The bigger they come

World’s Biggest Bottle of Whisky unveiled

By Alexander Lawrie

A TINY Scotch whisky distillery has made the Guinness Book of Records after producing the world’s largest bottle of whisky.

The massive bottle of single malt was filled by hand with105 litres of 14-year-old Tomintoul Speyside Glenlivet Scotch.

And when full, the giant five foot container holds the equivalent of 150 standard bottles.

The monster whisky bottle, which will be on permanent display at the Clockhouse in the village square at Tomintoul village, was the brainchild of the Tomintoul distillery and a local whisky shop.

And after filling the gigantic bottle, the huge cork had to hammered into place with a massive mallet.

Duncan Baldwin, Tomintoul Distillery’s brand development director, said: “We are delighted to have been successful in achieving this record as ratified by Guinness Book of World Records.

“It was quite nerve-racking, filling and labelling such a large vessel by hand and especially so when sealing the bottle with the largest cork I have ever seen as it had to be hammered in with a mallet but the exercise went very well.

“It should be a great talking point for Tomintoul Distillery, the village and its visitors.”

The Whole Scottish/Canadian Situation

I’ve basically stayed out of the debate over Glen Breton, because I think it’s silly and was a dumb fight for the SWA to pick.

My gut feel is that they had to see it through simply because they could not afford to appear to be picking on India over their use of Scottish sounding names, whilst letting the Canadians off with a free ride.

The biggest downside for the SWA is the potential for the Governments in countries where they are bringing action basically tell them to bugger off…which is what happened here. This reduces their moral high-ground and reduces their ability to pursue in other countries. These start to look like “nuisance suits”.

My friend Mark Reynier at Bruichladdich always has his own view on what is going on in the world of Whisky and, in this case draws the very keen connection that you can’t say you are attempting to save the world from confusion over names, while, at the same time creating additional confusion with the use of the unfortunate term “Blended Malt”. A term to which I have been a staunch opponent.

Pot Kettle Black
by Mark Reynier
The owner of The Glenora Distillery in Cape Breton is celebrating the end of a long legal battle with the Scotch Whisky Association.

Glenora Distillers International Ltd., won a major victory when the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear an appeal by the SWA that could have blocked the company’s trademark Glen Breton Rare. For nine years and through four levels of court challenges, the Scotch Whisky Association has fought to protect the Scottishness of he word “Glen”.

“We have no objection to the production of single malt whisky in Canada,” said the SWA’s David Williamson. “What is of concern, though, is any product that tries to take unfair advantage of Scotch whisky’s international reputation by adopting a Scottish-sounding name.”

Unsurprisingly the word “Glen” figures in an area colonised by Scots. Glenora, whose main product Glen Breton Rare single malt takes its name from its hometown of, er, Glenville, a small hamlet just south of um, Inverness – in, er, Nova Scotia.

Williamson said: “We’ve been working to protect Scotch whisky around the world for many, many years. There is evidence that the market was confused by [Glen Breton’s] trademark. Consumers thought they were buying a Scotch whisky, but they were really getting something else.” So really no different in principle to the SWA’s own blatantly deceptive title ‘Blended Malt’ where consumers are apparently not at all confused as to whether they are buying a Single malt or a Blended whisky.

The legal costs have hurt the small company (no doubt an intentional tactic) and more costs may be on the way as the SWA sourly seek to continue the affair: “We’ll be opposing applications to register the marque in any country where confusion is likely in the future.”

Of course Glenora Distillers International Ltd does not need to register its trademark in every country that it wishes to trade in. Perhaps the company’s owner should trademark his own name instead – now THAT would really cause consternation: Scotts Single Malt Whisky.

Hans Offringa Reviews 99 Drams of Whiskey

Listening to people who are passionate about and understand the finer nuances of flavors and aromas is always an enjoyable pastime for me. When they write about it with panache and humor, taking you on a virtual tour in their perception of the world of whisky, it is even more agreeable. When you have turned the last page, you crave for more.

This is what I felt after having finished 99 Drams of Whiskey, subtitled The Accidental Hedonist’s Quest for the Perfect Shot and the History of the Drink.

Kate Hopkins is a celebrated food blogger and columnist. Her website Accidentalhedonist.com bears testimony to that. Time Magazine considered it one of their 50 Coolest Websites. I am glad she decided to dedicate an entire book to my favorite drink, instead of using her blog, releasing snippet by snippet over time.

