery from Bessie Williamson, and went on to purchase Stanley Holt & Son, which held one of the largest stocks of maturing whisky in England.

In 1972 Schenley Industries was acquired by Rapid American Inc and three years later Seager Evans was sold off to British brewer Whitbread. Its new owner invested heavily in a modernising Seager’s distilleries, and even reunited the Long John brand with the purchase of its home, Ben Nevis distillery, in 1981.

In 1988 Seager Evans & Co. Ltd was renamed Long John International Ltd. The following year, Whitbread’s wine and spirits divisions were sold to Allied Lyons. Long John International is now a dormant subsidiary of Chivas Brothers.  

Schenley industries was one of the largest liquor groups operating out of the US during the 20th century, with significant interests in Bourbon, American and Canadian whisky, gin and vodka.

In Scotch terms, Schenley was responsible for the construction of Kinclaith and Tormore malt distilleries, and – through its English subsidiary Seager Evans & Co – also once owned Laphroaig distillery and Long John blended Scotch. As well as owning several distilleries and blending companies through Seager Evans, it also distributed many of the Scotch and gin brands belonging to the DCL in the US, including Dewar’s and Gordons.

Schenley’s New York headquarters once occupied five floors of the Empire State building, which with over 800 employees made it the largest employer in residence.

Schenley Industries was founded in the 1920s, when Lewis Rosential purchased a group of distilleries, including one in Schenley, Pennsylvania that had a license to produce whisky for medicinal purposes during Prohibition – one of only six in the country to do so. Acting on the advice of Sir Winston Churchill, whom he met during a visit to the French Riviera in 1922, Rosential purchased large whisky inventories in preparation for the end of Prohibition.

When Repeal came in 1933, Rosential incorporated Schenley Distillers Company, which grew rapidly to become one of the largest liquor businesses in the US. It obtained the rights to distribute DCL’s Dewar’s in the US, with the blended Scotch allegedly contributing half of Schenley’s profits.

The business was renamed Schenley Industries in 1949 and became a public company shortly afterward.

With Scotch whisky so vibrant in the US during the 50s – it took on the bulk of exports after the war – American ownership of Scotch interests abounded. Publicker Industries established Inver House Distillers; Hiram Walker made acquisitions of Scapa, Glencadam and Pulteney distilleries; while Seagram, which bought Chivas Brothers following the war, picked up Strathisla and Glen Keith.

In 1956 Schenley purchased London’s Seager Evans & Co., at that time owner of the Strathclyde grain distillery in Glasgow, Glenugie malt distillery in Peterhead, and the Long John blended Scotch whisky brand.

Under Schenley, Seager Evans opened the Kinclaith malt distillery within Strathclyde, Laphroaig on Islay and Plymouth Gin distillery. It built Tormore in Moray, and acquired blender Gordon & Graham of Aberdeen (owner of Black Bottle) and Stanley Holt & Son, which had one of the largest stocks of maturing whisky in England.

Rosential sold his controlling interest in Schenley to the Glen Alden Corporation in 1968, and resigned from the company. Glen Alden was purchased by Rapid American in 1972 but, owing to US monopolies legislation, was required to divest some of its liquor interests.

In 1975 Seager Evans & Co – which controlled all of Schenley’s Scotch assets – was sold to British brewer Whitbread and later renamed Long John International.

Meanwhile, Rapid American’s CEO, Meshulam ‘Rik’ Riklis was caught up over allegations of share price fixing during Guinness’ infamous takeover of Distillers Company Ltd in 1986.

The following year Guinness also acquired Schenley industries from Riklis.

CAMPBELL DISTILLERS

A Glasgow-based whisky blending and bottling company that purchased the Aberlour distillery after the Second World War. Following its acquisition by Pernod Ricard it added the Glenallachie distillery to its stable and found a major market for its Clan Campbell brand of blended whisky in France and Spain.

Campbell Distillers has one of the most complicated legacies of identity crisis of any Scottish whisky company, boasting several name changes in just 50 years.

In 1933 wine shipper Samuel Rosenbloom formed a whisky merchant, Forbes McGregor & Co. The company was based in Campbell House, Glasgow and when the Rosenbloom family changed their name to Ross, Samuel decided to use the name Campbell instead.

Around 1934 he acquired Glasgow blender Muir Mackenzie & Co. Ltd. and in 1937 changed the company name to S. Campbell & Son Ltd.

In 1945 S. Campbell & Son purchased its first distillery, Aberlour, as well as the Glasgow Bonding Co., to give it access to a bottling operation.

In 1950 Samuel’s son Arnold Campbell and brother, Jack Ross, incorporated the Aberlour-Glenlivet Distillery Co. with most of the shares being held by the Commercial Bank of Scotland.

Through a subsidiary company, Campbells (Distillery) Ltd., S. Campbell blended and bottled Clan Campbell blended Scotch whisky. This whisky is still very popular on the continent of Europe.

Another popular blend was White Heather, named after Campbells (Distillery) Ltd.’s original company name.

In 1974 S. Campbell & Son was purchased by the French giant Pernod Ricard, which in turn set up a holding company, House of Campbell.

When Pernod Ricard merged House of Campbell with wine shipper J. R. Parkington in 1988, the new company was finally named Campbell Distillers.

In 1989 Pernod Ricard added the Glenallachie distillery to the company’s holdings after purchasing it from Invergordon Distillers.

Campbell Distillers’ portfolio merged with Chivas Brothers’ when it was acquired by Pernod Ricard in 2001.

ASSOCIATED COMPANIES

Allied Breweries
Allied Distillers
Allied Domecq
Allied Lyons
Chivas Brothers Holdings

HILL, THOMSON & CO

Originally a licenced grocer based in Edinburgh’s New Town district, this company began blending and bottling its own label whiskies including the bestselling Queen Anne and Something Special blends. It became a part of Pernod Ricard when Seagram sold off its wine and spirits operation in 2001.

In 1793 William Hill opened a licenced grocer’s shop in Rose Street Lane in Edinburgh’s New Town. By 1799 the business had become so successful that he was able to move to new, grander premises on Frederick Street, where the company remained for over 200 years.

In 1815 his eldest son, William Jnr., joined the company and on the death of his father in 1818, was joined by his brother Robert. Together they changed the name of the company to William and Robert Hill.

After both brothers had died the company changed hands to a third brother, George, who renamed the company after himself: George Hill and Co. The following year, in 1838, the company was awarded a Royal Warrant from the newly crowned Queen Victoria.

As the company expanded a new partner, William Thompson, was appointed in 1857 and the merchant changed its name once again to Hill, Thompson & Co. Ltd.

It was around this time that the company began to focus on blending and bottling its own whiskies.

In 1877 Hill, Thompson & Co. offered the role of export salesman to William Shaw. In 1902 he established the Queen Anne blend, which soon became the company’s flagship whisky.

In recognition of William Shaw’s efforts, he was appointed chairman of the company.

In 1919, on their return from the war, William Shaw’s sons, William and James, became partners in the company. They continued to drive growth and in 1970 the next generation of the family (a few years after opening a new blending and bottling plant in Midlothian), arranged a merger with The Glenlivet and Glen Grant Distilleries Ltd., and Longmorn Distillers Ltd. to form The Glenlivet Distillers Ltd.

This gave Hill, Thompson & Co. first dibs on the malt whisky stocks of the BenRiach, Caperdonich, Glen Grant, Longmorn and The Glenlivet distilleries to use in its blends.

In 1977, The Glenlivet Distillers was bought by Canada’s Seagram which already owned Chivas Brothers and a number of malt whisky distilleries. Through a series of acquisitions and disposals, Hill, Thompson & Co. became owned by French multinational Pernod Ricard.

DISTILLERIES & BRANDS

Queen Anne
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Something Special
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
St Leger
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
ASSOCIATED COMPANIES

Chivas Brothers Holdings (Current owner)
Harvey MacNair & Co
Lawson & Smith
Moray Bonding Company
R Thorne and Sons
Seagram Distillers
Taylor & Ferguson

SEAGRAM

A wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian drinks giant Seagram, Seagram Distillers PLC was set up to control the group’s Scottish businesses – which eventually included Chivas Brothers and Glenlivet Distillers. Owned by the Bronfman family (who made their money selling alcohol to bootleggers during Prohibition), the company raised the profile of Chivas Regal Scotch whisky around the world. After a disastrous foray into the music and entertainment business, the firm was dismantled in 2001, its wine and spirits assets sold to Diageo and Pernod Ricard.

The Seagram company name was first founded in 1857 in Waterloo, Ontario, as Joseph E. Seagram Co Ltd.

More than half a century later in 1928, the firm was acquired by Montreal-based Distillers Corporation Ltd, owned by the Bronfman brothers, who grew the business into an international name.

The Distillers Corporation was a joint venture between the Bronfman family and UK-based Distillers Company Ltd (DCL), and controlled the distribution of DCL’s Scotch whisky brands in Canada. It also gave DCL an ‘arm’s length’ distance from the bootleggers who would legally purchase whisky stocks in Canada before smuggling them into the US during Prohibition.

After the end of Prohibition in 1933, the Bronfman family bought the DCL shareholding in Distillers Corporation, and began to look at how they could expand their distilling empire.

In 1935, Sam Bronfman, by now the ‘senior’ brother in the family operation, used business links with Scotch whisky broker Jimmy Barclay to purchase Robert Brown Ltd of Paisley – including its substantial stock of mature whiskies.

The following year, Seagram Distillers Co. was incorporated as a company in Scotland. In 1949 Barclay acted as broker again for the £85,070 purchase of Aberdeen-based Chivas Brothers from R.D. Lundie.

The following year, Barclay purchased Milton distillery (later renamed Strathisla) at public auction on behalf of Chivas Brothers, for £71,000.

Barclay, who by now was a director of Chivas Brothers, also sold two of his companies to Seagram – William Walker & Co and the Highland Bonding Co, which were again purchased for the whisky stocks they held.

In order to meet rising demands for whisky, Seagram built a new distillery next door to Strathisla – Glen Keith, the first Scotch distillery to use gas rather than coal or peat as a fuel source.

That same year saw Seagram begin construction of a new headquarters, bottling and warehouse complex near Paisley, which was complemented by another warehouse and bottling site in Dalmuir, Clydebank, in 1970.

Sam Bronfman died in 1971 and the day-to-day operation of the company passed to his son, Edgar.

That same year saw Seagram begin the planning phase for a new distillery in Glenlivet. Braes of Glenlivet (now known as Braeval) opened in 1973 and is one of the highest distilleries in Scotland. Braes of Glenlivet was soon joined in 1975 by the Glenrinnes-based Allt-a-Bhainne distillery.

Expansion continued in 1977 when the company purchased Glenlivet Distillers Ltd – a group formed by the 1970 merger of The Glenlivet, Glen Grant, Longmorn, Caperdonich and BenRiach distilleries, with blender Hill, Thompson & Co. of Edinburgh.

In June 1994, Edgar Bronfman’s son, Edgar Jr., took over as CEO.

He had a grand vision of Seagram being a diversified business with assets in the film and television industry.

The year after his appointment, Edgar Jr. began the process of purchasing a controlling stake in MCA, which owned Universal Pictures and its theme parks.

He went on to purchase Polygram and Deutsche Grammophon too.

By 2000 it became clear that Edgar Jr’s bid to enter the entertainment industry had not paid off, and Seagram was sold to French entertainment company Vivendi.

This resulted in company separation, with Seagram’s wine and spirits assets sold on to Diageo and Pernod Ricard.

Edgar Jr’s uncle described the fall of Seagram as a ‘...disaster and a family tragedy’.

Edgar Bronfman Jr.

Edgar Miles Bronfman Jr. (born May 16, 1955) is an American businessman who currently serves as a Managing Partner at Accretive LLC, a private equity firm focused on creating and investing in technology companies.

He previously served as CEO of Warner Music Group from 2004 to 2011 and as Chairman of Warner Music Group from 2011 to 2012.

In May 2011, the sale of WMG was announced; Bronfman would continue as CEO in the transaction.

In August 2011, he became Chairman of the company as Stephen Cooper became CEO.

Bronfman previously served as CEO of Seagram and vice-chairman of Vivendi Universal.

Bronfman Jr. expanded and later divested ownership of the Seagram Company, and also worked as a Broadway and film producer, and songwriter under the pseudonyms Junior Miles and Sam Roman.

Born in 1955, Edgar Jr. ("Efer" to friends) is the son of Edgar Miles Bronfman and the grandson of Samuel Bronfman, patriarch of one of the wealthiest and most influential Jewish families in Canada.

The Bronfman family gained its fortunes through the Seagram Company, an alcohol distilling company. Edgar Jr. is the second of five children of Ann (Loeb) and Edgar Miles Bronfman.

His mother was the daughter of John Langeloth Loeb Sr. (a Wall Street investment banker whose company was a predecessor of Shearson Lehman/American Express) and Frances Lehman (a scion of the Lehman Brothers banking firm). They divorced in 1973.

Business career
Film producing
Bronfman proceeded to a brief career in entertainment in the 1970s as a film and Broadway producer. The summer before his final year of high school, in 1972, he was a credited producer on the film, The Blockhouse. Despite his inexperience, Bronfman's involvement was accepted because of his connections and access to financing through his family's wealth. His Efer Productions company was signed by Universal Studios in 1977 to a three-year movie production contract. He produced the unsuccessful film The Border (1982), which starred Jack Nicholson.[citation needed]

Seagram Company
In 1982, Bronfman returned to the Seagram Company, spending three months learning the ropes before moving to London to become managing director of Seagram Europe.

