Scottish Craft Spirit Provenance – SCDA and Scottish Food and Drink Partnership

Steps in the right direction but away from the headlines…….


The recent partnership between announced between Scottish Food and Drink, the umbrella body for Scottish producers and the Scottish Craft Distillers Association (SCDA) shows some good moves in the sector.

While some of the press boys talked about protecting whisky (I’m pretty sure the SWA are on top of that) a good number picked up on the issue that there exists a bit of a grey area when using Scottish names and indicators to promote spirits that have a more tenuous link than their branding suggests. Now it is absolutely true these products are not doing anything wrong but there is certainly divergence in how these aspects are communicated to the consumer and how well informed therefore the customer may be.

Scottish Food and Drink are offering their expertise on various issues to members of the SCDA. However to be a member of the SCDA you must own, operate and bottle your product here. This unquestionably gives the consumer a large degree of confidence as to the “Scottishness” of the drink coming from an SCDA member.

As Caskmaster previously pointed out  there is no requirement to be an SCDA member and businesses are doing nothing wrong in operating out side of the organisation. As a result the grey areas previously mentioned are all still in play. The access to the help Scottish Food and Drink can offer may well operate as a useful carrot for organisations to join the SCDA. However it looks like effective regulation may well be the next step forward to helping to clarify the rules under which craft distillers in Scotland can operate. With substantial resources and good political contacts of Scottish Food and Drink  you wonder if that is something this new partnership may well be looking at and what the attitude of the big boys to any new rules may be?

World Scotch Day- Arran 14 Yr Old- A Craft Success Story

On world Scotch day I think it’s important to focus on the success of the industry and for me, here, it’s really important to focus on success in the craft sector.

Way back in 1994, when there was a series of mergers and takeovers occurring in the industry and bigger was better, Arran distillery was being set up. Now 24 years later the distillery has created a fantastic blueprint for how success can be achieved, a second distillery on the island is being built and it has created a formidable array of products. So with all this in mind it is fitting to celebrate this particular success story with one of their drams.

The Arran 14 Year Old 46% abv:


Quite a light dram for one with quite a bit of age on it but a nice hue of soft gold.


Vanilla stands out- the bourbon barrels clearly doing their work. This is followed up by some apple, dried fruit, honey and cinnamon notes which reminds me of strudel.


The fruit notes become a bit bolder with the apples becoming more cooked and toasted and some lemon and orange citrus coming through. A slightly oily feel in the mouth there is a delightful salt note which helps to heighten the vanilla and caramel flavours as well as a more person malt character. The spice is still there acting as a fantastic supporting structure to the whisky.


A slightly grassy note with spices to finish – very more-ish.

This may have been out for a fair few years but it’s absolutely worth returning to!