|By: Nokulunga Msibi||26-01-2018|
Reports from Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reveal that Diageo hired a task force to over see their plans of changing the production rules of Scotch.
According to a highly confidential report seen by WSJ, part of their proposal is to finish Scotch in Don Julio tequila barrels. Other proposals include adding chocolate to the mashing process as well as creating a new category of Scotch infusions. These will have a lower abv and produced under their Johnnie Walker and Talisker brands.
In order to be called Scotch, a whisky must adhere to strict production, distilling and labelling rules. The production rules include being entirely produced in Scotland, from barley, corn or wheat and matured for at least 3 years in oak barrels. It is arguably one of the highest regulated drinks in the world.
The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) which governs and enforces the strict rules of whisky production has rejected the proposals. Speaking to Spirit Business, a spokes person from SWA said "Scotch Whisky is a product renowned for its quality, craft and heritage. The regulations which govern the production of Scotch Whisky are the solid foundation on which the industry’s success is built, generating over £4bn in exports to almost 200 market worldwide in 2016.”
Diageo is one of the largest producers of Scotch whisky. Their defence on the move is to ensure whisky's future security and success through innovation. A Diageo spokesperson said "Scotch is the most important category for Diageo and we have an unwavering commitment to the integrity, long-term success, history and tradition of the category".
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