Whisky Festival Gent

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Bladnoch
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Whisky Festival Gent

Message non lupar Bladnoch » 08 févr. 2008, 18:47

I'm going to the whisky festival in Gent next weekend Sat 16th Sun 17 th and I'm hoping that any of you who live nearby and plan to go will be sure to stop by our stall, easily recognisable, as the most amateurish, and say hello. I'm crossing from Newxastle and driving down from Ijmuiden. Although I don't like driving I thought it was better driving somewhere I know through Holland than down through England and travelling Hull to Zeebrugge which is slightly more direct.
I'll probably take some of our 6 yo which has a bit of maturing still to do and I was thinking of trying to get a few people at Gent to give me tasting notes. I've asked Jim Murray to give me his thoughts, so it might be interesting to compare, maybe even make a competition of it if I could talk him or whatever celebrity is present into judging the best. Obviously I'll take mature Bladnoch whiskies and some new-make, grist, malt etc. I'm trying to create a wee bit of awareness of our existence and one of our forum members suggested a quiz, perhaps 10 questions about Bladnoch that you can really only answer by going on to our website, perhaps a draw for a prize which would be a tenth of a cask of new-make. This would be guaranteed to keep them interested in Bladnoch at least until it matured. If any of you have any good marketing ideas I'll be delighted to hear them. What do you like most about whisky festivals or what impresses the most?
All ideas gratefully accepted.

Raymond
(With apologies to Jean-Marie for trying to pick the brains of his forum members)
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jmputz
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Re: Whisky Festival Gent

Message non lupar jmputz » 08 févr. 2008, 19:25

Bladnoch a écrit :(With apologies to Jean-Marie for trying to pick the brains of his forum members)
You are welcome.... The brains of "my forum members" is one of the easiest things to share. They have made this forum what it is now, and I'm sure they will help you as well.
I will personally not be in Gent for several reasons. First I still have no car, and if I have it by then, I'll go to the Eindhoven festival on the same week-end. Further, I do no like festivals.
I know very few of our members share my point of view. I love whisky, I do not love crowdy events where you walk around with an empty glass, and try to fill it up at each and every stand. Whisky lovers will choose their favourite stands in advance, and spare a lot of time by doing this. Others will go around with their empty sample bottles (what I use to do)... Anyway, I am not able to describe any whisky ifI have drunken a couple of others before, and I am not able to take any notes which make sense in this athmosphere. This is for big festivals, like I suppose Gent is.
Eindhoven is much more confidential...
In fact, what you need is that people know Bladnoch is existing again. I'm not sure many of us really appreciate the notes of Jim Murray. There are lots of posts about this on this forum.
I'm not sure other people can write good tasting notes in a big festival like Gent (I do not have the feeling to be an exception).
For good tasting notes, I guess the best place will be the next edition of "Whisky in the Church" in the Hague. I do not say this because I am a co-organizer of this event, but because the athmosphere will be really different there.
Only invited people will have access to this (free of charges) event, and we will invite the specialized press (we did this for the first issue as well, but not everybody had the possibility to be there). We will invite some malt maniacs, lots of people having their own clubs and own websites. And we could organize a kind of session (in a special room) where the challenge would be to write tasting notes about Bladnoch (instead of a masterclass for instance).
You know, I was very happy a few years ago when I drunk my first Bladnoch. It was a Signatory bottling from 1988, which definitely reconciled me with the Lowlands.
The quality of your production is that good that I do not think you need to keep the attention of an amateur by letting him wait for 10 years to get his prize... You just need to sell your stuff.
I guess everybody on this forum would do everything he can to help you selling your whisky. I already told you that I also really would like to buy your whisky, if I could find it somewhere...
I'm not sure this tasting notes will help you to distribute your stuff!

This is my contribution to the brainstorming. I hope other members of the forum will have other ideas. Anyway I am sure everybody would be very happy to meet you in Gent or (even much better) at the second edition of Whisky in the Church!
Slainte Mhath
corbuso
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Re: Whisky Festival Gent

Message non lupar corbuso » 08 févr. 2008, 20:43

Bladnoch a écrit :I'll probably take some of our 6 yo which has a bit of maturing still to do and I was thinking of trying to get a few people at Gent to give me tasting notes. I've asked Jim Murray to give me his thoughts, so it might be interesting to compare, maybe even make a competition of it if I could talk him or whatever celebrity is present into judging the best. Obviously I'll take mature Bladnoch whiskies and some new-make, grist, malt etc. I'm trying to create a wee bit of awareness of our existence and one of our forum members suggested a quiz, perhaps 10 questions about Bladnoch that you can really only answer by going on to our website, perhaps a draw for a prize which would be a tenth of a cask of new-make. This would be guaranteed to keep them interested in Bladnoch at least until it matured. If any of you have any good marketing ideas I'll be delighted to hear them. What do you like most about whisky festivals or what impresses the most?
All ideas gratefully accepted.

