What does a whisky’s age really mean?
Maybe WDJK readers know, but apparently most people don’t what the age statement on a bottle of whisky means.
Chivas Brothers conducted a study (details below in their press release) and only 10% of the people queried knew that it was the age of the youngest whisky in the bottle. Nearly half of the people thought it referred to the average age, and 35% thought it meant the oldest age in the bottle.
We all know that there’s a lot of ignorance when it comes to understanding the fundamentals concepts of whisky (in this instance, age statement). Chivas Brothers is launching a new global campaign titled “The Age Matters” to help demystify and clarify what the age statement really means.
Congrats to Chivas Brothers for embarking on something that will benefit everyone!
Additional note, which I am putting up after my original post: I do need to formally state though that I wish they were more clear that “older doesn’t always mean better”. To much of a good thing can work against you. Using Chivas as an example, I must say that I like Chivas 18 better than the younger AND older marks.
THE AGE MATTERS
Chivas Brothers launches global consumer campaign
on the importance of Scotch whisky age statements
Today, 28 June 2010, the world’s leading producer of luxury Scotch whisky, Chivas Brothers, is launching a global campaign to advocate the importance and value of the age statements to consumers.
According to new research commissioned by Chivas Brothers, 94% of consumers believe the age statement serves as an indicator of quality, 93% believe that older whiskies are better quality and 89% actively look for an age statement when making a decision to purchase.
However, there is a global lack of knowledge about what the age statement actually means: only 10% understand that it refers to the youngest whisky in the bottle, nearly half (48%) believe an age statement refers to the average age and 35% believe it signifies the oldest whisky present. The Scotch Whisky Regulations (2009) make clear what an age statement means – the age of the youngest whisky in the bottle.
Chivas Brothers, Distiller of the Year 2009, is responding with a campaign called The Age Matters, which will manifest itself through stand-alone activity as well as through integration across the company’s aged whisky portfolio, which includes the Ballantine’s, Chivas Regal, The Glenlivet, and Royal Salute brands.
The aim of the campaign is to enable consumers to understand fully the age statement and to appreciate the value of the premium product they are purchasing.
One of the greatest influences on the flavour of whisky comes from maturation. Much of the complexity of Scotch whisky comes mainly from its time in oak casks in Scotland; with outstanding spirit and excellent wood management, it follows that the longer the maturation period, the more complex the whisky.
From 1 July 2010, consumers will be encouraged to look for age statements on Scotch whisky, via point-of-sale materials, advertising and public relations. A logo using the language Guaranteed Age Whisky has been created for usage in retail, and will be visible in the environment of Chivas Brothers brands that carry an age statement.
Christian Porta, Chairman and CEO of Chivas Brothers Limited, says: “The revelation that so many existing whisky drinkers do not understand that the age statement refers to youngest age of the whisky, shows that there is an opportunity for us to inform them.
“In an age when consumers of luxury goods increasingly demand transparency and authenticity from brands, it is vital that we empower consumers with knowledge, so that they fully understand the value of what they are buying.”