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Paul John Single Malts win big at ‘Icons of Whisky India 2017’ Awards

Bags three prestigious awards – Best Master Distiller India, The Best Indian Single Malt Whisky and the acclaimed World Whisky Brand Ambassador of the Year 2017.

Paul John Single Malts, the great Indian Single Malt Whisky bagged three top honours at the Icons of Whisky India Awards 2017 – Best Master Distiller India for Michael D’Souza, The Best Indian Single Malt Whisky as well as the venerated World Whisky Brand Ambassador of the Year 2017 for Mr. Paul P. John. The brand whisked away the highest number of wins at the global awards ceremony thus making it one of the world’s top whisky brands to watch out for.

Speaking on the accomplishment, Mr. Paul John, Chairman of John Distilleries said, “We are truly overjoyed. Whisky Magazine’s Icons of Whisky award is a celebrated award ceremony across the globe. Being honoured by them across significant spheres of whisky making is a testament to our efforts towards producing world-quality whisky.”

The prestigious ‘Icons of Whisky’ Awards recognises the contribution of whisky brands in the industry from around the world and celebrates the winning brand’s dedication in delivering exceptional work across categories. Winning the eminent awards from among an assemblage of some of the most expert whisky producers and distillers from around the world made it a landmark victory for the Indian brand.

The special ceremony, to felicitate the brand on its achievements, took place at ITC Maurya in Delhi and was hosted by, none other than, Mr. Sandeep Arora, Editor, South Asia, Whisky Magazine.

Brought to the world from the sultry coasts of Goa, the Paul John Single Malts are made from carefully chosen indigenous ingredients including 6 row barley from the foothills of the Himalayas. Moreover the tropical climate of the region provides the ideal temperature and ambiance for the whisky to mature to the perfection.

John Distilleries first launched the Paul John Single Malt whisky in the United Kingdom in 2012. Ever since, its success in this sphere has been invincible. It didn’t take much time for experts from across the globe to take notice of the exceptional single malt whisky, further opening doors to some of the biggest, internationally recognized awards for the brand.

Paul John Single Malt Whisky reached its milestone moment when it was rated ‘Liquid Gold’ by Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible – the world’s leading whisky guide that professionally analyses the finest whiskies from around the world. Whisky Guru Jim Murray grades these whiskies on a score of 100. These scores are reflective of four key criteria that they are judged on – nose, taste, finish and balance and are each scored for out of 25. The Paul John Single Malt Whisky was graded a spectacular 94.5 and was described as “the smoke, through serious maturation, has now moved into a stunning structured herbal nature with lavender and mint, such a brilliant mouth feel, a sublime peated malt from India.”

The exclusive range of Indian Single Malts by Paul John are now available in 30 countries including Europe, UK, USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Asia, Duty Free Shops (Dubai, Qatar, Singapore & Bangalore) and was recently introduced in the Indian markets including Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Chandigarh, Pondicherry, Daman and Hyderabad.

Sula announces Nick Pringle as COO

Nick Pringle, COO, Sula

Sula has announced the appointment of Nick Pringle as the company’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), effective immediately. In his capacity as the COO of India’s leading wine company and fastest growing alcobev company, Nick will work closely with Rajeev Samant, Founder and CEO, Sula Vineyards, while overlooking the company’s strategy and operations.

Rajeev Samant commented, “I am delighted that Nick Pringle is joining Sula as COO. Nick brings a wealth of experience from his previous roles at Accolade Wines and AB InBev and is the right person to help steer Sula Vineyards, one of Asia’s fastest growing wine and alcobev companies, to even greater heights!”

Nick has over 20 years of experience in the wine and spirits industry. He has worked extensively in international markets to create a significant category across emerging markets for wine and spirits consumption and he strongly believes that numerous opportunities lie in the Indian alcobev industry.

Nick Pringle stated, “India is a very young and dynamic market. It has immense potential to grow in the wine sector and the enthusiasm, with great people that Sula possesses is infectious! Despite barriers, Sula entered the wine industry here in India and carved a niche for itself as both, the best and leading wine company. Sula recognised the changing industry trends and launched Sula Selections and Artisan Spirits to diversify itself, becoming a genuine front runner in the industry. I am proud to be associated with a brand that has turned things around for the industry altogether and look forward to creating more milestones for us to achieve together.”

