Sunday, January 28, 2007

Canadian Whisky Victory

In between some of the controversial endeavors the Scotch Whisky Association occupies itself with (charges against John Glaser and the Compass Box Spice Tree as being "untraditional" and illegal, Scotch whisky definitions re. Pure Malt, Blended Malt, etc), the background story of Glen Ora vs. the SWA sometimes has a chance to resurface. Major developments in this case have occurred this week.


n 2001, the Scotch Whisky Association began a campaign against Glenora Distillery. It argued that the use of the word "Glen" in Glenora's "Glen Breton Rare Single Malt Whisky" misleads consumers to believe the spirit is a "Scotch", a designation that can only be used by whiskies distilled and aged at least three years in Scotland.

In the company's defence, their award-winning whisky is distilled in Glenville, Inverness County, and while the word Glen was many Scotch Whisky associations, the use of the word 'Glen' is geographically inspired. The company makes no references to Scotch anywhere in its
marketing, labelling, etc. Some more words can be found here.

Well, yesterday the distillery got some good news [and here(thanks, Unc)]

I am not sure what happens with champagne industry if some house in Australia makes Dom Victoria sparkling wine, is it illegal?

Do we stop the biggest Highland Games event in the world from "sounding scottish" because they are held in North America?
Clan MacIntosh gatherings in Wyoming should be called Family MacIntosh celebrations so they dont sound too scottish?
Does my Yorkshire pudding become Paris pudding when I make it at the Marwah's flat there?
Does Turkish Delight need to be called something else in Peru?

Okay, i'll stop. But if you disagree, comment.

Look, you might think that we Canadians are so thick that the simplest Scottish celidh dance should be named after us(Canadian Barn Dance, 4 steps in total. WOW!), but we are not so stupid as to assume that a bottle with a big red maple leaf and the word Breton on it is Scottish Single Malt Whisky because it is made in a glen or says "glen" on the box.

Yes, many things the SWA does for Scotland and scottish whisky are commendable but I find this one just silly. Better not call it a 'wee dram' when we have a drink of Canadian whisky, might get sued! The SWA is set to appeal the decision above.

No, Glenora doesnt make great whisky (yet), but they have every right to use whatever NAME they want. Classification (ie. Champagne, Scotch, etc.) is a different story, and they clearly do not violate that.

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