Ballantine’s Launches Single Malt Series

Ballantine's Single Malt Range
Ballantine’s, the No. 2 Scotch whisky in the world, takes an innovative move into the Single Malts category, with the launch of three new Single Malts.

Always known for doing things differently, Ballantine’s will give consumers a unique opportunity to experience the flavour of the three signature malts that form the heart of Ballantine’s whisky. The Glenburgie, Miltonduff and Glentauchers Single Malts are all aged 15 years old and stay true to the Ballantine’s brand whilst retaining their own distinct personalities:

Glenburgie forms the heart of Ballantine’s whisky character, delivering concentrated fruitiness and honeyed sweetness. Perfectly balanced, with aromas of soft red apples and pears, this whisky has a full and velvety texture and a long, round finish
Miltonduff is the foundation of Ballantine’s whisky character bringing warmth and power. Floral with a subtle hint of cinnamon spice, this whisky is extremely smooth with gentle liquorice flavours and a long, warm finish
Glentauchers delivers the smooth and delicate lingering finish of Ballantine’s. With hints of delicate floral heather on the nose and soft berries and barley sugar sweets on the palate, this whisky has an incredibly long, luscious finish

Peter Moore, Ballantine’s Global Brand Director comments: “The Single Malts category is dynamic and continues to grow rapidly as more consumers become lovers of this iconic Scottish spirit.

“As a globally known brand, we are sure that consumers will have confidence in the quality and credibility of these new Single Malts as they are widely recognised as the signature malts that form the heart of Ballantine’s,” adds Moore. “Ballantine’s has never been one to pick the obvious route – we do things differently and create our own path to success. All of this is core to the Ballantine’s brand and our launch of three new Single Malts is yet another example of celebrating and staying true to our roots.”

As consumers taste the individual flavour profiles of Glenburgie, Miltonduff and Glentauchers, they will discover over 190 years of heritage and tradition born in the historic Speyside region of Scotland.

Taiwan, the 4th largest whisky market by value and the most vibrant Single Malt market in the world, is the first country to officially launch the Ballantine’s Single Malts Series. From 23 September to 1 October, consumers in Taiwan will be able to learn about its ‘stay true’ heritage and innovative spirit through an interactive experience in the heart of Taipei. Through this experience they will be among the first to taste the three unique flavours of the Ballantine’s Single Malts.

The Ballantine’s Single Malt Series is bottled at 40% ABV and available to purchase at an RRP of $56 USD in Travel Retail Asia for 70cl bottle ($80 USD litre equivalent). The release of the series is a testament to the spirit of George Ballantine and the remarkable people, places and events that have been part of the brand since 1827.

Ballantine’s Launches First 21 Year Old Signature Oak Edition Exclusive To Global Travel Retail

Ballantine's 21 Year Old Signature Oak - Beauty Shot

Ballantine’s, the No.2 Scotch whisky in the world, has unveiled Ballantine’s 21 Year Old Signature Oak Edition – European Oak, the first of two new limited editions exclusive to Global Travel Retail. The release of an additional Signature Edition created with American oak will follow to complete the special pair of bottlings, making each a collector’s item for whisky enthusiasts.

The Signature Oak Edition – European Oak has been skilfully crafted by Ballantine’s Master Blender Sandy Hyslop and showcases the characteristics and flavours that European oak contributes to the original 21 Year Old blend.

Ensuring this newest expression stays true to the award-winning taste profile of Ballantine’s 21 Year Old, selected whiskies have been matured in quality sherry casks of European oak. Larger than American oak casks, these vessels help to deliver a unique flavour due to their effect on the ageing process.

Ballantine’s Master Blender Sandy Hyslop commented: “I nose each and every cask to ensure a balance between the liquid and the wood, something George Ballantine – a pioneer in the art of maturing whisky in quality casks – would have approved of. With the Ballantine’s 21 Year Old Signature Oak Editions, I wanted to pay tribute to our founder and release expressions that demonstrate to consumers how cask maturation and oak influence transform our whisky. Providing a rich taste profile, the European oak has enhanced the notes of raisin, fruitcake, sherry and spice within the 21 Year Old blend so I am certain that it will become a must-have addition to the cabinet of selective whisky collectors.”

