For our second batch we decided to stay in the same line of thought as our first batch: an excellent selection of Single Malt Scotch, finished on a traditional Belgian “Kriek” cask of Cantillon.
However, the release of this batch turned out to be much more challenging than anticipated. The reason: a change in regulation during the maturation process which almost prevented us from releasing our Glen Moray as “Scotch” (and even releasing it at all).
The last Scotch?
Every good story starts with a sudden change. An unexpected twist. And for us it was a slap in the face. Initially we planned on releasing the ‘Glen Moray à la Belge’ early 2020. But we ran into a small inconvenience, the SWA (Scottish Whisky Association).
Our friends at the SWA changed regulations: not all types of casks are allowed to be used for maturing Scotch. Casks that have held liquids that contained stone fruits, like cherries, in any way during the production process, are since august 2019 a ‘NO GO’. Keeping in mind Tequila and Mezcal cask are still considered as ‘traditional casks’ the ruling seemed a bit arbitrary, but we drew the short straw here.
The return of the stone-fruit savourists
An easy fix would have been to release our batch as a BE- or EU-whisky that happened to be produced in the Glen Moray Distillery in Scotland. New labels should do the job, right?
Unfortunately, not according to SWA, as regulation also defines that there cannot be any other type of whisky being produced in Scotland other than ‘Scotch’.
At that time, we didn’t see any obvious way out. It was a Catch-22.
Brave as we are, we looked the SWA straight in the eyes and started negotiating. Endless hours of waiting, discussing and throwing arguments at each other. In the end, reason prevailed! As our whisky was re-racked before the amendment, the SWA agreed that we could sell it under the Scotch label for the very last time. So after printing a new label (again!) we are good to export our finished product to Belgium.
All’s well that ends well
Due to these negotiations and necessary changes in labeling, we encountered multiple months of delay. But in the end, it was more than worth the effort and we are very happy the SWA had ears for our arguments.
Our most loyal fans had to exercise a little more patience than expected, but they’ll get an even more precious product in return…
… the last Scotch finished on a Kriek Cantillon cask.
Interested in tasting? You can order here.