Whisky news time folks! As you will appreciate, this week’s update is once more dominated by the industry’s reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic. Something that is very clear, after having spoken to people from all over the industry, be it PR teams, Distillery Staff, Independent Bottlers, Brand Ambassadors or Customers – there is very much a sense of togetherness and resilience. We are being tested, and we will come through it, whatever “it” presents…

  • Help in hard times…

There has been a huge out-pouring of support for people in the industry who have been affected by the pandemic…

The good folks from Speciality Drinks and Edrington Beam Suntory have put together a “Wellbeing Pack” for anyone in the hospitality trade who may be finding things difficult….

The Drinks Trust – formerly The Benevolent – have launched a new campaign to raise money to support the sector.

UK charity Hospitality Action has teamed up with cashless tipping platform Tipjar to raise money for on-trade workers.

The Co-op Have created 5000 jobs for UK hospitality workers.

Douglas Laing will donate £1 for every litre of The Epicurean Lowland Malt sold to The Benevolent Society.

Our Friends at Royal Mile Whiskies are encouraging people to buy to their “Bottle Share” scheme. Where their employees have donated bottles with proceeds raising funds for people affected.

Diageo have launched a free information phone line to support licensed business owners. They have also pledged 8 million bottles of sanitiser for frontline healthcare workers.

Distell and Dewars have pledged Alcohol for Sanitiser.

Smaller independent distilleries are also producing sanitiser which is going directly to the frontline.

Heaven Hill have pledged $400k to tackle the virus.

Brown Foreman have pledged £1m to help communities during the pandemic.

Chivas announced that this year’s Chivas Venture $1 million fund will be distributed evenly amongst the 26 global finalists with immediate effect.

  • Clarity Required

The Scotch Whisky Association are calling for “urgent clarification” on business rates relief for distilleries and the suspension of duty payments to help producers.

The Wine and Spirits Trade Association are urging the UK government to suspend alcohol duty for six months to help businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. They are also questioning the necessity for the government to go ahead with the Bottle Deposit Return Scheme” .

Trade bodies in the US are also calling on relief for Distillers.

The Unite Union have called for Diageo to halt production in Scotland…

  • G and M Sparkle!

Staff from Gordon & MacPhail in Elgin have raised £12,000 for local charityAbbie’s Sparkle Foundation”. Excellent work team!

  • Uber Weymss!

Weymss were offering a free £10 uber eats voucher with every web order above £40, while stocks last!

  • Hellyers Back!

Renowned Australian distillery Hellyers Road have resurrected their 12-year-old expression after a 5 year absence. Awesome stuff…

  • Yoshino’cean

Yoshino Spirits Co have launched what is thought to be the world’s first ocean-infused whisky, finished in pine tree barrels, named “Umiki”. Interesting….

  • Saller Departs!

Diageo chief marketing officer Syl Saller will step down after 20 years with the firm, and will be succeeded by the current global category director for Scotch and managing director for Reserve, Cristina Diezhandino. Best of luck to all!

  • Easter Particular!

Douglas Laing have announced a limited edition coming to their “Old Particular” range. An Invergordon 22-year-old, available only online. Nice….

  • ‘Rothes Hattrick complete!

Last Drop distillers have released the last of three rare bottlings from Glenrothes distillery, a 1970 vintage. Wowzer!

  • Wait is over!

The Isle of Raasay Distillery has unveiled the fifth and final instalment of its ‘While We Wait’ single malt. Next stop, their own whisky? Exciting times!

  •  ‘Beg with a bight!

There a new Ardbeg coming people! It’s a 5 year-old called “Wee Beastie”. Feisty!

  • Fake web?

US researchers may have made a breakthrough in spotting fake whiskey. Yay science!

  •  Tamdhu top of the bill!

Tamdhu have scooped “Worlds Best Single Cask” at this years World Whisky Awards. Awesome work!

  •  Auction Stuff

Sothebys just sold the most expensive bottle of Japanese whisky EVER.

  • Virtual Tours And Tastings!

Both Penderyn AND Bimber distilleries have started a “Virtual Distillery Tour” facility. Go and have a look!

Here at the Whisky Lounge we hope to get on-line tastings happening asap!

Glengoyne are celebrating International Whisky Day TODAY with an on-line tasting hosted by Gordon Dundas no-less!

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society are also hosting on-line experiences.

  • And Finally…

By way of some light relief.

It’s good to know that in a climate where cleanliness is of paramount importance. No one is immune to a good sponging! Not even me!

Remain resilient Loungers.
See you back here next week.


Read last week’s Gateshead Whisky News if you missed it!