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A Scotch Whisky Bottle Tax, Will it Work?

Scotch Whisky Bottle TaxA rather more serious post for today. A Scotch Whisky Bottle Tax has been proposed as a way of raising extra revenue.

Two economic advisors to the Scottish Parliament put forward this idea based on information from 2008 but also from estimates of 2011 figures. these show a year on year growth in the industry and its overall value to the Scottish economy. The proposed tax would provide a means of raising this revenue. What does it mean to you though?

This is when we get to the “dry” bit, that is with figures, not literally! The formulation for adding the extra tax is not quite so straightforward as it sounds.

What Would a Bottle Tax Mean?

For example if the tax was added to each bottle but the extra amount came off profits and was not passed on to the customer then the company would not pay as much corporation tax.

On the other hand if the tax was added to the cost to the consumer then this would probably lead to a drop in demand and sales and be counter productive. These two factors are what the advisors were trying to take into account, along with a figure for the level of the bottle tax.

Biggar Economics (the group behind the research) estimate da 0.43% drop in sales for every 1% increase in price, which does not sound enormous but when you consider that upwards of 1.3 billion bottles of Scotch Whisky are shifted every year then it is not just a drop in the ocean.

From the BBC

Graeme Blackett’s analysis suggests the following impact if a bottle tax were absorbed by profits:

A 10p per bottle tax would raise £135m and reduce corporation tax revenue by £31m – with a total revenue of £104m.

A 50p per bottle tax would reduce corporation tax by £155m – with total revenue of £520m

A £1 per bottle tax would cut corporation tax by £310m – leading to a total tax take of £1.039bn.

However, if all the cost of the tax were handed over to consumers, the analysis suggests:

A 10p rise per bottle would cut demand by about 6m bottles, it is estimated. Counting less corporation tax, excise duty and VAT would leave £128m in revenue.

A 50p rise for consumers, would cut demand by 31m bottles, and the tax take could be £626m.

A £1 tax would reduce demand by 61m bottles, resulting in tax revenue of £1.222bn.

There are a lot of unknowns in all this and of course the distillers might choose to mix the loading for themselves and the consumer.

My Thoughts

Personally a Scotch Whisky bottle tax leaves me with mixed feelings, anything likely to raise the price of my favourite tipple is not at all welcome.

What do you think? Please feel free to comment or share with your friends.

Jura Whisky Treasure Hunt

Jura Whisky Treasure Hunt

The Jura Distillery announced on Tuesday the 6th of November that it would be holding a treasure hunt in four cities in the UK, with 40 bottles of Jura Superstition Whisky as the prizes. The winners will be those lucky, or clever enough, to find one of ten pennies which will be hidden at certain … more »

Glenrothes Select Reserve Review

Glenrothes Select Reserve Review

From time to time our local pub will run a special offer on whisky with their “Malt of the Month” this month I am able to review the Glenrothes Select Reserve, which retailing at just about £30 is the bottom end of their range. There is quite a bit of hype surrounding this particular offering … more »

First London Whisky Distillery Announced

London Whisky DistilleryThe first London Whisky Distillery for 100 years has been announced by The London Distillery company in Battersea (TLDC). The first in fact since the closure of the Lea Valley distillery in 1910. At its peak Lea Valley was producing just under 155,000 gallons of malt whisky a year and employed around 40 people.

No it will not be in the power station!

TLDC has been the conception of Darren Rook who is a former manager of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society in London and has been in the planning for over two years, with production due to start in November of this year.

It will of course be some time before something that is legally London Whisky will go on sale, as it has to be in barrel for at least three years if it were in Scotland to earn that name. It is expected that a barley spirit will be available in smaller bottles as a product until the real stuff comes of age. As with several fledgling distilleries it is planned to also produce a dry London Gin to help finance what has to be a long term investment.

The distillery will be using traditional barley and,as much as possible, water from a spring local to their site in Battersea. The water from the spring is hard in nature and ideally suited to the intended style of London Whisky, indeed this type of water is responsible for some of the finest scottish whiskies, including Glenmorangie and Highland Park.

The aim is to produce a “light floral” whisky with its own distinct flavour, not so much to compete directly with Scotch Whisky as to complement he range of superb malt products already available in these isles.

