SOURCE: Pernod Ricard USA

June 22, 2010 10:00 ET

Ballantine's Brand Ambassador McDowell Set to Celebrate First Major Win in Style With Rare, Limited Edition Scotch

PURCHASE, NY--(Marketwire - June 22, 2010) - Ballantine's, the world's No 2 Scotch whisky, is raising a toast to golfer Graeme McDowell today following his impressive win at the US Open at Pebble Beach this weekend. McDowell, who also won his fifth European Tour title at Celtic Manor in Wales earlier this month, held off some of the sport's biggest names including Tiger Woods, Phil Mickleson and Ernie Els.

A global brand ambassador for Ballantine's 17, 21 and 30-year-old whiskies, McDowell left an impression on the golfing world by becoming Europe's first US Open champion for 40 years. He will now be celebrating his success in style by opening a very rare bottle of Ballantine's Championship Blend, which he co-created with Ballantine's Master Blender Sandy Hyslop.

Reacting to his win McDowell said, "Ballantine's has always been a lucky charm for me and since my 2008 Ballantine's Championship win in Korea I've played some of the best golf of my life. I said I would open my very special bottle of The Ballantine's Championship Blend either on the birth of my first child, or my first major win -- Pebble Beach came first!"

Peter Moore, Global Brand Director for Ballantine's, said, "On behalf of everyone at Ballantine's I'd like to express our warmest congratulations to Graeme and look forward to celebrating with him over a glass of Ballantine's. Graeme is an extremely talented player who we are proud to support and he thoroughly deserves all of his success."

While McDowell wears the Ballantine's logo on his left sleeve, he has also represented Ballantine's at numerous events since winning The Ballantine's Championship title in Korea in 2008. These include becoming the first person ever to collaborate with a Ballantine's Master Blender on the creation of the 2009 Championship Blend and the launch of the 2010 Championship Blend, which celebrated 50 years since Ballantine's was first involved with international golf.

McDowell won the US Open by one shot over France's Gregory Havret with Ernie Els two behind in third and Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods tied for fourth. He is now almost certain to secure a Ryder Cup place this October.

The Ballantine's Championship
The Ballantine's Championship is Asia's fourth biggest golf tournament and the largest sporting event in Korea. It is now an established platform which drives Ballantine's long-term relationship with the iconic sport. The 2010 Ballantine's Championship was won by Australia's Marcus Fraser.

The Ballantine's Championship Blend 2010
The creation of an exclusive, limited edition blend has become an annual tradition of the Ballantine's Championship. The 2010 Championship Blend is a limited edition Scotch whisky combining extremely rare grains and malts taken from the time of the first Ballantine's golf tournament fifty years ago. The inaugural tournament, held at Wentworth Club in 1960, introduced the 'big ball' to the game and attracted some of the most well respected players of the day.

The Ballantine's Championship Blend 2009
This unique 35 Year Old Scotch represented the first time in history that anyone outside the company's expert team collaborated with a Master Blender. Only 15 limited edition bottles were been made due to the scarcity of the whiskies within the blend and following tradition, one precious bottle was presented to the winner of the tournament.

About Ballantine's
Ballantine's is the world's No 2 range of blended Scotch whisky and has won over 60 trophies and medals at international competitions in the past 10 years for quality as a result of its unique richness of character and perfect balance. The range, from Ballantine's Finest to the iconic 30-Year-Old, is the most extensive in the world of Scotch and is maintained by the latest in a tradition of master blenders that dates back to 1827.

  • Ballantine's has been title sponsor of the Ballantine's Championship since 2008 and has committed to the event until 2013
  • Ballantine's is an official sponsor of the Barclay's Scottish Open, held every July at the exclusive Loch Lomond Golf Club
  • Ballantine's was also sponsor of The Omega Mission Hills World Cup, held in China in 2009
  • The first Ballantine's sponsored golf tournament was played in 1960 at Wentworth Golf Club, England

About Chivas Brothers
Chivas Brothers is the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard -- the world's co-leader in wine and spirits. Chivas Brothers is the global leader in luxury Scotch whisky and premium gin. Its portfolio includes Chivas Regal, Ballantine's, Beefeater Gin, The Glenlivet, Royal Salute, Aberlour, Plymouth Gin, Longmorn, Scapa, 100 Pipers, Clan Campbell, Something Special and Passport.

ABOUT PERNOD RICARD
Pernod Ricard USA is the premium spirits and wine company in the U.S., and the largest subsidiary of Paris, France-based Pernod Ricard SA. In July 2008, Pernod Ricard completed the acquisition of the iconic ABSOLUT® Vodka brand from the V&S Group.

In addition to ABSOLUT®, Pernod Ricard USA's leading brands include such prestigious spirits as The Glenlivet® Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Chivas Regal® Scotch Whisky, Jameson® Irish Whiskey, Seagram's Extra Dry Gin®, Beefeater® Gin, Plymouth™ Gin, Martell® Cognac, Malibu®, Kahlúa® Liqueur, Hiram Walker® Liqueurs, Pernod® and Ricard®; such superior wines as Jacob's Creek® and Brancott Estate®; and such exquisite champagnes and sparkling wines as Perrier Jouët® Champagne, G.H. Mumm™ Champagne and Mumm Napa® sparkling wines. 

The company is based in Purchase, New York, and has roughly 1,000 employees across the country. 

Pernod Ricard USA urges all adults to consume its products responsibly and has an active campaign to promote responsible drinking. For more information on this, please visit: www.acceptresponsibility.org.