Hello Braw Spirit readers! Here’s what we’ve been reading this week.

2014 – Week 2

Extra protection! Scotch whisky is the first drink to be covered by the new Spirit Drinks Verification Scheme.

Lower tax! A reduction in whisky tax is being debated in parliament and could be lowered ahead of the referendum.

Going against the grain – contrary to the huge global demand for Scotch Whisky, Diageo and Pernod Ricard posted double-digit drops in sales growth last year in South Korea. Koreans apparently prefer cheaper drinks such as beer and wine.

Keeping an eye on things – The Spirits Business lists the Scotch Whisky brands to watch in 2014.

More than just friends? Glenmorangie launches it’s latest annual limited edition expression Companta, which means ‘friendship’ in Scots Gaelic.

BenRiach expands it’s range as four new expressions are set for export to the US market.

25 years young – the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh celebrates it’s milestone anniversary and popularity shows no signs of slowing.

Shipwrecked whisky for sale – one of the ‘Whisky Galore’ bottles salvaged from the SS Politician was being auctioned this week and expected to sell for a high price. Unfortunately the bottle sold for less than it cost the previous owner.

Celebrating its shady past – Cutty Sark Prohibition Edition is released.

Your local needs you – CAMRA urges people to support local pubs during the ‘typically quiet’ January.

Who stole the Pappy? Last summer, 222 bottles of ultra-rare Pappy Van Winkle bourbon were stolen and nobody has yet figured out who did it.

Hogmanay with a difference. Rowers taking part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge celebrated new year with Auld Lang Syne and a tot of whisky.

Island youth – a short tour around Islay’s youngest distillery, Kilchoman.

Yet another distillery – this one will make gin however. Work begins on Dunnet Bay distillery in Caithness which will be mainland Britain’s most northerly operation.

The best boat cruise ever? The 3-masted Thalassa tallship will do a tour on the week of the Islay Whisky Festival. Unsurprisingly, it’s all sold out.

Data science and whisky flavours – in an exercise to blow the mind, an analyst used k-means clustering to find groups of Scotch whiskies to produce a mini-recommendation system.

(Featured image: Scotsman)

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