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Issue 137 - Referendum In or Out

Whisky Magazine Issue 137
July 2016


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Referendum In or Out

Whatever the outcome, there is a bright future for European whiskies

To those international readers, especially in the US, I apologise in advance. In fact you might want to skip this intro in the interests of international relations. For those who do feel so inclined, we're talking about the whole sorry saga of our recent national obsession: To stay, or not to stay…

I am of course writing this column in the run up to an EU Referendum on 23 June, the result that will have already been announced by the time you actually get to read this. Both sides of the debate gave it their all, but really only succeeded in resembling characters in a poorly played out pantomime, complete with ludicrous twitchy eyebrowed villains and plenty of ‘oh-yes-it-is' and ‘oh-no-it-isn't' style debating about numbers that no one really understands. At the time of writing, the vote was too close to call.

Still, what would the EU look like without the UK from a whisky production perspective? Quite healthy, as it happens. In fact, a cursory perusal of any specialist retailer reveals just how far central Europe has come when it comes to world class whisky making.

About 18 months ago I took a trip up to the chilly forests of northern Sweden to visit the futuristic looking Mackmyra Distillery and was amazed with what I found: a top flight distillery, well ahead of the curve in terms of innovation, passion and sheer bravado in the flavour department. I left with a head full of ideas and a suitcase full of its terrific expressions including Midvinter, a whisky matured...

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