Peter Moore, Global Brand Director for Ballantine’s, added: “The Signature Oak Editions will engage consumers with an interesting journey across different types of cask maturation. Supporting the launch of the Ballantine’s 21 Year Old Signature Oak Edition – European Oak, our Global Travel Retail displays will highlight different elements that consumers can relate to. We will focus on colour, taste and smell to showcase how European oak casks produce a very specific effect on our selected malts, enhancing the quality and personality of our whisky.

“Consumers purchasing through Global Travel Retail are looking for innovation and uniqueness beyond what they can buy in domestic markets. I’m confident that Ballantine’s fans and whisky connoisseurs alike will enjoy the Ballantine’s 21 Year Old Signature Oak Edition – European Oak and look forward to our next launch to complete this special collectors’ set.”

Available in Global Travel Retail, the Ballantine’s 21 Year Old Signature Oak Edition – European Oak is bottled at 40% ABV and available to purchase at an RRP of $225 USD. The release of the Signature Oak Editions builds on the success of the Ballantine’s 17 Year Old Signature Distillery Editions, launched in 2012, which paid tribute to four key signature malts in the 17 Year Old blend and the distilleries that produce them.

Ballantine’s Launches Pioneering Glass For Whisky Drinking In Outer Space

Ballantine's Space Glass

Ballantine’s, Europe’s No.1 Scotch whisky and the No.2 Scotch whisky in the world, has created the Ballantine’s Space Glass and a Special Batch of Ballantine’s Space Whisky designed for a zero gravity environment as the brand continues to innovate, making a genuine contribution to the space programme.

As part of a bold campaign to appeal to the next generation of whisky drinkers, Ballantine’s has commissioned the Open Space Agency, a collective of astropreneurs, to design the Space Glass and overcome the challenge of drinking whisky in a zero gravity environment. The Space Glass was rigorously tested at the ZARM Zero-G Drop Tower in Bremen, Germany, to prove its functionality in conditions similar to that of space.

To complete the launch, Master Blender Sandy Hyslop has created a special batch of Ballantine’s Space Whisky, a blend that seeks to ‘Stay True’ to the Ballantine’s whisky style while enhancing the signature flavour profile. Ballantine’s Space Whisky has been crafted by introducing first fill sherry matured malt to a bespoke Ballantine’s blend with the intention of addressing the impact that microgravity has on taste-buds, resulting in a more concentrated whisky with enhanced spice and honey notes.

Sandy Hyslop comments: “The Ballantine’s Space Glass is built around the whisky drinking experience. The warming element from hand to glass is important to me because the whisky warms up while you are drinking it, unlocking aromas that ensure a multi-sensory experience. It’s fantastic that this has been achieved, so Ballantine’s inaugural space blend has a fitting vessel specifically built for zero gravity.

“In space you are unable to pick up on the same smell and taste intensity as on earth. That was my key consideration when designing Ballantine’s Space Whisky. I had to make the blend more robust, heightened in flavour, and more concentrated so one could emulate the experience of drinking Ballantine’s on earth. Astronauts miss the taste of home and by crafting a fruitier, stronger, more floral blend I think Ballantine’s has designed a home comfort for space”.

James Parr, founder of the Open Space Agency, explains: “Our brief was to develop a whisky glass that worked under the conditions of microgravity, the scientific term for zero gravity. It was important that we focused on creating a ritual around how you drink from the Ballantine’s Space Glass to give a familiarity of what we are used to here on earth – the end result is one that incorporates several elements of that ritual, from the liquid entering the glass through to sipping from it.”

