First French 'Scotch' comes under fire

Bercloux: Nowhere near Scotland.

Bercloux, maker of France's first single malt whisky, is under fire from the always-vigilant Scotch Whisky Association.

Bercloux is a brewery that produces artisanal beers and a Cognac beer. The company claims its spirit is a Scotch whisky because it begins with raw whisky imported from Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire, Scotland, but then is matured in the Poitou-Charentes region of western France. And, it plans to sell it as such.

The SWA consistently opposes any attempts by distillers in other countries to market any whisky as "Scotch." One of the most recent instances involved a Canadian product called Glen Breton.

As Campbell Evans, head of government and consumer affairs for the SWA, told a group of us spirits writers during a tour of Scotland early this summer, "We have five lawyers who would sue anybody, anywhere. We have 60 to 70 court cases going on at any one time around the world."

(For a Q&A with Evans conducted by my colleague Joe Ray, a Paris-based writer and photographer, click here.)

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