Current Issue: January 2015

 
 

In this Issue:

 
Protecting the spirits of Europe
Angus Dundee Distillers: Creating a perfect blend
Blind Tasting by International jury for Ambrosia Awards 2015
Belvedere Bonds with Spectre
High tech drunk-driving deterrents on the way
New Year revelers give Mumbai a miss
Top Whisky Destinations In 2015
Campari Calendar 2015: Bond with Red!
 
 
 

Protecting the spirits of Europe

SpiritsEUROPE represents the European agri-food export sector and with it the interests of the spirits sector in 32 national associations as well as of the 8 leading multinational companies. Distilled spirits are as diverse as the EU itself, spanning 46 product categories and including a host of geographically-specific products that contribute to the culture of their regions.

Its purpose is to encourage the development of an environment in which producers and distributors can meet the expectations of individual customers and society at large, while competing effectively for sustained growth. Ambrosia's Trilok Desai and Amitabh Joshi spoke with Paul Skehan, Director General, SpiritsEUROPE, who was in India recently to deal with trade issues facing the European sector in this market.

What is the prime mission of Spirits EUROPE? Our objective is to promote the sector's interest at the European level and to try to ensure the optimum policy environment within which the European spirits sector can develop and grow into the future. In order for us to fulfill this mission a lot of our focus is based in Europe but of course a lot of the growth for the European sector over the last few years has been outside of Europe. So we need to also look at what's happening in markets in India, Russia, Brazil, Thailand etc.

 

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Angus Dundee Distillers: Creating a perfect blend

With over 60 years of experience in distilling, bottling and exporting Scotch whisky products and other spirits around the world, Angus Dundee Distillers have several products in their kitty that are worth admiration.

Experienced at providing the finest Scotch Whiskey, distilled, blended and bottled in Scotland, with the customer's own brand and label, from value-for-money to exclusive premium brands, Angus Dundee is also making its presence felt in India. Sanjiv Puri, Regional Director, Indian Sub-Continent, Angus Dundee says, "We supply 4% of the world's Scotch whisky. Angus Dundee has two distilleries Tomintoul and Glencadam, situated in the highlands of Scotland with a capacity of five million litres. Tomintoul Distillery has been owned by Angus Dundee Distillers since 2000. The distillery is located by the village of Tomintoul, the highest village in the Highlands of Scotland, in the heart of the Speyside Glenlivet region."

The company is involved in tailoring product specifications to meet customer's requirements, providing rapid response to customer's needs and expectations, anywhere in the world, and supplying excellent products at competitive prices. Puri says, "We export our whiskies to more than 70 countries around the world. Our goal is to provide our customers with the products they want, when they want them, at the right price and quality. Our Scotch whisky is sold in blended, deluxe blended, single malt, blended malt and single cask varieties. We supply whisky in bulk for local bottling. In India we supply malt for the companies to make IMFL whiskies."

 

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Blind Tasting by International jury for Ambrosia Awards 2015

Continuing its role as a facilitator and torch-bearer for the industry, Ambrosia embarks on a journey to bring together the entire alcobev industry under one roof once again. As INDSPIRIT, the premium alcobev trade event enters its ninth year, Ambrosia devised a different format for the awards. This year, Ambrosia Awards for the 'Product' category would be based on the results of blind tasting of over 160 alcobev products by an esteemed European jury. The tasting session is first of its kind in India, where a panel of international judges sampled a range of Indian alcobev products.

The blind tasting, organised by Ambrosia was held for three days at Sun n Sand Hotel, Mumbai, where the jury sampled around 160 Indian alcobev products ranging from rum, vodka, beer, whisky and wines. Day One was all about the spirits: rum, vodka, brandy as well as beers. Day Two only comprised of whisky sampling. On Day Three, over 40 Indian wines were blind tasted by the expert jury. The eminent jury comprised of the masters of the alcobev trade, who especially came down to India for the blind tastings.

The judges shared their interesting observations and valuable feedback after the blind tasting. While they were amused by a few products and happily surprised by most Indian rums, the wines did disappoint a few. The general notion being, India as a producer of spirits and wines has a huge potential. The jury was so impressed by the Indian rums that they declared India as a "rum nation"and hoped the world discovers the great rums that India produces. Arthur Nägele said, "I'm surprised by the quality of rums in India and more surprised at the fact that they are not quite known outside India!"Adding on to the love poured on Indian rums, Uwe Christansen said, "I have always been a fan of Indian rums. I think it's time the world discovers Indian rums. They are great for cocktails too."

 

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Belvedere Bonds with Spectre

Luxury vodka announces tie-up with new 007 film

When it comes to James Bond a.k.a 007, apart from all the thrills, a whole lot of luxury comes to mind, from cars to, well, martinis! Taking the association with the iconic drink a peg higher, Belvedere vodka, Moet Hennessy's luxury vodka brand, has tied up with the next Bond movie's producers in a move announced recently in London. Belvedere, which describes itself as the world's original luxury vodka, is collaborating with Albert R. Broccoli's EON Productions, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, and Sony Pictures Entertainment to promote Spectre, the highly anticipated 24th instalment of the James Bond series, due for global release on November 6, 2015.

