Whisky Magazine Issue 91
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This month, Diageo's £40 million complex at Roseisle opened its doors to the press, offering an insight into one of Scotland's most ambitious - and controversial distillery projects in the last decade. Neil J. Ridley lifts the lid on the distillery, poised to help take the worldwide whisky market to new heights
ake a snapshot of the world and its drinking habits and some harsh realities are clearly being revealed.
Across Europe, and North America, sales of whisky, either in the blended or single malt categories has taken a sound drubbing over the last 18 months, with lighter (and arguably more versatile) spirits dominating our glassware. A sign of the times perhaps? Well perhaps. One can argue that in the age of recession, reaching for the bottle is perhaps the most inevitable of pastimes. Unfortunately for the modern Scotch whisky business, it's just that we're apparently all reaching for the wrong bottles.
But to dispel the grey cloud of negativity for a second, and an altogether rosier and dare we say, brighter outlook is beginning to emerge.
The good news is that despite our own wobbling domestic fortunes, the global Scotch whisky market remains in fine fettle with the Scotch Whisky Association reporting that international exports, predominantly of blended whisky, have risen recently by three per cent in value – to the tune of £3.13 billon. To put this figure another way, Scotch whisky now contributes £99 every second to the UK's trade balance. The ‘emerging' markets so often discussed, such as China, India and Russia, not to mention the growing economies of Vietnam and Korea are now demanding even greater shares of Scottish whisky production, with projected sales on a significantly upward trajectory. The result is a challenge to produce enough spirit to satisfy this de...