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December 2011

Best In Glass Award 2011

Winners of the Best in Glass Award 2011 were announced on December 1st.
Ed. Bates, The Spirits Authority, was amongst a select panel of judges.
Details of the winners are on the Cask Strength blog, here.
Highly Commended – Ardbeg Alligator & Tomatin Decades.
In First Place, Best in Glass 2011 – Black Bull 40 year old, Batch 2

A full review of Black Bull 40  can be found here. 

November 2011

Goodnight to the sleeper train?

The Overnight sleeper services to the highlands from London are under threat. The franchises are coming up for renewal, and the rolling stock is beginning to show its age. Whilst it is not for The Spirits Authority to get involved in the politics of the rail services in the UK, this is the civilised way to get to the highlands – use it or lose it!

More information in an article from ‘The Independent’, 21st November 2011.

November 2011

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet
As someone who may or may not have been Shakespeare said.

From 23rd of November it will no longer be permitted to use the long established term ‘Vatted Malt’  (nor for that matter ‘Vatted Grain) on Scotch Whisky labels. The term used must now be ‘Blended Malt’
(or grain).
The only permitted designations for Scotch Whisky will be:
Single Malt
Single Grain
This decision has been a long time coming and most producers had already changed their packaging to comply some time ago. I feel that it is rather a short sighted and clumsy, as consumers find the distinction between Blended Whisky and Blended Malt Whisky rather confusing. The term vatted malt was easy to explain and suited all but the very biggest producers.

Meanwhile, a US drinks producer is about to market an alcohol free whisky!
Aimed at the adult soft drink and Halal markets, this would of course be illegal in most other jurisdictions including all of Europe where it will be ‘whisky flavoured soft drink’. (sic) However this is unlikely to be acceptable to much of the Halal market as this phrasing suggests that the drink is made with or from whisky, which is unacceptable in our understanding.

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