In 1984, Bronfman returned to New York as President of the House of Seagram, the company's U.S. marketing division.

By 1994, he became the Chief Executive Officer, where he began a move away from the traditional liquor business and into entertainment.

According to Cigar Aficionado, Edgar Jr. led the family on a series of disastrous business deals, ultimately losing the family's ownership of Seagram

The first step in this diversification was the widely criticized sale of Seagram's stake in DuPont.

In 1981, Edgar Bronfman Sr. had sold Seagram's stake in Conoco to DuPont, in exchange for almost 25% of the chemical giant.

This stake in DuPont, by 1995, represented about 70% of Seagram's total earnings.

Nevertheless, Bronfman Jr., acting as Seagram CEO, approached DuPont about buying back its shares, a deal that DuPont wasted no time in closing.

With the proceeds of the $9 billion sale, Bronfman Jr. went on an expansion into the entertainment business, in music through the acquisition of Polygram, and in film entertainment through MCA and Universal Pictures.

However, the new entertainment conglomerate he created had a brief life, before needing a strategic partner. Bronfman Jr., then led Seagram into a controversial all-stock acquisition by French conglomerate Vivendi in 2000.

Bronfman Jr., became chief of the new company, Vivendi Universal, but the Seagram company effectively lost control of its entertainment businesses.

Meanwhile, the beverage division—the core of Seagram was acquired by Pernod Ricard and Diageo and divided between the two firms. Seagram, for all intents and purposes, ceased to exist.

In December 2001, Bronfman announced he was stepping down from an executive capacity at Vivendi Universal, but remaining as vice chair of the board.

In 2002, Bronfman joined private investment firm Accretive LLC as General Partner.

The firm focuses on conducting deep market research and hand-selecting firms to back.

Among its past projects are Accretive Health and Fandango (ticket service). Companies it currently backs include human resources firm AlphaStaff and small-business insurance company Insureon.

Warner Music Group
On February 27, 2004, Bronfman finalized the acquisition of Warner Music Group and served as Chairman and CEO of the music company for the following 7 years.

Bronfman helped to transform WMG by rapidly growing the company's digital music sales, redefining the relationships it has with artists and diversifying its revenue streams through its expansion into growing areas of the music business.

WMG held an initial public offering of stock in 2005, and is now the only standalone major music company to be publicly traded.

While the stock has fallen from a high in 2005 of over $30 per share, the company has nonetheless produced double-digit growth in its digital business, increased its market share and delivered stable revenue performance despite a drastic music industry decline during the same period.

In 2008, The New York Times reported that WMG's Atlantic Records became the first major record label to generate more than half of its music sales in the U.S. from digital products.

In May, 2011, WMG and Bronfman announced the company's sale to Access Industries for US$3.3 billion cash.

Access is controlled by Russian-born billionaire Len Blavatnik, a former board member and still-substantial shareholder of WMG at the time of the purchase announcement.

The sale, coming after a three-month bidding process, "serves the best interests of stockholders as well as the best interests of music fans, our recording artists and songwriters, and the wonderful people of this company," according to a statement released by Bronfman.

CEO Bronfman would continue in his post in the transaction, though further job cuts were also foreseen.

The investment group which has owned the company since 2004 was said to have received a positive return on its investment.[12]

In August 2011, Bronfman became Chairman of Warner Music and Stephen Cooper became CEO.

He stepped down as Chairman on January 31, 2012.

In February 2017, it was reported that Meredith Corp. and a group of investors led by Bronfman Jr. were considering pursuing Time Inc

He is currently the chairman of Endeavor, an international non-profit development organization that supports entrepreneurs

Waverley Capital
In 2017, it was announced that Bronfman would be launching a new venture capital firm called Waverley Capital, alongside Luminari Capital founder Daniel Leff.

This firm would invest in "innovative and disruptive" companies within both technology and entertainment, with offices in New York and Palo Alto, California, with a Los Angeles office expected to open in the future.

Music career
In 1973, Bronfman began a songwriting career under the pseudonyms Junior Miles and Sam Roman. He often collaborated with Bruce Roberts on songs like "Whisper in the Dark", which he gave to Dionne Warwick to record in thanks for introducing him to his first wife, Sherry. Bronfman also co-wrote "To Love You More", which was recorded by Celine Dion, and Barbra Streisand's "If I Didn't Love You"

Personal life
Edgar M. Bronfman, Jr., is the son of Edgar Bronfman, Sr., the billionaire businessman and longtime president of the World Jewish Congress who died aged 84 in 2013.  who as a 39-year-

In 1979, Bronfman married his first wife, Sherry Brewer, an African-American actress, in New Orleans. Bronfman's father did not approve of the marriage. "I very much wanted for him to end the relationship, because I told him, all marriages are difficult enough without the added stress of totally different backgrounds", Bronfman Sr. wrote in his memoirs. "Sherry offered to convert [to Judaism], which though well intentioned, was not the point."

Bronfman and Brewer eloped and he and his father remained estranged. The couple had three children before they divorced in 1991:

Benjamin (born 1982) – Bronfman's eldest son with Sherry is also known as "Ben Brewer", a rock musician. Brewer was the guitar player and vocalist for the New York-based alternative rock band The Exit. He also was engaged to Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam, a British recording artist, songwriter, painter and director of Sri Lankan Tamil descent, better known under the stage name of M.I.A. Her compositions combine elements of electronica, dance, alternative, hip hop and world music. They have a son, Ikhyd Edgar Arular Bronfman, born on 11 February 2009

In 1993, Bronfman married Clarisa Alcock San Román, a Catholic, the daughter of Frank Alcock Pérez-Matos, a Venezuelan oil executive of half British descent, and Dinorah San Román Strup, her Venezuelan mother, They have four children: Aaron, Bettina, Erik, and Clarissa.

Insider trading conviction
On January 21, 2011, Bronfman was found guilty in French court of insider trading as Vivendi chief and received a 15-month suspended sentence and a €5m fine

Considering the jail sentences handed out to other executives for similar convictions, BNN reporter Michael Kane told CTV News "The fact that the judge suspended the jail time could be looked at as getting off lightly, perhaps." He has appealed the decision.

ASSOCIATED COMPANIES

Harvey MacNair & Co
Hill, Thomson & Co
Lawson & Smith
R Thorne and Sons
Taylor & Ferguson

CHIVAS BROTHERS

Chivas Brothers has its headquarters in Paisley, near Glasgow, and operates 14 Scottish malt distilleries, all located in the Speyside area – apart from Scapa on Orkney – along with Strathclyde grain distillery in Glasgow. It also owns gin distilleries in London and Plymouth, and blending, bottling and warehousing facilities at several sites across Scotland. In total the company employs 1,600 people at 34 locations.

Chivas is best known for its Chivas Regal and Ballantine’s blended Scotches, with the latter being the world’s second-best-selling Scotch whisky after Johnnie Walker, while Chivas Regal occupies the third spot.  In terms of single malts, the company’s biggest brands are The Glenlivet, the global number two malt behind Glenfiddich, and Aberlour.

Chivas Brothers traces its origins back to Aberdeen in 1801, when John Forrest established a grocery and wine merchants, it being passed onto William Edward who was joined by James Chivas in 1838. Chivas Regal was first introduced as a 25-year-old luxury blend in 1909, and was soon a firm favourite in the USA.

Seeing its success, the Canadian drinks giant Seagram Co bought Chivas Brothers in 1949, adding Strathisla distillery at Keith to the organisation the following year. In 1957 a ‘sister’ distillery named Glen Keith was constructed close to Strathisla, while the Keith Bond was developed as a maturation and blending facility, gradually being expanded as time passed. Growth of whisky sales during the 1970s led Chivas to construct All-a-Bhainne and Braes of Glenlivet (now Braeval) distilleries to provide additional malt capacity.

In 1975 Seagram purchased Campbell Distilleries, which owned Aberlour, Glenallachie and Edradour distilleries, while the company also acquired The Glenlivet Distillers during 1978, bringing The Glenlivet, Glen Grant, Longmorn and Benriach distilleries into Chivas’ fold.

In 2001 Pernod Ricard and Diageo bought Seagram Spirts & Wine, with Pernod taking control of the Chivas Brothers Scotch whisky operations. Four years later, the Scotch whisky distilleries and brands of Allied Domecq were added to the Chivas portfolio, with Ballantine’s as the prize asset.

Today, Chivas Brothers is the second-largest Scotch whisky company after Diageo, and it officially opened its latest state-of-the-art malt distillery, Dalmunach, at Carron near the River Spey in June 2015.

DISTILLERIES & BRANDS

100 Pipers
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Aberlour
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Allt-a-Bhainne
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Ambassador
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Ballantine's
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Black Watch
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Bonnie Lassie
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Braemar
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Braeval
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Caperdonich
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Chivas Brothers
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Chivas Regal
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Clan Campbell
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Clan Robertson
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Craigduff
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Dalmunach
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Doctor's Special
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Dumbarton
LOWLAND SINGLE GRAIN SCOTCH WHISKY
Glen Keith
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Glenallachie
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Glenburgie
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Glencraig
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Glenisla
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Glentauchers
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Glenugie
HIGHLAND SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Imperial Distillery
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Inverleven
LOWLAND SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Kinclaith
LOWLAND SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
King's Ransom
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Lochside
HIGHLAND SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Lomond
LOWLAND SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Long John
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Longmorn
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Miltonduff
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Mosstowie
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Passport
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Prince Charlie
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Queen Anne
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Royal Citation
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Royal Glen Dee
BLENDED MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Royal Salute
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Royal Strathythan
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Scapa
ISLANDS SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Something Special
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
St Leger
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Stewart's
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Strathclyde
LOWLAND SINGLE GRAIN SCOTCH WHISKY
Strathisla
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
The Glenlivet
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
The Junior
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Thorne's
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Tormore
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
White Heather
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
ASSOCIATED COMPANIES

Pernod Ricard (Current owner)
Allied Breweries
Allied Distillers
Allied Domecq
Allied Lyons
Campbell Distillers
Harvey MacNair & Co
Hill, Thomson & Co
Lawson & Smith
R Thorne and Sons
Seagram Distillers
Taylor & Ferguson

The Ballantines Malts:

Malt trio: Glenburgie, Glentauchers and Miltonduff are all core components in the Ballantine’s blend
Fifteen-year-old single malts from Glenburgie, Glentauchers and Miltonduff distilleries have been released underneath the Ballantine’s brand.

The world’s second best-selling Scotch whisky, which sells over 80 million bottles a year, has made the unprecedented move to give consumers a ‘unique opportunity’ to experience the flavour of the three main malt whiskies that comprise the Ballantine’s blend.

Peter Moore, Ballantine’s global brand director, said: ‘The single malts category is dynamic and continues to grow rapidly as more consumers become lovers of this iconic Scottish spirit.

‘As a globally known brand, we are sure that consumers will have confidence in the quality and credibility of these new single malts as they are widely recognised as the signature malts that form the heart of Ballantine’s.’

Glenburgie distillery was built near Forres in 1829, and produces a fragrant, sweet and grassy style of malt whisky.

Glentauchers was designed by the legendary Charles Doig, and built by James Buchanan & Co. in 1898. Its spirit is floral and sweet, and light in style.

Miltonduff is the oldest of the three distilleries, dating back to the at least the late 18th century. Another fresh, floral malt whisky, Miltonduff is another workhorse distillery, producing around six million lpa (litres of pure alcohol) every year.

Whisky from the three Speyside distilleries have rarely been bottled by their owner, Chivas Brothers, which also owns The Glenlivet distillery.

Instead, spirit produced by Glenburgie, Glentauchers and Miltonduff has been reserved almost exclusively for the Ballantine’s blend.

The three 15-year-old bottlings has already been launched in global travel retail for US$80 per litre, and will be released in domestic markets including the UK, Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, Korea, Switzerland and Taiwan for around US$56 for 70cl.

Pernod sells the Glenallachie Distillery
July, 2017

Pernod Ricard has announced the signing of an agreement with the Glenallachie Consortium, comprising Billy Walker, Graham Stevenson and Trisha Savage, for the sale of the Scottish distillery Glenallachie.

The transaction also includes the Glenallachie single malt brand, MacNair’s and White Heather blended scotch brands, and relevant inventories to support future development of those brands.

Pernod says the disposal is in line with its strategy to focus on its priority spirits and wine brands and to adjust its industrial footprint to its needs.

The closing of the transaction is subject to customary conditions and is expected to take place before the end of 2017.

The Glenallachie Consortium
Billy Walker is a well known character in the scotch whisky industry, having now been involved in the industry for more than 40 years. With a degree in chemistry Walker has been involved in most aspects of the production of scotch whisky, having spent time at Ballantines, Inver House Distillers and Burn Stewart. More recently he was instrumental in establishing and building the BenRiach Distillery Company prior to its sale in 2016.

Graham Stevenson is a chartered accountant who has spent almost 30 years in the scotch whisky industry. He initially joined the North British Distillery Company in Edinburgh before moving to Inver House Distillers in 1994. He has remained there for the past 23 years, most of that time as managing director.

Trisha Savage has over 30 years’ experience in scotch. Starting at Burn Stewart she has worked with Billy throughout her career and was also instrumental in establishing and building the BenRiach Distillery Company.

The consortium says its mission is to be a wholly Scottish-owned, Scottish-based, and truly independent scotch whisky company producing excellent whiskies and offering them to the market at premium but affordable prices.

JIMMY BARCLAY, BALLANTINE’S AND CHIVAS REGAL

A legendary whisky entrepreneur, Jimmy Barclay built the reputations of not one but two great blended Scotch brands, Ballantine’s and Chivas Regal, in a career spanning the dark days of Prohibition and the glory years of the 1950s.

