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.
The worldís largest premium drinks company has held discussions with the Japanese drinks giant in the spring and summer about the possibility of acquiring Beam and carving it up between them, according to the Sunday Telegraphís Ben Harrington.
Diageo, which is the largest scotch whisky producer in the world with brands such as Johnnie Walker, Buchananís, J&B and Old Parr, would only be interested in a few of the brands; its eponymous bourbon, Jim Beam, being the most notable.
Beamís brands include: cognac Courvoiser, Sauza tequila, boutique American whiskey, Makerís Mark, Cruzan rum, Canadian Club whisky, Teacherís and iconic Islay single malt scotch, Laphroaig.
Suntory as well as being a brewer is also a distiller with single malt whiskies Yamazaki and Hakushu, as well as Hibiki blended whisky.
According to Harrington, Diageo has held talks with other parties, including private equity firms. Similarly, Suntory, which distributes Laphroaig inJapan, has held its own discussions.
He said bankers Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and UBS, have been advising Diageo, which is still in the throes of taking a majority stake in Indiaís United Spirits group. It is also said to have held talks with the Mexico family that owns the Jose Cuervo tequila brand.