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Taxonomy of taste

Whisky lore is filled with stereotypes of old men in wood-panelled club-houses lounging on Chesterfields and chewing oversized cigars in their smoking jackets. We all know that’s ridiculous, as anyone can buy a bottle at any supermarket. And whisky is becoming more accessible, but the language surrounding the taste of whisky hasn’t grown up. It still smacks of cliches such as “peaty”, “smokey”, “malty”… So how do you reach fans on social and at the same time challenge these stereotypes which are strongly upheld by competitor advertising?

Jura wanted to appeal to any kind of whisky lover – whether they be a connoisseur or a whisky virgin. We found that new and experienced drinkers amenable to the brand were certainly not pretentious. Instead they are savvy rule breakers. In touch with cultural trends, interested in a range of new and stimulating experiences. We wanted to reach the tastemakers, trendsetters and influencers to get them to re-consider whisky. They don’t live on the country estate driving Range Rovers, they live in Homerton and ride Ubers.

In a challenge to conventional Whisky wisdom, we democratised the tasting experience by asking people to write their own tasting notes. Influencers from the worlds of fashion, food and music were invited to our tasting room in Shoreditch. We encouraged them to tweet the experience, thus seeding our campaign. Through existing channels and social, we invited everyone to write their notes at home via our website. At Tasteval, Jura’s Whisky event on the Isle of Jura, we created an allotment, together with Miss Cakehead, where we “planted” the flavours people came up with. The campaign also ran across on and off-trade outlets, travel retail.

“Rather than dictating to consumers, and telling them what they should be tasting, Jura wants to behave differently. We believe our whisky is something to be enjoyed and shared, not a point in some kind of journey towards someone else’s idea of connoisseurship. Whether your preference is sweet whisky or smoky whisky, Jura makes some terrific liquids that we are very proud of. We want consumers to drink it how they want, and tell us what flavours they taste.” Bob Dalrymple, Global Marketing Controller, Whyte & Mackay

Creative Director

Holler Leo Burnett