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HMRC internal manual

Spirits Production Manual

Technical guidance: What is the significance of the terms

Spirits described as whisky or whiskey must conform to the definition set out in Council Regulation (EEC) No 1576/89. This Regulation permits the UK to legislatively define (and protect) ‘Scotch whisky’ as a product of specified geographical location. The Scotch whisky definition is contained in The Scotch Whisky Order 1990 which also brought into force the provisions of The Scotch Whisky Act 1988.

No product may be called ‘whisky’, ‘whiskey’ or ‘Scotch whisky’ unless it has been produced fully in accordance with the above mentioned laws (which are detailed in SPIR3250 - Whisk(e)y definitions).

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