Peter Moore, Ballantine’s Global Brand Director, commented: “We believe that when individuals stay true to themselves they leave their mark on this planet. As Ballantine’s drinkers have re-invented the world all around us, we’ve been right there with them. We are delighted to be the first whisky brand to support astropreneurship with the development of the Ballantine’s Space Glass and the Special Batch of Ballantine’s Space Whisky. Not only is the glass innovative – solving fundamental scientific questions of how liquid moves in zero gravity – but it is also beautifully designed, with the ritual of the whisky drinking experience at its heart.”

Ballantine’s will be publishing articles, photography, imagery, audio, illustrations and GIFs throughout the project. Consumers are invited to follow the journey at http://www.ballantinesspaceglass.com.

Ballantine’s Launches ‘W’ The World’s First Whisky Magazine On Instagram

Ballantine's Launches the World's First Whisky Magazine on Instagram

Ballantine’s, Europe’s No.1 Scotch whisky and the No.2 Scotch whisky in the world, has today launched the world’s first digital whisky magazine hosted exclusively on Instagram. Adapting traditional magazine publishing for the social media platform, the Ballantine’s Insta-zine has been specially created to appeal to modern whisky drinkers, design and tech enthusiasts, and pop-culture fans.

The Ballantine’s Insta-zine is accessible from the @Ballantines_Official Instagram account. Users land on the Insta-zine’s contents page – a mosaic-style grid of Instagram posts – from where they can navigate between articles published on@W_IssueONE by tapping on individual image posts. The smart functionality and creative use of the social media platform demonstrates Ballantine’s commitment to staying true to its values of innovation and leadership since it was created 180 years ago by George Ballantine.

The Ballantine’s Insta-zine explores the current whisky zeitgeist and is comprised of three articles: The Women Shaping Whisky, The Rise of Bitter Drinks, and Did the Sims Introduce Mixology to the Masses? In the first, Ballantine’s interviews three women changing the face of modern whisky, while The Rise of Bitter Drinks visually explores cocktails with a bitter taste profile and features some of Ballantine’s own signature serves. The third article delves into the surprising link between mixology and the popular Sims game, exploring whether the craft of bartending has influenced the way consumers drink cocktails today.

Peter Moore, Ballantine’s Global Brand Director, commented: “Ballantine’s has become renowned for its dynamic and engaging marketing initiatives and we are very excited to add the Ballantine’s Insta-zine to our list of innovations. We are confident that the concept and the content of the Ballantine’s Insta-zine will excite whisky, design and pop-culture enthusiasts alike as we continue to bring the proud heritage of our whisky into a dynamic digital future.”

Follow @Ballantines_Official on Instagram to read the full Insta-zine today

Ballantine’s And Globally-Renowned ‘Gif-iti’ Artist Insa Create World’s Largest Animated GIF

Ballantine's Presents INSA's SPACE GIF-ITI

In late 2014, after nearly a year of planning, Ballantine’s – the world’s No.2 Scotch whisky – and globally-renowned ‘GIF-ITI’ artist INSA arrived in central Rio De Janeiro with a team of 20, to undertake a uniquely ambitious art project; to create the world’s largest animated GIF.

The results of this inimitable challenge feature in ‘Ballantine’s Presents INSA’s Space GIF-ITI’: a stunning three minute film which launches globally today.

The giant animated artwork – the most ambitious of its kind ever attempted – was painted on the ground in four stages over four days and measured a total of 57,515m2 (made up of four images measuring 14,379m2 each). Inspired by INSA’s iconic ‘Looking For Love…’ heart design, the huge paintings were each captured via a satellite orbiting 431 miles above the earth, and ultimately transformed by INSA into a moving piece of animated ‘GIF-ITI’.

‘INSA’s Space GIF-ITI’ is the third in a series of collaborations between Ballantine’s and unique talent from around the world who define Ballantine’s mantra of ‘Stay True’ and whose stories are showcased in unique films featuring projects inspired by their personal styles, talents and beliefs. Previous collaborators include leading African DJ and producer, Black Coffee (‘Human Orchestra’) and world champion freestyle skateboarder, Kilian Martin (‘Carmen’).

