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Issue 47 - What's wrong with vat?

Whisky Magazine Issue 47
April 2005


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What's wrong with vat?

Inevitably this issue's debate looks at labelling and the use of the words ‘blended malts'

The Panel
Dave Broom, Contributing editor, Whisky Magazine (DB)
John Glaser, Compass Box (JG)
Martine Nouet, Regular Whisky Magazine contributor (MN)
Erkin Touzmohamedov, Russian writer (ET)
Ricky Christie, Speyside Distillery (RC)

Q Are we winning the battle to get the consumer to understand the differences between different types of whisky?

DB: No... of course not.

MN: No, I'm not sure either. I agree with the decision to ban the word ‘pure' which is really confusing for the customer but I am less enthusiastic on categories such as ‘blended malt.'

I just don't understand why they spent so much time in discussions and debates to produce such a controversial conclusion!

ET: In Russia it's different. Interest to whisky is rocketing and although 80 per cent of sales are in Moscow people everywhere are becoming aware of different types of whisky. In many big cities elite consumers flock together in something like ‘whisky clubs' and enjoy their favourite drams of malt.

Q Do the new proposed labels, particularly Scotch blended malt whisky, help or hinder and in what way?

DB: Hinder. The aim was to try and clarify the difference between malts and blends. While the proposals have come up with some very positive suggestions, the idea that ‘blended malt' somehow manages to differentiate between two distinctly different categories is beyond me.

RC: To introduce the suggested descriptive terms as recently outlined by the SWA, greatly concerns me. It wipes out all the goo...

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