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IndSpirit 2020 exhibition postponed due to COVID-19 outbreak

Dear Sir/Madam,

Greetings from Ambrosia Magazine.

In light of the current events and the outbreak of the Coronavirus, we have decided to postpone the forthcoming Indspirit 2020 exhibition to be held on 20th March 2020 at the Andaz hotel, Aerocity, New Delhi.

People’s safety is of our prime concern and following the consultation of the alcobev industry and its leaders, this decision has been taken. We have already identified two possible dates for the show and will confirm the same in a few days. These dates are likely to be in the month of April 2020 and the final date announcement will be made soon.

The venue, layout and all other things for the show will remain the same for the new dates.

A Paradise for all the whisky lovers: The Walt opens its doors to Mumbai

It was good food and good cocktails all the way.
From an interesting array of whisky to menu inspired from cuisines around the world- these are exciting times for all of whisky lovers. The Walt at The Park in Juhu is the newest addition to the food and cocktail scene of the city and here’s why you should head to this whisky bar. In a city where most people hang out in clubs and good bars are difficult to come by The Walt provides a comprehensive whisky offering and great food. This bar at the new hotel in Juhu houses a wide selection of whiskies and cocktails that will take you on an unforgettable experience.

To elevate the drinking experience, the place is beautifully designed to please your eyes with a vertiginous ceiling, plush seating and a statement art installation. The Walt is our dramatic whisky bar with a cosy alfresco patio. The menus has an interesting array of blends and signature cocktails, complimented by flavours from around the world. This space has been inspired by Walter, seafarer, musician and lover of things, who travelled the world collecting memories and tastes. The Walt is his special place reflecting his favourite flavours, drinks and music.

The offerings comprise some of the most interesting dishes from around the world, but of course, with a twist in the presentation. From the Classic Fish and Chips, Mac Pots, Tigela De Nachos, wide variety of Mini Pizzas to Lamb dazaz kofta tzatziki, Pao sliders, Bhujing style barbeque chicken skewers, Nakuni baida roti and Tandoori Piri Piri Prawns, the dishes are a perfect getaway take off culinary wonderland. The cocktails are all heady and uniquely mixed and wonderfully presented, making them oh-so-appealing and irresistible. Pick from Trader’s Mai Tai, Walter’s grog, Aloe Vera Margarita, Poached Pear Margarita, Emilia, Amti, Two Oceans Shiraz, Sake shots and Zuchitini among many others and raise your glass with these cocktails from around the globe.

Make a toast to one of man’s finest creations, with interesting array of blends and signature cocktails while you savour the flavours from around the world.

Romance the whiskies ever so gently, take a generous sip and, as the flavours open up, enjoy the stunning views. Located in the heart of Mumbai, we are sure that The Walt will soon be on the top of the list for whisky lovers.

Accord steps up premium push with high-end Cognac

With brandy being the favourite tipple of the South, little wonder Accord is moving into the Cognac space as the shift to premium becomes the norm of the industry.

Chennai based, Accord Distillers & Brewers Private Limited, with two distilleries in Goa and Chennai, and a manufacturing capacity of 1 million cases per month, and one of the largest beer producer in South India is making its presence felt across the Indian States and is exporting to South East Asia, West Asia, Africa and other countries. They also import Scotch and Cognac to sell across the Indian subcontinent and to export to other countries and are now venturing in production of high-end Cognacs.

They have allied with Carlsberg to produce and market their commodities in Tamil Nadu and throughout the country.

Henry X special reserve Brandy XO is the latest offering from Accord Distilleries. It is the world’s first XO brandy and is currently available at select outlets in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Goa.

Henry X special reserve Brandy XO – a brandy with floral notes, with an opening nose of vanilla, honey and prune that evolves to mellow wine, sweet oak accents and finishes with a satin-smooth, languid fade. Bestowed with a revered lineage and backed by an equally legendary status, the House of Bardinet has set the benchmark in creating the perfect French grape brandy.

Right from handpicking the choicest of grapes from the finest vineyards in France to distilling the spirits and maturing them for 5 years in fine oak casks, Henry X special reserve Brandy XO weaves its lingering magic on the discerning palate, says P. K. Das, CEO, The Accord Group.

Sure enough, Henry X special reserve Brandy XO promises to be a Connoisseur’s Delight and is priced at `2,400 the most highly priced Cognac in Tamil Nadu, he adds. XO brandy is India’s only 100% pure french grape brandy. It is being sold in mono cartons and the packaging is done in India by Manohar Packaging. The Cognac bottles are imported from China. As it is a high-end brand the target for Hobson’s is 2,000 cases per month, says R Kumar, Director, Operations. The premium market growth is 33%.