About INSA

INSA began his career as a graffiti writer and went on to become known for his unique patterns and motifs, which have since been displayed around the world, both at street level and in high profile exhibitions and media, including within London’s Victoria & Albert Museum and Tate Britain.

Staying True to his genesis as an artist but with a passion for experimentation and innovation, INSA is best known for creating ground-breaking ‘GIF-ITI’: amazing animations of his graffiti designs which culminate in looped GIFs – an innovative and labour-intensive process which requires him to repaint a design by hand many times, with each image changing slightly each time, before combining them to create a final GIF. His unique art has captivated audiences by creating something physical which paradoxically only exists online as a 600 pixel wide image.

How was it done?                  

The biggest technical challenge of the project was finding a satellite solution to capture a high altitude image, at a super high resolution. The answer came in the form of a collaboration with the commercial satellite division of Airbus, which gave Ballantine’s and INSA access to a pair of ‘Pleiades’ satellites which could be tasked with shooting a 100km square image, anywhere in the world, at a resolution of one pixel per 50cm2.

Location requirements were very specific; the team needed a vacant space of over 14,000m2, located somewhere with minimal risk of cloud cover. After months of searching, INSA finally settled upon Brazil, a country he’d drawn inspiration from for many of his designs, but had never previously worked in. A vacant parking lot in Rio de Janeiro’s “Marina Da Gloria” provided the perfect canvas for the project, with Rio’s climate offering the best chance of success.

On the conception of the project INSA says “The scale of this project is like no other; it’s been a dream of mine for years to create a piece of graffiti that can be seen from space, but working in synchronicity with the earth’s cycle to also create an animation is next level.”

Once the location had been identified, Airbus assisted with technical calculations to determine orbit and suitable dates for the project, establishing when the work needed to be undertaken in a single continuous period. The GIF was created by marking out the design using hundreds of metres of measured rope, a simple trundle wheel with spray cans attached, and a plethora of maths and geometry. The final work was made up of 20 hearts, each measuring 22m high by 24m wide.

INSA was then assisted by a crew of 15 local painters, who used household paint and rollers to lay down the design and template for the first layer. This stage alone took two days under the unrelenting Brazilian sun. With the satellites tasked to capture an image once a day for four days – without the option of rescheduling – the team had just 24 hours, or one revolution of the earth, until the satellite and painting were realigned for the next capture.

From there, INSA worked with the ultra-high definition satellite imagery in his London studio to build the film’s final animated GIF, which features at the end of the film.

INSA comments: “To me the GIF was made by the satellite, all I had to do was receive the images and overlay them, then set them to loop. What I love about producing my GIFs is the amount of effort – the scale and man power that has gone into this is huge – but ultimately it’s still just a 600 pixel wide GIF to be shared online. In terms of scale and for the way this project attempts to illustrate time, it’s everything I’ve ever wanted my art to be.”

Peter Moore, Ballantine’s Global Brand Director, says of the project: “INSA’s Space GIF-ITI’ is one of the most ambitious projects that Ballantine’s has ever undertaken, and is an inspiring showcase of what it means to ‘Stay True’ to yourself and to your passions. Working in a truly collaborative way with such an inspirational character and artist as INSA has allowed us to create a meaningful moment that we hope will excite and delight viewers around the world.”

The finished results can be seen in the film and a ‘making of’ detailing the behind the scenes story of the project at YouTube.com/Ballantines.

Ballantine’s Launches Innovative New Digital Campaign For Whisky Drinkers

Catch Up - Celebration

Ballantine’s, the No.1 whisky in Europe, has launched ‘Ballantine’s Live’: a unique social experiment that explores how the world is drinking whisky through the data generated on social media platforms. The campaign seeks to engage with fans of Ballantine’s Finest, driving awareness and education of Ballantine’s 12 Year Old, and encouraging trial of the super-premium spirit.

