They were selected from an original shortlist of 300 pubs and bars from across the UK, and were awarded their cash prizes at a special finale hosted at The Famous Grouse Experience in Crieff on Thursday 18th August.
The top prize of £3,000 went to Cheers Bar in Fraserburgh, the second prize of £1,500 to Chequers Bar in Dorset, and third prize of £500 to The Maypole in Cambridge. The three runners up were The Fountain in London, Old Harkers Arms in Chester and Head of Steam in Stockton-on-Tees.
All of the shortlisted outlets were provided with a special ‘Masters of the Famous Blend’ training session which educated the bar staff team on the blended whisky category. This explained how a blend is made, covering important steps including distillation, maturation, the influence of wood, and the art of blending.
In addition they were provided with a range of The Famous Grouse point of sale and training on the perfect serve – The Famous Grouse and Ginger Ale, garnished with a wedge of orange.
Following a ‘mystery shopper’ assessment that tested the knowledge of the bar team and the quality of the signature serve, six finalists were put forward to the finale. Here they enjoyed an overnight stay in Glasgow and a visit to The Famous Grouse Experience where they were treated to a cocktail masterclass, VIP distillery tour and a delicious three course meal.
Jenifer Spinks, Customer Marketing and Category Controller, Maxxium commented: “As the UK’s number one selling blended Scotch we are keen to reignite the trade and consumers passion for the category, educate on the quality credentials of the blended Scotch category and reward our loyal customers. The Masters of the Famous Blend trade activation has been a great success, and we now have 300 fully accredited ‘Masters of the Famous Blend’ outlets across the UK, as well as securing important new listings for our new premium expressions, The Famous Smoky Black and The Famous Mellow Gold.
Cheers Bar really impressed the judges having introduced both The Famous Smoky Black and The Famous Mellow Gold to their bar menu, rolled out Masters of the Famous Blend training across their full team, increased sales of The Famous Grouse by fifty per cent in January, as well as running their own Facebook promotion and creating their own point of sale. A very worthy winner of the top prize.
I’d also like to congratulate The Chequers Inn and The Maypole, as well as our three runners up, and extend a huge thank you also to all of the outlets who took part in the Masters of the Famous Blend programme.”