A scotch whisky distiller, when asked recently if he made any blends, was gloriously sniffy and dismissive of blended whisky. It would have been interesting to see and hear what he would have made of the Johnnie Walker Directors Blends, which I got to taste last Thursday (November 28) in London.
Hiscot has been a subsidiary of Hite-Jinro since 1993.
Won Cheol Lee, Hite-Jinro’s general director of imported spirits sector, said: “Scotch whisky is growing in popularity in Korea with drinks connoisseurs discovering the enjoyment that can be gained from sharing this quality spirit with their friends, family and business partners.
“The Korean market, customer’s drinking habits are changing. Until recently, the Korean alcoholic beverage market used to be all about domestic brands such as the domestic blended scotch whisky, soju and domestic beer,” he said.
The significant rise in consumption of imported alcoholic beverages we’re now seeing would indicate that customer buying habits will be shifting in the near future,” said Cheol Lee
“Therefore, as is the case with many other alcoholic beverage businesses, we have taken the decision to strengthen our imported product portfolio. By merging Hiscot, Hite-Jinro group has strengthened its coverage in the imported beer and spirits category,” he said.
Hiscot is best known for its Kingdom blended scotch whisky range, distributed in South Korea. At the International Spirits Competition (ISC 2011) Kingdom took Gold for its 21 Year Old and 30 Year Old – with Kingdom 30 Year Old also awarded ‘Best in Class’ – alongside a silver medal for Kingdom 17 Year Old and a bronze for Kingdom 12 Year Old.
The brand has also fared well at the International Wine and Spirit Competition and at the San Francisco Whisky & Sprits competition.
Kingdom is crafted by former Edrington master blender John Ramsay. Ramsay has now retired but remains active and is still overall chairman of the ISC whisky judging panel.