If you are a whisky connoisseur, you would like to believe that you know everything about your favourite spirit. However, did you know that you are consuming at least a drop of Jack Daniel’s in every whisky you are drinking? Confused? Well, Jack Daniel’s sells their barrels to other alcohol manufacturers around the world. They use these barrels to age their liquid. Therefore, it is fair to say – there just might be a drop of Jack Daniel’s in whichever whiskey you drink.
Jack Daniel’s, for the first time in India, had installed a ‘Barrel Tree’ at Privee at Shangri La in Delhi to let people know about the importance of barrels in the whisky-making process. For the unversed, the Jack Daniel’s Barrel Tree is a tradition that started in 2011 at the Jack Daniel Distillery.
To understand the importance of barrels and alcohol ageing, we got in touch with Vinay Joshi, Marketing Manager – Indian Subcontinent & Maldives, Brown-Forman.
He tells financialexpress.com, “An important part of making quality whiskey is making a quality barrel. 70 per cent of the whiskey flavour and 100 per cent of the whiskey colour is derived from it. Jack Daniel’s is perhaps one of the few distilleries in the world that makes its own barrels in its cooperage. Hence, our barrels are a core ingredient and we devote the same care and attention to barrel making as we do to making Jack Daniel’s itself.”
He adds, “We start by selecting the very best American white oak for the barrel staves. Our craftsmen fit the staves together by hand, then carefully toast and char the inside of the barrel to caramelize the wood’s natural sugars. It’s from the toasted oak that the whiskey draws its rich amber color, distinctive flavor, and finish. Interestingly, our used barrels are sold to other beverage alcohol manufacturers around the world who use our barrels for aging their products. Therefore, it is fair to say – there just might be a little bit of Jack in whichever whiskey one drinks.”
While talking about the alcohol trends in 2023, he explains, “The alcohol industry continued its strong momentum in 2022. This was driven by some very strong consumer and shopper trends which are likely to continue into 2023 and help the category maintain its strong growth momentum.”
Premiumization: People are drinking better. This trend was already there pre covid but it accelerated significantly during and post covid when people started drinking better quality and more premium spirits. This was further supported by tax rationalization in a few states which made premium better-quality products more affordable for people. This is evident in the strong growth of our portfolio of brands including Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey.
Desire to Discover: The consumers are looking to discover new experiences, products, brands and new ways of consuming spirits. While this is evident across categories, this is playing out very strongly in the alcobev industry. Global exposure via travel and social media has ensured people in India are aware of the latest global trends and want to experience them. Increasing affluence levels in India have also given more people the ability to try new premium brands and experiences. We introduced Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple to expand the range of our Flavoured Whisky offering and also introduced our pre-mixed RTD brand Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey & Cola. The consumer response received to both these launches has been very positive and above expectations. This reinforces that consumers are looking for new offerings and are ready to try them, especially when it comes from well-known high-quality global brands such as Jack Daniel’s.
Retail Transformation: One of the big trends and enablers helping drive premiumization and discovery is retail transformation. Supported by positive changes in policies and regulations, liquor stores today offer a modern, safe and convenient shopping experience. This has certainly improved accessibility to premium and high-quality brands for shoppers and consumers. Women and families feel more comfortable shopping in these modern liquor stores. Some of these stores offer even superior shopping experiences to duty free or premium liquor stores in other international markets.
In-home consumption – Another trend accelerated by Covid was in-home consumption. There is today more permissibility and ease around serving and consuming alcohol at home. Hence, this is a fundamental shift and is likely to sustain in 2023 and beyond, driving growth in in-home consumption of premium brands.