Whisky Magazine Issue 52
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As we enter 2006, China and the environment are going to be key issues for the world of whisky
If 2005 was a roller coaster year for whisky, strap yourself in for the ride of your life in the next 12 months.
It's shaping up to be a stormer, as a whole host of producers step up their game and we start to feel the fall-out from the Allied Domecq sell off and the race is on among a whole raft of producers both in Europe and America, to secure strong market positions.
Two inter-related subjects that will come increasingly in to play next year are China and the environment. They're related because the current astronomical growth in China's economy is the single biggest threat to the environment and it's set to change the industrial landscape sooner rather than later.
British newspaper The Independent recently reported that at the current rate of growth, China's demand for oil will not be greater than the rest of the world put together within 35 years, but it will seriously outstrip the world's daily oil output. It will double the number of cars on the world's roads.
And to feed its increasingly consumer hungry population it is eating the world's forests at a rate never seen before.
Of course the huge growth figures aren't expected to last because it is unlikely that wealth in China will be spread uniformly. But already the effects of the new economy are affecting the way we live our lives. World oil price rises are the most obvious symptom.
But in the coming months and years we will all be made to weigh up the effects of the new world power. The distillers have other ...