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Issue 40 - Are we good finishers?

Whisky Magazine Issue 40
June 2004


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Are we good finishers?

In the latest of our round table debates, we look at special finishes.

The Panel
Dave Broom, drinks guru (DB)
Paul Godfrey, group marketing manager for malts, William Grant & Sons (PG)
Bill Lumsden, Global brands ambassador/ master distiller, Glenmorangie (BL)
Arthur Motley, Royal Mile Whiskies (AM)
Keir Sword, Royal Mile Whiskies (KS)

This issue's question: Are special finishes good for the whisky industry because they
attract new customers?

Q: Are wood finishes a good thing or a bad thing, and why?

AM: A good thing. They provoke people's interest, are useful in tastings and provide a point of reference for wine lovers.

BL: Yes they're a good thing for the Scotch whisky industry and the consumer, because they have offered a wide range of new flavour experiences, while still maintaining traditional values. They've also helped generate some much-needed interest in the category.

DB: Of course they are a good thing. In principle. They keep interest in the category, they are a good way for distillers to extend their portfolio – something which is particularly relevant to those producers with a small number of distilleries – they offer a new way of looking at, and enjoying whisky. They engender debate. They open up the possibilities of new flavours. Yes, overall they are a good idea.

PG: Finishes per se are not a bad thing but I would qualify it. Where finishes become questionable is when they stop complementing the character of a whisky and instead overpower it and mask its true characteristics – this has been the case with some recent f...

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