Barclay was one of the most significant figures in 20th-century Scotch
Jimmy Barclay (1885-1963) was a legendary figure in the Scotch whisky industry, described by the Canadian whisky executive Maxwell Henderson as ‘one of the greatest whisky entrepreneurs ever to graduate into the respectable era from the bootlegging days’.

The Canadian heard ‘amazing tales’ about Barclay’s adventures in New York during Prohibition, including ‘the night he climbed down the Hotel Astor’s fire escape to avoid being subpoenaed by internal revenue officers’. He was subsequently involved in some of the most important and complex whisky business deals of the 1940s and 1950s.

Barclay was born in Gargunnock, Stirlingshire, in 1885, but was brought up in Strathspey. He began work as an office boy at the Benrinnes distillery near Aberlour.

In 1909, Barclay went to Glasgow to work for Peter Mackie & Co, eventually taking charge of the firm’s home trade, distilleries and warehouses.

There was a recession in the whisky market after the First World War, and the young manager, with his extensive knowledge of the market, was well-placed to spot business opportunities.   

In 1919, Barclay left Mackie’s and joined RA McKinlay (owner of Alexander McGavin & Co) to purchase George Ballantine & Son. In 1921 they acquired The Stirling Bonding Co and, in 1922, James & George Stodart. T&A McClelland and Highland Bonding Company followed.

Through these acquisitions, the duo not only acquired large maturing stocks at keen prices, but owned and bottled their own brands, including Ballantine’s and Old Smuggler.

The dapper McKinlay took charge of the office and the production of blended whiskies. The gregarious Barclay, meanwhile, concentrated on sales and deal-making.

During the 1920s, he travelled extensively to establish the Ballantine’s and the Gaelic Old Smuggler brand names in the US. The fact that the Americans had recently introduced Prohibition was a mere inconvenience.

Jimmy Barclay Chivas Regal

Barclay  was instrumental in the introduction of Chivas Regal in the US

Herb Hatch of Hiram Walker believed that ‘Ballantine’s made its American debut in the whorehouses of Havana, Nassau and New York’ during the Prohibition years of the 1920s and early 1930s. Certainly, Barclay made influential contacts in the US, Bahamas and Canada during that time, including Jack Kriendler and Charlie Berns of the 21 Club, the famous Manhattan speakeasy, who also set up a liquor distribution company.

That company, 21 Brands, was appointed as US distributor for Ballantine’s, which became one of the most popular Scotches in the country. Its success impressed two more of Barclay’s friends from Prohibition days – Hatch and Bill Hume of the distillers Hiram Walker – Gooderham & Worts.

They bought a controlling interest in Stodarts and the Stirling Bonding Co in 1930, and in Robert Ballantine & Son in 1935, in a deal which must have made small fortunes for their owners.

Barclay stayed on as a director of Hiram Walker’s Scotch whisky subsidiary, Hiram Walker & Sons (Scotland) Ltd, for a couple of years. He arranged the purchase of the Miltonduff and Glenburgie distilleries for the company, to guarantee the supplies of single malt whisky required for the Ballantine’s blends. And he worked closely with James Horn and George Robertson to create a new premium blend, Ballantine’s 17 Year Old.

One of Barclay’s final acts in connection with Hiram Walker came in December 1938, when he appeared in Glasgow Sheriff Court to give evidence in a case in which Hiram Walker, George Ballantine & Son and other companies were prosecuted under the Merchandise Act 1887: they had allegedly used the false trade description ‘Scotch whisky’ in connection with blends of Scotch malt whisky and grain whisky from Northern Ireland.

Barclay with Kenny Grant and Willie Mitchell helped acquire Strathisla for Chivas

Barclay told the court that he believed a whisky could be called ‘Scotch’ if it was a blend of Scotch malt whisky ‘and any other British-produced patent still grain whisky’, apparently supporting other defence witnesses who believed that Scotch had become a term which indicated a ‘style’ rather than a place of origin.

He went on to say that, since the First World War, ‘Irish grain was bought and sold by reputable firms for the purpose of being blended with Scotch malt and being marketed as Scotch or blended Scotch whisky’ – even if there was as little as 5% Scotch malt in the blend (although he added that such a small amount was practically unheard-of).

This latest ‘What is Scotch Whisky’ case attracted headlines in British newspapers in 1938 and 1939. All the plaintiffs other than Barclay’s old company, McGavin’s (which had simply bottled the products for their clients), were found guilty and given nominal fines. The little-remembered test case established quite firmly that Scotch mixed with spirit made in any other place ‘must not be labelled Scotch whisky’.

Barclay then became entangled in the celebrated Excess Profits Tax avoidance scandal of the 1940s. EPT was levied by the British Government to prevent rampant profiteering when the prices of whisky stocks went through the roof at the beginning of the Second World War.

Established brokers and a number of ‘straw men’ formed a syndicate to buy and sell whisky companies and their valuable stocks at small margins, over and again, before the final transfer to the new owner.

This labyrinthine scheme ensured that the EPT liability for the vendor was kept low, while each link in the selling-on chain was no doubt rewarded with a tidy fee.

According to the media, the scheme was fronted by Jay Pomeroy, a Russian émigré, entrepreneur and opera impresario, but involved a who’s who of the Scotch whisky brokerage trade, including Barclay.

The latter was named in connection with the purchases and re-sales of Bladnoch distillery, William Longmore & Co and other businesses. However, after the introduction of retrospective legislation to close the tax loopholes, and after the Inland Revenue finally began unravelling the deals to claim appropriate amounts of EPT, the authorities ruled that he had been involved only as a consultant.   

Even before he severed his ties with Hiram Walker in the late 1930s, Barclay had begun working closely with one of its Canadian rivals – the colourful Sam Bronfman of the Distillers CorporationSeagram’s Ltd.

Bronfman had ‘issues’ with Distillers Company Ltd, the dominant player in the Scotch whisky industry, which in 1933 had rejected a proposal to work in partnership with his company in the US.

He became obsessed with a plan to create a blended Scotch that would compete with Johnnie Walker and other great DCL brands. Barclay, who had known Bronfman since Prohibition days, was happy to assist.

In 1935, Barclay had purchased the Glasgow firm Robert Brown Ltd for Seagram’s and began to amass the large inventory of aged grain and malt whiskies that would be required for the launch of a new, premium blended Scotch.

He husbanded the stocks through the Second World War and, working with a number of well-known brokers, found ways to add to them. In 1949, when reserves of pre-war Scotch whiskies were at an all-time low, and the 12 years age statement had been removed even from Johnnie Walker Black Label, Bronfman made his move.

Seagram’s paid considerable sums to buy The Highland Bonding Co and William Walker & Co from Barclay, along with their large stocks of maturing whisky. Barclay then acted for the company to purchase the Aberdeen grocer Chivas Brothers (with its prestigious Royal Warrant), acquiring more stock, but also the rights to the Chivas Regal brand name.

The Glasgow Bond was used by Seagram’s to package Chivas Regal

The Canadian company also required a distillery to guarantee supplies of single malt for the new blend, and in 1950 Barclay acquired on its behalf the Milton (renamed Strathisla) distillery in Keith.

The previous owner, William Longmore & Co, had been forced into liquidation in the wake of the EPT scandal and of demands made to shareholders to settle claims for more than £500,000 in unpaid tax.  

Finally, Bronfman needed facilities for bottling his Scotch whisky, so Barclay put The Glasgow Bonding Co’s bottling facilities in Glasgow at Seagram’s disposal.

Cockney master blender Charlie Julian was employed to re-formulate Chivas Regal as a rich 12-year-old blend, and it was launched in New York in August 1951.

At a time when bottles of older Scotch were hard to find, Chivas Regal stood out from the crowd. By 1960, Seagram’s sold more than 100,000 cases in the US each year, and it remains (with Ballantine’s) one of the world’s most famous whisky brands.

The ever-restless Barclay left the Chivas board in the late 1950s, in search of yet more business opportunities. He bought four hotels, including the famous art deco Beresford in Glasgow, as well as three farms and a herd of  pedigree Aberdeen Angus cattle.

He retained business interests in Nassau in the Bahamas, and he remained a major player in the whisky trade: when he died in 1963, it was said that his company, T&A McClelland, held larger stocks of Scotch whisky than any other private firm.

GLEN KEITH
Pernod Ricard UK is adding one of Speyside’s best kept secrets to its range of
‘Expertly Selected Whiskies’:
Glen Keith, Distillery Edition. Creating smooth, distinctive Speyside high quality
Malt Whisky for decades, Glen Keith has previously been reserved for use in premium
blended whiskies and for rare cask releases.

The Distillery Edition is the first Single Malt expression from the distillery to be made available
at an accessible price.

The Glen Keith distillery perches on the Linn of Keith, a sparkling, free-flowing waterfall on the River Isla. It’s a
historic spot, once the stronghold of the Ogilvies of Milton, a band of one of the most prominent ancient
clans of Scotland. Distilled by Master Craftsmen and aged in the finest traditional oak casks, the new liquid is
a smooth, distinctive single malt with a hint of fresh-picked orchard fruits and rich toffee notes.

James Middleton, Channel Director for Impulse at Pernod Ricard UK, comments: “The single malt market has
been one of the most dynamic and profitable sectors of the spirits market in the last ten years and is at the
forefront of a movement in consumer taste towards spirits with greater authenticity and substance.

We’r eincredibly excited to be able to offer a product in time for Christmas, which has not been widely available
previously, as only rare Single Casks of Glen Keith have been sold before.”

Glen Keith is one of six Scotch Whiskies Pernod Ricard UK is urging retailers to
stock-up on this Christmas. Middleton, continues: “Christmas is the perfect time of
year to drive purchases of Scotch whisky, with sales increasing 68% in the eight
weeks ahead of the big day. Malt Whisky, in particular, experienced a strong uplift
of 90% last year

As shoppers look to trade up and select the perfect gift, the fact
that this is the first-time Glen Keith has been available at an affordable price makes
it the perfect gift this Christmas.”

Available across the off-trade from October 2017, Glen Keith has an ABV of 40%
and an RRP of £30. The packaging features a distinctive illustration of the distillery,
conveying its strong back history and sense of place. The gold signifiers and clear
glass bottle emphasise Glen Keith as a premium and distinctive newcomer to the
Single Malts category; available in 6 x 70cl cases.

NOSE
Ripe fruit aromas of pears and apricots, thick vanilla custard and a subtle sweet citrus orange zest.
TASTE
Sweet flavours of honeycomb and soft vanilla toffee, perfectly balanced with poached pears and delicate
notes of marzipan.
FINISH
Long and smooth with sweet notes of butterscotch.

Pernod Ricard UK is part of Pernod Ricard, number two in wines and spirits with sales of €9,010m in
2016/2017. Created in 1975 by the merger of Ricard and Pernod, the Group has undergone sustained
development, based on both organic growth and acquisitions: Seagram (2001), Allied Domecq (2005)
and Vin&Sprit (2008).

Pernod Ricard holds one of the most prestigious brand portfolios in the sector, including 19 brands among
the top 100 worldwide. Pernod Ricard UK has identified the following key priority brands in the UK market:
Absolut, Havana Club, Malibu, Lamb’s, Kahlúa, Plymouth Gin, Monkey 47, Chivas, Jameson,
The Glenlivet, Martell, Perrier-Jouët, G.H. Mumm, Brancott Estate, Campo Viejo, Graffigna and
Jacob’s Creek. Pernod Ricard UK is a member of The Portman Group promoting responsible drinking.

August 2018
Diese Marken stehen in der Hausbar von Pernod Ricard

Der Schnaps-Hersteller Pernod Ricard lässt die Gläser klirren. Das Unternehmen hat seinen Gewinn deutlich gesteigert. Bei diesen Marken trinkst du Alkohol des Konzerns aus Frankreich.

Wenn das Licht durch die Flaschen im Regal hinter der Bar fällt, wirft es einen Regenbogen auf den Boden. So bunt wie die Gläser, ist auch das Sortiment des Spirituosen-Herstellers Pernod Ricard. Mit mehr als 33 Marken gilt die französische Firma als Vize-Weltmarktführer im Schnaps-Geschäft. Wir schauen uns an, hinter welchen Marken der Konzern steckt und schenken dir reinen Wein ein.

Pernod Ricard: 9 Milliarden Euro Umsatz und 1,6 Milliarden Euro Gewinn im Geschäftsjahr 2016/17
An diesem Mittwoch hat das Unternehmen Grund zum Anstoßen – und zwar auf die neuen Jahreszahlen. Laut Geschäftsbericht 2017/18 hat Pernod Ricard seinen Gewinn im vergangenen Geschäftsjahr um 13 Prozent auf 1,6 Milliarden Euro gesteigert. Und das, obwohl die Einnahmen um 0,3 Prozent auf rund neun Milliarden Euro zurückgingen.

Mehr Gewinn bei gleichem Umsatz bedeutet: Das Unternehmen hat seine Gewinnspanne gesteigert. Fachleute sagen dazu: Pernod Ricard ist profitabler geworden. Als Grund für den höheren Profit nannte der Schnaps-Hersteller die wachsende Nachfrage nach Cognac und Whiskey, vor allem in Asien.

WAS HEISST BITTE...?
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Pernod Ricard bleibt damit der zweitgrößte Spirituosen-Konzern der Welt. Hochprozentiger sind die Erfolge nur beim Konkurrenten Diageo. Zuprosten kann Ricard zum Beispiel seinen weltweit 18.442 Mitarbeitern, die das Unternehmen in 86 Ländern beschäftigt. Davon arbeiten 225 in Deutschland, wo das Unternehmen im Geschäftsjahr 2017/18 rund 726 Millionen Euro eingenommen hat.

