Recently, Compass Box Whisky has been in the news over the labeling on some of their blended malt whiskies. In contrast to the increasingly frequent stories about brands phasing out age statements from their packaging, Compass Box instead was catching heat for being too transparent in their labeling. I know, it doesn’t make sense to me either.
On a couple of Compass Box’s more high-profile releases, they disclosed all of the component whiskies, as well as their individual ages. At a time when age statements seem to be disappearing left and right, I thought this was a commendable feature of these products. Unfortunately, both Scotch Whisky Association and European Union regulations bar this sort of transparency; it’s actually illegal for a Scotch whisky to list any ages other than a blanket age statement of the youngest component spirit.
Though this ruling is no doubt intended to prevent producers from misleading consumers, it paradoxically keeps brands from providing a level of detail that I know many whisky fans would appreciate. In my mind, what conscientious, detail-minded whisk(e)y geek doesn’t want to know as much as possible about the whiskies they’re contemplating purchasing? After all, this isn’t a cheap hobby, and I relish the opportunity to be an informed consumer.
Personally, I want more transparency, and I commend producers like Compass Box for providing details about their products. In pursuit of this, I applaud Compass Box’s recent call for greater transparency in whisky packaging, and their proposed amendments to EU spirits labeling laws.
If you agree with this mission, I strongly encourage you to visit this site to sign the pledge and indicate your support for this meaningful change!
In continued support and solidarity, my next post will be a round-up review of several (awesome) Compass Box whiskies. Keep your eye out in the coming week! Cheers!
Questions of the Week: Where do you stand on whisk(e)y labeling rules? Have you signed the pledge?