Black Bottle Whisky – Darkness Distilled

Project background

The best whiskies are spirits packed with flavour and heritage in equal measures, which makes Black Bottle – suffused with both – one of the world's finest. Created by Victorian master mixer Gordon Graham in Aberdeen back in 1879, he used all his experience at a tea brewer to balance Isle of Islay and Highland grains with blended malts for a smooth, sweet and smoky recipe that is still used to this day.

With such an origin story, how could anyone fail to fall in love with the whisky once they heard it? And it is this magic that the distillery were keen to capture.

Creative process

Unsurprisingly, the route suggested (and taken) was to craft a narrative around the whisky's heritage, but also its most distinctive feature – it's colour. Dark by name and dark by taste, the whisky is aged in charred virgin oak barrels for a distinctive colour and taste, then placed in black bottles for added effect. From there, the concept of "tasting" darkness evolved to become "Darkness Distilled".

Final results

Using this core principle, we were able to create a wide range of assets, tailored to tell the story of Gordon Graham and his iconic whisky across web and social. From Amazon brand pages to cinemagraphs and recipes tailored for Instagram Stories, the tale ignited the interest of whisky fans new and old, the world over.

In fact, it was so successful – that it led to a follow-up campaign for Black Bottle's new limited-edition flavours. Known as the Alchemy Series, it spilled the secrets of Black Bottle's apothecary-style experimentation deep underground. But that's a story for another day...