The Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 1st Edition Part 1 | Blog #28

To say that this week is exciting would be a massive understatement.

Lets start at the beginning to tell the story properly.

Almost 4 years ago after working hard selling whisky at the Vancouver Hopscotch festival, which happens annually every November, I was out doing  a little Christmas shopping for my wife and I came across another chocolate filled Advent Calendar. This one peaked my interest as it was made up of Dark Chocolate (my wife’s favorite) and had a lovely portrayal of what many consider the perfect Christmas. A small cottage nestled in the woods covered in snow with a large window allowing a glimpse into the scene within. A roaring fire and lavishly decorated Christmas tree along with 4 stockings hung on the mantle and 2 deep backed leather chairs.

Although not an image from my childhood as I grew up with long Summer days and a very warm and sunny Christmas experience, the image struck a chord with me as I have now for the past 13 years on many occasions had Christmas by the fire with snow gently falling outside.

I picked up the Advent Calendar and as I was waiting in line the thought occurred to me that it would be awesome to be able to open up a new whisky every day instead of chocolate.

I did not dwell long on the thought but it stuck with me. Quite often an idea needs prompting before you actually act on it and the next year in September having not really thought about it much I was talking with a retailer in Alberta who was super excited as they were about to receive the first shipment of the first edition Craft Beer Advent Calendar.

BOOM …

I was taken right back to that November night in Vancouver standing in front of the Dark chocolate Advent Calendar display.

The Craft Beer Advent Calendar was of course a big success and is now into it’s third year and sales are stronger than ever.

So my journey towards a Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar started officially as I spoke with my gorgeous Canadian wife and she gave it the big thumbs up.

I did find out that there was a Whisky Calendar created by the really switched on marketing machine that is Master of Malt. They created their first whisky calendar in 2012 which was also the same year that the Craft Beer calendar came out. Knowing that I would be at least a year behind what looked to be a very serious developing consumer trend, I looked at ways that our version could over deliver and ‘wow’ both novice and seasoned whisky drinkers alike.

In 2013 the Master of Malt Whisky Advent Calendar made it to Alberta as an exclusive for only a few retailers. The resulting consumer reaction was immediate – they sold out and they sold out fast. Looking at their model – 30ml bottles of whiskies from across the globe taken from opened distillery produced bottles gave me a good baseline to start from.

So what do you do when you know you are on a winner and want to wow the market and establish your product as something outstanding that will cement you as the front runner for years to come?

Well you wait until part 2 to keep your faithful readers on the hook for next weeks blog 🙂

See you then…

Cheers!

Jonathan

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