Using the data generated by hashtags, images, filters, time of day and locations used by fans to share their whisky occasions online, Ballantine’s will be able to then define whether the posts are typical of either a Ballantine’s Finest or 12 Year Old occasion. This information will then be published on Ballantineslive.com, which will feature the most talked about Finest and 12 Year Old occasions on Twitter, the most ‘checked-in’ bars where people are enjoying their Ballantine’s via Foursquare, and the most popular filters used on Instagram for people sharing their Ballantine’s consumption moment.

Peter Moore, Ballantine’s Global Brand Director, comments: “We are excited to launch a new and innovative campaign that will educate Ballantine’s Finest drinkers about the qualities of our 12 Year Old expression in a way that is both interesting and engaging. Ballantineslive.com will explore how internet users are drinking whisky in real time, while inspiring young adults to embark on an explorative journey of our award-winning Ballantine’s range.”

2014 has marked a strong period of successful and innovative initiatives for Ballantine’s, which has seen the brand launch its ground-breaking online Ballantine’s Golf Club, partner with popular music channel Boiler Room, challenge entrepreneurial bartenders to present their own vision for a dream bar and generate global support for the creation of the world’s first whisky emoji.

Visit Ballantineslive.com to be part of Ballantine’s social experiment.

Ballantine’s Christmas Reserve Limited Edition Makes Its Festive Appearance For 2014

Ballantine's Reserve - The Taste of Christmas

Ballantine’s, the world’s No.2 Scotch whisky, has today announced the global launch of its 2014 Christmas Reserve Limited Edition. The launch of this delicious and seasonal whisky blend will be supported with an integrated marketing campaign, ‘The Taste of Christmas’, which aims to maximise awareness and create demand by educating customers and engaging them with the festive drink.

First launched in 2010, the fifth edition of Ballantine’s Christmas Reserve is today available in 20 countries worldwide, including Korea, Turkey, Kenya, Estonia and Japan, who are stocking the whisky for the first time this year.

‘The Taste of Christmas’ campaign communicates the expression’s signature festive characteristics and captures the sensory experience of its seven tasting notes – ginger, moist raisin fruitcake, ripe pears, sweet candy apples, caramel toffee, tangy orange and liquorish root.

The print and digital advertising, for use across both on and off trade, features illustrations of the tasting notes. A Facebook and iPad App, ‘Discover Your Taste of Christmas,’ has also been developed, allowing fans to select their preferred tastes and Christmas elements which then results in a recommendation of the ideal Christmas Reserve serve for them.

A hugely popular signature cocktail, ‘The Ballantine’s Christmas Reserve Cinnamon Sleigh’, has also been developed to match the seasonal tasting profile of the expression. First created in 2013, the winter cocktail is served warm and uses cinnamon to underline the blend’s fruity depths.

Peter Moore, Global Brand Director for Ballantine’s, said: “We are delighted with the global sales success of Ballantine’s Christmas Reserve, which has more than doubled in growth since its 2010 launch.

“Our esteemed Master Blender, Sandy Hyslop, created this blend to naturally exude the spirit and taste of Christmas, resulting in a delicious drink for our fans around the world to enjoy – or gift for someone else to enjoy – during the 2014 festive season, and which stays true to both our Scottish heritage and quality values.”

The 2014 Ballantine’s Christmas Reserve Limited Edition is available now globally at an RRP of $26-29 USD in Duty Free.

The Could-Be-True Story Of Ballantine’s

#CouldBeTrue_Ballantine's_2.0

Europe’s No.1 whisky releases humorous new film to reveal what could have happened if Ballantine’s history had taken an unexpected and alternative route through the years…

Ballantine’s has announced the launch of a new digital campaign that aims to highlight to its fans around the world both its vibrant personality and its commitment to staying true to itself throughout its near 200 year history.

Conceived and created by M&C Saatchi, the campaign goes live with the release of two films; The Could-Be-True Story and The Stay True Story, both of which can be viewed at http://www.YouTube.com/Ballantines. The Could-Be-True Story first takes the viewer through Ballantine’s impressive heritage in an unexpected and humorous way, illustrating what could have happened had Ballantine’s not stayed true to founder George Ballantine’s vision. The Stay True Story of Ballantine’s then supports and complements the lead ‘Could-Be-True’ film, recounting Ballantine’s true brand story and demonstrating the ways in which the brand actually has stayed true since its creation in 1827.

