Grand Old Parr (often simply just Old Parr)[1] is a blended Scotch whisky produced by Diageo in Scotland. Is named after the Old Tom Parr, the reputed oldest man in England. Launched in 1909, it is found in export markets such as Japan, Mexico, South America (especially Colombia) and the United States, and is no longer distributed in the United Kingdom.

Grand Old Parr
TypeScotch Whisky
Country of origin Scotland
Alcohol by volume 40%

Old Parr is known for its distinctive dimpled and rounded bottle design. It retails at a premium price, and its competitor brands include Johnnie Walker Black Label and Chivas Regal. It also has an 18 year old Whisky bottle.[2]

History edit

Old Parr was introduced in 1909 by Greenlees Brothers of London and Glasgow.[3] It takes its name from the reputed oldest man in Britain, Old Tom Parr.[4] The name emphasised the maturity of the product. The brand was initially successful in London, before finding popularity in export markets.[5][3]

Following a series of mergers, Greenlees became a part of MacDonald Greenlees & Williams. In 1925, the company was acquired by Distillers Company, which was acquired by Guinness, which merged in 1997 to form Diageo.[6][3]

Blends edit

The standard blend is the 12-year-old called Grand Old Parr (40% ABV).[3] The 15-year-old blend is known as Old Parr (43%), and the 18-year-old is known as Old Parr Superior (43%).[6]

Old Parr Superior was launched in 1989, and is blended in small quantities in Scotland twice a year.[7][8]

Discontinued blends Old Parr Tribute and Old Parr Elizabethan, the latter launched in the mid-1980s, retailed at a higher price than Superior.[9]

Old Parr Silver was released in 2013, it is chill-filtered to minus 6 degrees Celsius.

In 2014 a new Old Parr Tribute was introduced for the Colombian market.[10]

Production edit

The Cragganmore Distillery in Scotland

Old Parr is sold in a distinctive dimpled and rounded square bottle, and is packaged in a gold cardboard box.[11]

The basis of the blend is Cragganmore.[3] Glendullan has been a major component of the blend since World War II.[12]

The brand sold over 1 million cases (1 case equals 9 litres) in 2011, putting it among the top twenty highest selling Scotch whisky brands in the world.[13]

Old Parr was bottled at Diageos plant in Kilmarnock before that closed in 2012.[14] Old Parr is now bottled at the Diageo complex in Leven, Fife.[15]

Markets edit

The brand's highest sales are in the export markets of Japan and South America.[16] In 2009-2010, the 12 year old held 52 percent of the Scotch market in Colombia.[17]

The brand had ceased to be distributed in the United Kingdom by the 1980s.[18]

Advertising edit

The image of Thomas Parr painted by Rubens is featured on the label of Old Parr.

In the 1970s the brand was marketed with the slogan "Make friends with Old Parr".

References edit

  1. ^ "Old Parr". Diageo Bar Academy. Diageo. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  2. ^ Michael S. Moss; John R. Hume (1981). The Making of Scotch Whisky: A History of the Scotch Whisky Distilling Industry. James & James. p. 196. ISBN 978-0-907383-00-0.
  3. ^ a b c d e World Whisky. Dorling Kindersley. 2009. p. 148. ISBN 978-1-4053-4781-5.
  4. ^ Great Whiskies. Dorling Kindersley. 2011. p. 277. ISBN 978-1-4053-6018-0.
  5. ^ Business Archives. Business Archives Council. 1992. p. 2.
  6. ^ a b Whisky. Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 143. ISBN 978-1-4053-3624-6.
  7. ^ PR Newswire October 5, 1989, Thursday GUINNESS REPORTS RESULTS
  8. ^ El Universal (Venezuela) September 2, 2009 Wednesday Venezuela: Diageo launches Old Parr Superior
  9. ^ Investors Chronicle November 1, 1991 Phase Two For Guinness JOHN CAMPBELL
  10. ^ Portafolio (Colombia) September 11, 2014 Thursday Colombia: Diageo comes up with whiskey designed to match the local taste
  11. ^ Collee, Gerald (7 October 1996). "Obituary: Alex Urquhart". The Scotsman.
  12. ^ Whisky. Dorling Kindersley. 2008. p. 59. ISBN 978-1-4053-3624-6.
  13. ^ Ian Buxton; Paul S. Hughes (2012). The Science and Commerce of Whisky. Royal Society of Chemistry. p. 271. ISBN 978-1-84973-150-8.
  14. ^ Ballantyne, Robert (20 June 1998). "Spirits Switched To Scotland". The Scotsman.
  15. ^ "Fife Diageo bottling plant officially opens :: Welcome to Fife". Archived from the original on 2013-12-17. Retrieved 2013-12-17.
  16. ^ Whisk(e)y
  17. ^ Portafolio May 7, 2010 Friday Colombia: Old Parr most popular Scotch whisky for many
  18. ^ Distillers go with flow as Latin America develops taste for Scotch – The Scotsman