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Dewar’s Makes Flavored Scotch Play With Highlander Honey

March 15, 2013

The Bacardi-owned Dewar’s Scotch brand is entering the thriving flavored whisk(e)y category with its launch of Dewar’s Highlander Honey. Rolling out in April, the 80-proof, honey-infused offering will be priced at a slight premium to the brand’s core White Label variant. The new entry is part of Dewar’s overall efforts to engage younger LDA consumers, particularly brown spirits drinkers in the 25- to 29-year-old range.

“We’re trying to reach out to a younger, newer consumer and speak to them in a language that they’ll identify with, in an environment that they’ll want to be in. Dewar’s Highlander Honey takes that one step forward,” says Arvind Krishnan, vice president, brand managing director for Dewar’s. Krishnan adds that Dewar’s is targeting a younger demographic with its ongoing “The Drinking Man’s Scotch” campaign, which launched late last year and also marks Dewar’s first TV advertising since 2007.

Highlander Honey joins Dewar’s flagship White Label, 12-year-old, 18-year-old and Signature blended Scotch expressions, as well as its single malt portfolio, which features Dewar’s Aberfeldy 12-year-old and Aberfeldy 21-year-old. According to Krishnan, the new entry could eventually be part of a larger flavored Scotch range.

The increasingly crowded flavored whisk(e)y sector has emerged as one of the U.S. spirits market’s fastest-growing categories. Bourbon brands such as Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Jim Beam Red Stag and Wild Turkey American Honey (Campari) are all leading the trend with impressive growth, and Canadian whisky launches like Black Velvet Toasted Caramel (Constellation) and Crown Royal Maple Finished (Diageo) have followed. Diageo’s Bushmills Irish whiskey also introduced a honey-flavored variant last year.

“When you look at what’s happening in Bourbon and the overall flavor trends in the U.S., we figured it was time to create an offering that is still truly Scotch, but gives those who play with flavor trends an option to play within Scotch,” explains Krishnan. “Younger consumers are migrating to Bourbon because of all the energy and excitement the flavors have created, and I think Scotch brands can do the same for their category.”


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