A new malt whisky brand is being launched into the UK market with a £750,000 advertising spend that aims to put it on its way to a top 10 spot within five years.
New Scotch whiskies are a rarity and The Bennachie, as a vatted malt, is a rarity among them. Just as unusual is a malt brand which is marketed as suitable for cocktail making.
Packaged in a distinctive, grippable square bottle, it is available in 10-year-old, 17-year-old and 21-year-old expressions, each blended from a different secret recipe of single malts.
Marketing director Bernard Bolsher is confident The Bennachie can make an impact in the crowded malt whisky sector.
"We have already spent a great deal of money developing the brand and its packaging, and we have tested it on 25,000 consumers in roadshows throughout the UK," he said. "The response has been fantastic.
"But we realise we're latecomers and that you have to look big in this marketplace and shout loud to be heard - that's why we are spending more on advertising than any other independent whisky brand."
The Bennachie's UK distributor, United Brands, is willing to back The Bennachie with promotions tailored to the needs of individual on-trade accounts to give it an edge over established brands.
Vatted malts, in which whiskies from different malt distilleries are blended together, are a "lost art", the company believes, and their more complex character could have an appeal beyond existing single malt drinkers.
Although cocktail bartenders use Scotch in classic drinks like the Old Fashioned and the Rusty Nail, The Bennachie's new cocktail list is believed to be the first time a whisky company has sanctioned the use of a malt as a cocktail ingredient.
Suggestions include the Bennachie Gold, with Cointreau and banana liqueur, and the Spring Chicken, with lime juice, egg white and sugar syrup.
As well as the three whiskies with the Bennachie label, United Brands is also distributing two malt-grain blends, the Formidable Jock three-year-old and eight-year-old which aim to introduce "fun" whisky-drinking to the younger end of the market.