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Issue 65 - Taking ownership

Whisky Magazine Issue 65
July 2007


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Taking ownership

With the whisky industry becoming increasing part of large global corporations we decided to look at how ownership is viewed by the drinkers. We put two questions to Whisky Magazine's online community at The first looked at whether the size of the company influenced a whisky's flavour,availability and price;and whether the nationality of that company had any influence on the whisky

BA Bruce D Allen,Massachusetts,USA
NB Nick Brown,Isle of Lewis,UK
KG Kenneth Graham, Perthshire,UK
SH Adrian Phelan,Galway,Ireland

1. Does the size of the company that owns your favourite whisky influence its flavour, availability and price?

AP: I would have to say yes of course it does. One of my favourite drams is owned by a large drinks corporation and even though we sometimes bemoan the fact that they appear more interested in numbers rather than the whisky, it is only because of the size of the company that the product is readily available world wide.

Further because of larger economies of scale this enables them to produce a good product at a lower price than say a small independent distillery.

In relation to well established distilleries the flavour profile is generally fairly stable.

However changes seem more noticeable with medium to small distilleries which have seen their sales go through the roof and they are finding it hard to meet demand.

This manifests itself in situations where once there may have been older malts in a standard 10 Years Old (any where from 10 to 17 Years Old) but high demand has reduced that to a possibility that only 10 to 12 Years Old malts being used now. A case of a victim of one's own success but we should not overly worry about these scenarios as these whiskies are still of a high standard and people soon appreciate what they have instead of mourning what is perceived to be lost.

BA: This is an interesting question, as ...

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