At Brodies we have continued to take time to catch up with our clients and to hear their views on current market conditions and how they adapted their business processes as a result of the ongoing pandemic. This week we caught up with Alex Bruce, managing director of Adelphi Distillers which also owns Ardnamurchan distillery on Scotland’s west coast.

Ardnamurchan tag line "borrowed from the past, crafted for the future" perfectly encapsulates both companies' innovative approach to future sales and adaptations made as a result of the current pandemic. Alex commented that what was crucial during this time was being able to be "fleet of foot and flexible." Not to be disheartened by the limitations placed on production for periods during lockdown, Adelphi used this time to direct its energy into the continued sales of Adelphi whiskies and the promotion of their new Ardnamurchan single malt whisky which officially launched on 1st October.

Alex commented that "early on we recognised that an online presence for Adelphi's existing products was absolutely key, both in driving direct customer revenues as a channel for promoting the brand and our new single malt whilst outlets and hospitality venues were closed."

Identifying the rise in e-commerce during the pandemic early on, back in June, Ardnamurchan Distillery linked up with WhiskyInvestDirect, an online marketplace where private investors can buy and sell Scotch Whisky as it matures and gains value in the barrel. This collaboration quickly created a buzz amongst investors with 100% of the stock already reserved prior to launch. Additionally, the deal helped to provide Ardnamurchan with additional working capital during the pandemic in return for 50,000 litres of pure alcohol of its new malt. It was also an excellent opportunity to benchmark consumer demand for its brand value ahead of launching the single malt.

This collaboration was just one of a few successful collaborations. During this time the distillery aimed to focus on finding the opportunities out there. Most notably they successfully ran a number of online tastings around the world, the first in partnership with Royal Mile Whiskies (RMW). With RMW, Adelphi were able to provide the product which included a sneak preview of their single malt sent out by post, and RMW were able to provide the logistical clout and extensive profile with consumers. Additional tasting packs were then exported to Adelphi’s existing distribution network and online events were scheduled as far away as New Zealand. This resulted in huge organic growth of both distilleries' social media and other online profiles, and the ability for Adelphi to increase its sales and marketing team.

With the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic looking set to continue, it is crucial for businesses to make use of and enhance their online presence. Adelphi's story demonstrates the importance of business relationships during this time, online advertising and marketing.

Brodies annual Food and Drink event will shortly be taking place on 28 October where Alex will be speaking on issues such as the global reach of the business and expansion into international markets. If you are interested in attending the event please sign up here.


Paul Breen

Senior Associate