The best spirit in the world announces partnership with the UK’s most spirited publisher

Highland Park entered a partnership with CanongateHighland Park single malt whisky, distributed by Maxxium UK, has entered a partnership with leading independent publishing house Canongate, winner of UK Publisher of the Year 2009, to create unique literary themed sampling experiences at specially selected book festivals across the UK.

The Orcadian whisky’s sponsorship will focus on delivering a strategic sampling activation programme amongst an audience of over 170,000 book lovers at Cheltenham Literature Festival (9-18 October 2009) and Oxford Literary Festival (20-28 March 2010) with the opportunity to distribute over 20,000 samples.

The sampling programme incorporates a Highland Park literary experience at bespoke sampling stands where visitors can enjoy a complimentary dram of award winning Highland Park 12 year old single malt and meet with a number of well known British authors. Hosted by Canongate, authors will include Laurence Shorter, Geoff Dyer, Louise Welsh, Chris Killen and Trevor Byrne, all of whom will read from their latest books.

Brand education will be a key element throughout the activity and the single malt’s Orcadian roots are introduced through a circle of five standing “keystones”, educating visitors as to the key elements which make the Best Spirit in the World*, whilst also representing the Neolithic stone monuments which can be found on the islands.

Highland Park is also running a consumer free prize draw at the events giving visitors the chance to win a weekend in Orkney with a VIP scenic plane journey and a visit to the Highland Park Distillery.

The best spirit in the world announces partnership with the UK’s most spirited publisherCommenting on the sponsorship, Jen McLaren, Assistant Brand Manager for Highland Park, said: “Literature is an important platform for Highland Park as research has shown us that it rates highly as a key interest for malt drinkers. The brand also has a high trial to conversion rate so when people taste it they tend to like it, and therefore sampling is a key part of our brand investment plan.

“In August this year, we also sponsored the Spiegeltent at the Edinburgh International Book Festival (August 15-31) for the fourth year running. The sponsorship included running a strategic sampling programme amongst an audience of over 200,000, where we sampled over 14,000 people.

“The Canongate partnership will allow us to build on this platform and create a truly bespoke Highland Park sampling experience, allowing us to further engage with our core audience.

“As an extension of our literary sampling programme, Highland Park will also be attending Canterbury Festival (17-31 October 2009).”

Jenny Todd, Sales and Marketing Director at Canongate, said: “We’re thrilled to have been able to work with Highland Park to bring a fresh style of meet-the-author event to book festivals this year. They will be intimate and informal and complement the main programmes perfectly.”

Canongate was named ‘Publisher of the Year’ at this year’s British Book Industry Awards, praised by judges for its great professionalism, attention to detail and sheer exuberance of its publishing programme. Authors on the Edinburgh based publisher’s list include American president Barack Obama; comedy duo The Mighty Boosh; David Simon, creator of TV series The Wire; singer/songwriter Nick Cave; and Yann Martel, author of Booker prizewinner Life of Pi.

Highland Park has won a string of prestigious awards across its portfolio, including its 18 year old single malt Scotch whisky recently being named ‘best spirit in the world’ for the second consecutive time by leading US independent whisky expert Paul Pacult in the Spirit Journal’s Top 115 Spirits in the World*.

* Paul Pacult named Highland Park 18 year old ‘Best Spirit in the World’ for the second consecutive time in his Top 115 Spirits in June 2009 and in his last Spirits Journal rating in June 2005. 

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