So you call yourself a Scotch connoisseur!
Scotch whisky is a much-loved drink all across the globe, but sometimes even the most knowledgeable Scotch connoisseurs forget about some of the key facts.
We’ve put together 6 facts about Scotch whisky you should know about, because who knows when they might come in handy!
1. Scotch whisky must be made according to a specified law
Imagine a drink actually having its own laws? Well, if it’s Scotch it does! In November 2009, The Scotch Whisky Regulation 2009 (SWR) came into force, replacing the Scotch Whisky Act 1988 and the Scotch Whisky Order 1990. The SWR is a vast set of rules that not only governs the way Scotch Whisky is produced, but how it is labelled, packaged and advertised as well. The rules are simple, yet strict. For example; for Scotch Whisky to really be Scotch, it must be produced and matured for at least three years in no country other than Scotland.
2. Scotch distilling was once illegal in Scotland
When the first taxes on Scotch Whisky were introduced in 1644, the number of illicit whisky distilling in Scotland spiked and by around 1780, there were far more illegal distilleries than legal ones. For the next 150 years, smuggling and illegal distilling were common practice, until The Excise Act 1823 which made whisky distilling legal again without duty payments.
3. In 2018, the export value of Scotch Whisky grew +7.8% by value
Latest figures released from HM Revenue and Customs at the beginning of this year reveal that 2018 was a particularly strong year for Scotch Whisky, as the export value of Scotch grew +7.8% by value to a record £4.70bn. The number of 70cl bottles exported also reached an all-time high, growing to the equivalent of 1.28bn, up +3.6%.
4. There are 2 million visits to Scotch Whisky distilleries a year
2018 was also a strong year for Scotch Whisky tourism, with over 2 million visits to Scotch Whisky distilleries. According to the annual survey by the Scotch Whisky Association, Scotch distillery visits have increased by 56% since 2010. These statistics make industry the third most popular tourist attraction in Scotland. Some of the most popular distilleries include Cardhu, Dalwhinnie and The Glenlivet, but any Scotch distillery here in Scotland is worth a visit!
5. More than 10,000 people are directly employed in the Scotch Whisky industry in Scotland
With over 120 active distilleries across Scotland, opportunity for employment is favourable. More than 10,000 people are directly employed in the Scotch Whisky industry in Scotland and a further 30,000 people are employed in the industry across the UK. Many Scotch Whisky Headquarters are based in London, where high-value jobs such as sales, marketing and finance are sought-after.
6. A bottle of scotch can last more than 100 years if unopened
Scotch whisky does not age once bottled. So, say you have been passed down a 12-year-old bottle of Scotch that has been closed for 100 years, it will still remain 12 years old. The taste only begins to change once the bottle is opened as oxygen reacts with the spirit in the bottle. An opened bottle of Scotch tends to last between six months and two years.
Find out more about Scotch whisky in our Whisky Tasting Tour, where you can distilleries including Kilchoman, Ben Nevis, Talisker and Dallas Dhu to name a few!
Get in touch with us today to arrange your once in a lifetime trip.