“On the rocks” with Anthony Massoud, founder of Glenbey

“On the rocks” with Anthony Massoud, founder of Glenbey

Boasting a journey from the glens of Scotland to the shores of Lebanon, Glenbey Scotch whisky has received much praise from the trade and the public since its launch back in 2021. It went on to become the first Scottish-Lebanese whisky to be recognized at the World Whiskies Awards. We sat with the man behind the bottle, Anthony Massoud, CEO of Ets. Antoine Massoud, to talk about Glenbey and its latest release, Glenbey 12.

What are the unique qualities of Glenbey whisky and how is it able to compete with international brands?
Glenbey BAYRUT is a premium Scotch whisky with a distinctly Lebanese flavor. It is a three-year-old blend that is able to rival local and international competitors due to its malt content, which is significantly higher than other whiskies available in the Lebanese market. The blend is amazingly crafted at Whyte & Mackay in Scotland and then transported to Lebanon where the last four steps of the production process are conducted. Our local partner — Domaine Des Tourelles — has a fundamental input in the final rendering of the product. So, by creating this exceptional blend, we are happy to offer the Lebanese people great whisky at a very reasonable price.

You initially launched Glenbey as an affordable, high-quality Scotch whisky. How are you going to build on this market positioning for the new release of the 12-year edition?
Glenbey 12, or G12, is an entirely different ball game. We are entering the territory of 12-year-old whiskies. We intend to approach the 12YO in a more focused way. The whisky is fantastic, and our aim is to forge a strong emotional bond with the Lebanese consumer. G12 is currently being launched using a communication platform called: “Savor the Journey.” The choice of this platform is not random; we want to create a strong analogy between the whisky’s journey, which has been crafted for 12 years, to finally reach the shores of Lebanon, and the journey of most Lebanese people, who blossom abroad, outside of Lebanon, only to come back to their homeland and enjoy their stay.

In terms of export, are you eying any particular markets for Glenbey?
Having already exported a substantial number of Glenbey bottles to France, we are developing a sustainable Lebanese diaspora-based export strategy. We are developing a very sustainable export strategy to follow Lebanese people wherever they are in the world and reach out to a wider foreign audience who are willing to try our whisky. Not only that, we strongly believe that the Glenbey brand, with all its components, has enough credentials to become a homegrown concept with international reach. Therefore, it is not a brand meant to be consumed by Lebanese only; rather, it is a Lebanese brand to be enjoyed by whisky lovers around the world.


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Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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