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Scotch whisky definition laws tightened

Published:  23 July, 2008

UK: The Government is moving to enhance regulations that define regionally-produced Scotch whisky and discourage counterfeiting.

Secondary legislation could be enacted by next Spring after the Department for Environment, farming and Rural Affairs (Defra) runs a consultation exercise on the proposed policy changes.

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) 'warmly welcomed' the moves.

"These proposals will deliver significant benefits to the industry and the wider economy," said chief executive Gavin Hewitt.

"This consultation exercise will take us another step closer to strengthening the UK legislation that the SWA have been telling us they need to help them protect Scotch whisky in export markets," said Hilary Benn, secretary of state for Defra.

Five categories of Scotch whisky will be formerly identified, and it will be compulsory to use them on all bottles sold.

There will also be legal protection for well-known regional names such as 'Speyside' and 'Islay.'

True single Scotch whisky will only be bottled in Scotland, and be produced at the distillery named on bottles.