CDF-Lagardère and Distell Global Travel Retail host virtual Bunnahabhain tasting

By Andrew Pentol |

Distell CDF-Lagardere webinar

Thirty CDF-Lagardère VIP customers were invited to take part in this week’s virtual Bunnahabhain tasting.

South African wines and spirits company Distell and CDF-Lagardère hosted a virtual tasting for Scotch whisky brand Bunnahabhain this week.

Thirty CDF-Lagardère VIP customers from China and Hong Kong were invited by Scott Hamilton, Business Director (Spirits, Wine & Beer), Lagardère Travel Retail to take part in the tasting, which is believed to be the first of its kind in travel retail.

The webinar was hosted by Hamilton, Luke Maga, Global Travel Retail Managing Director, Distell Global Travel Retail and Derek Scott, Brand Director Bunnahabhain.

Attendees received tasting kits prior to the webinar and were guided through a tasting of five exclusive Bunnahabhain whiskies. These were An Cladach (travel retail exclusive), 12yo, 25yo, 40yo and the 1980 Canasta Cask Finish.

The tasting culminated in an exclusive reveal of Bunnahabhain 36yo, the latest edition in the brand’s super-premium Elements Series. This limited-edition single malt was exclusively bottled for CDF-Lagardère. Only six decanters are available.


On the nose, the Bunnahabhian whisky offers notes of bitter dark chocolate, treacle toffee, balanced with raisins, dried apricots and hints of sweet oak. The whisky provides a ‘richer oakiness’ on the tongue, followed by notes of creamy coffee liqueur chocolates. This softened by hints of sweet dried fruits and Bunnahabhain’s salted nuttiness.

Bunnahabhain 36yo

The virtual tasting culminated in an exclusive reveal of Bunnahabhain 36yo, the latest edition in the brand’s super-premium Elements Series.

At the end of the tasting, attendees had the opportunity to purchase all five of the whiskies sampled, along with the Bunnahabhain 36yo.

Maga said: “Covid-19 has forced us to rethink how we connect with consumers and bring the heritage of our brands alive in a digital format. Pioneering travel retail’s first virtual tasting with CDF-Lagardère is a proud moment in our three-year partnership. We are extremely grateful to Scott for facilitating the initiative and for his unwavering support of Distell’s ambition to build our single malt portfolio in Asia.”

Hamilton commented: “The closure of airports this year has evidently made engaging with consumers a challenge. This has fast-tracked the need for a more digital approach in travel retail. The inaugural virtual tasting underlines CDF-Lagardère and Distell’s mutual commitment to offer consumers memorable, innovative experiences in an interactive format.”

Scott, who emphasises Distell’s passion for the single malt portfolio and need to evolve in product and communication concluded: “While we are disappointed that we could not reveal the exclusive 36yo in person, this virtual event provided an innovative platform to introduce the exquisite one-off bottling to a select group of CDF-Lagardère’s most valued customers.”

Bunnahabhain 1980


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