The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2011

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SCOTCH REPORT Recession? What Recession? by Ian Buxton S cotch whisky is on a roll, led by double-digit growth in the U.S., which remained the industry’s largest export market by value. According to new figures from the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA), 2010 was a record year for Scotch whisky exports, the performance confirming Scotch whisky as one of the U.K.’s top exporting industries. Global shipments were valued at £3.45bn ($5.66bn), a 10% increase on 2009, while the U.S. was up 19% to £499m (nearly $820m). Scotch whisky exports have increased by 60% in the past ten years, adding an extra £1.29bn ($2.11bn) in value. Export value broke the £100 ($164) per second barrier for the first time, contributing an additional £10 ($16.40) every second to British exports compared to 2009. The figures reflected continued premiumization across the industry, with export value increasing despite a marginal decrease in volume (–2%) to the equivalent of 1.06bn 70cl bottles. Export volume in 2010 was 7% (or 72m extra bottles) higher than in 2000. The SWA reported encouraging growth across different Scotch whisky categories. Single malt exports increased by 18% (to £577m) and bottled blended Scotch whisky ship- ments rose by 5% (to £2.6bn). Eight of the top ten markets grew in value, with the strong performance in the USA especially noteworthy. Diageo’s David Gates, Global Category Director for Whiskies, told THE TASTING PANEL: “As the largest Scotch whisky producer, today’s SWA’s figures on the increase in The Caol Ila distillery on Islay will see production boosted by 00,000 liters of spirit annually. scotch exports come as no surprise. In the last financial year, we’ve seen our scotch portfolio grow by 6% with the key driver of this growth being through Johnnie Walker.” Little wonder then that Diageo has announced further expansion of their distilling capacity. This time the invest- ment goes into its Caol Ila distillery on Islay, which is to see production boosted by 700,000 liters of spirit annually. The £3.5m ($5.75m) investment will help Diageo meet targets for Johnnie Walker as well as permitting more active marketing of Caol Ila as a single malt. Over the past six years, Diageo claims to have invested over £600m ($985m) in its Scotch whisky facilities. An Icy Dram The folks at Whyte & Mackay seem to feature regularly here—but no wonder, as they seem so very active. Their latest innovation was inspired by events from 100 years ago, though: a recreation of whisky recovered from the Antarctic ice by New Zealand charity the Antarctic Heritage Trust. They were responsible for finding and uncovering the original bottles, left there in 1908 by explorer Ernest Shackleton, who had been sponsored by distillers Mackinlays (now part of Whyte & Mackay). Fifty thousand bottles of the replica whisky, painstakingly recreated by Master Blender Richard Paterson, go on sale shortly with the goal of raising £250,000 ($410,000) for conser- vation work in Antarctica. But, as we have seen, not every bottle exported from Scotland takes as long to be drunk. The Mackinlay replica bottle and packaging inspired by the original Shackleton whisky. The glass manufacturer had to switch quality controls to make the bottle as imperfect as the original. 2 / the tasting panel / may 201 1 PHOTO COURTESY OF DIAGEO

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