Ultra-premium tequilas square up to the UK market

07 March, 2008

A pair of premium aged tequilas have been launched in the UK in a bid to drive sales of the spirit outside the US.

California-based Partida Tequila and Las Vegas-based The Patrón Spirits Company

are both responding to the UK's growing thirst for top-end, 100 per cent agave tequila by rolling out luxury extensions to their lines.

Partida Elegante is an extra añejo tequila which is aged for more than 36 months in American oak. The style is described as "smooth, slightly sweet, with a buttery mouthfeel, hints of ripe banana and a light smokiness". Each numbered bottle is hand

finished with a crystal decanter stopper and will retail for £250.

Distributor Inspirit Brands said it hoped to capitalise on

"serious interest in the super-premium tequila category". Sales

& marketing director Stuart Ekins believes that, unlike other types of spirits, tequila has not benefited from big advertising spends in the UK. "Coupled with the lack of marketing and promotion that exists in this sector at the moment, we believe the timing of the launch is perfect in order to start the brand -building process,"

he said.

In the US, the brand is promoted through heavyweight viral marketing campaigns, tutored tastings and food pairings,

including chocolate and

cheese.

Cellar Trends, UK distributor of Gran Patrón Burdeos

añejo

tequila, is making its tequila available to the take-home market in 70cl unleaded crystal bottles, after successfully launching a limited production 75cl decanter in the on-trade. The brand, which is triple distilled and finished in Bordeaux wine barrels, has 55 per cent abv and will retail for £370 .

The ultra-premium end of the tequila market "is becoming a real talking point and has been fuelled by success in the US", according to marketing director Terry Barker.

It is hoped the brand will prove popular with collectors of luxury, top-end spirits. "We are very encouraged in discovering a number of spirits connoisseurs in the UK who say they would consider Gran Patrón Burdeos

añejo

tequila as a desirable addition to their personal bars," Barker added.




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