The Famous Grouse rewards excellence in selling whisky


maxxium winner cheers

Three bars from around the UK have received cash prizes after triumphing in a nationwide competition for excellence in selling The Famous Grouse whisky.

They were selected from an original shortlist of 300 pubs and bars which were assessed on their sales and promotional activities after staff received specialist training in blended whisky.

The top prize in the Masters of the Famous Blends competition went to Cheers Café Bar & Tavern in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, which has received £3,000 for spending on improvements of their own choice. The bar’s team are pictured above. It stocks around 300 whiskies including 18 different expressions of The Famous Grouse.

Second prize went to the Chequers Inn in Poole, Dorset, which received 1,500, while The Maypole in Cambridge came third with a prize of £500.

The winners were awarded their prizes at a special finale hosted at The Famous Grouse Experience in Crieff in Scotland.

The three runners-up were The Fountain in London, the Old Harkers Arms in Chester and Head of Steam in Stockton-on-Tees.

All of the shortlisted outlets were provided with “Masters of the Famous Blend” training sessions which explained to bar staff how a whisky blend is made, including distillation, maturation, the influence of wood, and the art of blending.

In addition they were provided with a range of The Famous Grouse point-of-sale materials and training on the perfect serve: The Famous Grouse and ginger ale, garnished with a wedge of orange.

After a “mystery shopper” assessment that tested the knowledge of the bar team and the quality of the signature serve, the six finalists were put forward to the finale. Here they enjoyed an overnight stay in Glasgow and a visit to The Famous Grouse Experience where they were treated to a cocktail masterclass, VIP distillery tour and a three-course meal.

Jenifer Spinks, customer marketing and category controller at Maxxium UK, said: “As the UK’s number-one-selling blended scotch, we are keen to reignite the trade and consumers’ passion for the category, educate on the quality credentials of the blended scotch category and reward our loyal customers.

“The Masters of the Famous Blend trade activation has been a great success, and we now have 300 fully accredited ‘Masters of the Famous Blend’ outlets across the UK, as well as securing important new listings for our new premium expressions, The Famous Smoky Black and The Famous Mellow Gold.

“Cheers bar really impressed the judges having introduced both The Famous Smoky Black and The Famous Mellow Gold to their bar menu, rolled out Masters of the Famous Blend training across their full team, increased sales of The Famous Grouse by 50% in January, as well as running their own Facebook promotion and creating their own point-of-sale. A very worthy winner of the top prize.

“I’d also like to congratulate The Chequers Inn and The Maypole, as well as our three runners-up, and extend a huge thank you also to all of the outlets who took part in the Masters of the Famous Blend programme.”

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