Being one of the oldest working distilleries in the Scottish Highlands, Balblair had recently commissioned new packaging for their collection of premium single malt Scotch whiskies and needed a suitable bespoke design for their jewel in the crown. Croxsons has worked with Inver House, Balblair’s owners for many years, so working closely was a natural extension to their relationship.
In a move away from the distillery’s current ‘vintage-only’ approach, the launch of the new age statement collection signals a new era for Balblair. While each expression offers its own unique appeal, the series as a whole stays true to Balblair’s house style, following a gentle and considered approach with its focus firmly on quality over quantity – an attribute Balblair has become renowned for.
Commenting on the collection, Balblair’s distillery manager, John MacDonald, said, “We are proud of our heritage and will continue to honour our centuries-old traditions, but we also look forward in a quiet pursuit of perfection. Our new collection is intrinsically linked to our heritage and is a true testament to the place and the people behind our whisky, while being emblematic of our ‘True Highland Spirit’.”
Croxsons’ chief operating officer, Tim Croxson, said, “Our bespoke bottle reflects the super premium nature of this spirit. The design took cues from Balblair’s core range, with the flared finish, rounded shoulders, the shaped eyebrow on the front and the brand logo ‘z-rod’ emboss on the back. The 25 year old bottle denotes elegance and opulence with its increase in height and a subtle taper being added to the body. A thick base was introduced to indicate the premium quality of the product.
“We produced 5,000 units in one size and 2,000 in another, which are incredibly low runs, even for such a premium product, but it reflects the brand’s focus on quality over quantity. Our ambition to match world class manufacturing to a fantastic design resulted in a bottle that is worthy of the nature and stature of the brand.”
Fiona King, Balblair’s global marketing manager – malts, said, “We chose Croxsons as they were able to work with our small volume releases. They are also able to source and offer components that are not always available to general trade, which opens up the possibilities in our spirit packaging.
“Through regular communication and a detailed understanding our requirements, a bottle has been produced that delivers against the design brief and is technically sound in strength and capacity. We were able to sign off on the final design after the first pilot run, which ensured we launched on time. Croxsons will continue to be our go-to supplier when we have new packaging developments, particularly for low volume, high quality releases.”