Wednesday 31st August – Edrington, the international premium spirits company has announced the appointment of a new Master Blender for The Famous Grouse.
Craig Johnstone is a Scot who brings nineteen years of industry experience to the role in the UK and most recently in Tasmania. He returns to Scotland to take on one of the most prestigious roles in the industry as the blender behind the UK’s No 1 Whisky.
Craig follows in the footsteps of renowned Master Blenders including Gordon Motion and Kirsteen Campbell. The 37-year-old has become one of a select few people who know the unique blend of whiskies that combine to form Scotland’s favourite whisky and holder of a Royal Warrant.
The role will be based at Edrington’s famous ‘106 Sample Room’ in Glasgow, where an estimated 11,000 samples of single malts, grains and blends are stored and where a team of blenders nose up to 600 samples a day to guarantee the aroma, flavour and character of The Famous Grouse blend.
After completing a degree in astrophysics, Craig’s first job was as a Scotch Whisky distillery tour guide. The experience led him to focus his ambitions on the industry and develop an interest in sustainability in spirits distillation.
As Master Blender, Craig will work with the Edrington team to develop new sustainability practices within the whisky making and blending processes.
Edrington recently announced a commitment to achieve Net Zero by 2045, with an ambitious plan to reduce its carbon emissions and has joined the Carbon Disclosure Project, the gold standard of environmental reporting.
Joakim Leijon, Global Brand Director for The Famous Grouse, said: “Craig is a talented master blender and his experience and passion for the brand and for exploring new ideas in sustainability will help us to build on the global success of The Famous Grouse and also rise to the challenge of our Net Zero ambitions.”
Commenting on his new role, Craig said: “It is a privilege to be Master Blender for The Famous Grouse and to be part of the team that are the current custodians of this amazing brand. This beloved Scotch Whisky has played a prominent role in my life, part of so many celebrations with family and friends – just the aroma gives me a sense of being back home. I’m looking forward to delivering the high quality and character that is expected of The Famous Grouse and continuing the legacy of this well-loved whisky.”
Monday 29th March, London: The Famous Grouse, the no.1 Whisky in the UK, has today announced a limited-edition label to celebrate the brand’s role as the Official Sponsor of The British & Irish Lions.
The one-off design sees the iconic label of The Famous Grouse transformed to read ‘The Famous British & Irish Lions’.
Sold exclusively at Tesco from 30th March, the bottle will be available in three variations (35cl, 70cl and 1L) before being distributed to additional retailers and the on-trade from April.
Following more than 30 years of involvement with the sport of rugby, the limited-edition bottle aims to drive engagement with fans across the UK throughout the tour, championing the games unparalleled sportsmanship and camaraderie. It also forms part of The Famous Grouse The Spirit of Rugby campaign, following the announcement that The Famous Grouse will also be the Official Partner of Premiership Rugby, SA Rugby, and Glasgow Warriors.
Chris Anderson, Head of Edrington Brands, said: “The Famous Grouse has been investing in the sport of rugby for 30 years, and we are very proud to reaffirm our commitment to this great game with the launch of this limited-edition bottle. On sale throughout the British and Irish Lions tour the bottle will enable us to celebrate the pride and camaraderie we see on the rugby pitch every matchday.”
As one of the world’s most popular blended whiskies, The Famous Grouse combines a creamy malt and biscuit flavour with a hint of spice and whisper of smoke to create a truly unique blend.
The Famous British & Irish Lions is best served neat or as part of a ‘Grouse and Ginger’ cocktail made using ginger beer. The Famous British & Irish Lions is the ideal drink to enjoy during The British & Irish Lions tour at home or to toast a try with friends once pubs and bars reopen later this year.
For further information or to join the conversation, please visit @TheFamousGrouseUK on Facebook, @TheFamousGrouse on Twitter and on Instagram @TheFamousGrouseUK
 Following a three week exclusivity period at Tesco.
The competition which launched at the beginning of July by Scotland’s favourite whisky gave four talented artists or bands the chance to win a headline slot like no other and earn the right to say they have played on stage at The Famous Grouse House this Edinburgh Festival!
The winners; Edinburgh based electronic pop rock band DMS will be joined by psychedelic pop band The Mink Stoles, Livingston born Adriana Spina, who will perform her unique brand of alternative acoustic Americana – some of which has enjoyed immediate critical acclaim including being listed as “Single of the Week” on BBC Radio Scotland, as well as folky indie pop singer-songwriter Lou Mclean, who combines her exceptional voice with original acoustic guitar – providing an array of musical talent to the famous venue.
Scottish entertainer and Forth 1 radio presenter Grant Scott was joined by Edinburgh born musical director, writer and producer David Whitmey, who has worked with the likes of The Wanted, Mika and The Saturdays, to lend their ears and help The Famous Grouse team to help choose the lucky shortlist before the going through to the next stage – the public vote via The Famous Grouse Facebook page.
David Whitmey, who is currently working with Gary Barlow and Sony Records projects, said : “This was an amazing chance for unsigned bands and artists to win a prime slot to headline on one of the most coveted stages at the Edinburgh Festival this August. The quality of entries was exceptional and it was a tough call when it came to selecting the shortlist. The winners all have huge potential and we can’t wait to have them perform on the stage. They will be joined by some of Scotland’s best up and coming bands and breaking acts from all over the globe”
The competition was launched to celebrate the return of The Famous Grouse House for its second consecutive year to Scotland’s Capital and Edinburgh’s International Festival Fringe this August (Wednesday 3rd August – Saturday 27th August 2016)
The winners will be joined by some of Scotland’s best music acts and musical fringe performances from all over the globe, as part of the eclectic festival programme at The New Town Theatre. Located just outside this popular festival venue, on a pedestrian friendly section of George Street, The Famous Grouse House will be open daily from 11:00am to midnight and include performances from the hugely popular Posable Action Figures, Glasgow based indie rock band Kelvin and the hugely admired solo artist Luke Carey taking to the stage. With critically acclaimed new music, a festival vibe and a fresh sense of fun, The Famous Grouse House is going to be the perfect place to soak up the best of the festival.
Johna Penman, Marketing Controller, The Famous Grouse commented: “Congratulations to our four winners! The Famous Grouse House made its name at the festival last year with a combination of great live music every day and a variety of refreshing summer serves. We can’t wait to welcome DMS, The Mink Stoles, Lou McLean and Adriana Spina to our famous venue – there’s no better place to be this August.”
The Famous Grouse House will be open daily from the 3rd to the 27th August, from 11am until midnight, with live music every day, situated outside New Town Theatre, 96 George Street.
Please enjoy our whisky responsibly www.drinkaware.co.uk
For more information visit www.famousgrouse.com. For the latest news follow on twitter @TheFamousGrouse or Facebook at: TheFamousGrouseUK #famousgrousehouse #famousfridays
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