1983 was a very bad year to be in the Scotch Whisky business. Sales had dried up in the face of changing consumer tastes and economic woes, and the industry was sitting on a “whisky loch” of millions of gallons of whisky no one wanted to buy. That led to the permanent or temporary closings of 14 distilleries, along with blending and bottling plants throughout Scotland. 40 years later, the industry has recovered – but have the lessons from 1983 been remembered? We’ll talk with historians Charles Maclean and Dr. Nick Morgan about the circumstances that led to mass closings back then, and what’s different today.
In the news, UK Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has slapped Scotch Whisky with a 10.1% increase in excise duty, and industry leaders are fighting back claiming broken promises. Kentucky state lawmakers are trying to get a bill passed in the next few days that would phase out the state’s barrel tax on maturing whiskey, and David Beckham is reported to be stepping away from his bespoke whisky brand.
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