The films will be seeded on Ballantine’s global social media platforms and further amplified in key markets around the world. The launch will also be supported by a media outreach programme that aims to grab the attention of relevant bloggers and media in a humorous and unique manner.

This new campaign is the latest in a series of successful marketing initiatives from Ballantine’s, which has seen the brand make a concerted effort to connect with consumers through digital media. This consumer engagement strategy is paying off, with Ballantine’s showing a strong performance* in key markets such as South Africa (109% annual growth), Brazil (51% annual growth), India (18% annual growth), and Poland (13% annual growth).

Ballantine’s Global Brand Director, Peter Moore, comments: “As a brand that prides itself on its reputation for innovation, we have long understood the potential that engaging, digital content provides, allowing us to connect with independent-minded adults. With these new films, we’re aiming to tell the story of Ballantine’s in a surprising and light-hearted manner, and one that is unexpected of a Scotch whisky brand. We are hopeful that this approach will capture the attention of our audience, showing them that whilst Ballantine’s is a well-established brand with a long history of tradition, we have a sense of humour and an individual style, making us a brand that remains relevant today.”

Leading African DJ Black Coffee Inspires With A Unique Musical Experiment For Ballantine’s

Ballantine's Presents Black  Coffee's Human Orchestra - Profile

Ballantine’s, the world’s No 2 Scotch whisky, has launched an inspiring short film, ‘Black Coffee’s Human Orchestra’, created in collaboration with world-renowned African DJ and Producer, Black Coffee. The film is the latest in a series presented by Ballantine’s, each of which has been shot around the world and features unique individuals who represent Ballantine’s global mantra, ‘Stay True, Leave an Impression’. Each film in the series, which can be seen at http://www.StayTrueStories.com, captures these individuals as they bring their own story to life, performing innovative, creative and artistic experiments centred around their passions, philosophies and talent.

The latest film, shot in and around Johannesburg (Soweto and Maboneng), illustrates Back Coffee’s passion, creativity and ‘Stay True’ spirit of continuous experimentation with music. The film opens with Black Coffee’s own back-story and beliefs around life, music and creation, before we see him assemble a group of vocalists from across Africa. The climax of the film is an experiment which defines Black Coffee’s ambition as an artist; an impressive feat to deconstruct one of his most famous electronic music productions, ‘Rock My World’, recreating it using only the vocal abilities of his 40 strong choir.

About Black Coffee

Hailing from Durban but now based in the creatively buzzing metropolis of Johannesburg, Black Coffee has been creatively involved in music since the age of two. From then, he has followed a path of musical experimentation via bands, jazz, music school (where a passion for production led him to copy his teacher’s studio key so he could experiment after hours) and latterly, as a club-filling DJ known for his modern and international take on the booming ‘Afropolitan’ house movement.

He is known for his passion in bringing people together and uniting them through music, participating in numerous projects and launching his own Foundation in support of social cohesion, raising funds through challenging himself with initiatives that include a marathon 60-hour DJ set. This philosophical belief developed during South Africa’s transition from the Apartheid regime; a period during which music had a united thread that helped to, and continues to, bring people together.

It is this sense of conviction to music and desire to innovate that truly define Black Coffee as the perfect representation of Ballantine’s mantra of ‘Stay True’.

About Stay True Stories and StayTrueStories.com

Ballantine’s is engaged in a global journey to produce a series of films which feature personalities who serve as an embodiment of ‘Stay True, Leave an Impression’. ‘Black Coffee’s Human Orchestra’ follows on from films including ‘Kilian Martin’s Carmen’, featuring world leading freestyle skateboarder Kilian Martin and his unique take on Bizet’s Spanish set opera Carmen, ‘Ben Mead’s Art of Drumming’, which shows the London-based star of Ballantine’s global ‘Stay True’ TV campaign performing an exceptional experiment to visualise sound, and ‘The Whale Song’, featuring Chilean bassist, Juan Manuel Aguirre, as he takes to the sea in a rare experiment to capture the union of music and nature. Further films are currently in production across four continents and will be released throughout 2014 and 15.