Pernod Ricard: Die Geschichte beginnt mit Gründer Henri-Louis Pernod
Der Erfolg von Pernod Ricard beginnt mit der Leidenschaft zweier Menschen für das Gewürz Anis. Henri-Louis Pernod eröffnet 1805 seine zweite Absinth-Destillerie in Pontarlier und gründet das Unternehmen Pernod Fils. Mehr als hundert Jahre später, im Jahr 1932, zieht Paul Ricard nach. Er will das perfekte Rezept finden, um den reinen Geschmack des Anis zu bewahren. Die beiden französischen Spirituosen-Hersteller Pernod und Ricard schließen sich im Jahr 1975 zusammen.

Schon ein Jahr später erkennt die Firma, dass sie ihr Sortiment erweitern muss. Denn nicht alle Kunden mögen Anis. Die Strategie hat Erfolg. Über die Jahre füllt sich die Hausbar von Pernod Ricard immer weiter. 1985 kauft das Unternehmen Ramazotti auf. Im nächsten Jahr expandiert es nach Japan. 1993 übernimmt Pernod Ricard den Hersteller von Havana Club Rum.

Der Durchbruch kommt allerdings erst 2008: Mit der Übernahme der schwedischen Firma Vin&Spirit für rund 5,7 Milliarden Euro, darf Pernod Ricard auch die weltweit erfolgreiche Wodka-Marke Absolut sein Eigen nennen. Seither besetzt der Schnaps-Hersteller das Silbertreppchen auf dem Weltmarkt für hochprozentigen Alkohol.

Diese Marken gehören zu Pernod Ricard
Allein vom Anschauen der Markenliste, die inzwischen zu Pernod Ricard gehört, bekommt man einen Kater. Das Unternehmen teilt seine Spirituosen in verschiedene Kategorien ein.

Anis: Ricard, Pernod, Pastis 51
Chachaca: Janeiro
Champagner: Perrier Jouët
Gin: Beefeater, Plymouth
Cognac: Martell
Rum: Havana Club, Pacto Navio
Kräuter: Amaro Ramazotti, Becherovka
Liköre: Kahlúa, Malibu
Scotch Whisky: Aberlour, Ballantine´s, Chivas Regal, The Glenlivet, Longmorn, Royal Salute, Scapa, Strathisla
Irish Whiskey: Jameson, Spot Whiskey, Powers Whiskey, Redbreast, Midleton
Bourbon: Four Roses
Tequila: Altos, Olmeca
Wodka: Absolut
Weinaperitif: Lillet
Wein: Campo Viejo
Besonders bekannt durch die Werbung sind neben Absolut, Havana Club und Ramazotti vor allem der Likör Malibu sowie das als Weinaperitif deklarierte Sommer-Trend-Getränk Lillet. Viele der Marken sind international vertreten, doch wie fast alle großen Unternehmen vertreibt auch Pernod Ricard einige lokale Marken.

Pernod Ricard: Kritik sucht man erstmal vergeblich
Man sagt, dass jede große Firma ihre Leichen im Keller habe. Doch entweder hat Pernod Ricard die Kellertreppe gut zugemauert oder lebt tatsächlich in einem Zelt. Es lassen sich praktisch keine negativen Schlagzeilen über das Unternehmen finden. Ganz im Gegenteil. Das Unternehmen ist sich bewusst darüber, dass Alkohol der Gesundheit schadet – und beteiligt sich an verschiedenen Initiativen, die für den „verantwortungsbewussten Konsum“ von Alkohol werben.

Im Rahmen des Projektes „Dort Drink & Drive“ stellt die Firma beispielsweise kostenlose Shuttle-Services oder Taxi-Gutscheine auf ausgewählten Parties zur Verfügung. Seit 2010 ist der Spirituosen-Hersteller außerdem verantwortlich für die Kampagne „Mein Kind will keinen Alkohol“. Mithilfe von Plakaten und Werbespots appelliert das Unternehmen so an werdende Mütter, in der Schwangerschaft keinen Alkohol zu trinken. Weltweit ist auf allen Flaschen der Firma das Logo der Kampagne abgebildet.

Es ist ein kluger Schachzug. Auf den ersten Blick scheint es so, als spucke sich Pernod Ricard damit selbst ins Glas, indem die Firma potenzielle Kunden vom Konsum ihrer Produkte abhält. Doch die PR-Abteilung scheint gut zu wissen, dass die Entscheidung des Käufers für ein Produkt auch oft mit Sympathie zu tun hat. Durch solche Aktionen gerät der Firmenname nicht in Verruf. Beim nächsten Einkauf greift der Kunde dann vielleicht erst recht zu einer Flasche von Pernod Ricard

SANDY HYSLOP, CHIVAS BROTHERS

Sandy Hyslop is best known as the master blender behind Ballantine’s, Glenlivet and Chivas Regal, yet his passion for whisky is rooted in an appreciation of the past.

Sandy Hyslop began collecting whiskies before starting his career in blending
Stereotypes exist for a reason. Mention the term ‘whisky collector’ and images of beards, hoarding, clutter, cupboards brimming with bottles alongside empty fridges, and long-suffering spouses are brought to mind. No doubt, you’re familiar with the themes. The reality, of course – as with all typecasts in life – is more complex. While on the surface Sandy Hyslop, master blender for Chivas Brothers, might tick a few of those boxes, he confounds them in other ways.

We meet at Chivas’ site in Kilmalid, Dumbarton. If you ever want an idea of just how vast the ‘bread-and-butter’ blending side of Scotch whisky is, this is a good place to visit. Here sits a sprawling industrial complex of automated overnight packing operations, bottling halls and cask pyramids, all due for imminent expansion. At the heart of all this lies a small, unassuming building housing Sandy Hyslop and his team of blenders. Out of here recipes are hatched, scaled up through the engine of this vast operation around them and sent on their merry way into the world.

Hyslop was a collector before becoming a blender . His career began back in 1994 at Allied Distillers before joining Chivas as master blender in 2005. ‘My father was in the antiques trade,’ he explains. ‘It meant I always had an appreciation of the value of things. I’ve always been a collector – cars, glasses, watches – my Instagram is full of watches.’

Much about Hyslop’s career is reversed. Instead of blending leading to collecting, he brought the passionate fascination and geekery of a collector’s mentality to his trade as he learned the ropes. ‘As I worked with all these different brands and products I always tried to get a bottle of each thing I worked on.’

One of the collector tropes that Hyslop does nothing to dispel is that of clutter. ‘Now, I warn you, this isn’t a “show blending lab”,’ he says with an ill-concealed grin as we approach his workspace, ‘this is the real deal.’ Indeed, it is a thrilling library of row upon row of sample bottles. It’s hard not to get lost picking through the myriad labels to see what gems and curiosities lie amidst the commendable and gentle disorder. Old memorabilia glints out from between stacks of samples and scattered books. Across the hallway in his office the situation is much the same, only here the focus is unashamedly on old brand memorabilia and bottles.

‘I love the old memorabilia. Being a blender and being responsible for these brands, it’s about holding onto a sense of that heritage. The first thing I worked on was Stewart’s Cream of the Barley so I always try and grab anything to do with that. It’s a real mix of bottles and memorabilia that I go for, although I’m not out chasing bottles at auction – I can’t afford those prices.’

His reply pre-empts my next question: what does he make of today’s secondary market prices and the notion of investment? ‘It is hard. If I were to go through all my bottles and tally up everything I’d probably be frightened by how much it all cost. I’ve got some terrific old things like Laphroaig 30 and GlenDronach 1968. But then what am I going to do if I sell them all? They’re a record of my career and I enjoy the history of it all too much – no, I couldn’t sell them.’

That’s not to say the concept of investment hasn’t worked its way into his job as a blender. ‘A lot of projects we’re doing now are driven by the interest in collecting and investing,’ he says. ‘This year we’re looking at doing a number of different casks of Glenlivet for our various markets.’ It’s a crucial point where the mutual aspects of fandom and professionalism intersect for Hyslop. ‘It’s something I really love doing; we go through all these casks with the team together. It’s a great way to get to know a distillery profile inside-out; you’re looking at refills, first fills, fresh Sherry, different cask types and ages.’

Do a bit of online digging about Hyslop and it becomes quickly apparent that enthusiasm and passion are qualities for which he’s well-renowned. Our discussion is notionally about whisky collecting, but it quickly tangents into blending, history, branding, production techniques and many other aspects of whisky. Does being a collector affect the way he approaches his job? ‘Not really. I know what I have to do with all these brands and I take that responsibility very seriously. Although, there will be things I’ll be working on and I’ll really look forward to receiving a bottle. Something we’re doing at the moment is a new Chivas blend of 100% grain whiskies and its really terrific stuff. I’ll definitely get one of them.’

What drives Hyslop as a collector of whisky is a personal connection to brand and history. He is also aware that collecting is motivated by an intense love and fascination of the liquid itself, although it’s a subject where he must take a pragmatic approach.

‘I think today’s whisky is far easier to work with than the stuff we were using 20 years ago,’ he says. ‘The consistency is just so much better. You don’t have so many different workers coming on shift each day doing things the way their father or grandfather taught them – those kinds of inconsistencies are gone.’

Many would argue that it was precisely this kind of human proximity and influence on the final spirit that gave many old whiskies their character. However, spirit character is very much at the forefront of what Hyslop does. He says: ‘It’s the number one focus. If the yield is a little down that’s not such a problem for us, provided the character is good and correct.’

For Hyslop, the sense of variation within a house style that both collectors and drinkers enjoy is something that he sees as being part of the blender’s responsibility. ‘When we’re making Aberlour A’Bunadh for example, we’re always looking to vary from batch to batch – I know people are going out and buying two bottles and drinking one and comparing it to previous batches. We love it as well; it’s great fun playing around with the recipe and tweaking the age and cask profile.’

There’s a dual sense of delight and responsibility that Hyslop brings to his job. The fact that he’s only the fifth master blender of Ballantine’s in almost two centuries clearly holds sway over his sense of self as a collector and a blender. All the memorabilia and old bottles – many of them open or empty – are a constant reminder of the history and cultural relevance of the names and whiskies he is responsible for as their caretaker. For instance, he takes the task of keeping bottlings such as Ballantine’s 17-year-old at a certain level of quality, very seriously.

‘Ballantine’s 17 I see as my most important responsibility,’ he states. ‘It’s such an iconic and loved whisky. If it ever dipped in quality we would really know about it, and it would be very damaging, so that’s something I’m always very focused on.’

In today’s increasingly intense and often polarised whisky world, speaking to Hyslop is a reminder that there are both similarities and distinctions between those who consume and those who create whisky. Just as he points out that the language we all use as a framework to describe whisky’s flavour is often different and personal, so too are the reasons and motivations for people to collect. Hyslop’s passion for the people he works with, his team of blenders, the distilleries and their workers, is all reflected in the bottles and memorabilia he collects.

This passion emerges again as he pours us both a dram of a 1950s bottle of Ballantine’s 30-year-old. ‘The 30 always had this sweetness – that Sherry note is just stunning,’ he observes with a grin. ‘There’s nothing better than seeing the whiskies you laid down early in your career come together in new bottlings.’

Is he ever intimidated or overwhelmed by the sheer number of different blends, malts and brands he has to juggle? He answers with another characteristic grin. ‘Not a bit of it. I love it.’ Love for whisky, like the drink itself, comes in many shades and flavours. Speaking to Sandy Hyslop is a timely reminder of that.


SAM BRONFMAN, SEAGRAM
March 2019
A flawed business genius, Sam Bronfman made a fortune during Prohibition and spent the rest of his life chasing respectability. D


Sam Bronfman’s interests spanned whisky, rum and Champagne (Photo: Chivas Brothers Archive)
Samuel Bronfman was a visionary businessman, a generous philanthropist and a whisky maker who was obsessed with quality. As a family man, however, he came up short. It was this failing that led to the loss of the distilling empire he had dedicated his life to creating.

Known by all as ‘Mister Sam’, Bronfman’s enormous influence on Canadian whisky is indisputable. But if you appreciate single malt Scotch, Caribbean rum or American Bourbon, there is little doubt that you have already tasted and enjoyed the work of Mister Sam.

On 27 February 1889, as Yechiel and Mindel Bronfman and their young family were fleeing from the anti-Semitic pogroms in their Russian homeland, their escape was interrupted in Soroki, Bessarabia (modern-day Soroca in Moldova), by the birth of a son, Samuel. The Bronfman family arrived in Canada later that year, and they soon settled in Brandon, Manitoba, where Yechiel sold firewood, frozen fish and horses.

As he observed the world around him, young Sam noticed that successful transactions were often cemented with a drink at the local hotel. Sam later ran his own hotel, The Bell, in Winnipeg. This experience confirmed his belief that selling alcohol was usually a lucrative business.

When prohibition arrived in Manitoba in 1916, Sam made a fortune. He and his brothers exploited loopholes that enabled them to sell legally distilled whisky across borders in provinces where it could not otherwise be purchased, without breaking the law.

Sam and his brother Harry sold whisky destined for Alberta and Manitoba from whisky warehouses, known as boozoriums, that they built in Saskatchewan on its borders with those provinces. Before long, he and his brothers had established a mail-order business in Montreal, where producing and selling alcohol remained legal.

‘Mister Sam’ believed good products would bring him respectability

When American lawmakers enacted the Volstead Act in 1920, it brought Prohibition to the US. Sam and Harry extended their made-in-Canada concept and opened boozoriums along the southern Saskatchewan border. Sales to rum-runners from the northern US were not only legal there, they were also very lucrative; until the Canadian federal government moved to close these export warehouses.