Prior to this, Nick worked at AB InBev for 12 years. He later joined Constellation to assume a variety of roles and eventually joined Accolade Wines to strengthen Hardys globally in 2011.

At Accolade Wines, Nick was in charge of emerging markets and responsible for travel retail relationships across regions spanning Africa, the Middle East, South and Central America, Asia Sub-Continent and Southern Europe. Key markets for growth from his regions were Central and South America, Africa and India, which became a passion for him, while in India an increasing number of consumers were experimenting and progressing from beer and spirits to the wine category, during this time he was working in partnership with Sula. In 2016, Nick was appointed as Head of Accolade Wines for China, a significantly growing market for the company, before being given this amazing opportunity with Sula.

Before working in the wine and spirits industry, Nick was a professional cricketer and played for his home county – Somerset, from 1986 to 1991. Now he loves to see his son, Mathew play cricket and enjoys playing with him too. A thorough sportsman, he also used to play rugby and he loves watching football. Nick is a fitness enthusiast and also takes keen interest in music and travelling.

Bacardi Limited Announces New Europe Regional President

© Chiefs of Content /

© Chiefs of Content /

Family-owned Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held spirits company in the world, recently announces that Francis Debeuckelaere, a 23-year veteran of the company, has been named Regional President of Europe with immediate effect.

“There is no one better qualified than Francis to take on this important regional role for the company,” says Michael J. Dolan, Chief Executive Officer of Bacardi Limited. “Francis has enjoyed a long and successful career at Bacardi and is a great example of how we nurture top talent. Over 23 years, Francis has repeatedly proven his ability to lead teams to success in the marketplace, most recently as VP & Managing Director for Northern Europe. Francis’ experience and expertise partnered with his drive and passion are the perfect mix to ensure that our iconic portfolio of brands continues to grow throughout Europe.”

Debeuckelaere succeeds Mahesh Madhavan, who in March 2017 was named the successor to Dolan when he retires as CEO. Madhavan will spend the next several months working with different regions and markets as he prepares to assume the CEO role in 2018.

Commenting on his appointment as Regional President, Debeuckelaere says: “I love the company and this business, so naturally it is a great honor to be given this fantastic opportunity. These are exciting times for Europe and for Bacardi. We have an enviable portfolio of brands and an extraordinarily talented team. Add to this powerful combination, the freedom we enjoy as a family-owned company to respond quickly to rapidly changing market trends and we have a winning formula in Europe.”

In his career at Bacardi, Debeuckelaere has led a number of European markets to great success. Under him, the size of Bacardi in Belgium more than doubled, going from the number three spirits company to number one. Similarly, the size of Bacardi in the Netherlands grew by more than 50 percent, from number three in the market to number two, and after he helped establish the company in Switzerland in 2004, Bacardi grew into the country’s number three spirits company. Prior to joining Bacardi, Debeuckelaere held marketing positions with Nestlé and brewer Alken-Maes.

Debeuckelaere has a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy, a Master’s Degree in Roman languages, and an MBA from the University of Leuven in Belgium. He is fluent in Dutch, English, French, German, and Spanish.

Debeuckelaere will be based in Geneva, Switzerland (subject to permit approval), and a member of the Global Leadership Team.

French wine production may drop by 17 percent in 2017

According the French agricultural ministry, French wine production may drop by 17 percent this year.

Agreste, the department of the French agricultural ministry, estimates wine production in France at 37 million to 38.2 million of hectolitres.

The median value, at 37.6 million hectolitres, could be 17 percent below last year’s output and 16 percent below average. This is a “historically low” year and less than the output in 1991, a year strongly affected by spring frosts.

“This fall in production is primarily due to the severe frosts in the spring, which affected, at a sensitive stage, the vine’s growth in all regions”, declared Agreste.

This year’s production in Champagne was expected to increase in a proportion of up to 8 percent but remained 9 percent below the 2012-2016 average.

