For immediate publication
Thursday 20th August 2015


Alex Salmond MP (Gordon) MSP (Aberdeenshire East) has called for Scotch whisky makers to use Scottish ingredients in the manufacturing process, sourcing from local providers wherever possible.

This follows concerns raised by members of the farming community in Mr Salmond’s constituency who raised this issue at the recent Turriff Show, claiming that they are losing out on tens of thousands of pounds worth of business.

Under current Scotch whisky regulations, there are no legal requirements for a Scotch whisky to contain any Scottish ingredients at all. The only requirements are that it needs to made and matured solely in Scotland for at least three years in oak barrels and must have a minimum alcoholic strength by volume of 40 per cent.

Arable farmers in Mr Salmond’s constituencies of Aberdeenshire East and Gordon have suggested that many distilleries are opting for foreign imported barley instead of quality local materials.  

This means, in theory that a whisky made with entirely foreign ingredients could be classed as a Scotch whisky so long as it is satisfies the distilling and geographical requirements.

Commenting, Alex Salmond said:

“Many people will be surprised that one of Scotland’s most celebrated products and our most popular export has no legal protection surrounding its ingredients.

“Aberdeenshire farmers are growing increasingly concerned at losing valuable business because some whisky firms decide against using their quality Scottish grains.

“People, the world over, buy Scotch whisky because they believe in its quality and origin. On this basis, there should be better protection over what goes into the mash tun, and where it comes from.”

Mr Salmond has invited the managers of the Ardmore, Glen Garioch and Glendronach distilleries to discuss the issue further.


Notes for editors:

Legal definition of Scotch whisky according to Scotch Whisky Association -

The Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009 -