Diageo is ploughing £1m into promoting Bell’s Special Reserve in the run up to Christmas.

The spirit’s launch campaign will focus on press and direct marketing and will be in addition to Bell’s £6m annual budget.

Kim Scott, senior innovation manager for Bell’s Special Reserve, said: “Research shows blended whisky drinkers have a place for a special whisky in their repertoire. Current offerings are perceived as too expensive or pretentious. Bell’s Special Reserve overcomes these concerns.”

As The Grocer revealed two weeks ago, the drinks giant is launching the brand extension to encourage drinkers to trade up in the category.

The company said activity it carried out for Father’s Day, which involved offering a limited edition whisky within the Bell’s range, showed it was possible to persuade consumers to trade up.

The whisky will be available from next month, rsp: £14.99.