The Bourgogne and Beaujolais region, which suffered major damage in 2016, increased to 14 percent.

Loire Valley, moderately affected by frosts, was safe from crytogamic diseases. Production could be 7 percent higher than last year.

In Bordeaux, production will be strongly impacted by frosts. The volume was down to 18 percent.

In Languedoc-Roussillon, some frosts impacted both the Aude and the Hérault department. This basin could see a 6% decrease.

Distilled Spirits Council Says Potential EU Retaliation Threat Against Bourbon Would Be Misguided

The Distilled Spirits Council recently issued the following statement in response to news reports regarding the European Union’s potential trade retaliation against some U.S. whiskey products in the context of actions the Trump Administration may be considering relative to aluminum and steel imports.

“U.S. and EU spirits exporters have enjoyed duty-free access to each other’s markets for more than two decades, which has greatly benefited both spirits producers and consumers and resulted in increased exports, jobs and consumer choice.

Members of the Distilled Spirits Council have made considerable investments in both the U.S. and the EU to create complementary product portfolios comprised of both domestic and imported brands. U.S. whiskeys are an important component of these investment strategies and brand portfolios.

Any efforts to impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. spirits exports to the EU will harm consumers, producers and the U.S. and EU spirits sectors.”

Total U.S. spirits exports to the EU in 2016 were valued at $654 million; Bourbon whiskey accounted for 20 percent of that total.

Asahi Super Dry Beer – The Beer for All Seasons!


As the world raises its glass of beer to celebrate ‘International Beer Day’, it’s time we do too! From the house of Sula Vineyards’ import arm – Sula Selections, in India, comes a much loved beer by beer-aficionados from across the world – Asahi Super Dry!

The premium beer is known for its clean, crisp and refreshing taste. Brewed by an authentic Japanese recipe using only the finest natural ingredients, Asahi Super Dry is made from very rare yeast which not only yields outstanding fermentation, but produces a complex aroma that results in an elegant and sophisticated flavour and ensures Asahi’s pure, crisp, dry taste. In order to obtain the sophisticated and the clear taste of Asahi, strict attention is paid at every step in the manufacturing process in order to eliminate the unwanted tastes of by-products. The beer has a clear light golden look with a big white foamy head. It has a subtle citrus sweet aroma with hints of lemon grass and is flavourful and balanced.

The bottle labelling is stylish and consists of a shiny silver background ‘Asahi’ standing out, printed in black.

A 330ml bottle of Asahi beer costs INR 220 in Delhi.

Jameson Whiskey Appreciation

Lorcan Garvey, Brand Ambassador for Pernod Ricard India’s brand Jameson in India conducted a Whisky Appreciation session at the Radio Club for its members.The session began with a bit of history on John Jameson himself, a Scotsmen who moved to Dublin and took to the art of making Irish whiskey. Lorcan touched on the inspiration behind this move and the story behind the ‘crest and the motto – Sine Metu’ (Latin for ‘Without Fear’). He did stress that the motto in no way encouraged one to be rash or irresponsible but rather emphasized on the will to push ahead while having ‘Little to no Fear’.

With that, he went on to explain the whiskey manufacturing process – fermentation, distillation and maturation while handing samples of grain, white spirit and those matured in the various wooden barrels to the audience.

And then it was time to taste the samples and examine some of the ingredients that make the whiskey. Jameson Irish Whiskey is the most popular Irish whiskey in the world, with more than 20 million bottles sold per year, all over the globe. Produced at the Midleton distillery, it is the flagship whiskey of Irish Distillers, subsidiary of Pernod Ricard. Jameson 12 year offers notes of pepper and cinnamon to harmonize with oak and vanilla in this great blend. If you are a fan of Irish whiskies in general or Jameson in particular, Jameson 12-year-old provides an interesting perspective on aged blended whiskies that you’ll enjoy tasting.

Radio Club Whisky Appreciation programmes and this Jameson Whiskey Appreciation has been put together by Prakash Mirchandani, Secretary of Radio Club.

Pernod Ricard’s Breakthrough Innovation Group unveils Opn at CES

Originally unveiled in 2014, under the working title Project Gutenberg, Opn is a pioneering, intelligent system, which will transform the way we enjoy premium spirits and experience mixology at home.

