SEOUL, Nov. 11 (Korea Bizwire) – Golden Blue, a homegrown whisky brand with low alcohol content and a cheap price tag, has beaten Diageo’s Windsor in the key market in Seoul for the first time in 16 years, industry officials said Friday.
“Golden Blue Diamond”, a 17-year-old blended whisky, took up 41.4 percent of market share in the affluent Gangnam district in the same age section last month, beating “Windsor 17 Years,” a Scotch whisky by British premium drink maker Diageo.
Golden Blue, a home-grown whisky released in 2009 by a fledgling Korean distiller based in Busan, has been increasingly widening its base among whisky lovers who prefer a mild taste and affordable price tag.
Windsor has taken the lead in South Korea for the last 16 years, but its market share fell to just below 40 percent last month, according to industry officials. Diageo Korea, which does not release the monthly market share under company policy, said Windsor “temporarily posted sluggish sales last month, but it was recovering this month.”
Golden Blue said the strong performance in Gangnam, which has the most number of bars in the nation and a major battleground for whisky makers, shows the changing trend among whisky drinkers.
“Golden Blue Diamond could have beaten Windsor thanks to the growing preference for low-alcohol whisky,” Son Won-beom, a public relations official at Golden Blue, said.
Sales of Golden Blue have risen for the sixth consecutive year since its launch, bucking the downward trend of the local whisky market that has kept sliding since the 2008 global financial crisis.
Unlike a typical whisky with a Scotch label and 40 percent alcohol, the liquor in the dark blue bottle has an alcohol content of 36.5 percent and does not show its age on the label.