When the Saskatchewan government took control of all liquor sales in the province in 1923, the brothers decided it was time to build a real distillery. They chose LaSalle, near Montreal, and they called their new enterprise Distillers Corporation Limited, a name they took directly from Scotland’s prestigious Distillers Company Limited (DCL).

Ever conscious of quality, Mister Sam chose to leave the company’s distillate in barrels to mature, rather than take a quick profit. At the same time, the brothers entered into a formal partnership with DCL, thus gaining exclusive rights to import top brands such as Black & White, Dewar’s, Haig and Vat 69.

It was the kernel of a concept that would eventually change the way the liquor business operated around the world. Rather than selling bulk whisky for others to compound and eventually bottle, Mister Sam sold his products already bottled, through distributors. In this way he could control the quality of the whisky reaching the consumer.

In 1928, the Bronfmans merged their business with Joseph E Seagram and Sons of Waterloo, Ontario. They called their new partnership Distillers Corporation-Seagram’s Limited. Mister Sam anticipated the end of Prohibition and he decided to expand and upgrade their Waterloo and LaSalle distilleries in anticipation of what he foresaw as increased demand.

Although ownership of Distillers Corporation-Seagram was shared with the Seagram family, Sam Bronfman was the president of the firm, and he ran it as if it were his alone. In 1933, he decided to buy the Rossville Union plant (now called MGP) in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, and this became the first of 13 American distilleries that he would acquire.

Bronfman built the Speyside distillery to boost production

Bronfman carried a sense of shame because of his Prohibition beginnings. His embarrassment evolved into a kind of obsession with respectability, something he thought he might earn through the quality of his products.

He described his perspective on quality this way: ‘Look, when a man goes into a store for a bottle of Coca-Cola, he expects it to be the same today as it will be tomorrow. The great products don’t change. Well, our product’s not going to change either.’

Under his direction, Seagram’s set out to develop strict protocols to help it maintain standard flavour profiles from year to year. The company achieved this by blending large numbers of components that could be adjusted for each individual batch.

Even a straight Bourbon such as Four Roses, incidentally one of his later acquisitions, adopted this same approach. The company evened out batch differences by adjusting proportions of 10 different base Bourbons to achieve one consistent flavour.

In 1934, he introduced Seagram’s 7, an American blended whiskey made at his distillery in Lawrenceburg, to standards far exceeding government requirements. It was a huge success.

Sam also realised that associating Seagram’s with Scotch whisky could increase the firm’s respectability. To prove the point, in 1935 he purchased Robert Brown Ltd of Paisley, with its substantial stock of mature whiskies.

The next year, he incorporated Seagram Distillers Co in Scotland. He solidified his Scottish holdings in 1949, when he purchased Chivas Brothers. But he surprised everyone when he quickly nixed plans already in place for Chivas Regal to release a 25-year-old blend.

He told them they had insufficient quality blending stock to meet anticipated demand. Instead, Sam went on to develop Royal Salute. In 1950, he took over the distillery now known as Strathisla and, to boost production, built the Glen Keith distillery next door.

Despite these successes in Scotland, it was a Canadian whisky, Crown Royal, that would clinch Mister Sam’s international legacy. He personally developed this blend to mark the visit to Canada in 1939 of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

Though the whisky travelled all the way across Canada on the Royal trains that carried the couple, there is no evidence that they ever tasted it. No matter; it was a marketing coup, and it led to Crown Royal’s continuing status as the best-selling Canadian whisky of all time.

Seagram’s also expanded internationally by branching out into foreign-made vodka, gin, rum, wine and other products. At its peak, the company owned 39 distilleries around the world, seven of them in Canada.

As well as Crown Royal, Seagram’s VO and a host of Canadian whiskies, Seagram’s brands included Captain Morgan rum, Chivas Regal and The Glenlivet Scotch whiskies, Mumm Champagne and a number of other household names. Later, in 1987, Seagram’s added the French Cognac maker Martell & Cie to its list of acquisitions.

Sam Bronfman systematically eliminated his siblings from the business, despite his promise to his mother that he would always keep the family together. At the same time, Sam was enormously generous, particularly in Montreal’s Jewish community.

Through Seagram’s he funded the construction of hospital wings and university buildings in Montreal. He also donated substantial sums of his own money to seed campaigns for Jewish charities and for the State of Israel. He was a leader within the Canadian Jewish community for most of his life.

In the end, though, the elimination of his siblings and their spouses and children from the business, together with his insistence on maintaining strict control of the company within his own line of descendants, despite their declining interest, was the once-powerful firm’s undoing

Shortly before he died in 1971, Sam passed the leadership of Seagram’s to Edgar, his son. For the next two decades, Edgar managed to keep the company prosperous.

Until 1994. That was when Edgar passed control onto his own son, Edgar Jr. Mister Sam had a favourite saying that Edgar Jr was about to prove true: ‘Shirt sleeves to shirt sleeves in three generations.’

Edgar Jr had been raised in luxury, and he had no interest in the spirits business. He fancied himself a movie mogul and decided to steer the firm in that direction. To finance the company’s entry into entertainment, Edgar Jr sold Seagram’s largest profit centre, DuPont, for US$9bn. By 2000, and for a few billion dollars more, this once mighty ‘made in Canada’ firm was lost to French conglomerate Vivendi.

Today, Diageo, Pernod Ricard and Sazerac share the brands that made Seagram’s great. Mister Sam’s Crown Royal is distilled in Diageo’s Canadian plants in Gimli, Manitoba, and in Valleyfield, Quebec.

Seagram’s VO, Five Star and Seagram’s 83 are made in Canada by the Sazerac Company of New Orleans. Sazerac is eager to celebrate its links to the famous Mister Sam, while Diageo avoids making that connection.

Sazerac has launched an annual Mister Sam Tribute Whiskey, a blend of rare, long-aged whiskies which are certainly worthy of the quality-obsessed Mister Sam. Diageo, meanwhile, knows the value of the Crown Royal label and has extended it to a portfolio of different releases.

The Bronfmans today? They have certainly not lost their fortunes. Individually, and as families, they are still business powerhouses with various interests in Canada and the US.

In the whisky business, though, Mister Sam and his remarkable, pace-setting empire have become have become yet another reminder of the surprising rise and fall of seemingly invincible dynasties.

Seager Evans
DISTILLER & BLENDER
Prolific English gin and Scotch whisky distiller and blender that became Long John International.

What started out as a 19th century gin distiller and rectification business in London became a thriving Scotch whisky distilling and blending empire. Seager Evans & Co had its headquarters in Deptford, but under US ownership expanded its business north into Scotland. It acquired the Long John blended Scotch whisky and, following its popularity in global markets, eventually renamed its subsidiaries and own business after the brand.

During its lifetime Seager Evans & Co owned the Strathclyde grain distillery in Glasgow, Glenugie in Peterhead and Laphroaig on Islay, and built Tormore in Moray. It also owned a sizeable warehousing, blending and bottling facility in Glasgow, as well as the Plymouth Gin distillery on England’s south coast.

It was renamed Long John International Ltd in 1988 and now operates as a dormant subsidiary of Chivas Brothers Ltd.

SEAGER EVANS
Despite being one of the more successful Scotch whisky distillers and blenders, Seager Evans & Co was established as a gin distiller and rectifier in London in 1805. Its main operation was based at Millbank distillery in Westminster for the purpose of distilling, blending and rectifying gin (the business was moved in 1921 to Holland & Co’s Deptford site on the expiration of Millbank’s lease).

In 1903, with many Scottish distilleries being sold off for a bargain price following a crash in the market, Seager Evans picked up the Lowland Glentarras distillery. But it was too soon for the group to be entering the Scotch distilling industry and with the market in disarray, particularly for the Lowland distilleries, it was sold on in 1910 (and eventually closed five years later).

It wasn’t until 1927 that Seager Evans made another pass at distilling in Scotland, this time with the construction of its own distillery in Glasgow. Strathclyde was opened on the site of a disused cotton mill in Waddell Street as an alternative source of grain spirit to DCL (which was dominating the market), rather than in response to demand for more capacity. Strathclyde operated under the Scottish Grain Distilling Company subsidiary, though the name was changed to Strathclyde and Long John Distilleries Ltd in 1957 following the opening of the Kinclaith malt plant inside Strathclyde and the acquisition of the Long John blend through Seager’s buyout of W.H. Chaplin & Co in 1936.

Glenugie malt distillery, which had been silent for 15 years, was added to the portfolio in 1937, but it was after WWII that Seager began a real spending spree. It bought Westthorn Farm in Glasgow, a 100-acre site on which it built a huge storage, cooperage and blending facility. Today the London Road site is the headquarters of John Dewar & Sons.

Seager Evans was acquired by New York’s Schenley Industries in 1956, which allowed it to purchase Coates & Co (Plymouth) Ltd, the producer of Plymouth Gin, in 1958. In the same year it snapped up Tormore in Moray and went on to acquire Gordon Graham of Aberdeen and its Black Bottle blend.

The investment didn’t stop. In 1962 Seager Evans began its 10-year purchase of Laphroaig distillery from Bessie Williamson, and went on to purchase Stanley Holt & Son, which held one of the largest stocks of maturing whisky in England.

In 1972 Schenley Industries was acquired by Rapid American Inc and three years later Seager Evans was sold off to British brewer Whitbread. Its new owner invested heavily in a modernising Seager’s distilleries, and even reunited the Long John brand with the purchase of its home, Ben Nevis distillery, in 1981.

In 1988 Seager Evans & Co. Ltd was renamed Long John International Ltd. The following year, Whitbread’s wine and spirits divisions were sold to Allied Lyons. Long John International is now a dormant subsidiary of Chivas Brothers.

LONG JOHN

This historic blend is linked to Ben Nevis and Tormore, and named after a notorious bootlegger.
Y
Still in production as Long John Special Reserve, this long-established standard blend was named after the legendary ‘Long John’ Macdonald, who founded Ben Nevis distillery. Its malt was supposedly a key ingredient, though Long John’s core later became Tormore, which began distilling in 1961.

Now owned by Pernod Ricard, and still widely drunk in France, Long John claims to contain 48 different malts. It has light, cereal notes, a distinct sweetness and a short finish.

The story goes that Long John Macdonald was a notorious bootlegger who came in from the cold and took out a license for the Ben Nevis distillery, just outside Fort William, in 1825.

Before the end of the 19th century Ben Nevis was producing one of the first brands of single malt – Long John’s Dew of Ben Nevis. While the distillery operated sporadically until it was bought by the Canadian distiller, Joseph Hobbs, in 1941, its Long John brand name had been sold to London wine and spirit merchant W.H. Chaplin & Co. some 30 years earlier, during what had been a tumultuous period for the Scotch industry.

Long John passed into the hands of Seager Evans in 1936 following its takeover of W.H. Chaplin. The gin distiller – which had built Glasgow’s Strathclyde grain distillery just 10 years earlier – had been seeking an established brand with which to grow its newfound Scotch business. In 1937 the group also acquired Glenugie malt distillery, so it’s very likely some whisky from Scotland’s most easterly distillery made it into the Long John blend.

In 1956 Seager Evans was acquired by US group Schenley Industries, which passed it onto British brewer Whitbread in 1975. By this time Seager Evans had amassed an enviable portfolio, which also included Laphroaig distillery on Islay, Tormore in Moray, the Plymouth gin distillery in England and the Black Bottle blend. However Whitbread noted the star in Seager’s portfolio was the historic blend it acquired from W.H. Chaplin back in the ‘30s, and following the 1981 purchase of Ben Nevis distillery – Long John’s spiritual home – it renamed the company Long John International Ltd.

The blend then passed to Allied Domecq in 1989 and eventually to French group Pernod Ricard in 2005, since when its key market has been France.

PARENT COMPANY
Pernod Ricard
2005 - present
CURRENT OWNER
Chivas Brothers Holdings
2005 - present
PREVIOUS OWNERS
Allied Domecq
1994 - 2005
Allied Lyons
1989 - 1994
Whitbread & Co
1975 - 1989
Schenley Industries
1956 - 1975
Seager Evans
1927 - 1956
W.H. Chaplin & Co.
1911 - 1927
DP MacDonald & Sons


BATCH 211: THE SECRET SPEYSIDE COLLECTION
July 2019
Secret Speyside Collection: Braes of Glenlivet, Caperdonich, Glen Keith, Longmorn
The Secret Speyside Collection is the largest range of single malts yet released by Chivas Brothers, covering 15 whiskies from four of the region’s distilleries: Braes of Glenlivet, Caperdonich, Glen Keith and Longmorn.

It’s perhaps open to question just how ‘secret’ Longmorn is – the single malt has been launched and relaunched in recent years, amid some controversy over pricing – but it’s certainly rare to see releases from the other three distilleries.

If you’ve never heard of Braes of Glenlivet, that’s because it’s been known as Braeval since 1994, to avoid confusion with its more illustrious stablemate. All three of the whiskies here were produced – just – before the change of name.

Whether you buy into regional flavour profiles or not, Richard Woodard finds that there’s a definite theme here of Speysidean fruit flavours running through all four of the distilleries on show, with some of the highlights including an ‘opulent’ 30-year-old Braes, and a ‘serious, but fun’ unpeated offering from closed distillery Caperdonich.

Meanwhile, there’s little to choose between a consistently excellent trio of malts from Glen Keith, and Longmorn’s exotic, hedonistic fruit character is very much to the fore, especially in a standout 23-year-old.

