Project
Peatreekers
Deliverables
Brand Creation
Copywriting
Packaging
Photography
Social Media
Website Design & Development

Making the darker side of whisky shine.

The Story

The origins of the peatreekers go back hundreds of years, to a time when renegades would pit their wits against government excisemen who were tasked with preventing the production of untaxed whisky, since the Malt Tax of 1725. Their history, and so the history of whisky, is dark, mysterious and shrouded in legend and myth. This was really the catalyst behind the creation of the Peatreekers brand.

MadeBrave designed the brand in its entirety, including the bottle and packaging for its first release, The Double Standard. This is a tribute to the officials who were tasked with preventing the production of untaxed whisky, but chose to turn a blind eye in return for an underhand bottle of illicit whisky.

Packaging and brand

The peatreekers were the original, 18th century Scottish whisky rebels. Their history, and so the history of whisky, is dark and mysterious. This was the catalyst behind the creation of the brand, as we created a theme of dark swirling colours and rebellious tone of voice.

Bottles of illegally produced whisky (peatreek) was often hidden in the ground, reflected in the bottle design itself. The solid black top half portrays the ‘bottle in the ground’ element, with the liquid hidden from view. As you near the bottom of the bottle, the golden whisky dazzles as it appears through the black to transparent gradient.

The colour black was often a visual sign of peatreekers at work. ‘The Angels Share’ (liquid that evaporates) caused a chemical reaction with the surrounding plant life, causing the trees to turn a mysterious (but not harmful) black.

Although the brand is largely inspired by Scottish prohibition history, it’s a dram for the modern whisky drinker and aims to stand out from the crowd of heritage-focused whisky bottles often found on shelves. This was reflected in the contrasting styles of the packaging; marrying contemporary design with traditional throwbacks.

Website

The website needed to perform two jobs. Firstly, it needed to be able to sell the product. This meant at its core, it is an ecommerce site. It has all the functionality a shopping site needs, the ability to select product, quantity, gift wrapping, address, payment details and so on.

Secondly, it needed to really capture and engage the visitor in the brand. As a new brand, it needed to both educate and raise awareness of what this brand ‘was all about’.

Launching the brand

To launch the brand with a bang, we created a hero video. Over the course of one long (and cold) weekend, our team went out to visit some of the locations where the peatreekers lived and operated. Included in this video are also two interviews with whisky experts, Charlie Maclean and Blair Bowman.

From idea to final product, MadeBrave added invaluable advice and support that has taken Peatreekers from a one page concept doc to a product that will compete for shelf space with Scotland’s top whisky brands.

Calum L. Leslie, Founder, Peatreekers
Collage of four outdoor lifestyle photograph around the Scottish Highlands. One includes an image of a stag.
Bottle of Peatreekers sunken into some Scottish heather

Social media

A social media presence is vital for any brand, especially for a fledgling brand. Creating profiles on the relevant social media platforms where the target audience resides, a competition was launched to promote the hero video, which in turn launched the brand itself.

All of the social profiles reflect the brand story, themes and ethos of Peatreekers while helping to drive traffic to the website. This also included posting content created as a result of the hero video shoot (see above), with beautiful photography creating a library of content to utilise. Working with industry influencers, the social posts quickly gained traction with likes and retweets making entries to the competition a huge success.

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Peatreekers Instagram homepage with photography of mountains and trees.

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