Rare Cask Reserves: Inventing a new brand of single malt whisky

The Challenge

Over 40 years ago, William Grant & Sons distilled and bought a variety of single malt whiskies, all of which have been aging ever since. Four decades later, the company’s Master Distiller began creating a selection of new and rare blends from these ancient reserves. The Gild was challenged to create a completely new brand and pack design that provided true connoisseurs with something exciting and different in an already crowded Scotch whisky marketplace.

The Approach

Using inspiration from in and outside of the whisky category, we developed the brand positioning, product naming system, brand identity, and packaging design for three aged whisky blends, each with a unique flavor profile. On top of this we developed a unique flavor map and set of tasting notes to educate the connoisseur on the rare and special quality of each whisky.

The Solution

We created the ‘Rare Cask Reserves’ brand to celebrate true craftsmanship and rarity. Working with illustrator ‘Dave Hopkins’ we created a map of Scotland, in beautiful pencil linework, highlighting the source of each whisky. To offset the craft of this map the brand and bottle design was kept to a fresh and contemporary feel, whilst ensuring that all whisky semiotics were embodied. All of this was housed in the bespoke leather-finish box, with gold foil seal. All of these design finishes and details were elements created to draw consumers in and enable them to explore and learn.

The Results

The Rare Cask Reserves gift set sold successfully in iconic and premium London department store Harrods, and the concept has since evolved into larger stand-alone bottles, selling exclusively in duty-free markets around the world, including London, Mexico, and Spain.