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Amber Lights

Minimum pricing for cider is a rotten apple

July 21 2018

If there is one place in Britain where I suspect the Scottish Government is the No 1 pet hate, it is in Cornwall and the West Country. Why? Because their minimum pricing policy has effectively decimated sales of cider in Scotland. A two-litre bottle of supermarket’s-own cider has spiralled from £2 to £5 (that’s 150%) and canned ciders have also suffered crippling price rises.

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Long-term benefits for drinks industry

July 14 2018

It happened a third of a century ago, and to many it’s an event as distant as Flodden or Agincourt. However, the battle for Distillers, Scotland’s then-biggest whisky firm, in the mid-1980s proved a mega-earthquake that shook the whisky industry, the City, the Stock Exchange and, frankly, the whole of Britain as never before. And, for good or ill, it ushered in an unscrupulous way of doing business that, sadly, has become almost wholly the norm.

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Remembering long-gone whiskies

July 7 2018

For the most part, the big-name blends and malts seem to have an immortality all their own. Somehow their names and repute liveth for ever in the public mind, ensuring they remain on the shelves and whisky websites decade after decade.

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A whisky worth knocking on the door for

June 30 2018

Aberdeenshire, and the North-East generally, have lost many distilleries over the decades, but those which have survived are currently thriving. These include Fettercairn, Royal Lochnagar, Glengarioch, Macduff/Glen Deveron, Ardmore, Glendronach, Glenglassaugh and the quaintly-named An Cnoc.

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A whole lot of history bottled up in drink

June 23 2018

It is interesting to contemplate how certain drinks (or brands) acquired their names. Wines are often named after their home village or area. Single malts are named after the distilleries that produce them. Other drinks are named after the company founder, be he Johnny Walker, Jack Daniels, Jim Beam or Mr Heineken.

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