Industry News

William Grant & Sons Relaunches Drambuie

Drambuie, the original whisky liqueur acquired by William Grant & Sons, Ltd. in 2014, has been unveiled in a new bottle and with a refreshed visual identity.

The new look evokes Drambuie's storied past that stretches back more than 270 years from Scotland's Isle of Skye to the jazz clubs of New York.  The Drambuie liquid remains true to the recipe that has been kept secret over that time—a rich and complex liqueur made with aged Scotch whisky, heather honey, herbs and spices. Drambuie's updated bottle design elements, some specifically chosen to mirror vintage Drambuie bottles, place a spotlight on the romance of Drambuie's history while the distinct liquid solidifies its role in contemporary cocktail culture through original creations by Vance Henderson, Brand Ambassador - USA.  

"Drambuie has lived quite a life and we've been carefully planning how we honor its story to help shape its future," said Kate Massey, Drambuie Brand Manager. "Drambuie's look—bottle artwork and imagery, and the overall brand feel—is a nod to its past, but we were inspired by its longevity in the cocktail world. We are reconnecting with bartenders, showing them how Drambuie is capable of truly transforming a cocktail and reclaiming its place in modern cocktail culture."

Leveraging the brand's intriguing heritage which dates back to 1745, this Drambuie bottle has been updated in both shape and design to reflect the liqueur's beginnings as Bonnie Prince Charlie's "personal elixir" and its evolution as a highly-regarded bartender staple. One of history's most charismatic royals, Bonnie Prince Charlie first shared the Drambuie recipe with one of his clansmen on the Isle of Skye as a reward for unwavering loyalty in 1746, and there the brand's journey began.

"We can trace Drambuie's history back to the Isle of Skye in the 18th century, but it's come a long way since then," said Vance Henderson, Drambuie Brand Ambassador - USA. "Drambuie is perhaps best known in the USA as being the hero ingredient in the Rusty Nail, made famous in New York clubs during the 1960s, but the distinct liqueur is a staple around the world due to its unique flavor. In many ways, Drambuie is a secret ingredient that can help bartenders create something magical in a glass."

The new Drambuie bottle is a modern interpretation of previous classic design, with stronger shoulders and a slight taper to enable it to stand proud on the shelf. The bottle is cast in dark brown glass and topped with a striking red cork closure to evoke the design of the 1960s, when Drambuie came of age in New York's jazz clubs and gained acclaim as the heart of the signature cocktail, the Rusty Nail.

The reframed brand logo is embossed onto off-white, textured stock, while the label's pearlescent gold finish reflects the deep golden hue of Drambuie. The label background also features an intricate pattern whose central focus is the Jacobite Rose, a Scottish emblem since Bonnie Prince Charlie's time. 

Drambuie has also launched a new brand creative designed to enhance the intrigue of Drambuie's secret recipe yet also celebrate its iconic cocktail status. The creative aesthetic gives a nod to the brand's position as a drink of choice in the jazz-influenced 1960s, with an elegant take on Drambuie's classic brass and crimson tones.

"The exact Drambuie recipe is a well-kept secret, which we believe is part of its charm," added Brain Kinsman, William Grant & Sons' Master Blender. "Warm and smooth, Drambuie delivers a rich hit of aged Scotch whisky to the palate, mellowed by heather honey tones and layer upon layer of herb and spice notes. It has unmistakable presence in cocktail serves and a long-lasting impact on those who discover it."

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