On the dust jacket’s blurb Kevin Erskine, aka Mr. Scotchblog, nails down this book perfectly in one sentence, “part travelogue, part distillery guide, and part history book.” It seems the author slips in and out of history as easily as she and her spiky travel companion slip in and out of planes and cars on their quest for the perfect shot.

Seemingly, since the historical parts are very well researched. The avid whisky reader might recognize many facts, but the way in which the author intertwines Irish, Scottish, Canadian and American whisky history is unique and a dram good read.

The tasting notes, placed in separate insets throughout the book, illustrate Kate Hopkins’ vast knowledge about flavors and her experience in verbalizing what our senses discern. The way in which she characterizes the drams tasted is sometimes wickedly funny. The travelogue part of the book serves literally as a means of transport between places visited, history retold, people interviewed and whisky savored.

Any complaints? Well, due to tight planning and bad weather in Oban, the travel companions couldn’t make it to Islay. I would have loved to read about encounters with Jim McEwan and Mark Reynier or one of the other great storytellers on that tiny but influential whisky island. Kate, please go back, don’t limit yourself to Islay but visit the other island distilleries as well. Then write a sequel: Savoring the Scottish Whisky Isles. Oh, and don’t forget to take Krysta with you!
Hans Offringa


Whisky + Arthur's Chat + You = Money for Parkinson's Research

This in from Arthur Motley.
Good Cause. Good Event.

If you are on Facebook, you can read it here.

WHAT’S ALL THIS THEN?
I am hosting a series of whisky tastings in Edinburgh every Monday from July 20th until the end of August (except the 10th).
Location: The Saint (a great new Stockbridge pub from the people behind Bramble Bar)
Street: 44 St Stephen Street
City/Town: Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Those dates then:

  • 20th July – Beginners
  • 27th July – Beginners
  • 3rd Aug – Specialist (some rarities!)
  • 17th Aug – Beginners
  • 24th Aug – Beginners
  • 31st August – Beginners
  • Why would you do such a thing?
    I went to university with James Bowthorpe, who is cycling around the world. See more at http://www.globecycle.org/ or find out exactly http://whereintheworldisjames.com He is not doing this to break a record (but GO JAMES GO!) but to raise money 1.8 million for Parkinson’s Research. He’s a third of the way round the world but what with cycling 120 miles a day he’s not finding the time to
    fundraise (I know, it’s just plain lazy) and is some way off his target. I felt it was the least I could do, given that he’s gone all heroic on us.

    What’s a whisky tasting?
    Each night will have 5 delicious whiskies and probably the odd bonus thrown in here and there.

    I chat, explain each dram and tell hopefully funny anecdotes. It’s pitched to the interested beginner drinker so you need not know anything about whisky (that’s the point). It will be informal, relaxed and entertaining.

    Who the hell do you think you are?
    I am web and whisky manager for http://www.royalmilewhiskies.com, a respected Edinburgh retailer. Before that I bought whisky for the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, and have also written the odd article here and there. Although tasting presentations are not part of my job I’ve had fun presenting my favourite drink in places as diverse as Glastonbury Festival, The Guardian newspaper and The Tinners Arms (my Dad’s Cornish pub). I have no loyalty or commercial connection to a whisky brand, which means I can say what I like (no marketing guff tonight thanks!)

    …Sign me up! How do I attend?
    It’s £20 a ticket and we have capacity for 25 people. If you’re interested click ‘Maybe Attending’ or ‘I am attending’ and I’ll get in touch a little nearer the time to explain how you pay for entry by a direct donation to the charity. The specialist tasting will feature rarer and more expensive whiskies so will be a little more expensive.

    - HANG ON A MINUTE, WHERE’S ALL THIS WHISKY COMING FROM?
    I am using my own whisky collection as the initial pouring stock but am hoping that the industry and other whisky fans might be kind enough to contribute the odd bottle so I don’t give away my entire pension plan. I will if I have to though.

    For the sake of clarity, I am paying all my other expenses myself.

    - Why should the industry contribute?
    I know, us whisky workers are endlessly approached for bottles for charity events. That’s why I’m not directly hassling contacts I know well and hoping kind industry people will come to me. That’s Plan A anyway, don’t make me come get you.