The fruit-fest is only interrupted by two peated Caperdonich bottlings, with the ‘wonderfully aromatic and exotic’ 21-year-old a real highlight. Caperdonich’s two oldest Secret Speyside expressions – 25-year-old peated and 30-year-old unpeated variants – are still in cask and will be released later in the year.

The accompanying music takes in the diverse delights of The Killers, Belle & Sebastian, Mascagni, Elvis Costello, Thom Yorke and Cowboy Junkies. Click on the links in ‘Right Place, Right Time’ to listen.

OVERVIEW
> Braes of Glenlivet 25 Years Old
> Braes of Glenlivet 27 Years Old
> Braes of Glenlivet 30 Years Old
> Caperdonich 18 Years Old Peated
> Caperdonich 21 Years Old Peated
> Caperdonich 21 Years Old Unpeated
> Caperdonich 25 Years Old Unpeated
> Glen Keith 21 Years Old
> Glen Keith 25 Years Old
> Glen Keith 28 Years Old
> Longmorn 18 Years Old
> Longmorn 23 Years Old
> Longmorn 25 Years Old

BRAES OF GLENLIVET 25 YEARS OLD
SCORE
83
ABV
48%
FLAVOUR CAMP
Fruity & Spicy
NOSE
All is sweetness here: richly fruited, with cantaloupe and apricot, then more exotic hints of lemongrass and kaffir lime, before the cask chimes in with coconut and vanilla. Those cask-driven notes give a little lift to what might otherwise be a sugary fruit-fest, as do the perfumed spices – coriander, crushed cardamom pod. These are content to sit at the back while the fruits leap around centre-stage. Water brings red apple, dessert pear and some honey and waxed floorboard.

PALATE
Immediately sweet, but not cloying. There’s a dryness from the cask and a fair prickle of heat. Tangy marmalade notes appear, again stopping it all from becoming sickly. Well-mannered. Water helps to open things up, allowing those perfumed spices to say a few lines.

FINISH
Stewed red fruits, vanilla custard. Slightly drying.

CONCLUSION
I wonder if 48% is the correct bottling strength here. Much to admire, but not showing its best without a decent splash of water.

RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME
Enjoying a fruitarian diet on Cantaloupe Island.

BRAES OF GLENLIVET 27 YEARS OLD
SCORE
88
ABV
48%
FLAVOUR CAMP
Fruity & Spicy
NOSE
Ripe red apple jumps out first, with a savoury edge – a dusting of nutmeg – pulling at the fruit. Then there’s a swirl of yoghurt-covered hazelnuts, some ginger and finally some butterscotch. Quite perky, with good breadth. Water brings out lighter citrus flavours and a beguiling hedgerow note, so it’s worth a splash.

PALATE
There’s that red apple again, then a hint of black banana, wood polish and richer, dark fruits – blackcurrants, damsons and super-ripe plums. Then sweeter tones of light butterscotch and barley sugar. Water teases out a little liquorice (comfits), but go easy or you’ll sacrifice the fruit.

FINISH
A lift of acidity and, after a while, some sweet caramel.

CONCLUSION
It’s a bit of a shape-shifter, but the fruit is the main attraction. Excellent balance.

RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME
Riding the wave with The Changingman.

BRAES OF GLENLIVET 30 YEARS OLD
SCORE
92
ABV
50.3%
PRODUCTION TYPE
Single malt whisky
REGION
Speyside
FLAVOUR CAMP
Fruity & Spicy
NOSE
Not only the oldest and strongest of the Braes trio, but also the palest. A little shy after the exuberance of its younger siblings, but there’s some plum and light vanilla, then densely packed aromas of date and fig. With time, some brighter red fruit aromas of loganberry and red cherry. With more time, light ginger, fenugreek and then lime flower. Finally, much sweeter scents of fondant icing. Take your time!

PALATE
Velvety, rich, opulent, with the fruit giving way to a wonderfully savoury tang of rancio. Damson jam on hot buttered toast, then a little coconut and overripe banana right at the back of the mouth. Despite the higher abv, you don’t need water.

FINISH
Fresh pear to cleanse the palate.

CONCLUSION
Here the natural sweetness of the distillate is counterbalanced by judicious cask influence and the complexity and depth that only time can bring. Don’t rush this though, as it’s quite shy.

RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME
Wading through the water, going with the gentle flow of Bea’s Song.

CAPERDONICH 18 YEARS OLD PEATED
SCORE
84
ABV
48%
PRODUCTION TYPE
Single malt whisky
REGION
Speyside
FLAVOUR CAMP
Smoky & Peaty
NOSE
Whoah Nelly! Tasting the two peated Capers last, it’s quite a shift after the sweet fruit-fest of the other malts in this range. Smouldering bonfire, then camphor and that coal tar soap my grandmother insisted on buying. The peat’s very much in charge here, but there are lingering scents of poached pear that come into sharper relief as the smoke blows off. There’s a herbal element that links with the smoke to create a hint of Lapsang. It’s distinctive, but not overpowering. Water douses the smoke into Plasticine, but brings out zesty orange.

PALATE
Savoury smoke, more luscious fruit – a sweet, baked apple pie with a slightly caught crust. A little hot, with a blast of cayenne pepper. Some orange zest and ginger playing catch-up, but the enjoyably aromatic smoke is quite dominant.

FINISH
Smoked meat with a honey glaze.

CONCLUSION
There’s lots to like here, but it’s a little fierce and ragged around the edges. A promising nose, but the palate is slightly underwhelming.

RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME
Lively, but just a little too Vicious at times.

CAPERDONICH 21 YEARS OLD PEATED
ABV
48%
PRODUCTION TYPE
Single malt whisky
REGION
Speyside
FLAVOUR CAMP
Smoky & Peaty
NOSE
Only three years older, but the smoke has retreated and evolved into the aromatic scent of olive wood embers, with an accompanying waft of the smokehouse. This allows the lush and luscious fruit to come through – ripe, bright clementine in particular. Next comes a little cigar box and richer cedar wood notes. The smoke just gentles these flavours along, without ever seeking to dominate them.

PALATE
Mouth-coating, almost oily, with rich mandarin before smoked meat builds through the mid-palate towards an explosive finish. The smoke is much less shy now, returning to bonfire-and-camphor country. Water flattens, rather than enhances, but brings added sweetness.

FINISH
Again, that elusive herbal quality. Long and savoury, with perfumed smoke.

CONCLUSION
The difference between these two malts feels like more than three years – again illustrating the limited relevance of age statements. This has more poise, and is wonderfully aromatic and exotic. Nicely done.

RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME
Lost among the temples, Alone in Kyoto.

CAPERDONICH 21 YEARS OLD UNPEATED
SCORE
87
ABV
48%
PRODUCTION TYPE
Single malt whisky
REGION
Speyside
FLAVOUR CAMP
Fruity & Spicy
NOSE
Quite delicate orchard fruit notes of russet apple and slightly overripe (faintly brown at the tip) pear. There’s a verdant quality here of sun-warmed summer lawn, vetiver and herb patch. It lacks a little magnitude, but makes up for this with subtlety.

PALATE
Broader than the nose suggests. A little fiery, but always this mouth-coating creaminess carrying cask-driven notes of vanilla, edging into condensed milk. Quite punchy and certainly mouth-filling. Water coaxes out more creaminess and a super-sweet vanilla-coated pear character.

FINISH
Clean, slight edge of spearmint, then more sweetness (Juicy Fruit chewing gum).

CONCLUSION
It’s a sweetie, and it’s a cracker. Just the right side of sugary.

RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME
Unable to sleep on a hot summer’s night, you amble into the garden to enjoy the Dawn Chorus.

CAPERDONICH 25 YEARS OLD UNPEATED
SCORE
90
ABV
48%
PRODUCTION TYPE
Single malt whisky
REGION
Speyside
FLAVOUR CAMP
Rich & Round
NOSE
Bigger and richer from the outset. A densely-packed nose of sweet plum, cooking spices, then rich cassis and mulberry. Where the 21 was a little shy, this is much more assertive. The more restrained orchard fruits take a while to come through, but they’re there. Polished desk and then more tropical fruits emerge. Slightly herbal and hard to pin down. Water brings out a new hedgerow scent of white flowers, then camomile.

PALATE
First the orchard fruits come through, having overcome their initial shyness. Then some earthy, age- and cask-related notes of polished wood and book cupboard. Only late on do darker notes of blackberry and even blueberry emerge, along with bitter black chocolate. Builds slowly to a crescendo, in contrast to the nose. Water sweetens and brings more overt cask notes.

FINISH
Chocolate, caramel, Fruit ‘n’ Nut bar. Endless.

CONCLUSION
A highly refined summer pudding in a glass. A serious whisky, but one that knows how to have fun.

RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME
One of Mozart’s lighter moments: ‘Pa… pa-pa!’

GLEN KEITH 21 YEARS OLD
SCORE
88
ABV
43%
PRODUCTION TYPE
Single malt whisky
REGION
Speyside
FLAVOUR CAMP
Fruity & Spicy
NOSE
Deeply fruity notes of juicy orange and pineapple cubes. The texture hints at a syrupy sweetness, accompanied by the smooth tones of lightly waxed wood. Then this melds into creamy citrus, with summer hedgerow notes of honeysuckle and jasmine. There’s lightness, but depth too. Water lightens the fruit into reminiscences of Quosh (orange & pineapple), but doesn’t reveal anything particularly new.

PALATE
We’re back in that hedgerow at first, then there’s freshly shaved ginger (minus the heat), followed by bolder wood-derived notes of cashew and almond. A prickle of heat, even at 43%, but this is all about the fruit, which returns with a vengeance and in tropical guise.

FINISH
Slightly drying, but still perky.

CONCLUSION
Pure drinking pleasure. Not overly complex, but you can’t keep this down. A labrador puppy of a whisky.

RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME
A summery single malt like this needs a Song for Sunshine.

GLEN KEITH 25 YEARS OLD
SCORE
87
ABV
43%
PRODUCTION TYPE
Single malt whisky
REGION
Speyside
FLAVOUR CAMP
Fruity & Spicy
NOSE
The polished patina seen in the 21 jumps out again, this time subsiding swiftly in favour of delightful, sun-warmed Amalfi lemon and Valencia orange (very Mediterranean), along with a slug of custard (not quite so Mediterranean). Smooth, seamless and utterly charming. Water coaxes out even more aromas: heady tangerine, Rose’s Lime Cordial.

PALATE
Ginger and warming baking spices, again that tiny prickle of heat, then darker flavours rush in – cola cube and dark marmalade. It’s lifted by an undercurrent of a greengage pudding spiked with cinnamon. Water brings more ginger and a bit of grip from the cask.

FINISH
Super-tangy, with some wood tannins bringing depth and structure.

CONCLUSION
The nose is a delight, but overshadows the palate a little. Still, a complex whisky that shows distillery character and cask in harmony.

RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME
Such balance and harmony can only be Fleeting.

GLEN KEITH 28 YEARS OLD
SCORE
89
ABV
43%
PRODUCTION TYPE
Single malt whisky
REGION
Speyside
FLAVOUR CAMP
Fruity & Spicy
NOSE
Spice to the fore – those baking spices from the 25, but there’s much more heft and muscle here as cask and age assert themselves. A wave of dark fudge softens any austerity, and then the fruit comes through: mango, ripe orange, shifting into damson and then date. Water takes us back to the hedgerow, as well as the playroom (Fuzzy-Felt), before the spice returns.

PALATE
Smooth and sumptuous, but with an added savoury depth now of allspice, then liquorice and bitter, dark chocolate. The fruit hints at a top-class crème de cassis from Dijon, and it builds into an indulgent slice of Jamaican ginger bread. Big. Delicious.

FINISH
Chewy tannins and whispers of rancio. Later, stewed blackcurrants in dark chocolate. Very long.

CONCLUSION
This ticks every box of complexity and depth. There are times when the cask threatens to become too assertive, but it always steps back from the brink. All three of these bottlings trace a clear line of distillery character and evolution.

RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME
It’s a stadium-filling, Runaway success…

LONGMORN 18 YEARS OLD
SCORE
83
ABV
48%
PRODUCTION TYPE
Single malt whisky
REGION
Speyside
FLAVOUR CAMP
Fruity & Spicy
NOSE
Unctuous exotic fruit – walking through a sunlit orangery, but there’s mango and apricot growing here too. This drives off to leave more fruit, but of the orchard variety this time. Then there’s lots of vanilla and creamy fudge, giving a feeling of decadence. Otherwise, the cask is relaxed enough to sit back and watch, contributing a note of pencil sharpener. Water sweetens things even more, bringing out orange zest and barley sugar.

PALATE
Big and exotic, but with quite a prickle from the alcohol. It feels hotter than 48% and this rather conceals the perfumed fruit of the nose, leaving coconut and vanilla in their place. Water helps enormously, opening up the fruit and bringing notes of anise and then mint.

FINISH
Super-sweet, dripping with mango juice.

CONCLUSION
Plenty to like here (if you’re a fan of sweet fruit), but the palate is a little out of kilter.

RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME
Keep your balance, or you’ll be Falling Down.

LONGMORN 23 YEARS OLD
SCORE
91
ABV
48%
PRODUCTION TYPE
Single malt whisky
REGION
Speyside
FLAVOUR CAMP
Fruity & Spicy
NOSE
Indulgent, seamless peach folded into Chantilly cream with a slice of lemon meringue on the side. Absurdly, hedonistically fruity, like Glen Keith on steroids. There’s spice too – ginger, but also something dark and reduced. It’s complex. Water dumbs things down a little, with light fruit cordial notes.

