What it takes for whisky to be Scotch
Scotch whisky is a regional product and it is legally protected. There are many rules that precisely define which liquors can be called "Scotch". The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) keeps watch on those rules and makes sure they are followed. Their meticulousness guarantees market confidence in the quality of casks and bottles of liquid gold, and also enables to fight against fakes and the impersonation of a long history and the good name of Scotch whisky. If you are thinking of buying a cask, it is worth learning all the terms and conditions that make Scotch whisky authentic. It may happen that even the slightest oversight will prevent naming the distillate in your casks "Scotch whisky."
Legislative protection of scotch whisky
Whisky production has not always been regulated by law. Since its production for medicinal purposes, through prohibitions and bans, „Scotch” has evolved and changed along with technological and legal capabilities. As early as the end of the 1980s, certain standards for the production of this fine drink were set, while in 2009 the British government issued the Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009, which, in addition to production, also defined matters related to the packaging and labelling of Scotch whisky. Nowdays we know exactly what conditions the producer or bottler must meet to be able to operate with the legally protected name "Scotch whisky". Thanks to these regulations, you can rely on the quality of a good name that the industry has worked for decades.
The act defines Scotch whisky as a drink that:
1. Was produced in a distillery in Scotland and mainly from water and barley (to which other cereals may also be added), all of which have been:
· processed in this distillery to mash,
· transformed into a fermentable substrate in this distillery only by endogenous enzyme systems,
· fermented in this distillery only by adding yeast,
· distilled at an alcohol strength by volume less than 94.8%.
2. Spent its entire maturation period in a cask in Scotland and in oak casks with a capacity not exceeding 700 liters, for at least three years.
3. Maintains the colour, aroma and taste of the raw materials used for the production and the method of their production and maturation
4. Contains no added substances other than water and caramel dye (E150A).
5. Has a minimum alcohol strength by volume of 40%.
From Scottish land
Geographical restrictions are one of the most important and guarded principles. Scotch whisky must be distilled, matured and bottled in Scotland. Of course, after bottling, the whisky stops maturing and can leave the country without losing its "Scotch" status, which allows whisky lovers to enjoy the amazing malts in any corner of the world. In certain cases it is possible to bottle the drink outside the country. However, this applies only to blended whisky and only if the strict conditions of decantation and transportation are maintained. Single malt whisky must be bottled and labelled in Scotland.
We usually recommend the bottling process in the country to avoid unnecessary legal complications and to be 100% sure of the status of your whisky. You can also move full casks between warehouses within Scotland without worrying about losing Scottish status. However, it should be remembered that whisky must be transported directly from one customs warehouse to another, and this process must be carried out by a company with a WOWGR (Warehousekeepers and Owners of Warehousing Goods Regulations) certificate.
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