The brightest minds in the SNP have once again served up the goods. According to official Scottish government documents, apparently the only difference between a Tesco Value Beer and a finely-brewed, caramel-sweet lager is a decent marketing budget. In a report assessing the merits of banning booze ads to prevent alcohol abuse, the SNP conclude:
“… without branding and other marketing strategies, alcohol products in each beverage sub-sector are essentially variations of the same thing.”
This has inevitably damped spirits north of the border, given one of the country’s most popular and historic exports just happens to be… Scotch whisky. Blair Bowman, an award-winning whisky consultant and broker, erupted at the claim, telling the Scottish Herald:
“… In one sentence, they’ve dismissed centuries of heritage and culture. Scotch whisky is our biggest food and drink export. It’s madness. They don’t even understand the product. What makes it so special is the uniqueness of every single diverse style of distillery. And they’ve just said, ‘oh, they’re all the same, so you might as well just put them in the same bottle’.”
Guido’s pouring one out for Blair. This isn’t even the first time the SNP’s relationship with whisky bosses has been on the rocks. Back in August, Sturgeon launched another review, this one looking into the “health and environmental impacts” of cutting down on Scotch production. The findings are due in March. No doubt that’ll kick off another spirited debate….
Bottoms up, the Scottish government has had another bright idea. Having settled the matter of menstrual health by appointing a male period dignity tsar, the SNP government is now on the brink of cracking climate change… by launching a review into the “health and environmental impacts” of brewing Scotch. As if spirits weren’t already low enough heading into the winter…
The review, which could see Sturgeon crack down on malt whisky consumption, will investigate the emission effects from the “angel’s share” of casks – a natural part of the brewing process in which around 2% of the brew evaporates during maturation. Holyrood has now asked researchers to look at potential “mitigation strategies” for this obvious emergency, now that Scottish whisky has become more popular in recent years and emissions have ticked up. The review will take six months, and cost the taxpayer up to £20,000…
A spokesperson for the Scotch Whisky Association said:
“Some loss of spirit from casks during maturation is a natural part of the whisky making process. Losses of ethanol average around 2 per cent per year and, as the Scottish Government has previously stated, is neither harmful to health nor impactful on the environment due to its rapid dispersal.”
A final report on the findings is eagerly expected next March. Does anyone get the sense Sturgeon’s government is on the rocks?
Liz Truss is not happy with the impact Brexit will allegedly have on the Scotch whisky industry. That. Is. A. Disgrace, she almost said today:
“There’s a huge risk to the whisky industry. If we were to leave the single market it would mean lots more cost for their business.”
A neat line, but what does the industry itself think?
David Frost, the publicly pro-Remain chief executive of the Scotch Whiskey Association, has previously argued on his website that:
“The existence of the industry does not depend on the EU. It depends on our ability to make a great product, at acceptable cost, and to beat the competition. Over the last hundred years we have always done that and I am confident we will carry on doing so in the future.”
Surely a better measure…
Privately, Frost is even more frank. In the leaked email below he complains that Cameron’s renegotiation was a “massive missed opportunity”:
“I guess we are all digesting the PM’s deal, recognising that it may evolve a little yet. The whole thing feels to me like a massive missed opportunity. What he has got probably is something like the best that could be achieved given the way the Govt went about the negotiation, ie the unwillingness to launch a significant campaign to convince broader European opinion about the need for a more open two-systems Europe”
And he then goes on to suggest that leading pro-Brexit economist Patrick Minford has a point. That’s the spirit!
The Department for Transport and the Scotland Office have announced today that they will funnel £11 million of taxpayer cash to Celtic Renewables, a company that turns waste products from the whisky industry into fuel.
How’s that Caledonian petrostate working out for you?
Lefty wonk shop the Green Alliance have come up with a novel way to boost Scotland’s economy: feed the salmon with whisky. Apparently “biorefining” whisky waste and feeding it to fish is a £140 million opportunity for the Caledonian wannabe petrostate. This fish food ruse is part of Green Alliance’s crusade to build a “Circular Economy” in Scotland. Guido doesn’t know either…
The Scottish Government is keen to cash in on the fishy scheme, praising the report for demonstrating how Scotland can build a sustainable economic future:
“The circular economy presents a tremendous opportunity for Scotland’s long term economic prospects.”
What a load of old pollocks.