Whisky Forum: Experience shows the way ahead

The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh. Image: Neil HannaThe Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh. Image: Neil Hanna
The Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh. Image: Neil Hanna
Rosemary Gallagher on an informative forum that considered how best to futureproof the industry.

It was a pleasure to host the panel session on future-proofing the Scotch whisky industry at The Scotsman’s event, in association with E.ON, held at the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh on 7 March.

The Experience is somewhere I never tire of visiting for the welcome it offers and the insight it provides into whisky, for everyone from those new to Scotland’s national drink to long-term aficionados.

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Panel members – James Cottrill, director of B2B sales for E.ON; Ruth Piggin, industry sustainability director at the Scotch Whisky Association; Ronald Daalmans, environmental sustainability manager at Chivas Brothers, and Dawn Maskell, director of the International Centre for Brewing and Distilling at Heriot-Watt University – all gave up their Thursday evening to take part in the session. We covered many aspects of sustainability in the industry, from water use to energy and diversity, and their expertise and knowledge shone through in their thought-provoking answers and discussions.

I was also blown away by the enthusiasm of our guests – around 40 people from across the industry and supply chain – who asked a wide range of questions before we had to call time on the formal proceedings.

The lively conversation continued over canapes, cocktails, mocktails and a farewell dram in the Whisky Collection housed at the Experience, which comprises more than 3,300 bottles of “golden spirit”, some of them pictured above.

We didn’t get a chance to get into detail on many more topics that impact the sector’s sustainability, but we will continue to delve into this rich and worthwhile subject area.

- Rosemary Gallagher is commercial editor at The Scotsman

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