Belvedere will release two custom made and limited editions to celebrate Bond's vodka martini 'Shaken not Stirred', and its partnership with the 24th Bond adventure, Spectre.

In an unprecedented move, Belvedere has replaced the iconic Belvedere Palace with the famous MI6 headquarters. Belvedere's signature blue palette will be switched for a distinctive green, mirroring the secret spy agency's ink of choice, creating a collector's edition of 100 bottles. A 007 twist will also be applied to Belvedere's iconic Silver Saber bottles.

 

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High tech drunk-driving deterrents on the way

While drunk-driving continues to be a menace in India, where an estimated 90,000 people are killed every year due to alcohol-related road accidents, there are interesting developments in technology overseas that may one day help curb the problem in a more definite way, since punitive measures have proved not to be all that a reliable deterrent.

For instance, according to US-based MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), the world's leading campaigner against this problem, about one-third of the drunk driving problem – arrests, crashes, deaths, and injuries – comes from repeat offenders. "At any given point we potentially share (in the US) the roads with 2 million people with three or more drunk-driving offenses. Taking away their licenses isn't enough; 50-75% of them drive anyway,"says MADD. Almost 10,000 people a year have been killed due to drunk driving in the US.

Two-thirds of the drunk-driving problem comes from people who, before they kill or injure themselves or others, have yet to be arrested. So, apart from routine law enforcement, there is now a need to support research into technology that will eliminate drunk-driving and that technology is on the horizon, such as an ignition interlock.

This is a device about the size of a cell phone that is wired into the ignition system of a vehicle. A convicted drunk driver must blow into the device in order to start their vehicle. If they have a measurable amount of alcohol in their system, the vehicle will not start. It is a simple and economical way to make sure that offenders can drive to and from work, but that they can't drive drunk.

 

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New Year revelers give Mumbai a miss

Judging the trend that Mumbaikars will party outside the city, hotels refrained from organising lavish parties and many night clubs were rather low.

Instead of ushering in 2015 in Mumbai with their favourite tipple, Mumbaikars preferred to head outstation to their favourite holiday destination or to visit temples. City associations of hotels, bars and restaurants say they saw 10% to 30% reduction in footfalls this New Year's Eve compared with the previous one and thus liquor consumption. Big hotels, which were issued licenses last year, decided to stay away from arranging New Year's parties in 2014, said a district entertainment tax wing officials. They added that the strict guidelines issued by law enforcement agencies and multiple licensing hurdles were some of the reasons big hotels did not organise such celebrations.

A senior excise official, too, said revelry in the island city was not up to expectations as most events were held in the suburbs. "Normally we get several applications for events from the island city. Even traffic in south Mumbai was indicative of the poor response. I think hoteliers' preliminary estimates appear to be correct."

 

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Top Whisky Destinations In 2015

Ambrosia presents some of the finest destinations which you must visit this year to satiate your love of whisky/whiskey.

Whisky (whiskey) lovers would vouch for the scotch that they drink. That's the reason why Scotland tops the chart when it comes to visiting famous whisky distilleries.

On a whisky trail in Scotland
Speyside, Highland, Lowland, Islay and Campbeltown are the main areas where the distilleries are located in Scotland. Speyside has some of the best distilleries including Cardhu, Glen Moray, Glenlivet, Macallan etc. Cardhu distillery, which belongs to Diageo is the only malt distillery pioneered by a woman. The malt whisky produced here has a warmth and cleanliness of taste which is described as 'silky' and is used in some of the award winning Johnnie Walker scotch whiskies. Highland area is home to some of the known names in the whisky world. Glenfiddich, Ardmore based in Huntley, Aberdeen produces Teacher's whisky. Also names like Glengoyne, Glenmorainge and Dalmore. Most of the above mentioned distilleries have guided tours and tastings for the visitors lasting for almost an hour. There are also Aromas and Flavours Tour offered to the visitors. Booked in advance, every tour specifies the price and category of tours that you would like to opt for in their websites.

While some distilleries allow only visitors aged 8+ there are some distilleries like Glenfiddich which has a restriction on 18 above only. Also they clearly specify that each group should not have more than 10-12 people.

 

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Campari Calendar 2015: Bond with Red!

The 16th edition of the Campari calendar themed 'Mythology Mixology' takes the audience through the vivid history of the brand. It also shares anecdotes about its 12 classic cocktails.

The much sought after 'Campari Calendar' 2015' featuring Hollywood actress Eva Green was launched in Delhi, recently by Aspri Spirits. The launch was marked by a fashion show 'Panarea Spring Summer'15' by the designer Pia Pauro. Going in sync with the fashion theme and celebratory mood, the designer weaved magic on the ramp. The show complimented the eclectic theme of the calendar, which has a playful display of emotions, and has captured the sensuous side of Eva Green.

The French-born actress looks stunning in red gowns as she poses for fabulous images, taking the fans through a contemporary reinterpretation of the brand's classic cocktails. Speaking about the inspiration behind the calendar, Brad Timbrell, Regional Director Asia, Campari Asia Pacific, says, "There is a different inspiration every year. We look at various imaginative ways of bringing Campari to life. This year, we have done it by visiting the classic cocktails and it is inspired by Campari use over last 150 years."

 

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