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Whisky Magazine News

Tue 20 Jan 2015

National Trust for Scotland makes May 'Whisky Month'

The National Trust for Scotland is offering what could be the perfect cruise for whisky fans this May, which as part of Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, has been dubbed ‘Whisky Month’.

From 14 – 21 May, the Trust sets sail on the latest of its popular ‘cultural cruising’ voyages. The delightful Pearl II cruise ship is the vessel for this week, featuring the best of Scottish scenery, music and, of course, food. The ship’s excellent chefs prepare delicious high-quality cuisine, often using local ingredients sourced at the varied ports of call.

To coincide with Whisky Month, this bespoke voyage offers the chance to visit Talisker Distillery on the Isle of Skye which produces the much-celebrated peaty malt, Oban where the town grew up around the distillery and the brand new Isle of Harris Distillery in Tarbert. Excursions on offer at various ports will include calls at local eateries to sample home cooking made from local produce.

The itinerary includes calls at Oban, St Kilda, Harris and Skye, starting and finishing from Greenock. On board breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and a late night buffet are included daily.

For further information please contact the Cruise Department on 0131 458 0234/ or visit
Mon 12 Jan 2015

Almost 90% of Scots say high tax level on Scotch is unfair

Industry calls for duty to be cut by 2%

The vast majority of Scots think the high level of tax levied on the country’s national drink is unfair, according to a new survey.

Some 89% of Scottish people think the tax of almost 80% on an average bottle of Scotch Whisky - made up of VAT and excise duty - is an unfair amount. With many people buying Scotch over the festive season as a gift for loved ones or to enjoy a dram themselves, the onerous level of tax is adding to the financial burden on consumers.

To help ease pressure on family budgets, the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), the industry trade body, has joined forces with the Wine and Spirit Trade Association and the TaxPayers’ Alliance to launch the ‘Drop the Duty! campaign. The campaign is calling for Chancellor George Osborne to cut excise duty by 2% on Scotch Whisky, along with other spirits and wine, in next spring’s UK Budget.

The average 70cl bottle of Scotch costs £12.90, with £10.06, of that made up of tax. Under the current UK Government, tax on spirits has increased by 25%.
As well as being harsh on consumers, the high level of tax is not supportive of Scotch in its domestic market. The number of bottles of Scotch Whisky released in the first half of this year was 35.4 million, down 7.30% from 38.2m in the first half 2013.

David Frost, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said: “At this time of year, in particular, many people are feeling under financial strain. It’s therefore not surprising that the vast majority of Scots think the tax of almost 80% on their bottle of Scotch is unfair. We are calling on George Osborne to do something to ease at least some of this financial pressure by cutting duty by 2% on Scotch in next year’s Budget.”
Jonathan Isaby, TaxPayers’ Alliance chief executive, said: "Families across the country are still feeling the pinch, not just over the Christmas period but all year round. The Chancellor has a chance to leave a little more in people's pockets by cutting this unfairly high tax down to size in the Budget. Politicians often talk about the cost of living crisis, and this is a chance for the Chancellor to do something about it."

Log onto to find out more and follow the campaign on Twitter @droptheduty.

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