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With Growth Accelerating, Glenfiddich Debuts New Core Whisky, 14-Year-Old Bourbon Barrel Reserve

October 1, 2015

With its Balvenie single malt Scotch benefiting from a surging 14-year-old offering, William Grant & Sons is extending its larger Glenfiddich label with a 14-year-old expression as well.

Launching today, Glenfiddich’s 14-Year-Old Bourbon Barrel Reserve is aged in American oak ex-Bourbon casks and retails at $50 a 750-ml. The newcomer, which dovetails with a trend toward Bourbon-influenced Scotch whisky innovations, will be a core member of the Glenfiddich range.

With the single malt category’s rapid growth straining stocks in some cases, a lot of new product activity has recently focused on non-age-statement whiskies, prompting a debate across the industry. William Grant’s category marketing director for Scotch, Andy Nash, tells SND that the decision to launch a permanent 14-year-old under Glenfiddich marks a line in the sand. “When others are moving away from age statements, we’re making sure that the quality assurance piece is front and center for the consumer,” he says. “At $50, Bourbon Barrel Reserve is at a very approachable price point for single malt, and even within the premium whisk(e)y space as a whole.”

According to Impact Databank, Glenfiddich rose 3.5% to 140,000 cases in the U.S. market last year, ranking as the third-largest single malt behind The Glenlivet and The Macallan. Since 2010, the brand is up 31%, with notable advances coming from its 15-year-old Solera Reserve offering ($60), as well as its high-end 21-year-old Rum Cask Finish ($200). Glenfiddich’s 15-year-old has grown to the point that it would be a top-10 single malt brand in the U.S. as a standalone offering, Nash adds.

William Grant & Sons has seen Glenfiddich’s progress accelerate in 2015 and outpace overall single malt category growth, which registered at 12% by volume and 18% by volume in Nielsen channels over the latest 13 weeks. “The past four or five years have been a very strong period for single malt, and we see that continuing,” Nash notes. “We’re very optimistic going into the holidays.”



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