Compass Box calls for more transparency within the Scotch whisky industry

Independent bottler and leading artisan whisky blender Compass Box has announced the launch of a campaign calling for more transparency within the Scotch whisky industry.

Published 22nd Feb 2016
Updated 21 st Sep 2023

The decision to raise awareness of the campaign came after the company was recently informed it had broken regulations laid down by the EU governing the marketing and promotion of spirits.

Compass Box reacted by producing a statement, saying that they believe that Scotch producers should be given the freedom but not the obligation to include the age of all the components that go into their whiskies to bring them into line with the vast majority of other industries where total transparency is not only permitted but encouraged.

However, current EU regulations state that for a producer to mention an age when talking about a bottle of aged spirit – whether on the packaging or in the marketing of that product – unless there is only one age mentioned and that age is of the youngest spirit in the bottle.

Compass Box say this leaves just two options for Scotch whisky producers in communicating the age of their products: Age Statement - whereby the youngest age of the constituent whisky is the only one used - and Non-Age Statement - whereby no information regarding age is given anywhere on the product or packaging.

The London based company are now proposing that the EU amend the regulations to add a third option for producers:  Full disclosure - allowing producers the freedom but not the obligation to provide complete, unbiased and clear information on every component whisky in their product – with or without a headline age statement outlining the age of the youngest spirit.

John Glaser, Founder and Whiskymaker, posted this on the company's site: “It turns out that Scotch whisky is one of the few products where it is prohibited by law to be fully open with consumers. This is an issue that affects every corner of the Scotch world (from Single Malt distillers to blenders) and limits the ability of the producer to share pertinent information with their customers.”

Glaser also Added: “We believe the current regulations should change. That Scotch whisky producers should have the freedom to offer their customers complete, unbiased and clear information on the age of every component used in their whiskies. That those customers have the right to know exactly what it is they’re drinking.”

For full details on Compass Box’s Scotch Whisky Transparency campaign, visit:

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