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Issue 117 - Future casting

Whisky Magazine Issue 117
February 2014


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Future casting

Dave gazes into his crystal ball at some interesting ideas

A (belated) happy New Year to you. I've spent much of the last few months in conversation with some of the more radical thinkers working around whisky. Here are some of the ‘ideations' and issues which you are likely to hear more about in 2014.

Mine's a Dram
The combination of a vast increase in whisky production and Scottish topography has resulted in growing concern over where the millions of new casks are going to be stored. A number of solutions have been proposed.

The first scheme was to convert the Red Road flats in Glasgow into a high-rise warehousing complex, but their demolition before a deal could be signed put paid to the idea. The concept was then taken up by a San Francisco architect who proposed building an avenue of 55 storey warehouses on either side of the M8 between Glasgow and Edinburgh. His idea to camouflage the buildings as giant redwoods fell foul of Scottish National Heritage who pointed out that the trees weren't native species. This has left the most likely scenario as the Mick McGahey Underground Complex which will see the re-opening of disused coal mines in Fife as storage space for the casks, and the building of tunnels linking the storage facilities to bottling plants in Leven and Glasgow.

Logging On Problems
If the issues of where to put the casks is testing minds, then there are equal worries over the front end of wood supply. Not only are there questions being asked about the number of trees needed to cope with extra demand, but a...

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