Scotch Whiskey Market Now Flooded with Imitations

In an attempt to pile on to Scotch’s popularity and prestige, more and more brands across the globe are attempting to market their liquor as a “Scotch,” reports the BBC.

Although a whiskey can only be labeled as a “Scotch” if it is produced in Scotland, imitators have creative ways of getting around the protection laws the United Kingdom has put in place.

The association’s director of legal affairs, Magnus Cormack, notes that imitators commit either simple fraud by falsely labeling liquors as Scotch, or attempt to subtly hint that the liquor is a Scotch through the use of iconic Scottish images, such as castles, tartan and bagpipers on the label. Brands may also name their product something that connotes Scotland, such as “Highlander.”

Cormack observes that companies come up with “ingenious arguments” to defend their imitation products as well. Last year, an Indian whiskey named Scotia Imperial defended their name by arguing that “Scotia” is actually an architectural term in the dictionary. Another Indian brand named Scotch Terrier defended itself by claiming that the brand was named after the owner’s dog.

Although for the Scotch Whiskey Association, getting rid of fake Scotches can feel like a game whack-a-mole, they’re determined to ensure that what happened to London Gin—which is now produced around the world—doesn’t happen to Scotch whiskey. [BBC] [Photo: Flickr.com/milos.kravcik]

Tagged: BBC, Scotch whiskey