A golden occasion

Customers will be looking for superior drams this Christmas, say whisky firms

THERE’S arguably no time of year better suited to enjoying a fine whisky than during the winter months.

Though the weather outside may well be frightful, inside licensed venues a well put together range of whiskies can play a huge part in profitable Christmas drinks offers.

That was the tip from whisky firms, who told SLTN that with customers looking to treat themselves and others during the festive season, quality whiskies are expected to be in demand, whether expressions are served as drams or as part of a whisky-based cocktail.

“Good quality single malt whisky is always popular around Christmas time as consumers enjoy those special celebratory drinking occasions,” said Mariella Romano, global brand ambassador at Isle of Arran Distillers, producer of The Arran Malt.

“There’s a reason the drink has long been associated with cosy armchairs next to open fires on cold winter nights; it’s the ultimate warming full-bodied spirit.

“However, whisky’s versatility can be showcased in a range of cocktails, both classic and modern, which are becoming increasingly popular.”

Ben Stewart, director of UK sales at Wemyss Malts parent firm Wemyss Family Spirits, reckons the chance for licensees to profit from a selection of Scotch that covers all bases in their outlets is on the up.

“The number of consumers drinking whisky is on the rise, and it is a category that remains strong and in growth,” he said.

“Having a well-stocked range of premium whisky that covers key flavour profiles, such as sweet, smoky and spicy, allows your team to up-sell to guests who are adventurous and looking for a new experience – like a tailor-made Old Fashioned.”

Romano of Isle of Arran Distillers echoed that view.

She said: “As consumers toast the celebratory festive season, they’ll be likely to indulge in whiskies that they may not try at other points throughout the year.

“It’s therefore important to have a selection of whiskies of different flavour profiles and price points in order to allow consumers the opportunity to explore and discover their new favourite drams.”

And when there’s plenty to choose from, Romano said that staff with a good level of whisky knowledge will be “invaluable” to bars throughout the festive season.