top of page

Case Study 
The Dalmore: The Ensemble Collection

Brief:  To develop an activation platform for the launch of the new GTR range.  This required a creative platform and examples of how this ‘big idea’ would be expressed with a key visual and shopper activation concept.


The working title for the range was “The Dalmore Exquisite Cask Collection”. At this stage there were no names for the individual expressions.

The key USP for the range was that the three expressions had been matured in 3, 4 and 5 casks respectively.  

Ensemble Collection

Ensemble Collection
The Ensemble Collection
Play Video
The Trio
Play Video
The Quartet
Play Video

Brand naming and the strapline process

How do you say 1,2 & 3 with emotion and sum it up in a Key Visual strapline?

Ensemble Collection(TR)_The Quintet_3.4 label coloured background_landscape.png
Ensemble Collection(TR)_The Trio_Shortned neck_3.4 bottle shot coloured background_portrai

We were asked to name the the individual expressions and proposed the the idea of  Trio, Quartet and Quintet.


We wanted to avoid cliché whisky terms such as “Triple Cask Matured” etc. Using the vocabulary of music was refined, surprising, and hinted at musical masterpieces.


Creating a Key Visual was part of the brief, and so to make sense of the naming convention and to reference and amplify the Masterbrand’s central proposition, we created the strapline:

"Exquisite casks, beautifully orchestrated"

What is the narrative?

Casks & music

The naming convention of  Trio, Quartet and Quintet plus the strapline 'Exquisite casks, beautifully orchestrated' led us to the creative platform of using musical ensembles as a metaphor for exquisite cask curation.

“Just as exquisite musical masterpieces can be created from ensembles made up from three, four or five instruments, so The Dalmore creates whisky masterpieces from the exquisite curation of three, four or five casks in the maturation of its new GTR range”.

Concept development

Bring the metaphor to life with music & art

To bring the concept to life and have a campaign based around emotional story telling, we decided to make music, and musicians, central to consumer engagement.

The first job was to define the tone and style of the type of music as a reference point.  This was a difficult process as music is very subjective and everybody is an expert.  It could not be overtly linked to a particular genre such as jazz or classical, but we did feel it should have emotion, gravitas and beauty.

After a long search, a cover version of Radiohead’s Everything in its Right Place had the qualities we were after, and this became the reference point for the three ensembles we had to create.


It became clear that there were no ‘off the shelf ‘ compositions that were suitable or affordable.  We therefore set about finding a composer who could create original compositions for us.


We settled on Misha Mullov-Abbado, a young rising star on the British music scene. Misha had the potential to not just create the music, but also to become associated with the range through social-media and other forms of consumer communication.

0. joannalayla_acid gallery_the shape of light_process_1.jpeg

To build on Misha’s music, we selected a highly talented young British artist to create the visual world of musicians, instruments and cask references.

Joanna Layla has a unique watercolour style that is contemporary and beautiful and well suited to our target audience.  Like Misha, Joanna’s background and personality had the potential to add emotional value to the brand via social media communication.