    - Why should whisky collectors contribute?
    Michael Jackson was the foremost beer and whisky writer of his generation but sadly died in 2007 of Parkinsons Disease (any malt fan knows this). With his enthusiasm and talent he did as much as anyone to turn whisky into the valued commodity it is today. Collectors and drinkers who were inspired by MJ to hoard a few single malts have a lot to thank him for. You could go the hassle selling all your bottles on ebay and make a buck or two, or you could send me a bottle and I will attempt to make other people fall in love with malt. More expensive/rare bottles will be used in a rarities tasting to maximise the amount of money we can raise. MJ was an exceptionally kind person.

    If you’re interested in donating please e-mail me on bumpmotley@gmail.com

    To 'e' or not to 'e' – Part 2

    I’ve been pretty vociferous that whisky should be spelled based on the local spelling of where the product is from and not (as some [looking at you Chuck Cowdery :)] think – that it should be spelled based on where YOU happen to be.

    Let’s revisit the lively argument: To ‘e’ or not to ‘e’

    Well, seems like the New York Times finally agreed with me…

    New York Times forced to drop the ‘e’ in whisky
    By Alexander Lawrie

    SCOTLAND’S whisky industry is celebrating after a respected US newspaper was forced to change its spelling of the country’s national drink from whiskey to whisky.

    For years Scotch experts have been fuming at the paper’s erroneous spelling of whisky with a superflous ‘e’.

    But now the newspaper has decided to amend their style guide following “aggressive” complaints in a piece they carried about Speysidemalts.

    An article appeared in an edition of the New York Times last month sparking a barrage of letters of complaints about the misspelling.

    And editors at the US newspaper have now decided to see sense and amend any future copy that includes the word.

    Whisky experts in this country are now delighted that their perseverance has finally paid off.

    A spokesperson for the multi-national giant Diageo – who own the J&Band the Johnny Walker brands – said: “There is clearly a hard and fast rule for Scotch Whisky which should be spelt without an ‘e’, and the New York Times is to be congratulated for accepting that fact.

    Read the rest here

    A perspective from Ken Grier, Director of Malts, The Edrington Group

    You probably don’t realize how much grief “The Drammies” has caused me over the years…especially those pesky negative categories…

    But I think that the industry deserves to feel the agony of defeat along with the thrill of victory.

    To make it clear, the nominees are picked based on the volume of nominations and the subsequent winners (or losers as the case may be) are selected by volume of votes.

    And, while The Scotch Blog is not a forum to lobby for votes, I do feel that I have an obligation to allow a forum for additional information and alternative views.

    To that end, Ken Grier, Director of The Macallan, and I had a great call the other day – and I invited him to offer up some information on the Rankin project…

    Whether you agree that the Rankin campaign was a brilliant idea or not, I truly believe that it’s important to understand the intent and thoughts behind the concept.

    Without further ado…Take it away, Ken…

    A perspective from Ken Grier, Director of Malts, The Edrington Group

    I was interested to see that The Masters of Photography bottling had been nominated for a Drammie for Worst Marketing Campaign of 2008.  I would like to make my views known as to why I believe that it should in fact have been nominated for Best marketing campaign, and not the worst.

    So everyone is clear on what we are doing with the concept and what they get for their money I would like to make the following points:

    We operate with the highest integrity at The Macallan.  We would simply not put a new label on an existing whisky and sell it a higher price.

    Each bottle is in fact a unique work of art and the price reflects this.  What you are purchasing is an original Rankin Polaroid image, unique to this pack together with a one off bottle label to match and signed certificate of authenticity from Rankin.  No one of these products is like another.  The photography here is wide ranging and comes from an array of images which not only contrast artistic nude studies of the model Tuuli with the distillery surroundings, but also photos of the distillery workers and still life and landscape studies.

    At the projects inception our intention was that the product should be great value as we were offering an original Rankin Polaroid (these currently sell for up to $1000 each) as part of the pack.  This is your chance to enjoy Fine Oak 30 years old and own an original work of art at a very small premium if any.

    Fluctuations in the exchange rate have obviously had an impact on the price equation but none the less it still represents extraordinarily good value for an original work of art from a world renowned photographer.

    We deliberately set out to make this concept as accessible as possible for purchase by our consumers we believe that we have succeeded. The evidence to support this is that 62 of our own staff, ranging from Directors to workers in the bottling hall have bought one. This has been a higher staff take up than any other new product launch in our history.

