Grand Old Parr

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Grand Old Parr (often simply just Old Parr) is a blended Scotch whisky named after the reputed oldest man in England. Launched in 1909, it is found in export markets such as Japan and South America, and is no longer distributed in the United Kingdom. It is owned, distilled and distributed by Diageo, the British drinks company.

Old Parr is known for its distinctive dimpled and rounded bottle design. It retails at a premium price, and its competitor brands include Johnnie Walker Black Label and Chivas Regal.[1]

History[edit]

Old Parr was introduced in 1909 by Greenlees Brothers of London.[2] It takes its name from the reputed oldest man in Britain, Old Tom Parr.[3] The name emphasised the maturity of the product. The brand was initially successful in London, before finding popularity in export markets.[4][2]

Following a series of mergers, Greenlees became a part of MacDonald Greenlees & Williams. In 1925, the company was acquired by Distillers Company, which was acquired by Guinness, which merged in 1997 to form Diageo.[5][2]

Blends[edit]

The standard blend is the 12 year old called Grand Old Parr (43% ABV).[2] The 15 year old blend is known as Old Parr (43%), and the 18 year old is known as Old Parr Superior (43%).[5]

Old Parr Superior was launched in 1989, and is blended in small quantities in Scotland twice a year.[6][7]

Discontinued blends Old Parr Tribute and Old Parr Elizabethan, the latter launched in the mid-1980s, retailed at a higher price than Superior.[8]

Production[edit]

The Cragganmore Distillery in Scotland

Old Parr is sold in a distinctive dimpled and rounded square bottle, and is packaged in a gold cardboard box.[9]

The basis of the blend is Cragganmore.[2] Glendullan has been a major component of the blend since World War II.[10]

The brand sold over 1 million cases (1 case equals 9 litres) in 2011, putting it among the top twenty highest selling Scotch whisky brands in the world.[11]

Old Parr was bottled at Kilmarnock before that distillery closed in 2012.[12] Old Parr is now bottled in Fife.[13]

Markets[edit]

The brand's highest sales are in the export markets of Japan and South America.[14] In 2009-2010, the 12 year old held 52 percent of the Scotch market in Colombia.[15]

The brand ceased to be distributed in the United Kingdom and Europe by the 1980s.[16]

Advertising[edit]

The image of Thomas Parr painted by Rubens is featured on the label of Old Parr.

In the 1970s the brand was marketed with the slogan "Make friends with Old Parr".

References[edit]

  1. ^ Michael S. Moss; John R. Hume (1981). The Making of Scotch Whisky: A History of the Scotch Whisky Distilling Industry. James & James. p. 196. ISBN 978-0-907383-00-0. 
  2. ^ a b c d e World Whisky. Dorling Kindersley. 2009. p. 148. ISBN 978-1-4053-4781-5. 
  3. ^ Great Whiskies. Dorling Kindersley. 2011. p. 277. ISBN 978-1-4053-6018-0. 
  4. ^ Business Archives. Business Archives Council. 1992. p. 2. 
  5. ^ a b Whisky. Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 143. ISBN 978-1-4053-3624-6. 
  6. ^ PR Newswire October 5, 1989, Thursday GUINNESS REPORTS RESULTS
  7. ^ El Universal (Venezuela) September 2, 2009 Wednesday Venezuela: Diageo launches Old Parr Superior
  8. ^ Investors Chronicle November 1, 1991 Phase Two For Guinness JOHN CAMPBELL
  9. ^ Collee, Gerald (7 October 1996). "Obituary: Alex Urquhart". The Scotsman. 
  10. ^ Whisky. Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 59. ISBN 978-1-4053-3624-6. 
  11. ^ Ian Buxton; Paul S. Hughes (2012). The Science and Commerce of Whisky. Royal Society of Chemistry. p. 271. ISBN 978-1-84973-150-8. 
  12. ^ Ballantyne, Robert (20 June 1998). "Spirits Switched To Scotland". The Scotsman. 
  13. ^ Fife Diageo bottling plant officially opens :: Welcome to Fife
  14. ^ Whisk(e)y
  15. ^ Portafolio May 7, 2010 Friday Colombia: Old Parr most popular Scotch whisky for many
  16. ^ Distillers go with flow as Latin America develops taste for Scotch - The Scotsman