Win a year’s supply of gin

 - by Dug
Lots of Gin

Lots of lovely gin

The fabulous people over at Gintime are running a prize draw to win a year’s supply of gin. All you need do is give them a name and an email address; you can enter here.

Now, 12 bottles being a year’s supply is a little subjective; I would call it about a six month supply, but 12 bottles of free gin shouldn’t be dismissed on a technicality – it’s free gin!

I thought long and hard about whether to share this news, because as more people enter, my chances of winning decrease. Then I thought that even if my handful of readers all enter, the odds won’t change that much.

Good luck.

Are Blackwood in trouble again?

 - by Dug
Blackwood's Gin

Blackwood's Gin - A sinking ship?

The Blackwood brand has been dogged by problems from its inception. Originally set up to build Shetland’s first whisky distillery in 2002, the project faced severe delays and stock theft. In May 2008, Blackwood Distillers went into administration and then in August of the same year, were forced into Liquidation. A new company, Catfirth Ltd, was set up to continue the  whisky distillery project, and is part-funded by a project to mature whisky from mainland Scotland, in Shetland.

The white spirit brands that were produced by Blackwood were handed to Blavod Extreme Spirits in a seven-year licensing deal. This includes the Blackwood’s vintage dry gin I reviewed back in July.

With a rocky and painful start in life, the brand is now facing new issues. The domain that hosts their website ( expired on the 2nd November this year. Currently the site displays a standard Tucows domain-squatting page. The domain appears to be registered to London-based digital agency, Airlock.

Is this a sign of things to come for Blackwood’s? Has Airlock forgotten to re-register the domain after the initial four years? Or is it just an admin error at Blackwood’s?

Whatever the answer, it is bad news for an already beleaguered brand.

Fever-Tree declared Cool Brand

 - by Dug
Cool Brands Award

Cool Brands Award

For the third year running, Fever-Tree have been awarded Cool Brand Status, along with the likes of Aston Martin, Green & Black’s and Apple.

The awards are judged on style, innovation, desirability by canvassing experts and consumers to produce a benchmark of cool. There is no application to this process; all are considered and you are either “cool” or you are not.

The fact that Fever-Tree has been dubbed a Cool Brand for three years on the trot is testament to the quality of their product and the tastes of the wider public. Their premium tonic water is just spectacular and makes a tremendous G&T; it is widely considered to be the best tonic water on the market and is recommended by many gin brands (Sipsmith included).

In celebration of this, Fever-Tree are giving you the chance to win a CoolBrands book, which would be a fine adornment to any coffee table. You can enter the cometition here:

Bombay Sapphire Revelation hits Hong Kong

 - by Dug
Bombay Sapphire Revelation

Bombay Sapphire Revelation

Bombay Sapphire Revelation has arrived at Hong Kong International airport. You may well ask what Bombay Sapphire Revelation actually is; I certainly did, but a little digging revealed all.

At US$200,000 per bottle, Bombay Sapphire Revelation is a very exclusive, limited edition collection of five hand-crafted Bombay Sapphire bottles. They are a collaboration between Bacardi, crystal maker Baccarat, Garrard the jeweler and design talent Karim Rashid, are crafted from crystal and are decorated with diamonds and sapphires.

These astonishing bottles have been touring key international airports since 2008. Anyone buying one does however also get a year’s supply of Bombay Sapphire to accompany their purchase.

Bombay Sapphire also created a new gin-based cocktail for the unveiling back in 2008, the Sapphire Revalation. With the exception of Bombay Sapphire, I have all the ingredients in the house and will be trying it tonight – watch this space.

Bacardi hands Bombay Sapphire account to WPP

 - by Dug

Bacardi has awarded the global advertising contract for the Bombay Sapphire brand to a group of WPP agencies. This will include TV, digital and experiential advertising.

Bombay Sapphire has traditionally handled its marketing internally, although it has worked with agencies in the US and UK. This is the first time the brand has handed the whole global operation to one agency.

Could we see some interesting new thinking behind the marketing of this premium gin? Or will the size of WPP sink the brand in an unimaginative mire? I guess only time will tell.