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February 10, 2009

Of Sheep Dips and Pigs Noses: Whisky Product Naming Goes Social

pigsnosewhiskey.gifWould you drink a whisky called "Sheep Dip?" How about one called "Pig's Nose?"

Kieffer Southerland would.

The Spencerfield Spirit company has rescued these orphaned brand names from the dustbin of history and brought them back to public consciousness.

Sheep Dip has a good tasting rating and clocks in at $30 a bottle - the name comes from the traditional nickname Scottish farmers give to homemade whisky.

Pig's Nose comes from the farming expression "soft as a pig's nose" and has a mellow quality that comes together in a "muddy way," while also setting you back $30.

These revived product names are being very proactive in using digital and social media to get the word out, appearing on various blogs and even Flickr. They also have a Facebook group called Sheep Dip Fold.

Sheep Dip used to be a best selling whiskey at Harrod's and its relegation to obscurity probably has more to do with the vagaries of global whisky marketing than anything else. The point here is that when it comes to reviving a brand name there is more than one way to skin a cat, or dip a sheep.

This news follows that of a Canadian whisky maker who can now use the name Glen Breton without fearing reprisal from the Scotch Whisky Association, which feels the use of "Glen" might mislead consumers into thinking that the product came from Scotland (e.g. Glenlivet or Glenfiddich). "Glen" is the Scottish Gaelic term for "valley."

I might also note that the name "whiskey" and "whisky" seems to be used interchangeably in the articles I have been reading this morning. Just for the record, whiskey refers to American and Irish whiskies, while "whisky," the older form, is what the Scottish and Canadians drink.

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Posted by William Lozito at February 10, 2009 8:26 AM
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