Leading supplier aims to bring single grain Scotch to the masses

07 October, 2013

William Grant & Sons aims to see single grain whisky stand alongside single malt and blended as a major Scotch category after launching The Girvan Patent Still Single Grain 25 Year Old.

Damian Heary, global planning and innovation director, launched the new range – which is exclusive to the UK market – at Victoria House in London.

He said: “We have huge ambitions for The Girvan Patent Still. It’s going to be a brand for the future. It will bring single grain as a category that will sit alongside single malt and blends.”

The Girvan Patent Still was built in Ayrshire in 1963 under the stewardship of Charles Gordon, the great-grandson of William Grant.

Heary said the whisky it produces is “very different to what we are used to in Speyside”.

Master Distiller John Ross explained that it uses maize instead of malted barley. He said that up until 1984 Scotch producers used maize but it became too expensive and they switched to peat and barley. Now though the price of maize has come down, and Ross said it is a “much cleaner cereal”.

 He added: “The Girvan Patent Still Single Grain 25 Year Old is a new style of Scotch whisky which is born out of Charles’ spirit of innovation and perfected by time.

“The Girvan Patent Still continuous distillation method takes the finest cereal grains to produce a very pure, fruity and clean-tasting grain spirit, which is lighter in aroma and character than most malt whiskies.

“It is then matured in first-fill American white oak, which adds flavour, character, colour and complexity. Time mellows the whisky, amplifies the aroma and enriches the taste.

“Characterised by vanilla, toffee, honey and caramelised fruit notes, the whisky delivers a taste that truly reflects William Grant & Sons’ pioneering distillation heritage.”

William Grant & Sons hopes that within 50 years The Patent Still will sell as much as Glenfiddich, the single malt category leader.

The 42% abv 25 Year Old expression has an rrp of £250 and will be available from November.

At the end of March 2014 an ageless expression carrying a lower price point will be released, along with a 30 Year Old.

Brand manager Jonny Cornthwaite said there have been rare single grain Girvan whiskies on the market in the past – typically from independent bottling companies – but that The Girvan Patent Still is unique.

Heary added: “We are launching a new category, or at least reenergising it and driving it forward.”

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