Why Other Spirits?

New Range of Spirits

As you may have heard, we are about to launch a new range of spirits and we thought we should take the opportunity to highlight why we are doing this?
Whisky will always be our main priority here at Wm Cadenhead’s however historically the company has always bottled other spirits. In the past we have bottled things like Kirsch and Cognac and we have been bottlers of Rum since day 1. In fact, looking through old newspaper articles we can see that we used to sell Normandy Brandy as far back as ​1888​.
Initially, bottling more Cognac was the obvious thing to do and when we started working with Charpentier and Grosperrin the synergy between what they were offering made for the perfect fit.



First and foremost the quality of the spirit has to be at a standard we would expect from any whisky we would bottle – just like with our whisky if is not good enough, we don’t have to (nor would we choose to) bottle it. That’s an important part of the company ethos.
Any of our new releases will also stick by our philosophy of natural colour and being non chillfiltered. You may be interested to know that recently we were offered some rum from a closed distillery (one that is highly sought after) but the rum had been coloured so we passed on the samples – we will never compromise on this issue.



Armagnac and Calvados

From Cognac it was an obvious progression to Armagnac which, for me, has possibly a category that has been overlooked for too long, being much in the shadow of its younger sibling Cognac. The subtleties in the flavour of Armagnac and Cognac can be easily missed when coming at things from a whisky point of view but we have the chance to embrace them and that is exactly what we want to do. We select casks from a whisky perspective. Generally we are looking for higher strength and perhaps more cask influence or bolder flavours. And, as you know, everything we do is natural colour and non chillfiltered leaving much more flavour in the bottle.
Our Calvados will be coming soon too and will be a welcome addition to the range with Calvados from two different producers soon to be bottled.
The additional spirits also allow us to reuse casks for various other projects which you will see coming to fruition soon.



Cachaça is perhaps a little more of a jump but it makes a lot of sense. We are bottling ​Cachaça from artisanal producers that truly highlight the spirit’s character, something we also look for when we are selecting whisky, because we want the cask to influence the spirit but not over power the distillery character. The artisanal qualities of these Cachacas are not to be missed whether sipped neat or in a cocktail (we’ll talk more about this in a future blog).

In today’s world people are always looking for the next drink. Cadenhead drinkers are wonderful people (our marketing officer told me I have to say that) but you guys are always looking for the next release – nobody reading this blog is only drinking one of our bottlings and then never drinking anything else again. In the 21 years I have been in the drinks industry I have seen it change around me where-by there is much more of a crossover in spirits than there used to be – whisky shows have evolved to be spirit shows and people who drink any good spirit will cross categories much more freely than in the past. You just have to look at the diversity of spirits in my booze room at home to see this! I am the proof of the changing landscape. So yes, I do believe that other spirits are becoming more popular but we have been bottling other things since 1842 so, much like with our gin (1972), Cadenhead’s has always been well ahead of the curve.
We’ll be uploading a number of other blogs in the near future, taking more of a deep-dive into each of our new spirits and talking lovingly about them.

Hope you join us for that



Mark Watt


Mark Watt

Mark is the Director of Sales for WM Cadenhead, responsible for cask management and selection as well as our continuous sales strategy. He has worked for the company since July 2012 having previously been involved in the industry throughout his working life. He can proudly state that every job he has ever had has been whisky related; from the bar in the Craigellachie Hotel to a variety of retailers through to his current job. Mark has seen all sides of the industry.

2 thoughts on “Why Other Spirits?

  1. Good on you Mark for branching out into new spirits. I for one am keen to try the Armagnac. I’d never heard of Cachaça but am up for trying that too!

  2. Love whisky but when I drink other spirits I am on the lookout for similar levels of quality and provenance.
    I have enjoyed some good Tequila, Mezcal and Pisco from specialist bars, the latin spirits do seem to be making headway in the UK, albeit slowly.
    There is definitely a demand in the cocktail bar market for fine spirits like these but I guess you will know your buyers much better than me.

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