News and Views from Scotland

Nip Can be Even Smaller thanks to Moray Council

A Whisky "Nosing" Glass via Wikimedia Commons

Smaller measures of whisky can be drunk at tastings and distillery tours, after new guidance was issued in Moray. The council area includes Speyside, where dozens of distilleries attract thousands of visitors every year. Regulations are in place to ensure that drinkers are not short-changed in normal bars.

The annual Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, which runs from 28 April to 2 May, has welcomed the move, which will allow drinks to be served in 10ml measures rather than 25ml.

Rhona Gunn, Moray Council's director of economic development, infrastructure and planning, said:

"In Moray Speyside we have half the total number of distilleries that exist in Scotland, so it's appropriate that we should be taking the lead on this. "The guidance says that where whisky is supplied in the context of a genuine whisky tasting event, and the marketing and other information provided to customers makes it clear that sample measures will be provided, then it is unlikely that the council's trading standards service would take the view that full measures were required. "Police Scotland will assess the need for a licence on a case-by-case basis with a pragmatic view being adopted where appropriate. "This applies to any tours, tutored tastings and events where alcohol is dispensed as part of the overall package".

The new guidance follows consultation with Police Scotland. James Campbell, of the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, said:
"This guidance from Moray Council will greatly enhance the experience of visitors attending our events. "The Festival is a staunch advocate of responsible drinking, and we have campaigned for some time for our event providers to be allowed to serve smaller 10ml measures where it is deemed appropriate. "We hope that the pioneering view taken by Moray Council will be mirrored by local authorities across Scotland."

One connoisseur describes the magic of Speyside whisky in a lyrical fashion:
"Speyside whisky is a little like a lover. It needs to be treated kindly and with respect, looked at and admired, and of course, sampled. Where you drink it is also important, especially with some of the more expensive malts, as you want to absorb the flavour while making a connection with your surroundings.."

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23 April 2016

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