KINA WHISKEY DISTILLERI
A Chinese company has bought a whiskey distillery in Scotland, and it will be moved entirely to China. More than 35 tons of equipment will be sent from the Scottish city of Baki to China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, the BBC reported. Stills, pipelines, floorings, and other parts of the plant were loaded onto the ship. The enterprise will be unloaded in the Chinese port of Tianjin.
The plant will be reassembled in the urban district of Ordos. The Scottish company will send five engineers there to supervise the work. The distillery is due to open by the end of the year and will be the first whiskey distillery in Inner Mongolia.
Entire whiskey distillery to be moved from Scotland to China
The delivery of the distillery is part of a £3m ($4.1m) deal between Scotland's for far Valentine International and China's Mental Group in 2019. The plant was built by Forsyth from Roth’s, Scotland. Her employees will oversee the reassembly.
Mental Group is one of the largest private companies in Inner Mongolia. It specializes in coal mining and power generation. The company did not yet have experience in the production of whiskey.
The head of Valentine International, David Valentine, said that the idea of transporting equipment belongs to the head of Mengtai, Ao Fengting. A Chinese businessman wants his whiskey to be recognized worldwide. In April, Irish mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Connor McGregor sold his Proper No. Twelve. The deal brought him and his partners about $600 million.
The race to make whiskey from China for the Chinese
Scotch whiskey is known for its peaty aroma, American bourbons have sweet notes, and Japanese drink has become the choice of special connoisseurs. And what about
the production of whiskey in China? It is not a branded product of the country. However, local and Western spirits producers are striving to create Chinese whiskey brands, writes Sixth Tone. A dozen distilleries have opened in mainland China in recent years. In August 2021, owner Pernod Richard’s Chivas Regal and Glenlivet brands began producing malt whiskey at a distillery in Sichuan. Diageo, which owns more than 20 beverage brands, recently announced plans to invest in a factory in Yunnan province. Whiskey accounted for just 1% of the Chinese spirits market in 2020, according to Chinese consultancy Rise. For comparison, the share of Chinese baijiu vodka was 96%. Whiskey was at the peak of popularity, not for the first time. The market's annual sales peaked at 13.7 billion yuan ($2 billion) in 2012 before falling to 9.3 billion Yuan in 2016. As of 2020, sales have not yet recovered to their most successful levels in the past. The rise of a decade ago is explained by a major anti-corruption campaign in the early 2010s. A ban on publicly funded entertainment that began in 2012 explains the decline in the cost of Scotch whiskey in subsequent years, an employee at research firm Euro monitor International said.
The situation in the industry now with the growth of the middle class in recent years, whiskey sales in China have increased again. "China is the largest market for alcoholic beverages in the world in both value and volume terms," said Sam Fisher, president of Diageo Asia Pacific and Global Travel. Guangzhou-based investor Liu Xu said he gave up local spirits when he sampled whiskey at a private club in Beijing in 2016. According to him, whiskey is suitable for "armchair conversation and leisurely enjoyment." Yao Xin, owner of a whiskey bar in Yinchuan City, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, spoke of a growing number of young people wanting to try the drink. He attributed these changes to the development of the industry, as well as the popularization of the opinions of experts and whiskey lovers. Here it is important to note the efforts of Diageo, the world's largest seller of liquor. The company has reached more than 12,000 potential Chinese whiskey drinkers through the creation of an "educational whiskey culture" called the Diageo Whiskey Academy. Through the efforts of the firm, 13 thematic forums have been organized throughout China since 2017.
Many buyers now prefer single malt Scotch whiskeys, including Glenfiddich and Macallan. These brands have tripled and doubled their market share in China from 2015 to 2020, respectively, according to Euromonitor. Consumers often choose big brands, but niche brands are slowly gaining popularity, said Huang Shan, owner of The Drinkers' Shop, an online liquor store. The best-selling whiskeys in its range are single malt Scottish brand Black Burn priced fewer than 200 yuan ($31.5), as well as a 10-year-old Glencadam drink priced at 920 yuan ($145). Currently, Huang's store does not feature Chinese brands, but he intends to expand the product line. Whiskey with Chinese characteristics two brands of Chinese whiskey is now available on China's largest e-commerce platform, Taboo. At the same time, buyers are not happy with both. In the comments to the Holy Land brand from Yunnan province for 388 yuan ($61), they wrote that the drink does not have a rich taste, as if it had not been aged enough. Whiskey from Loom & Shuttle Spirits Distillery, located in Shandong Province, is selling slightly better. In December 2021, just over ten purchases were made compared to eight from Holy Land. According to one of the buyers, this is a pretty good indicator for a drink. Whiskey ingredients are simple: barley malt, yeast, and water. After fermentation, the mixture is distilled and aged for years in oak barrels. It is the maturity of the wood that gives the alcohol its brown color and characteristic taste. Scotch is usually aged in barrels that were previously used for other drinks, including sherry or port. So manufacturers add new notes of taste and aroma to it. There are areas in China where the climate and terrain are suitable for whiskey production. With a culture of consumption of baijiu and yellow rice wine, the country has its own brewing methods. In late October, Laizhou Distillery made a splash in the domestic distillery industry by bottling its unaged whiskey into yellow rice wine barrels. It is a traditional Chinese alcoholic drink that tastes like sherry.
In addition to the yellow wine casks, the distillery purchased bourbon casks, sherry casks, and Chinese-made oak casks, according to Wu. Water resources are key factors in choosing a location for whiskey production. Diageo takes only spring water for the production of whiskey. Pernod Ricard says it uses the same sources as the Chinese bottled water brand Nongfu Spring.
Diageo will be the first to produce whiskey in China
Alcoholic drinks manufacturer Diageo today, November 2, announced plans to create the first whiskey production in China. The company will invest $75 million in the construction of a plant that will produce single malt whiskey. Meters should begin next year.
Demand for whiskey in China is on the rise - the kind of drink popular among the growing local middle class over the past decade, the pandemic and restrictions on foreign travel are also driving demand for luxury goods and expensive alcoholic beverages in the country. Sales of single malt whiskey in China rose by 20% last year, according to IWSR. Scotch whiskey producer Johnnie Walker also reported sales growth of 38% in China in the fiscal year 2020, which ended in June.
"China is the world's largest spirits market, and demand for whiskey here is rapidly growing among middle-class consumers looking to further discover and enjoy good whiskey," said Sam Fisher, head of Diageo Asia Pacific.