Whisky Advocate

Edinburgh retailer “betraying Scotland” by selling English whisky?

November 1st, 2009

I don’t think so, but some people apparently do.

english-whisky-2Royal Mile Whiskies in Edinburgh, Scotland, is going to sell the English Whisky Company’s “Chapter I” next month. The Deadline Press & Picture Agency reports here that some people think that such a move is “betraying Scotland.”

Have a look at the article. What do you think?

18 Responses to “Edinburgh retailer “betraying Scotland” by selling English whisky?”

  1. Steffen Bräuner says:

    Stupidity ?

    Or just a lot of people talking about a subject they have no clue about

    This surely proves that just because you are from Scotland doesnt mean you know anything about whisky

    or you can say its about politics not about whisky !

    For sure, no one with the love of quality whisky products can have anything against diversity in products, no matter where in the world it comes from

    I believe, that as long an honest high quality product is produced its gonna benefit the business as a whole

    Off course a lot of the malt enthusiasts out there will try the new english distillery. Or the new indian, or the new tasmanian and so on and so on. It doesn’t mean they are gonna stop drinking scotch

    I believe that these new destilleries will also attract new fans thus benefitting the business

    so for me these complainers are just making a fool out of themselves buy displaying their willingness to talk is bigger than their willingness to go get some knowledge

    But I seen it a lot. Whenever a tv-program, journalist, newspaper article, politician etc. talks about anything I myself have knowledge about they 9 out of 10 times have no clue

    The worrying thing is that most subjects I dont know a lot about and can’t tell if they are right or wrong


  2. “We got some negative feedback, mostly from American Scots…” This about says it all. With a mindset like this you could argue that these Scots have betrayed Scotland as well by settling down in America.

    In a way this is not much different than the “Boycott Scotland” campaign that some Americans started after the recent Diageo news.

  3. Neil Fusillo says:

    I think, more than Scotland, they are betraying America by not shipping here. I’d love to try it.

  4. […] almighty John Hansell got interested in this weird wee story! Royal Mile Whiskies are now preparing to stock the English […]

  5. Aerliss says:

    Did anyone make the same fuss about the Japanese whisky being sold there? Or the Irish whiskey? The Welsh?

    No… just the English.

  6. Lucas says:

    Chris and I have dropped a few words about it here:

  7. John Hansell says:

    Yeah, I think this is rather rediculous. I don’t have a clue who the “Tartan Army” is, but they seem to be taking a very miopic view on this.

  8. Brian Bradley says:

    Well the last time the English invaded it did not work out so hot for the Scottish people.

    The English did have their hand in a whole lot of the Scottish Whisky Law for quite some time. I guess for some, this is still a sore spot.

    To quote Bob Dylan: “Times, they are a Changin”

    Sometimes, ya gotta let the past sleep.


  9. Tim F says:

    @ Aerliss: Did anyone make the same fuss about the Japanese whisky

    Unfortunately these idiots don’t just dislike the idea of English whisky. I had a really obnoxious poster on my blog when i dared to publish a good review of a Japanese whisky. Thankfully he got slapped down by a chorus of disapproval:

  10. Steve says:

    My mother’s family came to America from Skye. This occured a few centuries ago and I’m sure they would have stayed if Talisker were available.

    My father’s family came to America from Kent even earlier and I’m sure they would have stayed if English whisky had been available.

    As it turns out, both sides eventually wound up in Kentucky and starting drinking corn-based liquor, a tradition I happily follow to this day.

    I have smatterings of Irish, Welsh, French, German, and I’m sure a good bit more running through my veins. So, as a Scots-Irish-Welsh-English-etc. American I’m torn by ancient voices vying for my loyalty. I’m not sure if I should feel a sense of betrayal or a sense of victory at this new English push north. Culloden, Bannockburn, and now Royal Mile Whiskies.

    Given my inner conflict, I’ve decided to remain completely neutral until I can taste this new offering myself and ignore those inner voices (and probably stop telling people I hear voices lest they think I’m just plain nuts). I can’t understand the ones speaking Gaelic anyway. I believe, however, I will judge on the merits of the whisky itself and not its genealogy.

    In these new Whisky Wars, maybe I should be more upset with the Canadians for filling a vacuum during Prohibition, one that pretty much killed rye until recent years, but I just can’t quite work myself up for it. Instead I think I’ll direct my attention to other matters, such as the economy, two wars, and my elderly mother’s health care options. The little things in life.

    On a more serious note, I applaud Royal Mile Whiskies and this new expansion of their inventory. Give people a choice to buy what they like no matter where it’s produced (and this also goes for the PLCB, various state legislatures, and others). Sounds almost…Revolutionary.

  11. Oliver Klimek says:

    “In a way this is not much different than the “Boycott Scotland” campaign that some Americans started after the recent Diageo news.”

    Diageo’s news might have come around the same time, but “Boycott Scotland” had nothing to do with whisky. The names Abdelbaset Al Megrahi, Lockerbie, and Pan Am 103 ring a bell?

    This hullabaloo, on the other hand, seems to be about national pride partly based on history. I could envision some journalist writing a similar story from a Kentucky or Tennessee vantage when a ‘northern’ whiskey hit the shelves there.

    As our world becomes more and more integrated and homogenized, I for one appreciate hearing about national pride.

  12. bgulien says:

    I agree with the Tartan Army and other idiots and propose that Scottish whisky can only be sold in Scotland. 😉
    After that, I think the Scots should propose legislation, that Scotch whisky can only be drunk in Scotland.
    SWA can then say: Made In Scotland, Matured in Scotland, Bottled in Scotland, Sold in Scotland and plastered in Scotland

  13. John —

    The Tartan Army is “the nickname for the devoted fans of Scotland’s national football (“soccer” in the United States) team.”

  14. Agreed with the others here that this is total bollocks. Indeed, considering the multinational character of the drinks-trade conglomerates, the globalization of the whisky marketplace, and the nearly total computerized automation of most distilleries (and I’ll hazard to bet that most of the computer components, hardware and software involved were designed and manufactured outside of Scotland), one wonders exactly what about Scottish “Heritage” would be preserved by such a narrow commercial view. On the contrary, the granddaddy of all free market orientated economic theory is Adam Smith — a Scotsman born in Kirkcaldy, Fife and buried in Canongate Kirk just off the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. I might even consider it a fitting tribute to one of the great geniuses of the Scottish Enlightenment that the Royal Mile Whiskies shop should pursue some diversity of stock and promote competition, such that it is, amongst whisky producers. 😉

  15. Todd says:

    This is senseless pants-wetting, reminiscent of the “I won’t drink Bushmills, only Jameson” comment heard among some stridently idiotic Irish Americans. Looking forward to tasting the “northern whisky” someday.

  16. On Brian Bradley’s whisky law thing, the English market and indeed whisky law had a significant part to play in shaping whisky as the product it now is.
    This is a news agency desperately trying to sell a non story.

  17. JC Skinner says:

    Splendid advertising coup for the English Whisky Co. and Royal Mile.
    I wonder if the allegedly disgruntled customers existed at all?
    Oh, and to Todd, to be a proper Irish whiskey bigot, one doesn’t drink Jameson but Powers, because Jameson like Bushmills is ‘Protestant’ doncha know!

  18. monique at the dell says:

    More power to you Stuart! Can’t wait to try it, if it’s not good, it won’t sell. Argument over.

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