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Issue 47 - Going round the blend

Whisky Magazine Issue 47
April 2005


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Going round the blend

Judging by the conversations I've been having at Whisky Live London and New York the ‘blended malts' debate is going to run and run.

In this issue the Scotch Whisky Association has replied to my editorial in issue 46, and our round table debate also addresses the subject. I said pretty much all I wanted to say back then, so I don't intend to comment on the substance any further.

I would, however, refute the allegation that my view was expressed before I was in possession of all the facts. I have heard nothing since the last issue to sway me from the view that using the term ‘blend' for a product that contains only single malts is plain wrong. It's very straightforward. Either the new term has been adopted because it is the best term to use, or it has been adopted because there is no alternative.

In the first case it's a purely subjective view – and it doesn't matter how many facts you throw at or around it, you either agree that the term is the best or you don't. I don't. As for whether it's the only option – well, we've had some smoke and mirrors about European legislation in the future and the fact that some other terms might not be eligible. But if that's the case, why aren't we sticking with the term ‘vatted', which has been used for some 150 years?

The most disturbing thing about all this is that it's supported by the major companies and they have based their view on the outcome of what marketing people call ‘consumer focus groups'.

Who are these people...

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