St Andrews, Scotland: A five-year partnership has been agreed between The Open and award-winning independent Scotch whisky distiller Loch Lomond Group for its Loch Lomond Whiskies brand.
The partnership also includes support of the Ricoh Women’s British Open and will showcase globally the full range of Loch Lomond Whiskies. It also means the distiller’s innovative and exciting range of single malts will become ‘The Spirit of The Open’.
Known as ‘The One’, The Open is the most international Major championship with qualifying events across five continents. The championship is broadcast to 600 million households in almost 200 countries around the world.
Whisky and golf are recognised as being among Scotland’s most famous products. Studies suggest that there is a close affinity between the two industries with many golf fans also demonstrating a passion for Scotch.
As part of the partnership with The Open, Loch Lomond Whiskies will create a variety of limited editions, aimed at both golf fans and whisky aficionados alike.
Founded in 1814, Loch Lomond Whiskies can trace its roots back to the Littlemill distillery, which was established in 1772 and is thought to be one of the oldest in the world. Its current malt and grain distilleries, in Alexandria, Dunbartonshire on the banks of Loch Lomond, were built in the 1960s and are among only a few in the industry to maintain an on-site cooperage.
The malt distillery at Alexandria also features a unique combination of traditional swan neck and distinctive straight-necked pot stills, enabling it to produce a diverse range of flavour profiles.
Colin Matthews, CEO of Loch Lomond Group, with the backing of London-based Exponent Private Equity, took ownership of the business in March 2014 which has since been transformed. Over the last four years the group has expanded significantly its product range, made important capital investments in its distilleries, maturation infrastructure and bottling operations and has achieved strong international growth. Its brands are now present in over 125 countries around the world.
Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, said: “Loch Lomond Whiskies has a strong international reputation for achieving the highest standards of excellence and was a natural choice to become a new partner of The Open and the Ricoh Women’s British Open. We will be working closely with Loch Lomond Whiskies over the duration of this partnership to introduce an inspiring range of activities which demonstrate The R&A’s shared desire to offer golf fans the very best experience at our championships.”
Matthews said: “We are extremely proud to have agreed this prestigious partnership and association with The R&A for The Open and the Ricoh Women’s British Open. There is an incredibly strong alignment between the worlds of whisky and golf, two of Scotland’s most iconic gifts to the world. There is also a great fit between those who follow golf and whisky, with research showing clearly that many golfers across the world enjoy a regular dram.
“Our partnership with The R&A is the perfect means for Loch Lomond Whiskies to use the fabulous platforms of both championships to grow further, both in the United Kingdom and internationally, and it also demonstrates our strong commitment and ambition to becoming a premium global brand.”
Loch Lomond Whiskies’ partnership with The Open is effective immediately and runs until 2022. The five-year period includes the playing of the landmark 150th Open in 2021 at St Andrews, the home of golf. The 147th Open takes place at Carnoustie from July 19-22.
Muriel Raguenaud, Marketing Director at Loch Lomond Group, said: “Becoming the official ‘Spirit of The Open’ provides us with an unrivalled opportunity to build on our ever-growing international presence and position Loch Lomond Whiskies as a world-class distiller producing some of the industry’s finest, most exciting and unique single malts.
“We are looking forward to working with our global partners and distributors to implement a year-round programme of events for whisky and golf fans.”
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