Total sales in Tamil Nadu in the premium segment for the period April to August 2019 is 6.8 million cases as compared to 5.1 million cases during the same period in August 2018.

The company’s other brands include Age de Oak (Premium), Holandas Spanish VSOP Brandy, Missionary Monk, Royal Accord Gold, Blender Magic, King Nap, Accord French, Wonderland, Accord No. 1, and Evening Walker.

Age De Oak is an exquisite blend with imported matured french grape brandy, which is produced by double distilling the wine made from selected variety of ugni blanc french grapes in a copper pot still and superiorly Aged in Limousin Oakwood cask to give a brilliant amber colour, mellow, full-bodied, long warming and silky soft mouthfeel. Total growth in this premium segment is 2% with sales of 4,500 cases during April to August 2019.

The Holandas Spanish VSOP brandy blended with imported grape spirit from Spain, that is fine distilled in a copper still and traditionally aged in oak wood casks to excellence to give you rich colour, overpowering aroma, fuller and smoother mouthfeel.

A rare blended with selected grape spirit to give it brilliant colour, a pleasing aroma, strong body and mellow. Holandas Spanish retails between `201 to `280 and sales for five months is 52,000 cases. Their other brands are Missionary and Royal Accord Blue.

To Mark 75 years of Rampur Distillery, Radico Khaitan launches ‘Rampur Signature Reserve Indian Single Malt Whisky ’

To mark 75 years of Rampur Distillery, Radico Khaitan launches a super luxury variant of Rampur Indian single malt whisky in the International market. These are individually numbered bottles strictly on allocation basis.

Radico Khaitan Ltd launched a super luxury expression of Rampur Indian Single Malt Whisky called ‘Rampur Signature Reserve Indian Single Malt Whisky’ to commemorate 75 years of its Rampur Distillery at The Whisky Show, London and Whisky Live, Paris recently.

The Rampur Signature Reserve Indian single malt whisky is a limited release of 400 bottles worldwide. Each bottled is individually numbered and carries the signature of Dr Lalit Khaitan, Chairman and the Rampur Master Maker. Bottled at cask strength of 43.9%, this exquisite offering is now available in UK, Europe, USA and a few selected markets in Asia Pacific. It will also be available at Dubai Duty Free as well as India Duty Free in the coming weeks.

The Indian Single Malt whisky is named after Radico Khaitan’s first distillery in Rampur and is aged, distilled and matured in the foothills of the scenic Himalayas.

Existing expressions in Rampur Indian Single Malt Whisky: Rampur Select Indian Single Malt Whisky

Aged in the foothills of Himalayas, this exquisite whisky is the Kohinoor of Single Malts.

This beautiful nectar is a winner of many international awards including the Double Gold Medal at San Francisco World Spirit Competition, USA and also rated amongst the Top 20 whiskies of the world at #5.

Rampur Sherry PX Finish Indian Single Malt Whisky

A limited 48 Casks release. A few exceptional casks of Rampur Single Malt Whisky post maturation in American Oak were handpicked by our Malt Master and transferred to Sherry PX Butts from Jerez, Spain for finishing. The result is a rich and fruity whisky with layers of complex spice and dried fruit.

Rampur Double Cask Indian Single Single Malt Whisky

The newest expression of Rampur, has spent 2/3rd of its life in American Oak Bourbon Casks and 1/3rd in European Oak Sherry Oloroso Casks. Delicate balsamic vanilla notes from the American white oak compliment the full-bodied aroma; Rich caramel, dried dark fruits and spicy tonality from European oak add to the depth. Already available in the UK and EU, shipments underway to over 30 countries.

Speaking on the launch, Mr. Sanjeev Banga, President, International Business, Radico Khaitan Ltd said “We are very proud to launch the new expression ‘Rampur Signature Reserve Indian Single Malt Whisky ‘ within three years of release of the umbrella brand. Our Indian Single Malt Whisky – Rampur has gained global recognition and love from its consumers.Today, the brand has emerged as one of the most desired Indian single malt whisky brands in the world and, we hope, the new expression will also gain similar acknowledgement and appreciation from our luxury whisky lovers. We are honoured to provide a chance to savour one of the Oldest Malts from India to the International Single Malt connoisseurs”.

