The artwork for the 2017 limited edition whisky will feature more than 300 photos of whisky fans.
Much cheering from the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) on Scotch whisky being according the status of a Geographical Indication (GI) in Botswana. But why?
GI status is reserved for products from a particular place with a particular character – Parma ham, Sherry and so on – and all WTO members must protect them from misuse. In other words, no fakes allowed.
Botswana imported less than £500,000-worth of Scotch in 2014 – a pimple on an elephant’s posterior in the global context of exports of nearly £4bn. But that figure was 163% up on 2013, and there’s a lot more Scotch which crosses the border from neighbouring South Africa.
Even so, the Botswana decision is worth talking about not for its intrinsic importance, but for its symbolic value as Scotch companies greedily eye the African continent’s emerging economies.
Oil is bringing wealth to Nigeria and Angola, international investment is piling in and, even back in 2012, consumer spending accounted for more than 60% of economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the World Bank.
The number of middle class Africans varies according to your definition of the term – could be 350m, could be 120m out of a total of about 1bn – but it’s rising fast, and large numbers of these people are beginning to have money to spend on more than the simple necessities of living and breathing.
For an equally large chunk of the populace, Scotch whisky is, to descend into marketing speak, a ‘highly aspirational’ product. In other words, buying a bottle of Johnnie Walker or Chivas Regal is one of the ultimate expressions of a person’s new-found and hard-won economic independence and freedom.
That’s the size of the prize for Scotch whisky companies in Africa. And that’s why the SWA is talking up Botswana.
- New whisky reviews: Batch 115
- Are we being priced out of whisky?
- Glenfiddich Winter Storm has icewine touch
- Johnnie Walker releases Blade Runner whisky
- North of Scotland releases first whisky
- Memories of Michael Jackson
- Rare whisky reviews: Batch 26
- The Collectors: Patrick de Schulthess, Strathisla
- New whisky reviews: Batch 114
- Irish whiskey: a question of provenance
Whisky Travel 18 January 2016
The charms of an elegant, exotic city where Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cultures overlap.
Culture 10 January 2017
Many a dram has made an appearance on the silver screen – some authentic, others imagined.
Whisky Travel 09 December 2015
Cocktails, jazz and beignets provide a feast for all the senses in Louisiana’s deep south.
Whisky Travel 03 July 2017
Australia’s most cosmopolitan city has a host of attractions for the seasoned whisky lover.