Grant’s: an epic 100-year journey

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Grant’s 25yo Scotch whisky – a new travel retail exclusive – alongside the travel bag of Charles Gordon, who left on his epic round-the-world journey to spread the Grant’s message 100 years ago this month

Some of the greatest brand stories this industry can boast come from the history and heritage of Scotch whisky. And within Scotch, the William Grant & Sons story occupies a special place.

Each generation of this family business has generated its own chapter in the Grant’s tale, from William Grant himself, who built his distillery in Dufftown in 1886, to current Chairman Peter Gordon, who is seeking to drive the company’s expansion in a new direction – from traditional Scotch manufacturer to global brand group.

Charles Gordon, son-in-law of William Grant, has a key place in that storied history. A century ago, in October 1909, he set off on a daunting, epic journey around the world by steamer, armed with a hold full of samples. He travelled to 25 ports, from Lahore to Kuala Lumpur, from Singapore to Sydney, taking orders for Grant’s whisky.

That great story was recounted by Peter Gordon in Cannes last night, with Charles Gordon’s luggage, ledgers and diary on display – offering a terrific insight into the world of the travelling salesman 100 years ago.

Timely then, that the company also used the occasion to unveil a travel retail exclusive: Grant’s 25yo, a new super-premium blended Scotch. The line will be priced at €145 a bottle and will be an exclusive in the channel until the end of 2011, following its launch in June 2010. It contains some of the company’s most prized malt and grain whiskies, including the first ever laid down at Grant’s Girvan distillery in 1964.[The full story of the new Grant’s 25yo will appear on our main site soon].

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William Grant & Sons Malt Master Brian Kinsman, Chairman Peter Gordon and Group Marketing Director Maurice Doyle celebrate the unveiling of Grant’s 25yo in Cannes last night

Peter Gordon noted the vital role of travel retail as a trading channel for the group, and hailed the contribution that generation after generation had made to the rise of Grant’s into one of the company’s two major global forces, alongside Glenfiddich.

“It is the sense of many branches of our family working in harmony to create the highest quality whiskies. This 25yo is our way of celebrating each family member’s contribution to the success of Grant’s and our unique family history.” And as was the case 100 years ago, travel – and the travel trade – enjoys its own chapter in that rich history.

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