Yardhead whisky looks to the past – and the future

 John Crabbie & Co has released a very special single malt whisky aimed at a different market.

Described by managing director David Brown, as the company’s most significant release to date, Crabbie’s Yardhead is aimed squarely at the growing sector of young spirits drinkers who want to do more with whisky than just sip it.

The Edinburgh-based firm are hoping it will catch on with the growth in popularity of cocktails.

David said: ‘Crabbie’s Yardhead is a single malt that is made for mixing.

‘We want to encourage consumers to look at single malt differently, and for bar staff to use their skills to develop new ways of using single malt in long drinks and in cocktails.’

The Crabbie name has been associated with Scotch whisky for over 200 years and the founder John Crabbie is recognised as one of the pioneers of the industry that has grown to be Scotland’s largest export.

His success was founded on changing the way whisky was produced and consumed, and in doing so he made Scotch whisky a drink that could be enjoyed by everyone. He experimented in blending whiskies together to improve their taste profile and he created the Whisky Mac, probably the first ever whisky cocktail, and also the legendary Hot Toddy.

It is therefore perhaps appropriate that it should be the company that he founded that is once again at the forefront of innovation in Scotch whisky with Crabbie’s Yardhead single malt scotch whisky.

David added: ‘Crabbie was an innovator who challenged convention and I think he would have approved of the new Crabbbie’s Yardhead single malt.”

‘We have seen the rise in popularity of American whiskey with younger consumers, largely drunk with a mixer over ice. “ Single malt scotch whisky still tends to be consumed as a straight drink but it actually mixes really well.

‘Blended malts have tried to tap into that market, but what we are launching is a single malt which we believe offers a premium alternative and a different taste profile, ideally suited to be enjoyed long over ice with a mixer.

‘The massive resurgence in popularity of cocktails has given rise to a new generation of bar staff with the talent to create some amazing drinks, and single malt scotch whisky gives them the perfect premium base to develop something sensational.’

The name Yardhead comes from the site of the original maturation warehouses in Leith used by John Crabbie & Co from 1822, which are still in Great Junction Street but are now converted into flats.