Bell's whisky

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Bell's Whisky
BellScotch.jpg
Type Scotch Whisky
Manufacturer Diageo
Country of origin Scotland
Introduced 1851
Bell's Scotch Whisky barrel at the Blair Athol Distillery in Pitlochry.

Bell's is a brand of blended Scotch whisky originally produced by Arthur Bell & Sons Ltd and now owned by Diageo. It is the highest selling whisky in the UK.[1]

History[edit]

The Bells distillery was founded in 1798 [2].

In 1851, Arthur Bell (1825–1900) began to blend various single malts together to create a more consistent blended whisky.[3] Arthur Bell was the first known whisky manufacturer to appoint a London agent, by at least 1863.[4] Bell's two sons joined the business in partnership in 1895.[5] Arthur Kinmond (1868–1942) was appointed to manage the domestic market and Robert was appointed as head of the brand overseas.[4] By the 1880s the company was focused on blended whisky.[4] Arthur Bell died in 1900.[4] In 1921 the partnership became a private company run by Arthur Kinmond after Robert retired to live as a country gentleman. The end of Prohibition in America created a surge in demand, which led Arthur Bell & Sons to acquire two distilleries in 1933: Blair Athol and Dufftown.[5] In 1936 the Inchgower distillery was also acquired.[6]

The Bell brothers died in 1942 and the company accountant, William Govan Farquharson, became chairman of the company.[4] He focused on advertising the brand more heavily.[4] Bell's became a public company in 1949.[6] In 1954, Arthur Bell exported to 130 different countries.[7]

By 1970, Bell's was the highest selling whisky in Scotland.[4] In the early 1970s, Bell's could not afford the advertising budget of the larger whisky distillers.[8] Instead, it focused on the use of mixers with its product.[8] This increased the product's popularity with women, and Bell's revenues rose by 800% between 1970 and 1979.[8] In 1978 Bell's became the UK's highest selling whisky.[5] Much of the credit for this expansion is given to the then managing director Raymond Miquel.[9] By 1980 the company had around 35 percent market share in the UK.[9]

Arthur Bell & Sons acquired Gleneagles Hotels in 1984.[10] In 1985 the company was acquired by Guinness for $518 million, and subsequently absorbed into Diageo.[11]

Production[edit]

Shieldhall bottling plant

Blair Athol is the main component of the blend.[12] Dufftown and Inchgower still figure, but Glenkinchie and Caol Ila are also components.[12]

The Pittyvaich distillery was used in the blend between 1974 and 1993.[13]

Bell's is bottled at Diageo's Shieldhall, Glasgow plant.

The product is 40% ABV in the UK, and 43% ABV in South Africa.[14]

Markets[edit]

The brand's top markets are the UK, South Africa, the Nordic countries, Spain and Brazil.[15]

Advertising[edit]

A religious man, modesty prevented Arthur Bell from using his name on his whisky.[13] The Arthur Bell name was not attached to the product until 1904.[13]

A yellow floribunda rose was named after Arthur Bell in the early 1960s.[16] Bell's has used the "Afore ye go" slogan since 1925.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nielsen, GB Off Trade Value Sales MAT TO WE 14/05/2011, CGA On Trade Value Sales MAT TO 16/04/2011
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Gavin D. Smith; Dominic Roskrow; Davin De Kergommeaux (2012). Whisky Opus. Dorling Kindersley. p. 83. ISBN 978-1-4053-9474-1. Retrieved 2014-01-08. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Bells – About Whisky – Blends – www.scotchwhisky.com
  5. ^ a b c d Bell's – History
  6. ^ a b Ronald B. Weir, ‘Bell, Arthur (1825–1900)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2011 accessed 8 Jan 2014
  7. ^ Bell's Whisky
  8. ^ a b c James, Barrie G. (1985). Business Wargames. Taylor & Francis. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-85626-441-2. 
  9. ^ a b Philip Hills (21 December 2012). Scots On Scotch: The Book of Whisky. Mainstream Publishing. p. 14. ISBN 978-1-78057-788-3. 
  10. ^ David Parker (19 June 2013). The Official History of Privatisation, Vol. II: Popular Capitalism, 1987–97. Routledge. p. 438. ISBN 978-1-136-33123-7. 
  11. ^ https://www.nytimes.com/1985/08/24/business/bell-s-stockholders-back-guinness-bid.html
  12. ^ a b Bell's – Discovery
  13. ^ a b c Bells Whisky – one of Scotlands big brands
  14. ^ Bell's Whisky
  15. ^ Whisk(e)y Archived January 8, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-06-09. 

External links[edit]