    Irrespective of whether or not you love it or hate it as an idea, I passionately believe that The Masters of Photography bottling has had a positive effect on Scotch Whisky.  In order to attract new drinkers and grow the category it is not just good enough to produce great quality whisky, you need to produce innovative new products that appeal to a new audience.  These need to enthral existing users and beguile new drinkers.

    In addition I think it is all important that if you are assessing the effectiveness of a marketing campaign that you look at its performance versus its original objectives.

    Our intent here is both to generate publicity for the brand and to recruit new younger and more stylish drinkers into The Macallan ‘club’ alongside our much valued and loyal drinkers.

    We have facts to show that we have exceeded our objectives in all cases.  Firstly we have generated media value of almost $2 million of publicity in just three months of its launch in art, fashion and news press.

    Secondly in our four launches and exhibitions to date in the UK, Russia, Greece and the USA, we have exposed the brand to over 1500 key opinion formers and affluent consumers who attended the launch events.  They may not otherwise have entered our world of single malt whiskies.

    Thirdly, I have had over 300 personal expressions of praise and delight from press, trade and drinkers who adore the concept with only 5 negative comments to date, including this nomination. 

    Finally we have left a rich photographic legacy which encompasses one summer in the life of The Macallan for those who follow us to cherish as they ensure that this wonderful brand continues to receive the acclaim it deserves.

    We at Macallan are very proud of our innovative track record.  The Fine Oak range, the Fine & Rare collection and our partnership with Lalique to create our Six Pillars range of decanters are all examples of innovative new products we have brought to market. We will continue to plough this sometimes lonely furrow to the benefit of The Macallan brand and the Single Malt category for years to come.

    One of the great things about blogs is that they allow freedom of speech and the right of reply.  Thank you for allowing me to exercise these rights and put forward my point of view.

    RIP: The Scotch Whisky Review

    Today’s story comes from Ian Buxton and was originally posted on the foremost whisky community The Whisky Channel.

    I very sad to have to report a death in the whisky family. The Scotch Whisky Review is to “suspend publication” — a fig-leaf of a euphemism for “close down” about as convincing as an executive and their employer parting company “by mutual consent” (read “he was fired, because his face didn’t fit any more”).    

    SWR was originally established by Richard Joynson of Loch Fyne Whiskies and provided an irreverent; some would say downright scurrilous commentary on the Scotch Whisky scene.   But the effort in producing regular bulletins as well as compiling a price list and running his business eventually told on Joynson who, in early 2006, handed the SWR on to new proprietors.  

    The title was taken on by publisher Marcin Miller (formerly of Whisky Magazine) and editor Dave Broom who planned to develop SWR as a stand-alone publication independent of Loch Fyne. Initially, all went well. The quality and size was improved; new writers recruited and an effort made to persuade readers to pay a modest annual subscription.  

    But, despite the excellent ‘Ray Snyde Whisky Guru’ cartoon; the short-lived, offensive and highly-amusing ‘Mrs Hewitt’s Diary’; Caleb Bann’s ‘Hot Air News’ and Charles ‘Walrus’ MacLean’s bulletins from the front line of viscimetric research it seems that these efforts have failed and the Winter 2007 edition of Scotch Whisky Review is to be the last.  

    There will be a “re-launched” web version at www.scotchwhiskyreview.com but somehow it doesn’t feel the same.  

    So, farewell then, Scotch Whisky Review. You wanted to be whisky’s Private Eye but turned out to be its Punch!

    A real shame, as I thoroughly enjoyed the Scotch Whisky Review.

    Once More with Woodford

    Today’s story comes from beer Guru & writer Stephen Beaumont <www.worldofbeer.com> who recently traveled to Kentucky to get a sneak preview of the new Master’s Collection whiskey, 1838 Sweet Mash.


    Being a Canadian, even one who travels regularly south of the border, there is many a special edition whiskey that comes and quickly goes before I have a chance to get my hands, and palate, on it. Such was the case with the first two editions of the Woodford Reserve Master’s Collection, the much ballyhooed Four Grain and only slightly less celebrated Sonoma-Cutrer Finish.

    So when the opportunity arose to travel to Kentucky for a preview of this year’s entry, courtesy of Brown-Forman, no less, I jumped at it. Along the way, I suspected, I might even be able to score a sip or three of the first two, as well.