Angus Dundee forays into the Indian retail market

Angus Dundee a major player in Bulk Scotch is venturing into the Scotch market with the launch of MacRoys Blended Scotch Whisky. Sanjeev Puri, Regional Director, Sub Continent and Hasan Bakhtawar, General Manager-Marketing unveils some of the company’s other plans.

How has Angus Dundee fared over the years? Angus Dundee India Pvt Ltd (ADIPL) is a major player in Bulk Scotch and supplying to a large stratum of liquor manufacturers in India. A 100% subsidiary of Angus Dundee Distillers Plc Scotland, has been present in India for almost close to a decade. With a strong lineage and expertise to deliver consistent quality product, ADIPL has created a niche and made its presence felt over the years.

What are the major activities undertaken in the Indian market?

ADIPL not only offer Bulk Scotch but provide customised solutions which are customer and brand specific. This has been instrumental in sustaining and stabilising its position in the highly competitive ‘Bulk Scotch Whisky’ market.

What prompted your decision to produce your own Scotch brands in India?

Significant shift in the Indian consumer behaviour, rising disposable income with influence of social media enabling splurge on good things, growth in socialising occasions and experimenting with different types of alcohol had been an inspiration for ADIPL to introduce own Blended Scotch Whisky to the Indian consumers.

What has been the response to the launch of MacRoys in Chandigarh and other cities?

MacRoys Blended Scotch Whisky is available in select category selling outlets in Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Mohali and Chhattisgarh. Launched in the month of July the brand is gradually making its presence felt.

Are you looking at a pan India launch and what is the time frame for the launch?

In a phased manner, launch in Telangana, Chandigarh and Rajasthan in current financial year, whereas Delhi and Orissa intended for the next fiscal.

What is the positioning for the brand and what are the marketing activities planned for the brand?

The present positioning portrays the product attribute “Experience the Bourbon finish luxury” and distinguishes the brand from competition. We intend to target potential consumer base tapping key touch points like On & Off Trade, Social gatherings and other socialising occasions. In addition, we are also focussing on digital as we can’t be mere spectators to the consumer’s journey and need to make our presence felt by participating in trending conversations, crafting influencer opinions and generate access to the brand online.

How is your brand different from other competing brands available in the market?

MacRoys Blended Scotch Whisky is distilled, aged and blended in Scotland. matured using the BB1 barrels, the once used American Oak Bourbon barrels holding only bourbon infuses a distinct character to the whisky. First Fill Bourbon Cask are generally used for producing Single Malt Whiskies. Crafted using exclusive malt, matured in bourbon casks whose charring produces lactins which help develop coconut and vanilla characteristics, bringing out soft, fruity-sweet and smooth blend.

Are you planning to launch more brands in the Indian market in future?

Plans are afoot to cater other price points in the Blended Scotch and Premium Scotch segments in near future.

Would you like to throw some light on your Duty-Free business at the Indian airports?

We have an exceptional BIO portfolio consisting aged and non-aged single malts, blended malts and Blended Scotch whiskies. Brands like “Tomintoul Spey Side Glenlivet Single Malt Scotch Whisky”, “Smokey Joe Blended Malt”, Non-Aged Single Malt variant “Glen Parker Single Malt Scotch Whisky” and Blended Scotch whisky named “Parkers” have presence at the Delhi Travel Retail.

Keepers of the Quaich award for Kartik Mohindra

Kartik Mohindra, CMO, Pernod Ricard India Pvt. Ltd., shares his feelings on receiving the Keepers of the Quaich award and the raison d etre for the company’s performance this year.

Congratulations and what does the Keepers of the Quaich award mean to you?

Thank you! As, Keepers of the Quaich, our mission is to uphold and celebrate the values and image of Scotch whisky globally. Collectively, the international society represents many thousands of years of experience and knowledge of Scotch whisky. I am honoured to join the distinguished Keepers and Masters, and together, commit to preserve and promote the world’s finest distilled spirit, the Scotch whisky. I look forward to actively participating and celebrating Scotch whisky both in India and abroad.

How would you rate the company’s performance until June 2019? What are the indications of the next year’s growth?

At PRI, our domestic as well as international whisky portfolios are witnessing double-digit growth. The international brands portfolio is surely seeing faster growth vis-a-vis the domestic counterparts. Having said that, we have successfully capitalised on the burgeoning wave of premiumisation. To continue our dominance in the international brands. We have introduced Chivas XV in the super premium bottled in origin scotch, the super-premium gin, Monkey 47, and the three new single malts in India – Aberlour, Scapa and Longmorn to stay at the forefront to meet the consumers’ needs and strive in changing market dynamics.