PALATE
Wonderful texture, with an explosion of tropical fruit darkening into cassis and black cherry, which in turn tips over into a slight, but pleasing, bitterness. Some dark chilli chocolate. Water makes it all a little too austere.

FINISH
Delightfully sweet. Luxuriant.

CONCLUSION
A crowd-pleasing blockbuster of ripe fruit, but a hydrophobic one.

RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME
A winning Intermezzo just before the final act.

LONGMORN 25 YEARS OLD
SCORE
84
ABV
52.2%
PRODUCTION TYPE
Single malt whisky
REGION
Speyside
FLAVOUR CAMP
Fruity & Spicy
NOSE
Compared to the fruit-driven delights of the preceding pair, the cask is very much in charge here, and the higher alcohol is also immediately noticeable. The oak brings out sweet spices – cinnamon especially – then there’s dessert apple. A marmalade tang lurks at the back, before giving way to dark set honey. The combination of orange and assertive wood brings to mind a first-division VSOP Cognac. Water allows that orange character – mandarin now – to fully shine, with creamy light spice, cider apple and aromas of a stable hay rack.

PALATE
There’s texture from the higher alcohol, but the extra heat is manageable. Longmorn’s fruits have retreated before the sawmill buzz of active oak. There’s a tang of black cherries in kirsch as it fades. Water dries a little, but also brings light spices and that slightly bitter black cherry note again.

FINISH
Dark chocolate.

CONCLUSION
The cask is just a little too dominant here for my taste, but it’s still a decent dram. A darker, more forbidding Longmorn.

RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME
It’s going to be a Black Night.

SCOTCH WATCH: THE BALLANTINE’S GEESE
August 2019 by Richard Woodard
In 1959, an unusual security detail was enlisted to guard the stocks of Ballantine’s whisky maturing at Dumbuck: six white geese. Over the following decades, the ‘Scotch Watch’ expanded to more than 100 birds and rose to global fame, starring in TV documentaries, magazine articles – and their own advertising campaign.

Long service: Geese protected Ballantine’s warehouses from 1959 to 2012 (Chivas Brothers Archive)
Maturing whisky is a valuable commodity that can prove all too attractive to thieves, leaving distillers with little alternative but to put in place a range of protective measures: security guards, fencing, hi-tech alarm systems, CCTV cameras… and geese.

When, in the late 1950s, the then owner of Ballantine’s blended Scotch, Hiram Walker, built a new complex of maturation warehouses at Dumbuck, just east of Dumbarton, security arrangements were a vital part of the plans.

The sprawling 14-acre site featured a number of warehouses, all gradually filled with maturing Ballantine’s whisky, and difficult to guard effectively. A combination of human security guards and Alsatian dogs was the most obvious method, but hugely expensive.

The civil engineer in charge of the site, Brigadier Ronald Cowan, also happened to be a keen birdwatcher. Geese, he told Ballantine’s managing director Tom Scott, had excellent hearing and eyesight (unlike humans, they can see ultra-violet light), are light sleepers and are noisily territorial, particularly when they have eggs or young to protect.

What’s more, they would happily live on a diet of the grass surrounding the warehouses, supplemented by grain from the nearby Dumbarton distillery.

It might have seemed an unlikely protective strategy, but for long historical precedent. Back in 390BC, as the Gauls prepared to attack Rome, the city’s exhausted soldiers were asleep in the Capitol, their hilltop fortress.

Their acute hearing and eyesight make geese ideal security guards

Luckily, a flock of geese – kept near the temple of Juno as they were sacred to the goddess – raised the alarm. The Gauls were routed, Rome survived – and history took a very different turn.

Back in Dumbuck, the Scotch Watch, as it became known – or The Scotch Guards, to give the birds their alternative title – began with a six-strong squad: one gander and five female geese.

At their peak, and aided by a breeding programme from the West of Scotland Agricultural College, their numbers swelled to well over 100, mostly large Chinese White Geese, plus a few Roman Geese, all led by the dominant gander known as Mr Ballantine.

But this explosion in the avian population was hard-won, as Arthur Carroll, who took over as goosekeeper (a full-time job, incidentally) from 30-year veteran Alex Malcolm, recalled, speaking in 1996: ‘The females turned out to be excellent sentries, but were not as attentive to their nesting duties as they might have been.

‘For a time, we had to recruit some ordinary chicken hens as egg-sitters and they seemed to take to their role as surrogate mothers very well.’

The early 1990s brought another threat to the Scotch Watch, in the shape of a marauding fox. While Dumbuck’s warehouse complex remained unbreached by human thieves, this four-legged intruder evaded every attempt at capture, reducing the goose population from more than 100 to about 70 by 1996.

The geese featured in a number of Ballantine’s ads (Chivas Brothers Archive)

‘I have laid traps, stayed up all night and he still manages to get in,’ Carroll said. ‘It’s remarkable because this must be the most secure place in Britain, yet he always slips through the smallest gap. I have actually seen him in daylight, running across the fields.’

The local authority put down humane cage traps in an effort to catch the goose serial killer, but to no avail. ‘So far, the biggest thing they have captured has been a hedgehog,’ said Carroll.

For the rest of the flock’s 50-plus-year tenure at Dumbuck, they more than paid their way, keeping the lawns impeccably trimmed and the staff well-supplied with eggs (the proceeds from which were donated to a local hospital for ex-servicemen).

Given the ready supply of food and the need to protect nests and young, there was never any urge from the geese to fly away – or almost never. In 1962, one stir-crazy bird caught a glimpse of the flowing waters of the River Clyde – and plotted her route to freedom.

Collective strength: At one point, the Scotch Watch numbered over 100 (Chivas Brothers Archive)

Her name was Clementine, and so keenly felt was her loss that Ballantine’s took out a newspaper advertisement in an effort to get her back:

Lost from Ballantine’s Whisky Maturing Warehouses at Dumbuck on 17th November, 1962, one Mature Chinese white Goose, with slight droop to left wing, believed to be without leg ring. This goose has been trained as a guard. Last seen swimming on the River Clyde between Bowling and Dumbuck. The goose has secret identification mark and any others will be unacceptable.

Luckily, Clementine wasn’t ‘lost and gone forever’, and her spree ended soon enough. She was found by a doctor ‘wandering forlornly’ along the shores of Loch Lomond before being returned to her duties. The doctor kindly donated his £50 reward to the RSPCA.

Two other members of the Scotch Watch enjoyed a more legitimate dose of freedom in 1963, when they were flown (in an aeroplane) to Los Angeles, where they were feted as guests of honour at the Park Turf Club’s annual ceremony convened to choose the ‘Miss Goose’ beauty queen.

As time passed, the fame of the birds spread, and they were sought after by tourists, as well as being in demand for newspaper and magazine articles, and television programmes – they were featured by the BBC and British Movietone News.

There were commercial spin-offs as well. The geese were used on several occasions by Ballantine’s for adverts, and featured on a rock band’s album cover. There was even a merchandise line of ties, scarves and lapel badges

All good things must come to an end. The last of the goosemen left at the end of the 1990s, to be replaced by a rather soulless automatic feeder, and the advent of CCTV cameras was a precursor to the demise of the Scotch Watch.

By the end of 2011, their numbers depleted to seven – only one more than the original guard enlisted in 1959 – it was the last post for the Scotch Guard. Happily, however, they did not end their days as anybody’s Christmas dinner.

Instead, the remainder of the flock was ‘retired’ to Glasgow Green and the care of Glasgow Humane Society. There they were able to swim in the Clyde and take in the views of Strathclyde grain distillery as a reminder of their past life, joining the descendants of other whisky warehouse geese.

Meanwhile, Ballantine’s whisky slumbers on in the Dumbuck warehouses, protected now by the wonders of 21st-century technology. Just as safely guarded as ever it was, but an altogether quieter and duller place for the departure of the fondly remembered Scotch Watch.

So, if you’re ever passing Glasgow Green and see some large white geese there, spare them a thought, a kind word and a bite to eat for their many years of loyal service.

Chivas Brothers has its headquarters in Paisley, near Glasgow, and operates 14 Scottish malt distilleries, all located in the Speyside area – apart from Scapa on Orkney – along with Strathclyde grain distillery in Glasgow. It also owns gin distilleries in London and Plymouth, and blending, bottling and warehousing facilities at several sites across Scotland. In total the company employs 1,600 people at 34 locations.

Chivas is best known for its Chivas Regal and Ballantine’s blended Scotches, with the latter being the world’s second-best-selling Scotch whisky after Johnnie Walker, while Chivas Regal occupies the third spot.  In terms of single malts, the company’s biggest brands are The Glenlivet, the global number two malt behind Glenfiddich, and Aberlour.


CHIVAS BROTHERS HOLDINGS HISTORY
Chivas Brothers traces its origins back to Aberdeen in 1801, when John Forrest established a grocery and wine merchants, it being passed onto William Edward who was joined by James Chivas in 1838. Chivas Regal was first introduced as a 25-year-old luxury blend in 1909, and was soon a firm favourite in the USA.

Seeing its success, the Canadian drinks giant Seagram Co bought Chivas Brothers in 1949, adding Strathisla distillery at Keith to the organisation the following year. In 1957 a ‘sister’ distillery named Glen Keith was constructed close to Strathisla, while the Keith Bond was developed as a maturation and blending facility, gradually being expanded as time passed. Growth of whisky sales during the 1970s led Chivas to construct All-a-Bhainne and Braes of Glenlivet (now Braeval) distilleries to provide additional malt capacity.

In 1975 Seagram purchased Campbell Distilleries, which owned Aberlour, Glenallachie and Edradour distilleries, while the company also acquired The Glenlivet Distillers during 1978, bringing The Glenlivet, Glen Grant, Longmorn and Benriach distilleries into Chivas’ fold.

In 2001 Pernod Ricard and Diageo bought Seagram Spirts & Wine, with Pernod taking control of the Chivas Brothers Scotch whisky operations. Four years later, the Scotch whisky distilleries and brands of Allied Domecq were added to the Chivas portfolio, with Ballantine’s as the prize asset.

Today, Chivas Brothers is the second-largest Scotch whisky company after Diageo, and it officially opened its latest state-of-the-art malt distillery, Dalmunach, at Carron near the River Spey in June 2015.

DISTILLERIES & BRANDS
100 Pipers
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Aberlour
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Allt-a-Bhainne
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Ambassador
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Ballantine's
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Black Watch
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Bonnie Lassie
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Braemar
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Braeval
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Caperdonich
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Chivas Brothers
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Chivas Regal
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Clan Campbell
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Clan Robertson
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Craigduff
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Dalmunach
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Doctor's Special
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Dumbarton
LOWLAND SINGLE GRAIN SCOTCH WHISKY
Glen Keith
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
GlenAllachie
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Glenburgie
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Glencraig
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Glenisla
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Glentauchers
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Glenugie
HIGHLAND SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Imperial Distillery
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Inverleven
LOWLAND SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Kinclaith
LOWLAND SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
King's Ransom
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Lochside
HIGHLAND SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Lomond
LOWLAND SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Long John
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Longmorn
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Miltonduff
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Mosstowie
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Passport
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Prince Charlie
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Queen Anne
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Royal Citation
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Royal Glen Dee
BLENDED MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Royal Salute
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Royal Strathythan
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Scapa
ISLANDS SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
Something Special
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
St Leger
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Stewart's
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Strathclyde
LOWLAND SINGLE GRAIN SCOTCH WHISKY
Strathisla
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
The Glenlivet
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
The Junior
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Thorne's
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
Tormore
SPEYSIDE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY
White Heather
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
ASSOCIATED COMPANIES
Pernod Ricard (Current owner)
Allied Breweries
Allied Distillers
Allied Domecq
Allied Lyons
Campbell Distillers
Hill, Thomson & Co
Lawson & Smith
R Thorne and Sons
Seagram Distillers
Taylor & Ferguson


PERNOD RICARD BUILDS CHINA WHISKY DISTILLERY
August 2019
Pernod Ricard, the French drinks company behind The Glenlivet, is to build a US$150 million malt whisky distillery in China, believed to be the country’s first.

Pernod Ricard's Emeishan distillery
Whisky fusion: Emeishan distillery will be influenced by Scotch heritage and Chinese culture
The drinks group has already broken ground on the site at Emeishan in Sichuan province, where a ‘state-of-the-art’ distillation facility and ‘immersive visitor centre’ will operate.

The 13-hectare site will champion an ‘innovative approach to malt whisky making that celebrates the natural beauty of the climate in the region, renowned for its pristine water source and natural terroir’.

Due to open in 2021, the distillery is expected to become a ‘world-class destination’ attracting over two million visitors during its first 10 years of operation.

The development is the latest investment from Pernod RIcard in expanding its world whisky portfolio, with the acquisition of Kentucky’s Rabbit Hole distillery in July this year, and Texas’ Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co., owner of the TX whiskey brand, earlier this month.

The group also announced today that it will acquire US company Castle Brands for US$233 million, a sale which includes the Jefferson’s Bourbon brand.

‘World-class’ destination: Emeishan distillery will be spread across a 13-acre estate in Sichuan province

Pernod Ricard claimed its Emeishan malt whisky distillery will become the first in the world to appoint a Chinese master distiller, ‘fusing authentic whisky-making craftsmanship and local knowledge’.

Philippe Guettat, chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard Asia, said: ‘The ground-breaking of the distillery signifies the beginning of a journey of innovation, expertise and dedication to craft a new, iconic malt whisky that embraces whisky history and heritage with a character unique to Chinese culture.

‘It is both the symbol of our strong history with China after three decades of operation and the sign of our deep confidence into the future of international style spirits in this fascinating market.

