05.06.2014

Another Limited Edition by Tanqueray: OLD TOM Gin - Why I will not stock it...

today I received a phone call from a very nice gentleman, responsible for DIAGEO RESERVE BRANDS, here in Hamburg.

"Joerg, I would like to inform you, that we will release Tanqueray OLD TOM Gin in the next few days in germany. It is a classic OLD TOM Gin, a modern interpretation of an old recipe by Charles Tanqueray, developed by great Master Distiller Tom Nichols, sweetened and flavoured with fine extracts of fresh pineapple and botanicals. It is a limited edition like Malacca. If you like too, you can subscribe for 30 bottles per bar, making 60 together for Le Lion and THE BOILERMAN BAR. Price will be around 32,50 € per liter. 100.000 bottles will be done globally. Should I put you up for 60 bottles on the list?

Great that this guy asking me and for sure, what great Tom Nichols touches, will taste good.

But I was thinking: I its the same conditions like for  Tanqueray Malacca a little ago. At the Malacca release I had the change to subscribe for 60 bottles for around 30 € per 1 ltr. bottle. Which I did. Malacca should be 100.000 bottles globally and 6000 only for germany. Thats what DIAGEO announced at this time. Malacca came out and in 24 hours you found a lot of online offers on +100,00 €. Also in web-shops which used to be serious before. WTF. Why did serious traders risk their credibility for a few Euros? Over weeks the price got down to 60,-€  later 50,- € per bottle.

Today, you still see bottles of Malacca, most around 50,- € to 60,- €.  The funny thing: you still find them in posh german supermarkets- Yes:  „S U P E R MA R K E T S“!

In the beginning, at least from my international voices of DIAGEO, Malacca was announced to me as on ON TRADE present for the bartenders. I really did like this idea. But DIAGEO has no direct ON TRADE channels in germany, so they had to deliver „you“ this ON TRADE „bartender“- bottles via a trader.

For sure this traders wanted some bottles as well. But if you asked me, the idea of an on-trade present for bartenders and owners was going in germany in the totally wrong direction over time. Malacca became a playground and a speculation for traders and off trade. The idea of this limited edition in my opinion got wrong.

I like Malacca, also the remake, and I still have a few bottles form my 60th left. So if I want this great Malacca „Martini“ I just put healthy 2-3 oz of Malacca over ice and stir it to death, ice cold. Only the shadow of vermouth and bitters over the glass, no drops inside. Malacca neat,  Martini Style, is the way I love this Gin. It does not work for me in a Gin & Tonic. I think for 30,- € a ltr. bottle its a good gin with a fun story. I think I would not pay +50,- € for it. The great idea as a limited EDITION for Bars and Tenders failed somehow - thats a shame.

A little time in the Gin Craze later, DIAGEO now releases another LIMITED EDITION. But it did not attract me at all. I will not preorder my 60 bottles for a special price. Even if I have not tasted the Gin yet. Only because of I do not like the idea behind it. I don’t need another „pseudo“ Limited Edition. Also I think: Tanqueray Malacca had a great story behind, at Tanqueray OLD TOM there is no story yet. (Hello Marketing: Time to create one!)

If I like the taste,  I might buy me a bottle in the store and mix me a Ramos Gin Fizz with it. Maybe it will end up in the trade for +40 - +50 € and more again. But I will not play this game anymore.

To me DIAGEO/Tanqueray has lost a little bit of his credibility for LIMITED EDITIONS. I love Tanqueray and we sell around +500 bottles a year in my bars. Its a great Gin with a great value for money. 47% Vol. crisp, clear, strong. ( please play "GOD SAVE THE QUEEN" right know on some devices - feel free to use the Sex Pistols Version)

For sure, I can understand one of the biggest global players of our industry. The mass market is not always fun, at least margin wise. And if I hear the upcoming rumours that some people inside this player think about lowering the ABV of serious good old Tanqueray from 47% Vol. to 40% Vol. to "compete more successful" with Bombay Sapphire (who also lost his "style" in going from 47% Vol. to bad and boring 40%Vol.)  - man, than mass market also frightens me!

Next to limited Editions DIAGEO started to „buy in“ into artisanal, craft distilleries and producers via DISTILL VENTURES. Like into the new german vermouth brand BELSAZAR which they just have partnered up with. And they hide it quite well. Why? Something wrong with heritage?

For sure: "Limited Editions" and "Artisanal /Craft" sounds awesome. But for me, at the end of the day, I like a good product for a reasonable price with no blown up marketing story. Like Tanqueray London Dry Gin. No Limited Edition anymore, no OLD TOM needed.

Maybe the influence from MALT Whiskey has infected some brilliant heads at DIAGEO. People in the Whiskey World play this boring "Limited Edition" Game to death. In my opinion its often stupid and boring. Not needed for a serious old skool gin.

I need a T&T right now...

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