We capitalise every consumption opportunity with our expansive portfolio and drive premiumisation. Our flagship brands like Royal Stag, Blenders Pride, 100 Pipers, Jameson, Chivas Regal, Absolut, Royal Salute, are brands with purpose and values of authenticity, legacy and craftsmanship.

India, as you know, with over 1.3 billion population, offers a huge opportunity pool of consumers with varied tastes and preferences, segmented by their demographic and income strata. PRI’s expansive portfolio caters to this very diverse group across price points – ranging from the value consumer going for Imperial Blue, Deluxe consumer to Royal Stag, Premium consumer (Blenders Pride, BP Reserve) to the ultra luxury consumers opting for Royal Salute, The Glenlivet and Chivas Regal 18.

The Indian millennial consumers present an exciting opportunity for us. Outburst of trends such as increase in cocktail explorations, and consumption of different liquor categories by the same consumer have exemplified the experimental nature of millennials. To selectively cater to these new consumers, PRI’s portfolio has an offering of aspirational brands – flavourful Absolut vodka, gin – Monkey47 and Beefeater and Jacobs Creek Wine. Further, India presents immense scope through untapped geographical territories. These could prove to be great growth engines in the future. We foresee this category buoyancy to continue and grow in strong double digits.

How can the industry work together to boost the growth of the alcobev industry?

In comparison to several global markets, India faces higher incidence of taxation leading to out-of-reach end consumer prices; consequentially decelerating adoption and premiumisation.

The alcobev industry, albeit facing challenges of accessibility, also offers room for improvement in making the products available to consumers, with a wider retail footprint. The industry forces can come together towards building more favourable duty structures and regulations, leading to enhanced consumer demand.

How has Pernod Ricard been able to withstand the disruptions that have plagued the industry in the last few years?

Pernod Ricard India’s brands have preserved their footholds as category leaders, complemented by our strong consumer connect, great quality and innovation in products in the industry while catering to every consumption opportunity with our expansive portfolio. These factors coupled with our premiumisation strategy, has certainly helped PRI in withstanding the disruptions.

What is your product strategy for future growth? Given the low consumer confidence sentiment do you see a blip in the premiumisation strategy?

Globally, India offers one of the largest growth potential in spirits consumption. This leads to greater opportunities in a wider range of segments, both mature and emerging. We expect premiumisation to continue strongly in the foreseeable future, due to a positive long-term demographic and socio-economic trends led by a young and growing consumer population, rising middle and affluent class and increasing purchasing power, rapid urbanisation, and rise in Alcobev consumption by women. PRI with its brand offerings will continue to drive premiumization across categories and price points.

Given the trade wars happening worldwide, do you see the lowering of duties on Scotch or US alcobev brands?

The lowering of tariffs or duties will ultimately deliver benefits to the consumers, positively impacting the affordability. The economic conflicts in trade are a matter of bilateral discussions between the countries or the governments.

Which have been your star brands and on what brands do you plan to focus next year?

For us, every brand in our vast portfolio of domestic and imported brands are vital. Like I mentioned earlier, we continue to focus on driving premiumisation and with our consumer centric approach and the changing consumer dynamics led by millennials and generation Z, we believe that we have the right portfolio mix which will focus on creating informative-engaging experience and connect with this generation, striving for a great experience at various touchpoints, be it travel retail, liquor shops or high-end restaurants.

We, at Pernod Ricard, are always in line with the evolving consumers’ attitude and preferences that are occasioned by the constant variation in the living standards and global trends. The Glenlivet, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Wine portfolio led by Jacob’s Creek and Campo Viejo and Blenders Pride will be the key growth engines in the year.

How has your digital marketing strategy helped in sales growth?

With increasing aspirations, disposable incomes and exposure to global brands, the Indian millennial consumers present an exciting opportunity for us. Five out of six millennials connect with companies on social media and spend about 25 hours per week online. We will leverage our strengths in consumer marketing through digital media and continue to lead and drive consumer preference and connect with millennials through brands such as Royal Stag, Blenders Pride, 100 Pipers, Chivas Regal, Monkey 47, Absolut, Jameson, Ballantine’s, Beefeater, Jacob’s Creek, and Campo Viejo, to name a few.