    I was right. Following a first night reception at the 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, and a couple of post-prandial cocktails in the Seelbach Hotel Bar with Woodford Master Distiller, Chris Morris, it was up at the crack of dawn and off to the distillery in nearby Versailles. There, I was promised not just a preview of the new edition bourbon, but also a sampling of the Four Grain and Sonoma-Cutrer.

    Those two whiskeys arrived first, beginning with the spicy, big bodied Four Grain, a whiskey I thought exceptional but also quite at odds with the relative elegance of my favorite Manhattan bourbon, the regular Woodford Reserve. The Sonoma-Cutrer came next, less impressive to me with its softly herbal, honeydew melon nose and buttery, soft fruit body, and of a character I thought best described as feminine. I took a lot of ribbing for that comment from the women in the room, but I stand by it.

    Finally, we got into this year’s entry in the Master’s Collection, the 1838 Sweet Mash. As the name implies, this is a non-sour mash bourbon, which was, of course, how all whiskeys were once made, hence the 1838 designation. (The best guess, we were told, is that sour mashing took hold sometime around the mid-1800’s.) Given a different environment in which to feed, the yeasts naturally behave differently and produce different compounds, even though the recipe remains the same as that of the regular Woodford, and herein resides the “specialness” of this bourbon. As per the Master’s Collection tradition, this is a limited edition brand that will premier in the U.S. on November 1, and in Canada on December 1, and is not expected to be seen again.

    Not surprisingly, given that only the mashing method has changed, the color of the Sweet Mash is identical to that of the Woodford Reserve. The aroma, on the other hand, I felt was significantly sweeter, with notes of plum, raisin and stewed peach predominant, and a peppery spice lurking in the background. Similarly, the front end of the taste I also found sweeter, with more fruit, including a hint of cherry, less vanilla and a rounder, “fatter” overall character. Towards the end of the taste, however, the whiskey does a full back flip and suddenly becomes drier than its better known cousin, leaving only a lingering sensation of brown spice.

    Overall, I’d place the Sweet Mash somewhere between its predecessors, less spectacular and spectacularly different than the Four Grain, but more successful an experiment than the Sonoma-Cutrer Finish. That said, it is a piece of liquid history, and who wouldn’t want a sip of that?!   

    Dewar's whisky boss Gray set to go

    Dewar’s whisky boss Gray set to go

    William Lyons

    Business & Money Scotland on Sunday  13 Jul 2008

    THE boss of Dewar’s, the Scotch whisky firm owned by Bacardi, is to leave his job amid a restructuring of the business.

    Garry Gray, who last August announced a GBP 120m expansion of the whisky firm, will leave his position at the end of the summer.

    In a letter to staff seen by Scotland on Sunday, Dewar’s chairman John Broadbridge said his role will be replaced with an operations director.

    He said: “We thank Garry for his contribution to the development of John Dewar & Sons and wish him every success in whatever he chooses to do in the years ahead.

    Full Story

    The Single-Malt Independents

    Hi Kevin,
    Hope you’re doing well. Here’s a column I did for The Wall Street Journal trying to explain independent bottlings to those who might be understandably confused by the proliferation of bottles labeled with the same distillery names.
    cheers,
    Eric


    The Single-Malt Independents

    By ERIC FELTEN
    The Wall Street Journal
    July 12, 2008; Page W7

    The Macallan is one of the best-known and best-loved
    single-malt whiskies, with prices to match. A bottle of The Macallan
    18-year-old Scotch generally retails for around $140. So it must have
    been distressing for the distillery’s management when Costco started
    selling 18-year-old Macallan-made whisky for $60. The bottles are
    labeled with the discount house-brand “Kirkland” at the top; but just
    below, in letters nearly as large, are the words “Macallan Distillery.”

    Plenty of chatter on Web bulletin boards has
    questioned whether the Kirkland malt could be proper Macallan whisky —
    perhaps, some speculated, this was a batch gone wrong that the
    distillery offloaded at a discount. Not so. It was just that 20 years
    ago, Macallan had excess capacity. “We were still producing more liquid
    than we could sell,” according to Patricia Lee in Macallan’s marketing
    department. “We sold the surplus new-make spirit to independent
    bottlers to store and bottle in their own time under their own label.”

    [Drinks photo]
    Dylan Cross for The Wall Street Journal

    This might seem like shocking carelessness with one’s
    brand equity — imagine if Coke sold off excess syrup, letting anyone
    and everyone market independent versions of Coca-Cola. Ms. Lee allows
    that “it does cause some confusion.” But Scottish distillers have been
    doing business this way for well over a century.

