Monday, February 27, 2017


The GMB, the union that represents whisky and spirits workers, has written to the UK Government Scottish Secretary David Mundell, calling for measures to protect the £5 billion Scotch whisky industry amid Brexit uncertainty.

The union has called for Nissan-style guarantees to safeguard estimated 160,000 jobs related to whisky. There are around 40,000 jobs which are directly supported by the industry, with a further estimated 120,000 jobs connected with whisky production and export.

GMB union calls for the Scotch whisky industry to be protected

The GMB, has called on the government to give reassurances to the Scotch whisky industry, similar to those given to Nissan, an industry worth around £2.9billion, which supports around 28,000 jobs.

Commenting on the news, Louise Gilmour, GMB Scotland Organiser, said: “Whisky is a massive success story for Scotland – and the UK – but we need the government to back us up in the months and years ahead. Westminster was quick to pledge support for Nissan – which is also vital for the economy – but is frankly dwarfed by the size of the whisky industry.”

She went onto say: “We need parity for workers in our whisky industry and the same guarantees that were given to Nissan. Tens of thousands of jobs depend on whisky and the government needs to take action to protect our member’s livelihoods post- Brexit. Our members want assurances that the government will be doing all it can to ensure whisky sector can thrive, creating much needed new jobs by securing good deals with new markets. Quite simply, we cannot do without this industry.“

Whisky is covered by World Trade Organisation agreements, which means exports won’t be subject to tariffs inside the EU, but 10% of exports – amounting to £400million, go to markets like Columbia, Mexico and South Korea where trade agreements were brokered through the EU. Following Brexit its feared that these lucrative exports could become subject to punishing tariffs.

Posted by Steve Rush

Friday, February 24, 2017


The Scotch Whisky Association, has announced that it has met with representatives from the Treasury this week, to discuss a case for a 2% cut in spirits duty, in the upcoming UK Budget on March the 8th.

A team from the Scotch Whisky Association, met the Financial Secretary to HM Treasury, Jane Ellison MP, to discuss the pressures on the industry caused by the 77% tax burden on the price of an average bottle of Scotch whisky.

SWA makes case for 2% excise cut in March budget

The Scotch Whisky Association, has issued a call to action to 'Stand up for Scotch'. As well as being fair on the industry and consumers, government figures show that a cut in excise boosts the public purse.

Following the 2% cut in spirits duty in March 2015, spirits revenue in 2015/16 increased by £123 million to £3.15 billion. Spirits revenue is now £155m a year higher than when the alcohol duty escalator was scrapped in 2014.

The Scotch Whisky Association says that during a time of change created by Brexit, the industry needs a supportive domestic tax environment, and as the largest net contributor to the UK's balance of trade in goods, Scotch whisky is vital to the UK economy.

Commenting on the news, David Williamson, Public Affairs Director at the Scotch Whisky Association, said: "We had a constructive discussion with the Financial Secretary, highlighting that a cut in excise is likely to increase spirits revenue to the government, as well as boost distillers, large and small. We hope the Government will listen to the evidence by cutting excise on spirits by 2% to grow the public finances and reduce the onerous 77% tax burden on Scotch.”

He went on to say: "A fair and competitive domestic tax environment is also an important part of the Brexit jigsaw, ensuring a strategically important industry like Scotch Whisky is well placed to invest and grow in the future."

Scotch whisky consumers, pay 51% more duty than beer drinkers, 19% more than wine drinkers and 327% more than cider consumer per unit of alcohol. The Scotch Whisky Association, believes this is unfair on responsible drinkers of Scotch whisky.

Posted by Steve Rush

Thursday, February 23, 2017


Irish Distillers, has announced the launch of Method and Madness, a new range of premium whiskey’s that are said to underpin the continued commitment by Irish Distillers to experimentation and innovation at its Midleton Distillery in Co. Cork, Ireland.

Method and Madness Single Grain Irish Whiskey (46% ABV) matured in ex-bourbon barrels and finished in virgin Spanish oak casks - Method and Madness Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey (46% ABV) matured in a combination of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks and finished in French chestnut casks - Method and Madness Single Malt Irish Whiskey (46% ABV) matured in ex-bourbon barrels and finished in French Limousin oak casks - Method and Madness 31 Year Old Single Grain, Cask Strength Irish Whiskey (52.5% ABV) matured in ex-bourbon barrels.

The new Method and Madness range from Irish Distillers

Method and Madness, aims to harness the creativity of Midleton’s whiskey masters through the fresh talent of its apprentices. Taking inspiration from the famous Shakespearean quote, ‘Though this be madness, yet there is method in ’t’, Method and Madness is designed to reflect a next generation Irish spirit brand with a measure of curiosity and intrigue ‘madness’ while honouring the tradition and expertise grounded in the generations of expertise at the Midleton Distillery ‘method’.

Commenting on the launch, Brian Nation, Master Distiller at Irish Distillers, said: “At the Midleton Distillery, we are committed to innovation and experimenting with new whiskey styles. We are also invested in training and nurturing the next generation of Irish whiskey makers and this project really brings that commitment to life. The passing on of knowledge and skills is part of our DNA from our long line of master distillers, to the generations of coopers that served their apprenticeships at the Midleton Distillery. In fact, this summer our apprentice cooper, Killian O’Mahony will become our first qualified cooper in over 40 years’’.

The Method and Madness Single Grain, Single Pot Still and Single Malt Irish Whiskey’s will be available later this month from specialist retailers in the UK, France and Ireland for the respective RRPs of €49, €69 and €79. The Method and Madness 31 Year Old, Single Grain Cask Strength bottling will be available in the same markets from April, for a RRP of €1,500.

Posted by Steve Rush