The history of this famous brand dates back to 1809. Ballantyne himself later recalled that such a step in life helped him get a profession and understand what to do next in life.
After five years of work, having received good experience and recommendations, the ambitious George opened his own store in a rented premises. Young Ballantyne had a good business acumen, and business went well right away. After a couple of years, he already felt cramped in the same place, he began to rent a larger store. Whiskey became the main product in his store. Dreams gradually began to acquire material features. The number of customers grew, as did the assortment of goods. George himself was constantly thinking how to increase his turnover.
In 1846, he decided to deliver his goods by train, because the railway had just reached Edinburgh. This made it possible to dramatically increase the sales area. Ballantyne was different from its competitors in that everything, from packaging to delivery, he did at the highest level. Yes, it cost customers more in the end, but people attracted such attention and respect. There were a lot of those who were ready to pay for quality. 10 years after starting the business, Ballantyne had up to 10 thousand liters of whiskey in warehouses. That put him in the ranks of reliable suppliers, he was no longer considered a reseller-crook.
George has grown up children. The shop in Edinburgh was already marked George Ballantyne and Son. In 1867, the head of the family realized that he could leave the eldest heir, Archibald, in charge of the store. George himself travels to Glasgow, where he opens a new outlet. In 1869 Ballantyne starts a new business - blending whiskey according to his own recipe. Soon, the owner opens several distilleries throughout Scotland.
A second son, George Jr., also entered the business. The Ballantyne & Sons firm acquired a warehouse and began selling their own tape. By 1880, the business had grown so much that the founder of the company retired, handing it over to his youngest son. At the same time, a large-scale company was launched. The brand had something to be proud of - a hundred thousand liters of whiskey had already accumulated in warehouses. George Ballantyne died in 1891, but his business continued to flourish, thanks to his son and grandson George. In 1895, the company received Her Royal Majesty's supplier license and quality certificate.
In 1919-1920, the company was sold to its junior partners - Barkley and McKinley. The new owners wisely decided not to change the brand name. But they decided that it was time to conquer new countries. The huge United States market was seen as promising. It was at that time that the "dry law" began to operate there. But, as is usually the case, the ban on alcohol only increased its popularity. Even those who had never been interested in drinking now simply felt obliged to get themselves a bottle of whiskey illegally. The smugglers could not cope with the needs of the population for prohibited drinks!
James Barkley decided it would be appropriate to take this opportunity. And even the illegality of the business did not worry him - after all, there was a lot of money at stake! Barkley managed to create a whole trading network on the east coast of the United States. And although the customs officers knew about the fact of smuggling, they could not catch the violators. As a result, Ballantine whiskey became a cult for America, and they loved it here even before the ban. And although most alcohol lovers were quite satisfied with cheap, average quality drinks, there were always those connoisseurs who were willing to pay for a high-quality product. As a result, Ballantine sales have grown significantly over the decade of Prohibition.
However, the company's management did not rely entirely on illegal supplies. McKinley and Barkley constantly improved their production. In 1930, the Ballantyns trading house impressed everyone twice, introducing first the 17-year-old and then the 30-year-old Legendary. Until that time, no one had produced such aged whiskey in large quantities. The quality of the drink was highly appreciated by the crowned persons of Britain. In 1938, the trading house was even granted its own personal coat of arms. All stages of the creation of a strong drink were reflected on it. The coat of arms symbolized the quality of the Ballantines Scotch tape as well as its true Scottish origin. In the same year 1938, the company built a huge factory in Dumbarton, which lasted until 2004.
Although whiskey has always been considered an exclusively male drink, the company decided to break this stereotype. And this despite the fact that women usually use something not so strong and softer. The company offered a completely non-classic drink in 1960. The 12-year-old variety had a honey-fruity taste, which aroused interest in this whiskey and among the ladies. Since then, blenders have continued to experiment with flavors, but it wasn't until 1993 that a new flavor emerged. Then 21-year-old Ballantine's saw the light of day, which "embodies the dreams and ambitions of the company's founder, George Ballantine."
For several decades, the brand was the main pride of the Allied Domecq concern, but with its collapse in 2005, the French from Pernod Ricard became the new owners. They acted very wisely, leaving the old name, retaining the qualities. Most fans of the drink are unaware that it is no longer Scottish. What's the difference if the quality remains the same?
Ballantine's whiskey has been a favorite of many stars. You can remember the names of Ernest Hemingway, Audrey Hepburn. Ella Fitzgerald. It is believed that the drink is suitable for outstanding and bright people with good taste. Currently in the assortment of the house whiskey 12 and 17 years old, much more rare 21-year-old variety. Very rarely and in small quantities, varieties of 30 and 40 years old go on sale and are immediately sold out by collectors. Although the most famous drink, Billantine Finest, does not indicate the extract, it is known that it contains up to fifty components. And according to fans of the brand, they are perfectly balanced.