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Schieffelin & Somerset Co. came up dry when it sought an opportunity to promote all 15 of its Scotch whisky brands, so the marketer created its own.

Tested last year in New York, Schieffelin was so pleased with the results that it's taken the effort national this year, with the second annual ScotsFest celebrating Scottish music, art and -- naturally -- whiskey.

Events begin Jan. 24 with the first Robert Burns Whiskey Ball at the New York Public Library, where 1,500 guests will sample Schieffelin's whiskeys and learn about Scottish culture and heritage, while experiencing bagpipes, music and art from Scotland.

A variety of public and private events in New York and other major cities nationwide follow, including a second Whiskey Ball at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on Jan. 31.


Altogether, at least 10,000 consumers are expected to partake in ScotsFest activities during the monthlong series of events, which specifically target younger adults.

"We wanted to introduce younger consumers to our whiskeys in a setting that was fun and educational, and there's been so much interest in Scottish culture through film and music lately that it was a very natural fit," said Steven Meyers, senior brand manager for Schieffelin's Johnnie Walker brand.

Sponsors include the Scottish trade organization Scotland the Brand; the Scottish Tourist Board; Reykjavik-based Icelandair, a popular airline serving Glasgow; Barnes & Noble Booksellers; and New York's Forbes Gallery.

Event participants over age 21 will be able to sample all of Schieffelin's whiskey brands, including Dewar's, Johnnie Walker, Cragganmore, Glenkinchie and Talisker, at various events during the festival.

Helping to execute and publicize ScotsFest is Bragman Nyman Cafarelli, Beverly Hills, Calif., publicists for Schieffelin's immensely popular Tanqueray AIDS Rides.

"We invited consumers we thought were interested in cultural events, and learning about the heritage of whiskey is also of great interest to them," Mr. Meyers said. "It's looking like this will be a major annual event."

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