The perfect blend: Loch Lomond Group brings in Thirst to create new premium brand to ‘shake up’ blended malts
Published Date: 20th February 2023
Loch Lomond Group (LLG) unveils three new Noble Rebel whiskies - Orchard Outburst, Smoke Symphony, Hazelnut Harmony - as distillery sets out to 'shake up the blended malt category'
Creative agency Thirst draws on artistic and editorial inspiration to create a striking new brand 'that's out to own flavour the experimentation space'
Each blend features a bespoke illustrative artwork inspired by its flavour to entice whisky aficionados and new drinkers alike to experiment
Calum Leslie, LLG head of innovation, says Thirst's work 'highlights new ideas brought to old traditions'
THE Loch Lomond Group has unveiled three whiskies from its new premium blended malt brand Noble Rebel - each brought to life by bespoke illustrative artworks on packaging inspired by the experimental flavour 'masterpieces' within.
The distiller tasked specialist creative agency Thirst with conceiving a distinct global brand to 'shake up' blended malts and attract modern whisky connoisseurs to a category ripe for true innovation unbound by the rules of tradition and expectation.
In collaboration with Loch Lomond Group's (LLG) innovation team, led by Head of Innovation, Calum Leslie, the large-scale project involved complete brand creation - from brand strategy and liquid strategy, to naming and brand world identity - with the aim of elevating the mastery, expertise, and experimentation that goes into every dram.
The agency worked closely with LLG and its respected master blender Michael Henry to create Noble Rebel's three distinct liquid profiles - Orchard Outburst, Smoke Symphony, Hazelnut Harmony - each a combination of unexpected notes named to evoke emotion and transport the senses.
A theme of 'inspiring beautiful contradictions' is reflected in the bottle from the subtle top-to-bottom flip of the letter 'B' brandmark to the bespoke illustrative design on the bottle and secondary packaging. The illustrations draw on artistic and editorial inspiration to entice discerning drinkers to experiment with the unexpected notes within each premium blend.
The flavours are brought to life through the vivid on and off pack illustrations - distinct for each blend profile - that tell the intricate stories and layers of each liquid, and are designed to transport the drinker to a particular mood or headspace, rather than simply representing the tasting notes within.
The visual brand world identity is informed by an art gallery aesthetic complemented by an editorial approach to typography inspired by magazine and newspaper mastheads. A frame device heroes the uniqueness of each Noble Rebel liquid and a vivid orange accent colour conveys the brand's curiosity and daring imagination. A layered crafted icon speaks to the brand's distinct expertise within the category.
Each illustration is complemented by Noble Rebel's embellished bottle, designed to replicate the heavy, intricate base of an old-fashioned rocks glass in tribute to the characterful flavours found within.
The embossing of the words' noble' and 'rebel' on opposite sides of the bottle lip are placed to demonstrate the 'two faces' of the brand. In addition, it also visually showcases the 'nobility' of single malts combined with Noble Rebel's 'rebellious nature' and ethos of pushing the boundaries of creativity in whisky blending.
All three Noble Rebel expressions are sealed with an emblem containing a droplet to represent the distillation process, a barrel to symbolise the maturation process, and a nosing glass in tribute to Loch Lomond Group's blending prowess.
Led by Creative Director Matt Burns, the Thirst team identified flavour experimentation as a space Noble Rebel could own and set out to capitalise on the curating, distilling, and blending expertise of the brand by positioning it as a creative curator that 'always inspires beautiful contradictions'.
"Just as every dram is an exercise in flavour creativity, the bespoke illustration style was created to convey each masterpiece, welcome discovery, and delight to the senses before a drop has even been drunk," Burns explained.
"We set out to help elevate the blended whisky category, to shake it up, and push the boundaries of what's expected within it. We wanted to shine a light on the gateway into flavour experimentation and entice educated drinkers who care about the story behind their whisky to go somewhere they haven't been before.
"The Noble Rebel brand name speaks to the duality within the brand ethos, while each liquid is a combination of unexpected flavour profiles. It's not about being literal. It's about bringing together the flavour cues within each liquid and the feeling they evoke for new drinkers and whisky experts alike."
Calum Leslie, Head of Innovation at Lomond Group, said: "Noble Rebel is an exciting new addition to the growing Loch Lomond Group portfolio. We worked with Thirst to ensure the brand identity represented the liquid within to truly capture the attention of the audiences we want to reach. At the heart of each expression is our shared passion for blending finely curated malts into a product of beauty, and Thirst's work means that is true both inside the bottle and out.
"Our collaboration with Thirst elevates our aim of bringing new ideas to old ways and deeply rooted traditions - our drams are modern masterpieces that welcome newcomers with open arms, and delight old friends alike."
To find out more about Thirst's work with Noble Rebel, visit thirstcraft.com