Kartik Mohindra Now a Part of Keepers of the Quaich, a Global Celebration of Scotch whisky

The global success of Scotch whisky has been celebrated with new members of the Keepers of the Quaich being inducted into the international society at a private ceremony held at Blair Castle in Blair Atholl. Kartik Mohindra, Chief Marketing Officer, Pernod Ricard India, has been firmly inducted as The Keeper, in recognition of the outstanding commitment to Scotch Whisky. To preserve the unique cachet and exclusivity of The Keepers, New Keepers and Masters are inducted at a private ceremony held in the Scottish Highlands. This is the 61st Ceremony and Banquet to take place here. Collectively, the society represents many thousands of years of experience and knowledge of Scotch whisky. The Keepers of the Quaich is an international society which was established by the Scotch whisky industry to celebrate the outstanding commitment of those who produce and promote the world’s ­finest distilled spirit. Only a limited number of people are inducted as Keepers each year in recognition of their exceptional contribution. To date, just over 2,800 men and women from more than 100 countries have received the honour. Together with the select few that are subsequently distinguished as Master of the Quaich, they represent thousands of years of shared experience and knowledge.

“As Keepers of the Quaich, our mission is to uphold and celebrate the values and image of Scotch Whisky globally. I am honored to join the distinguished Keepers and Masters, and together, commit to preserve and promote the world’s finest distilled spirit, the Scotch Whisky. I look forward to actively participating and celebrating Scotch Whisky both in India and abroad,” said Kartik Mohindra at the prestigious honour.

Keepers of the Quaich supports international chapters of the society in 10 key markets around the world – where members continue to promote the prestigious image of Scotch whisky.

The Butler and The Bayleaf scores with good food, ambience and service

When the name alone can set you on a journey of culinary delight steeped in history, you know there is much magic in store. Presenting a splendid collaboration of the royal hospitality of the British Raj, with the caress of a modern bistro style restaurant in the city- The Butler and The Bayleaf. Being veteran restaurateur Kishore DF’s ‘regional’ venture in collaboration with Sarabjeet Singh of Keer Hospitality, the restaurant brings forth Indian culture, once again- this time with a modern touch.

Kishore DF, of the Potpourri, WTF, The Big Nasty and Foo fame, has decided to take nostalgia a notch up with this new ambitious culinary ride, after the commendable success through The Tanjore Tiffin. Since then, he has been exploring the history of Indian geography from across the map and delving deep into the tastes of our voracious culture.

Situated right above the famous Alfredo’s, The Butler and The Bayleaf, drew its inspirations in the North. Representing a 100% authentic North Indian cuisine, Kishore emphasizes “At Butler, we never, NEVER mess with the authenticity. No fusion for us, no shortcuts. We just cleverly repurpose for the modern bistro chic audience.”

Rolling in the slumber filled lunches from their grandmother’s home, Butler presents a menu for the audience that is carefully crafted by renowned chef Rajan Mehra. Inheriting the magical culinary skills from his veteran chef father, Rajan comes with immense experience in the hospitality zone while he was at Delhi. He has now come down to explore Mumbai as food production head and brand for Butler.

Speaking of the menu, the arms of the North open up with the heart-filling Shrimp and Mango Salad and the Spicy Guava and Arugula Salad; followed by exotic small plates of the authentic Kurkuri Bhindi and the Royal style Chicken Noorani. Chole Bhaturas send us to another culinary realm, as the Seekh Kebab wraps brings a Northern blend. The Main dishes are a great reminder of the ‘ghar ka khana’ as they fill our plates and hearts with Guthi hui Gobi, Butler Butter Chicken and Punjabi fish tikka.

There is no North without the Biryanis- as the Butler serves us the luscious Chicken Dum Biryani and the taste bud tingling Kathal Dum Biryani. The Bakharkhani and the Khameeri Roti set a good standard for Indian breads. While the Croissant Pudding with Spicy Rum flavoured Angoori Mango Rabdi, is a blend of Indian and modern.

The Butler invites the audience a brilliant nostalgic sensation with a 4pm to 7pm old style high tea experience. Hosted over a piano recital or a book-reading or a game of mah-jong, this event accompanies your favourite beverage with the finger foods of the noon. Homecooks will also be invited to share their home-borne recipes, along with a presentation to cook it, serve it, as well as teach you how to make it.

Light conversations bloom near the piano, as the ambience gives an old British Gymkhana feel to the restaurant. The patio is a mix of chairs and sofas, bringing in a modern dining with a touch of casual. The presence of plants tends to keep an aura of fine dining with a dash of a friendly huddle, as well.