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  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Does 'glen' equal 'scotch'?

    Today it was announced that the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) will appeal a Canadian court ruling allowing Glenora to call its malt whiskey 'Glen Breton.' Why does the SWA care? Because Glen Breton is made in New Scotland, i.e., Nova Scotia, not in that other Scotland.

    The SWS believes 'glen' means 'scotch,' and if you put 'glen' in the name of a liquor, consumers will wrongly think it is scotch, and that would be bad.

    Here is what the producer, Glenora Distillery, has to say about it on its web site: "Glen Breton Rare Canadian Single Malt Whisky is the only single malt whisky produced in Canada. It is produced by the traditional copper pot stills method using only three ingredients: Barley, Yeast and Water."

    I should mention that Glenora Distillery is in the town of Glenville, in Inverness County, on Cape Breton Island, "a place where the Gaelic culture lives and thrives," according to the distillery's web site.

    Remember, they're not trying to use the word 'scotch,' they're trying to use the word 'glen.'

    More here.

  2. #2
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    Re: Does 'glen' equal 'scotch'?

    Typical overreaching by the SWA.

  3. #3
    Mr. Anal Retentive Bourbon Drinker
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    Re: Does 'glen' equal 'scotch'?

    Also posted on Chuck's blog -

    Quick answer - no. They don't use the word Scotch anywhere on the label so they are well within their rights. I remember when some US producers of "Agave spirit" wanted to call their product Tequila. My answer then was that Tequila, like Scotch, is protected to a certain geographic area and they should create and market a new category for themselves.

    Glenora is doing exactly that - more power to them.

  4. #4
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    Re: Does 'glen' equal 'scotch'?

    Doesn't the word glen mean village, township, or some such?

    If the SWA succeeded, it would be like a single village mescal preventing another spirits producer from using the term "village".

  5. #5
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    Re: Does 'glen' equal 'scotch'?

    Quote Originally Posted by ILLfarmboy View Post
    Doesn't the word glen mean village, township, or some such?

    If the SWA succeeded, it would be like a single village mescal preventing another spirits producer from using the term "village".

    Chuck's blog cleared it up. "valley" is the word I was searching for.

  6. #6
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    Re: Does 'glen' equal 'scotch'?

    They don't use the word scotch , and it says Canada on the box. However, the issue seems to be the whiskey is made in Glenville on Cape Breton. Why combine two words that resemble a scotch distillery name? So far as I can tell, there is no Glen Breton. I truly could care less, but I see why swa would be irked.

  7. #7

    Re: Does 'glen' equal 'scotch'?

    This is kinda like if Kentucky were to sue publishers of the Bible, for including: "...And the crooked shall be made straight..."
    Hey, they mean bourbon, right?!

    Tim
    from Glennessee

  8. #8
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    Re: Does 'glen' equal 'scotch'?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lost Pollito View Post
    They don't use the word scotch , and it says Canada on the box. However, the issue seems to be the whiskey is made in Glenville on Cape Breton. Why combine two words that resemble a scotch distillery name? So far as I can tell, there is no Glen Breton. I truly could care less, but I see why swa would be irked.
    Irked, yes, but do they have legal grounds to make them stop doing it? It's not the implication that's important; it's the letter of the law and whether consumers will be confused into thinking this is actually made in Scotland.

    I think it's clear that the name "Glen Breton" is intended to make customers think of Scotland and scotch whisky, but that's not the same as making them think this is a product of Scotland and is actual scotch whisky.

    It's not misleading, in my opinion, to make customers think of Scotch whisky. They use, or at least did when I visited in 2002, malted barley important from Scotland, and they use stills from Scotland, and they use techniques from Scotland, and they use Jack Daniels barrels for aging.

    What they make tastes like scotch and would be scotch if it was made in Scotland. It's not as if they are implying that a Canadian whiskey is like scotch.

    I don't think it should be illegal to imply a comparison. As long as they don't claim to be "Scotch whisky" there is no damage to any product of Scotland, and that's what all the law should protect against.

    People may have a problem with the implication of the name, but that doesn't mean it should be illegal. There are a lot of things people do that I don't approve of, but I don't think they should all be illegal.

    What if a Canadian distillery started making whiskey using all the requirements for bourbon except the USA origin? Would it be wrong to name it "Booger Hollow Sour Mash Whiskey", even if it's made in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, not Booger Hollow? What's protected by law is the word "bourbon".

  9. #9
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    Re: Does 'glen' equal 'scotch'?

    It looks like they can keep their name.
    The Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear to hear SWA'a appeal.
    Link to the June 13 story is below.

    http://thechronicleherald.ca/Business/1127145.html
    ovh

  10. #10
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    Re: Does 'glen' equal 'scotch'?

    Quote Originally Posted by OscarV View Post
    It looks like they can keep their name.
    The Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear to hear SWA'a appeal.
    Link to the June 13 story is below.

    http://thechronicleherald.ca/Business/1127145.html
    Do any of you think the matter would have turned out different in the States? Does this open up the can for Clear Creek (makers of a 'Single Malt' whiskey), Anchor, or any others that choose to call their wannabe Scotch-like whisky Glen something or other?

    Interesting now this precedent has been set...

 

 

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