Whisky by Time News Round Up – July 2023
As we head into the holiday season we bring you our round-up of latest whisky news. Including a story closer to home that Welsh whisky has been awarded geographical indication (UK GI) status. Congratulations go to Coles, Da Mhile, In the Welsh Wind and Penderyn distilleries. From all of us at the Whisky by Time team have a great summer.
Welsh single malt to gain UK’s special protected origin label
Welsh whisky hit the headlines (The Guardian, Times and BBC Radio 4) with the news its single malt is to join Scottish and Irish counterparts in being protected under the UK Geographical Indication (UKGI) scheme. Coles, Da Mhile, In the Welsh Wind and Penderyn distilleries have all achieved a G1 status under the new initiaitive brought in to replace the EU’s protected designation of origin label.
Lesley Griffiths MS, the Welsh government minister for rural affairs, said: “It is brilliant news single malt whisky has joined the Welsh GI family with its name now protected. The Welsh whisky industry continues to go from strength to strength, playing an important role in the food and drink sector here in Wales.”
Wales’ whisky industry has expanded rapidly in recent years, since the revival and relaunch of a ‘Single Malt Welsh Whisky’ product by Penderyn distillery back in March 2004. It is forecast to generate a revenue of £23 million in the current financial year including domestic, export and travel retail sales.”
Scotch whisky distillers investing for the future
Earlier this week the Scottish Herald praised the sector for its’ ability to thrive in even the most challenging of financial climates. The journalist Scott Wright reports on continued investment from whisky distillers around innovation, new technology, sustainability, tourism and plans to expand into the Taiwan market.
On that note The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) have just launched a Water Stewardship Framework, to improve water efficiency across the whisky production, demonstrating further a sector wide commitment to a progressive sustainable approach.
Annadale Distillery nets £3.6m Net Zero Gvt Investment
In late June the Minister for Energy Security and Net Zero Graham Stuart announced the winners at Climate Action’s Climate Innovation Forum.
One of those winners includes Scotland’s oldest whisky makers, Annadale Distillery, who took a step towards a new low carbon future, with a £3.6 million government investment in new thermal heating technology. This will see the distillery work with Exergy3 Ltd to develop a system that stores energy from electricity in special ceramic bricks, to then produce heating gas that could fully decarbonise the whisky-making process.
Can greener barley production help Scotch whisky to net zero?
Drinks Business reported on how Scientists at Heriot-Watt University are testing barley which has been grown with green fertilisers to ensure it is fit for use in Scotch whisky.
Dr Angela Feechan, a plant pathologist at Heriot-Watt University, said: “Reaching net zero means making our food production more sustainable. Biostimulants can hopefully do just that, but we need to be sure whisky won’t suffer as a result. The Irish BioCrop project funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is carrying out field trials at the moment, and we’ll be using their grain.”
Highballs help South Korea’s whisk(e)y imports reach record high
Imports of whisk(e)y into South Korea surged in the first half of 2023, rising by 50%
The data, provided by the country’s customs services revealed that the imported mass of whisk(e)y, was 16,900 tons, a major increase on the 11,100 tons reported for the same six month period in 2022. This is the highest figure since customs officials began tracking it in 2000.
Part of the reason for this trend appears to be because of the growing demand from South Korean consumers in the millennial and Generation Z demographics for highballs – whisk(e)y drinks topped up with a carbonated beverage.
The Japan Times reports that South Korea is the world’s fastest growing whisk(e)y market, and quotes Euromonitor research manager Sunny Moon: “Millennials and Gen Z consumers tend to reject the alcohol culture centred around excessive drinking in late-night gatherings and seek new ways to enjoy alcohol. With the prolonged spread of Covid-19, the concept of indulging in small luxuries with a small amount of money has risen.”
And finally if you’re visiting Edinburgh this summer why not pop into the Whisky Fringe 18-20 August taking place at the magnificent Mansfield Traquair.
The Main Hall, Raeburn Room, and Garden Marquee areas will be open for tastings and experiences throughout the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday sessions, playing host to around 40 exhibitors from across the whisky industry. They will be showcasing classic drams from iconic brands alongside new releases, special editions, and independently bottled treasures.