Malt Whisky in England

England actually has a long history of malt whisky production with major production centres in Bristol and Liverpool up until the end of the 19th century. There was a steady decline though and it is only in the production of gin that spirit production still takes place on a major scale.

There are however several small scale distilleries in operation, with Norfolk, Cornwall and just down the road from me in Cumbria being three counties with distilleries to mention.

The first Cornish Whiskey Distillery for 300 hundred years was announced last year. (note the spelling).

The Distiller

The man overseeing the production will be John McDougall who has worked at several well known distilleries, including Laphroaig and Balvenie. it is his responsibility to ensure that the finished product comes up to scratch.

I for one wish this new London Whisky Distillery all the best for the future and look forward to one day trying one of their malts.


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Laphroaig 18 Year Old Diamond Jubilee

Laphroaig 18 Year Old Diamond Jubilee

Laphroaig have announced the launch of a special edition single malt. Laphroaig 18 Year Old Diamond Jubilee will be available from June, and as the name suggests it will be specially packaged to mark the Queens 60th Jubilee this year. This whisky will be in a limited edition of just 3000 and will carry Prince … more »

Why Buy Whisky Online?

Buy Whisky Online

Why is it a good idea to buy whisky online? Let me give you three reasons why I think it is a great idea.

1) Choice is the obvious first answer. Have you come across a wonderful scotch whisky while on holiday, only to find that it is not available in any shop you can find locally. Here in the UK it is probably easier to get hold of more brands but many fine whiskies are only available to buy in their immediate area.

It is a situation I have found myself in several times. My wife and I spend our Summer holidays on the wonderful Isle of Skye so naturally Talisker has become a firm favourite of ours but we always make a point of trying something different in the local pub in the village of Stein where we rent a cottage. There are approximately 130 to choose from behind the bar so we are spoilt for choice. The problem is whan we get home and would like to get one for ourselves, we cannot find it locally. That is when we are glad that we can buy whisky online.

Our enthusiasm for all things malt is shared by several of our friends so it is great to be able to offer them something really different now and again.

Another good reason to buy whisky online is that many of the sites offering fine malts for sale also have2) tasting notes, not only from the sellers own experienced staff but often from customers also. Some of the descriptions may be comical and a bit over the top but there is no doubting the enthusiasm of the contributor.

The third reason to buy whisky online is the 3) competitive prices available. The major stockists usually undercut almost everyone else, even when delivery costs are taken into account and often there are special discounts available for different packages or combinations of brands.

There are so many whiskies available that it is impossible to try them all but it is possible to bring back some very happy memories by finding that long lost bottle that reminds you of happy times spent on holiday.We never need to buy Talisker online since it is available locally but with the huge explosion in internet sales it is certainly possible to buy whisky online almost wherever you are in the world no matter what the brand.

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Welcome this is a copy of our home page but we will be updating the blog very soon.

Buy Whisky Online Home Page

Buy Whisky OnlineWelcome to my site here at Buy Whisky Online. As a whisky enthusiast I am really pleased to be able to introduce you to some great deals at several different merchants where you can buy whisky online.


If you want to browse our main supplier then they can be found at the Whisky Exchange Click Here or by clicking on one of their adverts, but if you would like some more information on the whiskies available with some tasting notes and distillery information then why not browse the site. If your favourite whiskey is not here yet then it soon will be. We are adding to the site here at Buy Whisky Online all the time.

Our Whisky Drinking

My wife and I spend our Summer holidays on the wonderful Isle of Skye so naturally Talisker has become a firm favourite of ours but we always make a point of trying something different in the local pub int the village of Stein where we rent a cottage. There are approximately 130 to choose from behind the bar so we are spoilt for choice.

Why This Site

Some of these whiskies are readily available in stores nationwide but others are rather harder to come by. That is one of the reasons that I have set up Buy Whisky Online. It gives me a chance to pass on a bit of our enthusiasm and also to give people a guide to where they can go to buy whisky online for themselves.

My Promise

I regularly check through the site to ensure that if you do want to buy whisky online then I am directing you to a site that carries what you are looking for.

I would love your feed back and would be really keen to get your opinions on different whiskies. Guest tasters are always welcome here at Buy Whisky Online.