    Scotch distilleries traditionally did not themselves
    bottle or market their whiskies. They sold it by the barrel to brokers
    and blenders who mixed them to create blended whiskies such as Chivas
    Regal, Johnnie Walker and Dewar’s. For decades, just about the only way
    to get a bottle containing whisky from an individual distillery — that
    is, a single malt — was from an independent bottler. Many of these,
    such as William Cadenhead, were liquor and wine merchants who bought
    barrels of whisky for their shops and offered them, unblended, to their
    customers. Savvy Scotch drinkers learned to look for these single malts
    because they had quirky and compelling character lacking in even the
    best blends. Were it not for independent bottlers, there might never
    have been a single-malt revolution. Thanks to the success of the
    independents, the distillers realized they should start bottling their
    malts and create marketable brands of their own. “Independents molded
    the industry,” says Euan Shand, managing director of one such firm,
    Duncan Taylor & Co Ltd. “Multinationals who bought into it are
    reaping that benefit.”

    And reaping a few headaches too. Take Caol Ila
    (pronounced cull-EE-la), a lovely, well-balanced malt from the peaty
    island of Islay. It’s only in the past five years that drinks giant
    Diageo has decided (and a very good decision it was) to make the whisky
    one of its core, premium brands. But Diageo has had to contend with a
    surfeit of Caol Ila on the market: In the 1970s, the distillery
    expanded to six stills from two, and it long had plenty of excess
    spirit to sell to the brokers. Now that Diageo is investing serious
    money to promote the malt, umpteen independent bottlings have hit the
    market.

    I had to visit only two local liquor stores to come up
    with three independent bottlings of Caol Ila, a 10-year-old version
    from Gordon & MacPhail’s “Connoisseurs Choice,” and 14-year-old
    versions from Murray McDavid and the Signatory Vintage Scotch Whisky
    Co. Ltd. None were Costco-style bargains — in fact, the 12-year-old
    official distillery bottling was the best buy. Nor were any of the
    bottles second-rate examples of Caol Ila. They were like fraternal
    twins — not quite identical, but with interesting personalities of
    their own. The Gordon & MacPhail was slightly drier than the
    official Caol Ila; the Murray McDavid, stored in sherry casks, was much
    sweeter and fruitier; the Signatory had a bright, fresh quality.

    The official bottling remains the best bet for “the
    majority of our drinkers [who] look for consistent character and
    quality,” says Diageo’s global malt director, Nick Morgan. And there’s
    a lot to be said for consistency. When you’re spending $50 or $60 for a
    bottle, you may not want it to be a crap shoot. But the risk is small
    — most of the independent bottlings I’ve bought over the years have
    been perfectly worthy. Not that I haven’t run into the occasional
    stinker — pallid stuff from an exhausted barrel that had been recycled
    too many times. Even so, if there is a single malt you love, it’s well
    worth exploring the variations to be found in independent bottlings of
    the brand.

    But do it while you can: As demand for single malts
    has grown, distilleries have become shy about supplying intermediaries.
    “It’s a sign of the times that major distillers are no longer willing
    to sell casks to the independents for private bottling,” says Mr. Shand
    of Duncan Taylor. “I believe the multinationals will slowly squeeze the
    lifeblood out of the independents.” Diageo’s Dr. Morgan doesn’t
    disagree: “As distillers recognize the importance of their single-malt
    brands,” they will increasingly want “to protect their brand equity and
    control the quality of the final product.”

    Anticipating a drought, the middlemen are looking to
    guarantee their supply. As Alistair Hart of the independent bottler
    Hart Brothers slyly puts it, the “poachers have turned game keepers.”
    Gordon & MacPhail led the way, buying the Benromach distillery in
    1993; Signatory now owns tiny Edradour; Bruichladdich is humming under
    the ownership of the Murray McDavid crew; and independent blender and
    bottler Ian Macleod Distillers Limited is proprietor of the stills at
    Glengoyne.

    Now that bottlers are on the other side of the
    branding divide, how eager are they to do business with other
    independents? Not very. Says Gordon & MacPhail marketing manager
    Ian Chapman: “Production of Benromach under Gordon & MacPhail’s
    ownership is owned and bottled by Gordon & MacPhail.”