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Reynier attacks critics of his Perilous Scotch'

Published:  23 July, 2008

Mark Reynier, owner of Islay's Bruichladdich distillery, has reacted angrily to the Scotch Whisky Association's (SWA) criticism of his attempt to resurrect a 300-year-old
Gaelic whisky recipe named usquebaugh-bual' (which means perilous whisky).
The recipe calls for a quadruple distillation (as opposed to the usual two for Scotch), leading to an alcoholic strength of 90% ABV, straight from the still.

The SWA (of which the distillery is not a member) sent out a statement following widespread press coverage of the new whisky expressing concern' at the use of alcoholic strength of the whisky as a dominant theme in the marketing of any Scotch whisky'.

Reynier responded that he hadn't done any marketing for the whisky as it would not be released for at least ten years', and that we have made no decision at what strength the spirit would be bottled anyway. All we've done is distil a spirit in a different way to the norm in Scotch and try and recreate a whisky that legendary traveller Martin Martin recorded tasting in the Hebrides in 1695. If the SWA and their paymasters Diageo don't like it then tough. I suppose they have to be seen to be whiter than white with all the anti-drink lobby pressure, but they could have at least picked up the phone to ask me what I was going to do with the spirit before criticising it.'

Reynier added that after many years of maturation a portion of alcohol will have been lost to the angels' anyway, and that a further portion of the whisky will be kept to mature for up

to 70 years.

David Williamson, communications manager at the SWA, said that the fact the whisky was yet to be released is irrelevant: Bruichladdich has generated a large amount of publicity based on the product's strength. Communications focusing on a whisky's distillation strength, rather than its lower strength at bottling after years of maturation may confuse customers. The SWA and its members are trying hard not to promote irresponsible consumption of alcohol and we would urge Bruichladdich to follow this lead.'