Last night (Tuesday December 3), I attended a tasting of Balblair vintages. We tasted five whiskies, 2003, 1997, 1990, 1983 and 1969, prefaced by a glass of Balblair’s base spirit.
The new facility is “forecast to increase the attraction’s retail revenue by 15% in 2012, adding to the 55% growth in this area over the last three years”.
The new shop is the latest stage in the attraction’s multi-million pound overhaul.
Susan Morrison, director and general manager said: “Recognising the importance of retail to our business, we have invested in our shop to create an interactive, customer-friendly environment with a quality of experience which leaves a lasting impression.
“With many of our visitors coming from abroad, our shop plays a key role in promoting whisky and educating people about the industry following the experience of the tour. We find our visitors respond well to the use of flavours in choosing their whisky, encouraging diversity in choice as well as using the traditional methods of geography or well loved brands.”
Key features of the new shop include an interactive flavour map and touch-screen distillery guide. Touch screens can be accessed in 20 languages including Arabic, Korean, Chinese, Russian and Brazilian.
Scotch whisky exports are now worth over £4.5 billion annually, and while the USA continues to dominate in terms of overall spend, demand from Asian and South American markets is increasing rapidly. In line with these trends, 80% of visitors to the Scotch Whisky Experience in 2011 were from overseas, with significant growth in the number of visitors from China and Brazil.
Visit the shop's website here.