IDV offloads top Dunhill Scotch brand

Spirits manufacturer IDV is jettisoning the marketing and distribution of Alfred Dunhill Scotch Whisky to concentrate instead on its J&B whisky portfolio.

Responsibility for the brand will be transferred to Highland Distilleries, the manufacturer of The Fam-ous Grouse and The Macallan Single Malt.

Alfred Dunhill Scotch Whisky is a super premium product, in line with its luxury English brand name. IDV sells J&B Rare, the world’s second best-selling Scotch, and three deluxe extensions – J&B Jet, J&B Reserve and J&B Ultima.

Bruce Hyde, IDV’s managing director of Alfred Dunhill whisky, will move to Highland Distilleries in the same capacity and continue to manage marketing strategy and distribution for his new employer. He says: “IDV wants to increase its focus on J&B. Dunhill might be a distraction. The brand will fit very well in Highland Distilleries’ portfolio.”

After the transfer in October, Alfred Dunhill whisky will be distributed through Remy Cointreau’s distribution arm on behalf of Highland Distilleries, instead of IDV’s network. The brand’s priority region is Asia.

An IDV spokesman says there is no connection between the decision to offload the Alfred Dunhill brand and the future merger between IDV’s parent Grand Metropolitan and Guinness, which may result in brands being sold to appease competition authorities.

Guinness reported a higher than expected interim pre-tax profits of 372m yesterday (Tuesday), up from 357m. The company said its planned merger with GrandMet to create drinks giant GMG Brands remains on course.

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