Rich & Rare Canadian Whisky is a very old brand that dates back to before Prohibition. Rich & Rare has gone through several ownership changes over the years and ended up in the portfolio of the Sazerac Company, Inc. of New Orleans. (The whisky is distilled, aged and blended in Canada then delivered to Sazerac’s Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, KY for bottling.)
This was fortuitous for Rich & Rare, because Sazerac took considerable interest in this well-established and well-respected brand. The whisky in the bottle is considered by many Canadian whisky connoisseurs to be well worth its modest price and an undiscovered whisky gem.
Sazerac introduced a special version of Rich & Rare called R&R Reserve. The product is a blend of specially selected aged Canadians and is priced slightly above Rich & Rare. Even at its elevated price, these same Canadian whisky connoisseurs consider the whisky well worth the price and even a bargain as seen here, here, and here. Anecdotal survey tastings by Crown Royal drinkers generally result in R&R Reserve being preferred.
SPAR, Inc. was given the responsibility of designing the new R&R Reserve package. We had done the redesign work on the parent brand Rich & Rare the year before. The package for this new “reserve” version needed to clearly demonstrate the superior quality of the whisky inside. A decanter-style bottle with grain elements blown into the glass surface was chosen for the project. Those same grain elements presented labeling challenges, as they severely restricted the space available for labeling.
SPAR is good at taking “lemons and making lemonade” with such packaging limitations. The resulting design took advantage of this by using a screen-printed label technique (Applied Color Label – ACL). This eliminated the need for a background for the label, as the branding elements were printed directly onto the glass surface of the bottle, and that look enhanced the perceived value of the product.
The back label is a metalized, pressure sensitive label (PSL). It is tall and narrow to accommodate the limited label space and is also printed on both sides. The outside carries the mandatory label information, such as the UPC and the government warning statement (GWS) as well as a brief brand story. The adhesive side against the glass carries the grain stalk theme from the glass bottle rendered in red and gold foil colors. This shows through the whisky behind the ACL labeling elements on the front of the bottle for a subtle but effective value enhancing effect.
The metalized gold cap is the finishing touch that helps signal that this is a very special product.
Not only has the product been well received but the package is an award winner too!
Silver ADDY 2012, New Orleans Ad Club