‘We’re proud to be part of China’s fabric and contributing to the sustainable growth of its economy and society, by transferring whisky-making expertise to the people, credibility to the region and the spirit of conviviality to visitors and consumers alike.’

The distillery will be designed and built by China-based architect Neri&Hu, which is known for its work on the New Shanghai Theatre among other projects.

The materials used will take their influence from the surrounding environment, with stone walls built from boulders extracted from the ground during levelling.

The building will also be accented with elements of copper and wood to reflect the whisky-making process.

CHIVAS BROTHERS OPENS GLASGOW HQ
September 2019
Scotch whisky firm Chivas Brothers has opened its new headquarters in Glasgow city centre, in a move it has said demonstrates the company’s ‘confidence in the future of Scotch’.

New HQ: Chivas' new 27,000 sqft office includes an on-site bar for ‘convivial moments’
The Blythswood Square building, containing over 27,000 sqft of office space including an on-site bar, is said to serve as ‘a hub to unite colleagues from Glasgow and across other locations in the UK’ for ‘convivial moments’

Jean-Christophe Coutures, chairman and CEO of Chivas Brothers, said: ‘Our investment in the city is a vote of confidence in the future of Scotch, in the city of Glasgow and the strength of the Scottish economy.

‘We need to keep moving with the times – this is the beginning of a new and exciting chapter for Chivas Brothers as we continue to explore new ways to work better, more efficiently and creatively.

The move from Chivas’ previous headquarters in Paisley is the latest investment in Scotch by the whisky firm’s parent company, Pernod Ricard.

The drinks multinational is also constructing a £50 million bottling hall in Dumbarton, set to be completed in 2020, in addition to expanding capacity at its Glenlivet, Scapa and Aberlour distilleries.

The move also follows Edrington’s relocation of its own headquarters, from Perth to Glasgow’s central Queen Street, in 2017.


WHITBREAD & CO
Whitbread is best known today for the brewing empire built by Samuel Whitbread – once the largest in the world – and its UK-wide chain of pubs, hotels and restaurants. However the British company also spent a short period in the late 1900s investing heavily in Scotch whisky.

Among its portfolio were the Tormore, Stratchclyde, Kinclaith, Glenugie and Laphroaig distilleries, as well as a clutch of well-known blended whisky brands such as Long John.

The company was founded in 1742, when Samuel Whitbread partnered with the  Shewell brothers to start a London brewery. By the 1780s, after moving premises and eventually buying the brothers out of the business, Whitbread’s Hind Brewery on Chiswell Street had grown to become the largest in the world.

Whitbread and his successors continued to take the brewing world by storm – in 1868 Whitbread introduced its first bottled beer, which rapidly became a national brand, while a century later the group was running around 26 regional breweries across the country and had obtained a license to produce Heineken beer.

Whitbread’s brewing empire had become world-famous, though it was in 1974 it began to diversify with the opening of its first Beefeater pub-restaurant – today the company operates over 140 outlets in the UK.

The brewer – and now restaurateur – made its first foray into Scotch whisky the following year, with the acquisition of Seager Evans & Co. from New York’s Schenley Industries.

At the time Seager’s portfolio included the Laphroaig, Tormore, Glenugie, Strathclyde and Kinclaith Scotch whisky distilleries, as well as the Black Bottle and Long John blended Scotch brands, plus Coates Plymouth Gin distillery. The company also came with a 100-acre blending and bottling facility in Glasgow. Whitbread invested heavily in modernising its new distilleries, while at the same time embarking on large franchise agreements for new restaurant chains, namely Pizza Hut and TGI Friday’s.

By 1989 Whitbread’s business interests had grown hugely diverse. Seeing its future in brewing, as well as hotels and restaurants, Whitbread sold off its spirits division – which by now included James Burroughs Distillers (Beefeater) to Allied Lyons.

In 2000 a takeover bid of Allied Domecq (Allied Lyons’ successor) by Fortune Brands Inc and Pernod Ricard saw the division of Whitbread’s former spirits portfolio.

Today Whitbread’s main operations include the Premier Inn hotel chain, and the Costa Coffee, Table Table, Brewer’s Fayre and Beefeater restaurant chains

‘LONG JOHN’ MCDONALD, BEN NEVIS

‘Long John’ McDonald was a giant of a man, and giant of the Scotch whisky trade, in which – with his son Donald – he established one of the world’s most famous single malts. Iain Russell reports.

Media-savvy: the McDonalds used commercial stunts to promote Ben Nevis whisky
Ben Nevis distillery was famous in Victorian times as the home of Long John’s Dew of Ben Nevis, one of the best-known brands of Highland single malt Scotch whisky. Although the eponymous ‘Long John’ was not the founder of the business, he and his son Donald were the men who made it famous.

The distillery was built by Angus McDonnell in 1825 on the banks of the River Lochy, just outside Fort William at the foot of Britain’s highest mountain. He started making whisky there in February 1826, and production amounted to around 200 gallons a week. Some writers believe that he was a kinsman of ‘Long John’ McDonald (1799-1856), and that the latter may have worked for him at the distillery.

We know for certain that Long John became a partner in the business in 1830 and bought Angus’ remaining stake for the large sum of £1,200 the following year.

As his nickname suggests, the new owner was a big man: reputedly 6ft 4in tall and powerfully built. One author described him as ‘a happy Hercules, the tallest man I ever beheld out of an exhibition’, and he was known as a great sportsman.

By the 1850s, newspaper reports of Queen Victoria’s Highland jaunts had captured the imagination of her subjects, and Ben Nevis had become a popular tourist attraction. Long John was the leader of what we might now call the local mountain rescue team, and was often called upon to help rescue tourists who got into difficulties while climbing its slopes.

He featured in newspaper columns all over Britain in 1838, after a party including the young Duchess of Buccleuch got lost in the mist while ascending the mountain. The alarm was raised at nightfall and Long John set off in the dark, ringing a large bell, to find them. The lost souls were found and Long John brought her ladyship off the mountain on the back of his horse, using his plaid as her saddle.

As a businessman, Long John had a flair for publicity. In 1841 it was reported that Prince Augustus, the Duke of Sussex, was an aficionado of Long John’s whisky, and had two dozen bottles in his cellar. Another broadsheet reported that his whisky was supplied to the King of Holland.

Long John even sent a cask to Buckingham Palace, to be broached on the 21st birthday of the Prince of Wales. The nation’s newspapers loved the story.

By the 1850s, Long John’s Ben Nevis whisky was available throughout Britain for 42 shillings (£2.10) per dozen, each bottle fitted with a ‘patent metallic capsule’ which prevented ‘the fraudulent substitution of any inferior article’. It was advertised as ‘highly esteemed for the excellence of its flavour and patronised by the Royal Family, the Duke of Buccleuch, and most of the Scottish nobility,’ and was ‘guaranteed pure and unblended’.

One wine and spirit merchant opined that ‘families will be convinced by a single trial that Ben Nevis Dew is truly a medicine’.

Long John’s whisky may have become famous, but his business was ailing. He had borrowed heavily to operate the distillery, having spent most of his capital on acquiring the business, and the banks were not patient when there was a downturn in the market for whisky. His estate was sequestrated in 1856, and the unfortunate bankrupt died soon afterwards.

After his father’s death, the young Donald Peter McDonald (1835-91) acquired the distillery and stocks, and breathed new life into the business. Now known as Long John’s Dew of Ben Nevis, it was sold with age statements varying between five and 11 years, ‘guaranteed pure and unblended and of great age and fine flavour’.

Donald supervised the expansion of the distillery. A concrete pier was built on the river, and a fleet of his own cargo ships was employed to carry whisky along the west coast of Scotland to Glasgow and other ports in the south.



Changing times: Ben Nevis is today owned by Japanese distiller Nikka

In 1878, with demand soaring, Donald built a new distillery alongside the old and called it Nevis. He designed many of the buildings himself, using concrete in place of traditional brick or masonry where possible, and a bustling village was laid out to accommodate his employees and their families.  

When whisky writer Alfred Barnard visited in 1886, the original distillery was producing more than 150,000 gallons of single malt whisky each year, while Nevis was turning out over 250,000 gallons. Barnard recorded a workforce of 30 men employed at Ben Nevis and 200 more at the new distillery, although many of the men worked on shared services such as warehousing, coopering and carting.

While much of the demand for the whisky came from blenders, Long John’s Dew of Ben Nevis remained, arguably, the world’s best-known single malt brand. The National Guardian reported in 1888 that ‘the demand for this most excellent of Highland malts is very considerable and steadily advancing in France’.

It was also exported to English-speaking countries such as Australia and the US. In every case, great play was made of the fact that Long John’s Dew of Ben Nevis was a single malt: ‘A fine Highland whisky in its pure natural state and not blended with grain spirit’.  

Its fame was boosted by the talent for promotion that Donald had evidently learned from his father. When the British Medical Association issued a report on alcohol-related diseases, for example, he quickly adopted some of its findings in his advertising, to suggest that drinking Long John might prolong life expectancy.

Donald died in 1891, leaving a personal fortune of more than £110,000. The business was inherited by his sons, but it appears that they tired of the challenge to sell single malt in a market increasingly dominated by heavily-promoted blended whiskies.

In 1911, they sold the Long John trademark to the wine and spirits merchant WH Chaplin & Co, and one of the most famous names in the world of single malt whisky became a blended Scotch.

The Glenlivet and Glen Grant Distilleries

Two of Scotland’s most renowned whisky families merged to form an alliance during the 1950s.

THE GLENLIVET AND GLEN GRANT DISTILLERIES PROFILE
The creation of The Glenlivet and Glen Grant Distilleries Ltd was borne from a desire of two of Scotch whisky’s most successful distilling dynasties to collectively promote the quality of their brands. Certainly at the time of its formation in 1952, The Glenlivet and Glen Grant distilleries had become two of the most respected producers in the industry. The former had become the first widely-renowned single malt brand of the modern era following success in the US after World War Two, while Glen Grant had already established itself as a brand in Africa, Australia and the US by the late 19th century.

The company was formed in 1952 through the merger of George and J. G. Smith, owner of The Glenlivet distillery in Moray which was itself incorporated just the previous year, and J&J Grant, the owner of Glen Grant distillery in Rothes. The new company’s aim was to uphold the quality of whisky for which the two family-owned interests were renowned.

In 1970 the company expanded when Edinburgh blender Hill, Thomson & Co. and Longmorn-Glenlivet Distilleries Ltd. joined the fold. The newly aligned business brought an additional two Speyside distilleries into the portfolio – BenRiach and Longmorn, while Caperdonich (aka Glen Grant 2) had also been reopened five years previous to support soaring demand for its sister distillery. To reflect the enlarged holdings, the company was renamed The Glenlivet Distillers Ltd in 1972.

The company was eventually sold onto Seagram Distillers in 1978, which was itself picked up by French drinks group Pernod Ricard in 2001. The group’s new owner subsequently closed Caperdonich (and sold it onto Forsyths, the coppersmith), while BenRiach was sold in 2003 to The BenRiach Distillery Company.

In 2006 Pernod Ricard moved The Glenlivet and Longmorn distilleries into its Chivas Brothers portfolio, and sold The Glenlivet Distillers Ltd – which by now comprised of just Glen Grant distillery – to Italian drinks group Gruppo Campari. To avoid confusion, The Glenlivet Distillers Ltd was renamed Glen Grant Whisky Co Ltd following its sale.

The license for Glen Grant distillery was transferred to a new company, Glen Grant Ltd, established by Campari in 2005. Glen Grant Whisky Co Ltd was eventually dissolved in 2011.

Meanwhile, the dormant Glenlivet and Glen Grant Distilleries firm was renamed Glenlivet Distilleries Ltd in 2006, and remains a non-trading subsidiary of Pernod Ricard.

R Thorne and Sons
BLENDER
Long-lost distiller and blender that operated out of Greenock, London and Dublin.


R THORNE AND SONS PROFILE
R Thorne & Sons operated from Greenock, near Glasgow, distilling there and at Aberlour on Speyside, as well as creating and selling its own blended brands under the Thorne’s name. Ultimately, the company became part of Hiram Walker & Sons (Scotland) plc.

The firm of R Thorne & Sons was established in 1831 by Robert Thorne, and was described in Harper’s Directory 1914 as ‘Whisky Distillers Blenders and Warehouse-keepers.’ Addresses in Greenock, where the company had its main premises and registered offices, were listed, along with one in London and another in Dublin.

The company was incorporated in 1892, and in the same year acquired what was then known as the Aberlour-Glenlivet distillery on Speyside. Four years later, Greenock distillery was purchased, and a three-storey Italian Renaissance-style office block was constructed in Greenock, along with a multi-storey warehouse block which still stands today. It was capable of holding 33,000 gallons (150,000   litres) of whisky in vast vats, and boasted an expansive bottling hall.

Greenock distillery closed in 1915, and five years later R Thorne & Sons Ltd entered voluntary liquidation, with Aberlour distillery being sold to WH Holt & Sons. However, the company name continued to be used in relation to blended Scotch by Hiram Walker, and numerous bottles of 10 and 12-year-old Thorne’s RTS, some dating from the 1960s and 1970s, are extant.

Exports to the US continued until around 1980. Hiram Walker also bottled miniatures of blended Scotch exclusively for Trans International Airlines, using the name Robt. Thorne & Sons (Whisky Merchants) Ltd, Greenock & Glasgow.

DISTILLERIES & BRANDS
Thorne's
BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY
ASSOCIATED COMPANIES
Hill, Thomson & Co
Lawson & Smith
Seagram Distillers
Taylor & Ferguson

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