For business, VAT 69 bottle gets new curves!

By Jaideep Sarin, IANS
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

CHANDIGARH - It’s the old VAT 69 in a new bottle. The premium drinks brand has got into a new shape - with more curves - to take on others in the Scotch whisky business even as it relives its historical charm.

For the VAT 69 of the 21st century, the old world charm of the dark green bottle has been retained. But the new bottle has a longer neck and a broader shape - much like the ‘mongoose bat’ used in T20 cricket.

“By retaining the heritage cues, the new bottle honours the brand’s historic past while the featured trademark rectangular Black Label, with its white, stencilled type, boldly shouts VAT 69 with burnished gold embellishments - all stylish, contemporary and of fine craftsmanship - just as envisioned by William Sanderson,” Diageo, the manufacturer of the brand, announced at its re-launch here.

The iconic bottle, seen in several Bollywood films of yesteryear, depicts the Talbot Hound emblem of its creator William Sanderson.

“The new, classic yet contemporary VAT 69 bottle has a rich and enviable history and heritage. When we thought of upping the ante on VAT 69, the first thing that came to our minds was to re-kindle the legends of VAT 69,” Malay Dikshit, marketing manager of Diageo India Private Limite, told IANS here.

“Thanks to Bollywood’s fascination with VAT 69 for over two decades, the brand holds a special place in the hearts of the Indian consumer. VAT 69, one of the first Scotch (whiskies) to land in India, used to enjoy a unique place, a cult status in the consumer’s heart between the 1950s and the 1980s,” Dikshit added.

Touted by the company as one of the 10 best-selling scotch whiskies internationally, VAT 69 sells nearly a million cases each year in nearly 165 countries.

The unique name VAT 69 also has a history.

Sanderson’s most famous blend was born out of an elaborate experiment in 1882. Nearly a hundred of his blends were stored in separately numbered casks. He then invited friends and fellow blenders to sample each blend and to select the one, which was in their opinion, the ideal scotch whisky.

The choice was unanimous and the number of the cask or “VAT” was “69″. Thus began the journey of one of the most well-known brands of scotch whisky - VAT 69. The brand became iconic in the first half of the 20th century.

“VAT 69 will always enjoy a special place among liquor drinkers worldwide. In India, Bollywood films in the past have always featured its bottle prominently. It used to be a statement of style in those films. It can become a craze all over again,” Sunil Khanna, a trader here, told IANS.

“We are very confident about the brand’s connect with today’s generation. The heritage attached with the brand ensures that even today’s generation is well aware of the brand’s historic past,” Dikshit added.

(Jaideep Sarin can be contacted at

Filed under: Economy

will not be displayed