As ‘hometainment’ sees consumers turn to their homes for new social experiences and in a near future of ‘smart-homes’, Opn enhances the drinking experience through a holistic, user-friendly ecosystem of devices, applications and services.

Elegantly designed to encourage exploration and discovery, it enables the user to learn and customize cocktail recipes, adapting them to available ingredients. Coaching features guide through the spectrum of recipes and techniques to help build skills, for cocktail classics and more elaborate concoctions. From helping put together shopping lists to seamlessly ordering spirits online and having them delivered to your door, creating social calendars and offering inspiration on the art of hosting, Opn will simplify and enhance the way we organize events at home, and help us prepare our favorite cocktails, in the smoothest possible way.

“We are utterly committed to developing the future of entertaining at home: an experience that is connected, engaging, tailored and responsible”, says Alain Dufossé, Managing Director of the Breakthrough Innovation Group (BIG). “With Opn, our goal is to make it easier to enjoy meaningful moments of convivialité at home.”

Opn is the perfect embodiment of how Pernod Ricard leverages innovation as one of the 4 accelerators of its business model alongside portfolio management, digital acceleration and premiumisation & luxury. Whether it is with new products or radically different experiences for consumers, innovation contributes to the Group’s top line growth, delivering 1% of incremental growth, as well as building the future of convivialité.

As well as revealing the official product name and branding at the iconic tech event, BIG shared information about features developed over the past three years, including further details of Opn’s unique four-pillar system:


The Cartridge is a disruptive, efficient design, space-optimized to be unobtrusive, whilst still holding the standard 70cl of spirit. Its integrated tech also enables it to communicate with the rest of the Opn system. A future design classic, the sleek Cartridge effortlessly blends into any home, with a clean, contemporary look that will appeal to a multitude of tastes, and compliment numerous design styles.


The intelligent tray unit interacts with the Cartridges, releasing measures through a pour application, helping the consumer achieve the perfect mix. The tray also monitors spirit levels whilst informing the rest of the system on what cocktails can be made, with what’s currently available.


With a database of more than 300 cocktail recipes, created by top mixologists from around the globe, the core application opens up the world of cocktail-making for exploration, whilst its easily understood, step-by-step instructions help the user prepare a variety of mixes. As more recipes are learned and mastered, it encourages independent experimentation and customization of recipes. The application also ensures users have everything they need, by putting together shopping lists and placing cartridge orders. It even helps design event invitations, meaning every detail of social events is covered.


The website features articles and films that share the stories and personal experiences of hosts around the world, who love entertaining at home. Whatever the scale, Opn’s friends and experts share their insights and advice on hosting and how to create a social gathering to remember.

Research to date has shown that Opn’s disruptive qualities are generating new rituals amongst consumers. Accordingly, over the next 12 months, BIG will continue to finesse Opn’s system, based on trials and interactions currently taking place with 200 individuals, in Paris.

“Since November 2016, we have been meeting consumers in five European cities and the feedback is clear: Opn provides simplicity, great cocktails and great moments with your friends and family”, says Dufossé, “Opn is redefining relationships between the user and product, creating a whole new range of experiences. Its potential is tremendous”.

Opn will be launched by Pernod Ricard in early 2018. Until then, Opn will be showcased at CES in Las Vegas (5-8 January, 2017) stand 40 164 in the Tech West Smart Home Area.

It’s Official! The World’s Best Single Malt is CRAIGELLACHIE

John Dewar & Sons Ltd. is delighted to announce CRAIGELLACHIE 31 Years Old has been awarded the World’s Best Single Malt at the World Whiskies Awards (WWA) 2017 presented by Whisky Magazine, the leading authority on the subject.

On March 30, the annual awards ceremony took place at the Waldorf Hotel in London. The WWA is one of leading award programmes in the whisky industry. An esteemed panel of internationally recognised whisky experts deemed CRAIGELLACHIE 31 Years Old as the best single malt whisky in the world, beating competition from hundreds of entries from across the world.

