Monday, October 08, 2007

Keeping our Scotch pure

From The Scotsman:

IMITATIONS of Scotch whisky which describe themselves as Highland, Lowland, Speyside, Campbeltown or Islay, are to be made illegal, it emerged yesterday.

The steps to protect the industry against counterfeiting are being put in place by the Westminster government.

At present, the brand, Scotch, is protected as a geographical product, but the regional variations and the different types of whisky are not.

The tightened legislation would supersede the Scotch Whisky Act 1988 and the Scotch Whisky Order 1990, and allow certain designations of Scotch whisky to be added to an EU list of Geographical Indications, which members of the World Trade Organisation would be obliged to protect.

Hilary Benn, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary, yesterday announced a consultation will take place on bringing in stricter definitions of Scotch whisky in UK law.

Such a move could help support action against counterfeiting in the industry, which has exports worth more than £2 billion a year to the Scottish economy, and employs around 40,000 people.

The consultation will take place later this year, and new laws could be in place by the spring.

If ratified, and applied in international trade agreements, it would mean products such as Islay whisky would enjoy the same protection under European trade law as Champagne, Parma ham, and Roquefort cheese.

The new legislation aims to curb increasing incidences of foreign distillers attempting to pass off inferior products as authentically Scottish, such as Highland Gold Finest Whisky, which is produced in Surinam and the Netherlands, and Islay Whisky Cream, which is distilled in Italy.

The need for revised regulation in the area has long been called for by the Scotch Whisky Association.

The thought of passing something distilled in Surinam off as genuine Scotch Whisky would have been all it would have taken to get my McIntyre ancestors to saddle up their horses and ride down the road with muskets and lit torches.

Then there's this:

Whisky has been distilled in Scotland for centuries. There is some evidence to show that the art of distilling could have been brought to the country by Christian missionaries. . .

Another gift the Church has given the world.

For those wishing to say thank you the line forms at the right.