HMRC internal manual

Spirits Production Manual

SPIR3260 - Law, Policy and Application - Scotch Whisky

Law

The Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009 impose additional national requirements in relation to Scotch whisky alongside those that apply by virtue of Regulation EC (No) 110/2008. The additional national requirements cover the manufacture (regulation 5), marketing (regulation 6), movement (regulation 7), and presentation (regulations 8 to 12 and Schedules 1 to 3 ) of Scotch whisky, which is defined in regulation 3

The Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009 repeal the Scotch Whisky Act 1988 and revoke the Scotch Whisky Order 1988.

Scotch whisky is defined by the Scotch Whisky Regulations 2009 as a whisky produced in Scotland

(a) that has been distilled at a distillery in Scotland from water and malted barley (to which only whole grains of other cereals may be added) all of which have been -

(i) processed at that distillery into a mash;
(ii) converted at that distillery into a fermentable substrate only by endogenous enzyme systems; and
(iii) fermented at that distillery only by the action of yeast;

(b) that has been distilled at an alcoholic strength by volume of less than 94.8 percent so that the distillate has an aroma and taste derived from raw materials used in, and the method of, its production;

(c) that has been matured only in oak casks of a capacity not exceeding 700 litres;

(d) that has been matured only in Scotland;

(e) that has been matured for a period of not less than 3 years;

(f) that has been matured only in an excise warehouse or permitted place

(g) that retains the colour, aroma and taste derived from the raw materials used in the method of its production and maturation;

(h) to which no substance has been added, or to which no substance has been added except -

(i) water

(ii) plain caramel colouring; or

(iii) water and plain caramel colouring; and

(i) that has a minimum alcoholic strength by volume of 40%

Policy and Application

Scotch Whisky referred to in declarations made for revenue purposes (for example, form W21 or certfifcates of age) should conform to the legal definitions.