Raymond
(With apologies to Jean-Marie for trying to pick the brains of his forum members)


Hi Raymond,
I don't have the marketing and/or commercial experience in alcoholic beverage, like some famous member(s) of this forum, so I might not the best adviser.
However, I have noticed with young companies, such as BenRiach, Arran or Kilchoman, what is important is to let whisky enthusiasts tasting your products. If the products that you are proposing are of good quality, then the whisky enthusiasts will talk about your products and your company. Personally, I only had the chance to taste the bottlings of Diageo, a very good bottle from David Stirk and probably one or two Signatory or Scott's selection and unfortunately, I haven't had the opportunity to taste your current bottlings. Why? Because many whisky retailers don't know very much Bladnoch, it might be difficult to obtain and not so many whisky drinkers know about Bladnoch.
For me, Bladnoch has many qualities:
1) It is a lowland distillery. Few lowlands distilleries are working and Bladnoch had always a good reputation.
2) The distillery is very picturesque.
3) The distillery manager is dedicated to quality and energetic.
4) Bladnoch whisky is considered as a good product.
5) The production is limited and using traditional methods
6) Bladnoch has a long history.

and now, how can this be used for increasing the Bladnoch awareness:
- Quiz? You might always try, but I don't believe too much in it. The ones going to play the game are the ones who know already Bladnoch.
- Newsletter: The bladnoch forum is a very good tool, but providing a newsletter systme would be a good additional assest. People are always interested in new products and even if they don't buy it, they will talk about it. Bladnoch is not releasing every 2 months new products like a famous Islay distillery, but the amateurs of Bladnoch would appreciate that very much.
- Festivals: Festivals might be expensive and you need to like that, but this is usually the best way to promote your products, since your are contact with a very large population of potential customers. The "whisky in the church" organized by Jean-Marie was excellent, unfortunately, such events are not too frequent. Concerning small-medium events, such as the whisky-schips in Zurich or Lucerne in Switzerland, try to get your products presented to the public via whisky shops.
- Forum: I think that the Bladnoch forum is an excellent forum and that your posts are excellents. However, there are technical issues when accessing to your site with a mac, since we can't post anything.
- Magazines, Newspapers: Why not inviting some journalists to Bladnoch for a reportage?
- Advertisement: I prefer let the experts talking about it.

But the most important thing is really to let as many people as possible to taste your product(s)!

Corbuso
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Re: Whisky Festival Gent

Message non lupar Savoureur » 09 févr. 2008, 15:43

Hi Raymond,
I do not know much things about marketing. But i know that the biggest whiskyfestival for consumers in Germany ist the http://www.whiskyfair.de in Limburg. Theire homepage ist visited by lots of people and exists in german and english. Every year, ther are new/smal companys in Limburg (e.g. Kilchoman, Mackmyra, Speyside Distillery, ...). In Limburg there are also lots of the best / biggest whiskystores that exist in Germany if you like to get contact to retailers. This fair will be held end of april this year.
Also a good fair http://www.obstbrand.eu/ in Germany is the whiskyfair in Essen. It is of the same kind as Limburg but much smaler (abv. 1.200 visitors last year compared to abv. 4.500 for Limburg). This fair will be held in november.
Greetings,
Savoureur
Bladnoch
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Re: Whisky Festival Gent

Message non lupar Bladnoch » 09 févr. 2008, 19:58

Thankyou for the help.
I think the thoughts that I should really take on board are perhaps obvious nontheless worth taking direct action on.
"You just need to sell your stuff"
"I really would like to buy your whisky if I could find it somewhere"
"present it to the public via whisky shops"
"let as many people as possible taste your product"

So I'm going to work hard trying to get our whisky into a lot more shops.

Raymond

PS your assistance makes up for the pain inflicted on the Irish by todays rugby result .... but a good match.
corbuso
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Re: Whisky Festival Gent

Message non lupar corbuso » 13 févr. 2008, 18:13

How you have digested the defeat with some Bladnoch whisky.

By the way, I read that you have distilled some peated whisky at Bladnoch. Was is running faster than the non-peated one?

Corbuso

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