Larbert welcomes whisky '˜made in Taiwan'
Scotch Whisky is the number one premium spirit drink in the world, so will anybody at this weekend's whisky festival in Larbert's Dobbie Hall seriously want to drink whisky from ... Taiwan?
The answer to that from many serious Scotch aficianados is an emphatic “yes”, because a select band of Asian whiskies have won a stellar reputation for the superlative quality of their products.
They are not to be confused with the fakes and rip-offs which have plagued the industry over many years (one of which bore the unforgettable label: “Black and White Scotch Whisko: brewed in the grounds of Buckingham Palace”).
The drinks at the Larbert show are niche products created to exacting standards by people who pursue their art with almost religious dedication, and some of their biggest admirers are Scotch whisky experts.
Harbro Events’ Whisky Social event showcases some of the best whiskies from Scotland and around the world - for example there’s a master class by Douglas Laing & Co for this, its 70th anniversary year - and Falkirk’s own Rosebank Distillery also stars along with many others.
We could pass on more detail about the attendees, but as the event is sold out there is little point - except to note that anyone seriously interested in Scotch or international whiskies needs to book early for this kind of happening.
Meanwhile the shadow of Brexit continues to cast its pall over Scotch, as with every other quality Scottish food and drink product - although with the realistic hope that some sort of protected status system will finally emerge from the chaos.
Parmesan, Sherry (Jerez) and Champagne are just three of the European products that earnestly wish to see their own status protected from imitators (America waives the rules and produces its own “Champagne” in California - but most people know it is a French creation).
There have even been warm words spoken within the UK on whether Scotch can be marketed as “British”, as although Scotland is in the UK it cannot legally be produced anywhere except in Scotland.
However pundits appear to agree these arguments are peripheral, as the international prestige of Scotch has been clearly established - as a drink from Scotland, and nowhere else - for more than a century.