CRAIGELLACHIE Single Malt launched initially in September 2014 making this a highly notable accolade for a whisky which has only been available in market for less than three years.

“Since launching, CRAIGELLACHIE has built up a huge reputation in the on-trade and with whisky connoisseurs – it’s sought out and admired – and the accolade is true testimony to this,” says Georgie Bell, Global Malts Ambassador. “It shows how far the CRAIGELLACHIE brand has come in the last three years, and how from a production, maturation and blending perspective we really are second to none.”

Stephanie MacLeod, Malts Master and Master Blender for John Dewars & Sons, describes CRAIGELLACHIE 31 Years Old as being “beautifully balanced, smooth and rich, a swirl of smoke and sulphur accentuate the sumptuous fruits of kiwi and pineapple. The tang of old, leather bound books and tobacco emerge, with a hint of meatiness of a beef consommé.”

This prestigious award follows on from the outstanding success of CRAIGELLACHIE 23 Years Old being crowned as ‘Best in Show’ at the San Francisco World’s Spirits Competition in 2015, America’s most respected and influential international spirits event.

Tequila CAZADORES Captures the Real Mexico and its Hard-Working People

Timed perfectly for Cinco de Mayo, Tequila CAZADORES, the 100% blue agave premium tequila, launches the first installment of its new platform “Born in Los Altos De Jalisco.” The video and print mediums highlight the authentic and often unseen side of Mexico, bringing forward untold stories of the local characters behind the brand and from the region. The eight characters featured throughout the series embody the inherent sense of pride and personality that makes Arandas, the birthplace of Tequila CAZADORES, a magical place in Mexico worth celebrating.

“At CAZADORES we are exceptionally proud of our roots, which began, and continue to this day, in Arandas, Mexico.” says Lisa Pfenning, Vice President, Brand Managing Director, Tequila Portfolio for Bacardi in the US. “Storytelling has been a tradition in Mexico for generations and this new platform brings to life the vibrancy and the spirit of real people, with real voices, who echo our shared sense of pride for the Los Altos de Jalisco region.”

The first video in the series – launching on Cinco de Mayo – features Manny Hinojosa, tequila expert and CAZADORES brand ambassador, playfully describing the true meaning behind Cinco de Mayo. A total of forty videos, shot documentary style, will be released throughout the summer featuring eight characters who demonstrate how each plays a valued part in their community and showcase some specifically in their role in making sure Tequila CAZADORES is created with passion, pride and attention to detail. Whether it’s Jose Miranda, the Arandas town barber, Pancho, the museum owner with a passion for boxing, or Juan Martinez, a Tequila CAZADORES jimador who works alongside his son in the agave fields, each are linked by the pride in their hard work and dedication to their craft – the same way Tequila CAZADORES has been doing it for close to 100 years.

“We did not create an advertising campaign, but instead short documentaries about the liquid, the people, and the region, which showcase the deep pride that CAZADORES has for being a part of the Los Altos community,” says Zara Mirza, Head of Creative Excellence for Bacardi. “The content that was captured, which will be distributed through editorial and cultural platforms, is an inherent reflection of Tequila CAZADORES connecting to its roots and celebrating the subtleties of the everyday people and moments that link Los Altos and CAZADORES together.”

The series was directed by Santiago Fabregas, whose work is characterized by focusing on characters, stories and places and is always seeking to portray reality as it is, which is also the manner of style reflected by the “Born in Los Altos De Jalisco” photographer, Mark Alor Powell. Just like Tequila CAZADORES, the drive behind all their creative is to be made with and featuring real people with a commitment to authenticity. To view the unreleased “Why Do They Call You Coyote” video as part of the new “Born in Los Altos De Jalisco” series, please click here.

VIRTUE Worldwide, the creative agency by VICE, led by their Brooklyn office, conceptualized and brought to life the “Born in Los Altos De Jalisco” platform, focusing on true authentic characters and sharing their stories, capturing the effervescent spirit of Los Altos and Tequila CAZADORES. Consumers will find the new Tequila CAZADORES visuals in unexpected ways, in addition to social platforms, including wild postings, painted wall art, or with the videos hosted on the VICE Munchies partner page.