Council moves to give clarity to minimum legal whisky measure

Smaller measures will not be punished

MORAY COUNCIL TRADING standards officers are now “unlikely” to take the view that full whisky measures are a requirement where they are served up as part of a genuine tasting event.

In a move that has been welcomed by the industry, the local authority has taken a lead on clarifying the legal situation where a full 25ml measure need not be provided to those attending distillery tours, tastings and special events.  At such events a 10ml measure can now be provided with no risk of penalty.

Moray has issued the new guidance after consulting with Police Scotland over the issue – with the region accounting for over half of Scotland’s distilleries, the council felt it appropriate to clarify situations where the legal minimum measure would not necessarily apply.

Rhona Gunn, who is the director of economic development, infrastructure and planning for Moray Council, said: “In Moray Speyside we have half the total number of distilleries that exist in Scotland, so it’s appropriate that we should be taking the lead on this.

“The guidance says that where whisky is supplied in the context of a genuine whisky tasting event, and the marketing and other information provided to customers makes it clear that sample measures will be provided, then it is unlikely that the council’s trading standards service would take the view that full measures were required.

“Police Scotland will assess the need for a licence on a case-by-case basis with a pragmatic view being adopted where appropriate.  This applies to any tours, tutored tastings and events where alcohol is dispensed as part of the overall package.”

The move has been warmly welcomed by the Spirit of Speyside whisky festival, who will operate several tasting events between April 28 and May 2 throughout the region.

James Campbell said: “This guidance from Moray Council will greatly enhance the experience of visitors attending our events.

“The Festival is a staunch advocate of responsible drinking, and we have campaigned for some time for our event providers to be allowed to serve smaller 10ml measures where it is deemed appropriate.

“We hope that the pioneering view taken by Moray Council will be mirrored by local authorities across Scotland.”