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Distillers turn back on SWA in petition over new whisky rules

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has been condemned by nearly 1,000 signatories to an online petition designed to prevent a new Scotch whisky classification from being enforced.

Bruichladdich managing director Mark Reynier added: "The term 'blended malt' is ambiguous. It's a marketer's paradise. It seems like a deliberate attempt by the members of the SWA -who constitute only 30% of the total number of whisky distilleries in Scotland - to increase the value of some of their blended whiskies.

One also has to question whether the SWA is still a suitable organisation to propose legislation on Scotland's future when it is not independent."

However, David Williamson, SWA public affairs manager, said: "At the core of the proposal is ensuring that people receive clear information on what they are buying. One of the objectors to our proposals has sold a malt whisky that was sometimes called a single malt and sometimes blended malt.

"It's this kind of confusion we want to avoid."

Harpers Magazine is available by subscription only.