These films can be found at http://www.StayTrueStories.com, an online hub which also launches today, collating the richest and most captivating stories from across the web, chosen as a result of their ability to inspire us to Stay True to our own courage and conviction.

Black Coffee commented: “Musical experimentation and its power to bring people together is why I do what I do. When Ballantine’s asked me what my dream experiment would be, I wanted to set us the challenge to do something unique. To see the group of vocalists we put together from throughout Africa with each playing their own part, producing the final recreation of ‘Rock My World’ was an amazingly satisfying moment.”

Peter Moore, Global Brand Director for Ballantine’s, commented: “Black Coffee is a true representation of what we mean by Stay True; someone who does what they do because they have to, because it’s inside them. We hope that both this film and others online at StayTrueStories.com, will inspire those watching to drive themselves forward in their own way, just as Black Coffee does himself.”

Ballantine’s Announces The Winner Of The Bar Project

Ballantines The Bar Project - winning concept

“L’Epicerie”, a grocery-themed bar designed by Moroccan-born Abderrahim El Afsar, will be brought to life by Ballantine’s in the heart of Paris this autumn

Ballantine’s, the world’s No 2 Scotch whisky, today announced the winner of The Bar Project; an innovative and entrepreneurial challenge that took place in France earlier this year, offering consumers the unique opportunity to devise a concept for their own dream bar. The Bar Project by Ballantine’s saw more than 100 bar concepts submitted – via Facebook – by the French public. A jury including Simon Baldeyrou, CEO of Deezer in France and Laura Leonard, a renowned interior designer, selected their top three entries, which were then put to the public vote, with “L’Epicerie” achieving almost 50% of the overall votes cast.

The winner of the challenge, as voted for by the public, is Abderrahim El Afsar – more commonly known as “Abdou” – whose Moroccan-inspired, grocery-themed bar concept will now be brought to life by Ballantine’s this September, within famous Parisian club “Le Chacha”.

Abdou’s unique cocktail bar concept “L’Epicerie” enables the customer to select their own fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices, with these ingredients then forming the base of their own sophisticated and delicious cocktail. Infused with plants, spice jars, fruit baskets and bouquets of fresh herbs, “L’Epicerie” evokes the sense of a Moroccan ‘night food market’. Customers will be able to browse the bar’s inviting shelves, filling their shopping basket with the finest ingredients of their choice. The experienced mixologists behind the bar will then create an innovative whisky cocktail with these ingredients, selecting the most appropriate expression from the Ballantine’s range to match, which customers will be able to drink around the large host table that forms the centrepiece of the bar.

Abdou El Asfari, the winning designer of this impressive concept, was born in Morocco and went on to become Head Bartender at several well-known bars in the country. He moved to France in 2013 to continue to practise his passion in luxury hotels and at private parties, always staying true to his Moroccan roots and taking inspiration from the country’s opulent spices, fresh fruits and vegetables.

Abdou commented: “I have always dreamed of creating my own bar and, thanks to The Bar Project by Ballantine’s, it’s finally come true. I have learned so much through the whole experience, and I can’t wait until the grand opening of my bar this September!”

Peter Moore, Global Brand Director for Ballantine’s, added: “The Bar Project has been a hugely successful pilot initiative for Ballantine’s in France, and we were pleased to see such high quality entries from across the country. L’Epicerie is a hugely innovative concept and one that reflects Abdou’s own Moroccan heritage and back-story. We hope to now see some of our other Ballantine’s markets continuing the success of the campaign and launching The Bar Project in their own country, giving our customers around the world the chance to participate.”

“L’Epicerie” will open its doors to the public on the 4th September 2014, on the first floor of Le Chacha, situated in Paris’s first district.

For more information about The Bar Project by Ballantine’s, visit http://www.ballantinesbarproject.fr.