Drinks giant Pernod Ricard is putting its weight behind dark spirits with a raft of upmarket extensions for its core The Glenlivet, Martell and Havana Club brands.

The producer has added a premium line to its The Glenlivet single-malt whisky range. Called The Glenlivet Nàdurra 16-year-old cask strength. Nàdurra (Gaelic for 'natural') it is non-chill filtered and matured in first-fill ex-bourbon American oak casks.

"This is a reflection of the original process that would have been employed by founder George Smith and preserves the full flavour of this malt, giving it more body and a richer texture," said Neil Macdonald, brand director for malts at Chivas Brothers. It is said to have a dry, oak finish with notes of ginger and hazlenuts.

The producer will offer The Glenlivet in a flip-top suede-and-leather box at Christmas in another bid to add value and encourage trading up. Pernod has also launched Martell Noblige, a premium cognac named after an old French saying, 'noblesse oblige', meaning 'privilege brings responsibility'. It has been created using a high proportion of Borderies grapes, which gives it a more floral,fruity character, according to the company. It is then aged in new Tronçais oak barrels.

"Noblige is a bold offering and we are confident that it will appeal to charismatic and independently-minded people who want to experience something unique," said Chris Seale, head of Champagnes and Cognac. It will launch in premium bars, and then roll out nationwide.

The producer is also replacing its Havana Club premium variant with a new improved blend, priced at £15.99. A more premium and aged version of the golden rum brand's Añejo Especial, originally planned to launch here in the middle of next year, is hitting the market this month. Pernod said strong sales for the brand extension - which grew 783% in off-trade sales over the last eight weeks [ACNielsen] - prompted the move earlier than planned.