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My View: Let's sort out whisky terminology

Published:  18 January, 2007

New laws on the future of Scotch whisky, proposed by DEFRA and the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), will have far-reaching effects.

Yet this sector is a charter for cheats and marketing departments to exploit gullible consumers: for, extraordinarily, "Blended Malt" will be allowed to look almost identical to a Single Malt, down to the distillery name, label and presentation.

Consumers conned into thinking they are getting a whisky from a famous distillery may find it's a malt cocktail, with barely a drop of what they thought they were buying in the blend at all.

Whiskies in the new category should not be allowed to use the sacrosanct name or presentation of a distillery. End of story. As it stands, consumers - at last protected from counterfeiters - will be ripped off by the industry instead.

Mark Reynier is managing director of Bruichladdich Distillery