Scotland: New scotch whisky regulations come into play

23 November, 2009

New scotch whisky regulations covering every aspect of the making, bottling, and labelling of scotch whisky have come into force today (November 23).

The new rules provide robust legal protection for scotch whisky from imitations and also ensure consumers receive clear and consistent information on bottle labels.

Introduced by the UK Government, the regulations reinforce the integrity of scotch and will support the future growth of Scotland’s largest export.

A new requirement to only bottle Single Malts in Scotland, tighter rules on the use of distillery names on bottle labels, and better protection of traditional regional names such as ‘Highland’ and ‘Lowland’, are among the measures introduced.

The industry plans to use the regulations as an opportunity to promote and grow understanding of the different categories of scotch whisky around the world.

Paul Walsh, chairman of the Scotch Whisky Association, said: “Protection and promotion of scotch whisky is at the heart of the new UK Regulations, which are in the best interests of whisky consumers, distillers, and the wider economy.

“Working with the UK Government and officials in Scotland, these regulations are a major step forward and form the definitive statement of the rules on ma king, bottling, and labelling Scotch Whisky. The new rules have been welcomed across the industry, benefiting small and large distillers alike, and supporting the growth of both single and blended whiskies.

“This landmark legislation will help us to ensure they always receive the genuine article and help us to explain better to consumers why scotch whisky is so special.”

The SWA has also introduced measures to ensure all scotch whisky adverts and POS materials carry a responsible drinking message. This was announced alongside the SWA’s call for a ban on alcohol sold at prices below the level of taxation.